Book Clubs Reimagined

According to Wikipedia:
A book discussion club is a group of people who meet to discuss a book or books that they have read and express their opinions, likes, dislikes, etc. It is more often called simply a book club, a term that is also used to describe a book sales club, which can cause confusion.


When I hear “book club” my mental model initially thinks of a bunch of older people sitting around talking about a book in a casual way. But this is a professional site, so I will provide the context from that perspective.




I was at company and the book club had been around for years and when I went to the first one, there were 3 people. The moderator, one other person, and myself. We had a good discussion but was lacking more depth and perspective within the discussion. The other challenge was we were all really busy so none of us finished the whole book.


So I asked to be the moderator for the next meeting and see what I could do. I took the perspective in the value of a good book and discussion about it so everyone learns.


I went big and bold and thought outside the box. This is what I did.

I asked for possible books to be read. Then created and emailed a survey of the possible books. We chose the one with the most “likes”.


I sent out an invitation to the entire team and asked them to respond if they wanted to attend. Based on those who responded, I divided them into 2-3 people paired groups. I broke down all the chapters and assigned each group to read and report on a single chapter. I know, is your mind blown yet? This was the most significant change anyone had seen. They no longer had to read the whole book, they just needed to read one chapter.


I created small attendance bags where I purchased small candles that were reading “inspired”, bags of candy, and a book mark. Each person who attended received one of these bags – it was a huge hit.


I started the meeting and it was standing room only – about 19 people in the room and 6 were on via Zoom. We started with Chapter 1 and that team gave a summary of the chapter in 2-3 minutes and then for 5 min opened it up to anyone offering their own thoughts and ideas. We did this for all chapters. And within about an hour we covered the book and everyone was inspired and understood a lot more about the concepts within the book and best of all, with little effort by just reading one chapter. I received incredibly positive feedback as well as so many wanted to be the moderator for the next book club.


Try it – I bet you will find success in this format.

I Power Seeds

Here are our takeaways and thoughts - pause and reflect, then nourish and grow!

Here is a PowerPoint slide deck I used for one book club I moderated.



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