We get together every month to discuss a book from our Radical Reading Room – a library we’ve set up in collaboration with Pluto Press and The Left Book Club. It’s an informal group and everyone is welcome, so pop down and chat about some timely political topics.
Our Current Book: Less is More by Jason Hickel
"A powerfully disruptive book ... Jason Hickel takes all we've been been told about growth and development and turns it inside out" — Kate Raworth, economist and author of Doughnut Economics
"Eye-opening and passionate, Jason Hickel shows how the insatiable drive to increase GDP has caused the ecological crisis, reveals the historical and colonial roots of capitalism and argues that an ecologically sensitive economic based on 'degrowth' is essential for us to flourish" ― New Scientist
The world has finally awoken to the reality of climate breakdown and ecological collapse. Now we must face up to its primary cause. Capitalism demands perpetual expansion, which is devastating the living world. There is only one solution that will lead to meaningful and immediate change: DEGROWTH.
If we want to have a shot at halting the crisis, we need to restore the balance. We need to change how we see nature and our place in it, shifting from a philosophy of domination and extraction to one that's rooted in reciprocity and regeneration. We need to evolve beyond the dogmas of capitalism to a new system that is fit for the twenty-first century. But what does such a society look like? What about jobs? What about health? What about progress?
This book tackles these questions and traces a clear pathway to a post-capitalist economy. An economy that's more just, more caring, and more fun. An economy that enables human flourishing while reversing ecological breakdown. An economy that will not only lift us out of our current crisis, but restore our sense of connection to a world that's brimming with life. By taking less, we can become more.
About the facilitator: Sarah Autumn
Sarah Autumn is a Leeds based activist and creative community organiser. She's part of the extended Left bank family and has agreed to run the Radical Reading Group in 2023. Sarah will work with Pluto Press, Left Book Club and the Radical Reading group members to select and study each book ahead of the meet ups.
Reading Room FAQ’s
How often is the reading room?
There is a Radical Reading Room at Left Bank every 4-6 weeks. Every group is held on a Wednesday evening at 6.30pm as part of our Creative Wednesdays. The group is held in the main Left Bank space or in one of the caravans outside as the evenings are lighter and warmer.
What time is the reading room?
The reading room starts at 6.30pm.
Between 6.30-6.45 you will have time to arrive, get a drink and acquaint yourself with the group. We wrap up by 8pm.
How much does the Reading Room cost?
The Radical Reading Group is free to attend.
There will always be at least one copy of the book available in the library to borrow.
If you do wish to buy the book from Pluto Press, you will receive a 40% discount code. To get the code, please email email@example.com once you havebooked your ticket.
Do I have to read the whole book?
Whilst you may find the reading group more enjoyable if you have read the book, it isn’t essential. You can come along to listen and learn about the book or discuss the broader ideas within the book. Sarah will highlight passages and quotes to discuss. You will also receive some information about the book and author in your reminder email.
Can I suggest a book?
Yes! We would love to hear your suggestions. It is worth keeping in mind though that this reading group is in collaboration with Pluto Press and Left Book Club so it does need to be a book within one of those two catalogues. Fortunately that gives you lots of awesome books to choose from.
Pluto Press Books
Left Book Club Books
At the end of each group, we discuss books for the following meet up and usually agree one then. The book selection will be added to the event listing on the Left Bank Website, Leeds Inspired and social media.
Can I borrow other books from the Library?
YES! The Radical Reading Room Library at Left Bank is available for all!
What else is happening with the Radical Reading Room?
We have so many exciting ideas for the future of the reading rooms. We will be interviewing most of the authors of the books we select. The interview series will be available on our Caravan Convos podcast soon. We’ll be hosting in person events with the authors, art workshops and more.