Maybe that’s why
, four years ago, on a whim, I emailed a few articles to two close friends. It was the first issue
of Iserotope Extras, what would eventually become The Highlighter. From the looks of the introductory paragraph, things began small:
All I’m doing is clipping articles that I like and seeing what happens.
Despite that unassuming start, for the most part, the point of the newsletter then was the same as it is now: to find the best articles on the most important topics, and then to share them with you.
That’s because I believe deeply in the power of reading. Some say that reading is for people who refuse to get in the arena, who refrain from taking action, who prefer to hide. But I strongly disagree. For me, reading helps us to consider the perspectives of others, build our empathy, and most important, to follow the facts. Our lived experiences matter, and so do our personal truths, but reading offers a way to pass over, to connect, and to return transformed.
The true power of reading, though, is missing when it remains a solitary activity. Sure, there are plenty of people who have no interest discussing the books and articles that move them. But for me, reading becomes even more powerful in community, particularly when people who don’t otherwise know each other come together to discuss the ideas they find in text.
At its best, that’s what The Highlighter is, a reading community, an article club that spans far and wide. That’s why I’m dedicated to putting the newsletter together every week. Even though we don’t all know each other, and we don’t all meet up for dinner every Thursday night to talk about the articles (though I would welcome that!), there’s power in knowing we’re all reading the same great articles, allowing their ideas to challenge our views, affirm our values, and expand our worlds.
When you hit reply and tell me you loved (or hated) an article, or you connected with an author’s perspective, or that a piece opened your eyes to a new way of seeing the world, not only am I appreciative that you’ve reached out, but I’m also reminded of our ability to grow closer together, and I’m persuaded that we’d all be better off, especially in these disjointed times, if we engaged more often with people outside our immediate circles.
I’m sure there’s more to this why-The-Highlighter question, and I’ll continue to reflect and keep you posted on my ruminations. Feel free to let me know
what this newsletter means to you, too.
With your help, my hope is to keep building this reading community, to do more HHHs and Pop-Up Article clubs (sign up for the next one
on July 20), and to find out how loyal readers who live far away (Seattle, Denver, Cleveland, New York, Germany!) want to connect. Please share with me your ideas. I can’t wait to see how The Highlighter grows and gets better over the next 200 issues.
For now, I’ll say again what I said at the beginning: Thank you. I’m happy you decided to subscribe, and that you open up the newsletter every Thursday, read the blurbs, and maybe find an article or two that’s worth your reading time. I’m grateful for your readership.