[reads] nook with Ilana Kohn

This weekend we had a mini [reads] pop up with Ilana Kohn in her plant filled Studio in the Brooklyn Navy Yards on a muggy Friday evening. We treasure this event because it’s our way of gathering a group of people some familiar and some new to be in a space together some to find a nook and read or be charmed by a new and unexpected friendship.

Left to Right Emma, Isabel, Rachael, Alana and Ilana Kohn

We have been working hard to crystalize over the past few months what [reads] is and why it’s important, different and something that people would want to be a part of. While [reads] is constantly evolving—we’re learning that our events provide crucial moments of chaos and clarity for both of us.

We’re carefully articulating what [reads] is while we work toward our web launch in September, and we have our [reads] extended family to thank for helping us along the way. Every time we chat with a supportive friend or each time we make friends with a stranger over [reads] it’s a nice bookmark for us—a reminder that we are arriving at an idea that’s good and true.

our [reads] + Jean Jullien tote bags in the studio

We’ve had our own internal dialogue and iterations of what [reads] is and what it could be— but the provoking questions we get from people who randomly heard about [reads] on Ann Friedman, in Ilana Kohn’s newsletter or on Instagram have been transformative for us laying out our story.

The thing we value the most about [reads] being small and organic in it’s growth, is that we’re surrounded by inspiring people all doing their own thing in one way or another, sharing their up’s, downs and words of wisdom with us.

We’ve enjoyed being around Ilana Kohn pronounced (eh-lane-uh) who easily makes us feel comfortable in our own skin. She effortlessly wears herself and sails around her Brooklyn studio rotating candles and altering little nooks for the event— a bean bag in the center of the room, a pillow filled couch by the door.

Her jumpsuits feel like home and flatter everyone’s body type. In Chinatown we’re used to dwelling in apartments the size of bathtubs and we’ll do anything to roam free in uncluttered in wide open spaces like Ilana’s studio.

Inside our [reads] box: 2 curated and carefully wrapped books with library cards, a public supply notebook, our [reads] ‘How to read a book’ bookmark, sage, and a postcard.

We talked with Ilana about the haphazardness to starting your own business, how stumbling upon questions turns into learning, and the inevitable trial and error is important.

When business terms come up that we don’t understand and tasks we don’t feel equipped to do, we navigate ourselves by asking questions to figure it out. Businesses takes time and relies on being patient with yourself.

Our conversations and event with Ilana have been a springboard for us to bounce up and down on and eventually launch off, even if it’s a small.

This weekend we made new friends with people in the publishing world, art therapists, artists, entrepreneurs, designers and actors. The night was filled with people who under normal circumstances wouldn’t typically be in the same room on a Friday evening and for that we were grateful. We want to meet new people, learn and grow [reads] into a community.

Paloma and Joyce

When you launch something new you realize it’s YOUR turn and that people are looking at you to lead the room, start the conversations and make the connections. We were taking note of those small moments in which one off beat thing is said and a deep friendship is born.

One of the books in our [reads] box at the event was Too much and not the mood by Durga Chew Bose and we’ve enjoyed literally reading each page 4 times and underlining everything. Bose has a way of articulating that the seemingly small moments. If we learn to pay attention to these moments they will can rattle and transform your outlook.

Because doesn’t smallness primes us to eventually take up space? For instance, the momentum gained from reading a great book. After after, sitting, sleeping, living in it’s consequence. A Book that makes you feel, finally latched on.— Durga Chew Bose
Makenzie reads Word by Word the secret Life of Dictionaries

We were both rejuvenated standing outside in the rain at 10pm on a Friday evening, clutching our [reads] totes after the event realizing that the wonder of our experience at these events pays no attention to priorities.

We probably didn’t articulate ourselves and [reads] enough but it didn’t matter we had extended the [reads] family. We had transformed the everyday conversations into spectacular souvenir memories and glistening friendships. It was lovely to be in a well air conditioned room full of strangers, new friends and old friends all of which felt charmingly orchestrated and planned.

New Yorkers are busy people, they busy themselves with being busy because they don’t know how else to make sense of their time. Perhaps you haven’t read a book all year because you didn’t have time to go to the bookstore and you managed to convince yourself that you had very valid excuses that reading is low on the priority list. Or perhaps you didn’t know which book to read from the plethora of options, overwhelmed and bombarded by weird amazon populated recommendations. Or maybe you’re just so distracted by email fatigue that by the time you get to read your book, you just can’t keep your eyes open (if this is you, read this book).

Wherever you land, we’ve found that the biggest problem is NOT time, you will always be busy and in the same way you carve out time to go to the gym, drink water and/or take your vitamins, you will carve out time to read if it is important to you.

The major issue is that you are inherently you and you will always choose books that you like, that you think would be interesting and that run parallel to your interests. You don’t go to the bookstore and pick up a book that you wouldn’t read— and that is where [reads] comes in, we’re trying to bring back the discovery in reading, that surprise element of not knowing by providing you with our picks.

Thank you to all our lovely new friends who came out last night, we can’t wait to connect with you all and read more books together!

Feel free to email us at info@reads.delivery if you have any questions about our events or [reads].

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