Hello, my name is Dane. I’m a product designer, generative artist, NFT creator, sarcastic ass, avid reader, writer, and new YouTuber. Plus, all that jazz comes with independent entrepreneurship and personal growth in the digital age. Since I’ve started two book clubs before, I figured I could help answer how to start a book club. We’re no longer gathering around the water cooler kicking it like Fifa; I thought I’d dive deeper into the depths of your mind and penetrate the perceptions you had. Let’s go.
As said, I started two book clubs. One professional in the workplace and one after hours with an elite group discussing personal growth, development, finance, investing, relationships, business, and more. Dubbed the MMG Book Club, Master Mind Group. 😉. Both instances were digital, across timezones, and really fun to experience. Therefore I’ll share my insights on starting a book club and what I learned.
What is a book club?
Literally a group of people who meet to discuss books they are reading. Book clubs explore new books in a group setting and ask questions. They’re about listening to different points of view. They’re for understanding how everyone interprets metaphors or themes. Book clubs are a great way to learn empathy.
Book clubs promote literature in a positive, nurturing environment. They bring communities together to discuss something that matters to them. If you’re one of many who pick up a book but never finish it, book clubs can help you stay on top of reading and could make reading a habit for good. That could be why you want to know how to start a book club.
Book clubs examples
There are several different types of book club options. You can form them in-person or online. Due to the unforeseen circumstances of current times, COVID-19 and all ten trillion variations yet to hit the market have forced in-person experiences into the bowels of the internet and form communities deep in the darkness of the webs.
Different types of book clubs can form:
- Through a group of friends over Google hangouts
- In a work setting on Zoom
- In-person at a local downtown startup
- Online at different book club platforms
- In a Discord group like the Crypto Creators Club
Book clubs can take many forms. Be creative. The idea is to make it fun and ensure that the group is walking away with a good understanding of the concepts.
How to start a book club
A book club doesn’t have to be, nor should it be a formal event. It can be if you want it to, but the most straightforward answer to starting a book club is to form a group around a common interest. When I first began MMG, I wanted to have people to talk to about personal growth and growth mindsets. We literally met over Google hangouts after sending out a regular calendar invite. Truthfully I think it’s the best approach, really. Not putting a lot of thought into the action and just taking action. MMG was an experiment, and I didn’t know if it would stick.
Initially, we started out with the book Ninja Selling. It was recommended as a great way to grow a business and understand concepts from a highly engaged social occupation like real estate. Since we all had a common interest in growth as we read, we discussed what types of books, topics, or ideas we wanted to cover over time.
My boss knew I started a book club prior; she asked me how to start a book club at work. It ended up being easy. The design leads already met weekly to chat about things, so we all decided to use that time and a lot fifteen minutes or so to talk about The Making of a Manager by Julie Zhuo.
Once you have the group, even if it is just another person, the idea sets a structured method of communication. Google hangouts and Zoom were how we did it. There are other tools. I’m doing the FIRST EVER Internet Book Club Where you don’t have to go! Chapter by chapter, I’ll read books in no particular order, So you don’t have to then summarize Like CLIFF NOTES except my style. I’ll communicate through short videos, tweets, posts, articles, and more on my social media platforms. The primary vehicle of communication will be blogging.
Like anything, it’s essential to set clear intentions for the book club, time allocated, rules of participation, and how to participate. Don’t overcomplicate this but be clear. The purpose is for the homies to get together and chat about what they want to learn about. This keeps everyone on the same page and on the same train of thought. It’s effortless to get off the rails.
Having a recurring time to meet is essential because it keeps the book club in the attendees’ minds and helps them remain accountable. Which is really the core of the entire gathering. Being responsible for one’s self and actions. It’s crucial with ample notice, if possible, to communicate ahead of time changes.
The most important part of how to start a book club is people. The purpose is for like-minded people to get together and respect each other. Be present, be mindful, listen to one another, and respond. That’s the key. Listen and learn. When you set the intentions and clear expectations around how to participate, make sure members know they need to try to bring a topic to talk about.
As a tip, if you didn’t read or forgot to read, review the cliff notes prior.
The conversation is the driving element in starting a book club so make the conversation engaging. If one person dominates the conversation, it becomes very one-sided and leaning towards that person’s opinion. The best way that I’ve found for this to take place is by providing action items post-meeting and allowing for others to lead and suggest topics. Transferring ownership of meetings to community members keeps things rolling along.
How can Blockchain and NFTs be used in book clubs?
Naturally, I’ll rant and ramble quickly about how blockchain and NFTs can be used in a book club or literary organization. Just freestyling here, I can see the formation of a DAO around literature and literary works of all sorts. The DAO can act as a structure to keep book club members accountable and create a network of writers and readers.
A writers guild could be established with community participation to help grow industry best practices and personal economies. The purpose would be to empower verbal communications. As an idea, a few NFT use cases that come to mind are through the transference of media, creation of rewards and rewards programs, events, membership entry points, and subscriptions.
If you want to know how to start a book club, get a group of like-minded people together. From there, choose a topic of interest, pick a time and place to meet regularly, set up some recurring rules around meetings, and just have fun.