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My job requires that I be a student of higher education. Knowing what to do next is impossible without knowing what came before and what others are doing.

One way to learn about higher education -- to get better at “doing” higher education -- is to read books about higher education.

When do you read books about higher education?

In those rare moments during “normal” work hours when you are not on a Zoom meeting, do you tear yourself away from your screens and sit down with a book?

Are we working if we are not in a meeting, not on email and not teaching -- but are instead sitting and reading a book?

For me, the answer is no. I do not read books about higher education during the “normal” business hours I work in higher education. And I’m wondering if that should change.

Should we collectively shift our academic working norms so that sitting and reading a book counts as work?

Might we find a way to disconnect from our screens for some dedicated book-reading time?

Is reading books from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., an expected and accepted part of work for traditional academics?

Below is a list of books that I’ve read about higher education in 2021. None of these books were read during regularly available Zoom slots. They were read by audiobook during exercise and chores, or by my eyes at nights and on weekends.

These books have contributed more to helping me do my job better than any other method of learning about higher education. Should we be taking time to read them while at work?

Books on higher ed reviewed in 2021:

Have you read any of these higher ed books? When, where and how did you read them?

Any suggestions of other books on higher ed that I should read during normal higher ed working hours?

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