Clubbing with Bookworms: Reading for Leadership, Inspiration and Business growth

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Many super successful people in the world have attributed their success to one simple but very important habit- Reading. And not just reading once a generation, but a lot.

From Bill Gates to Elon Musk and Oprah Winfrey, each and every successful business person we know of today has a developed a reading habit which they believe contributed to what they have become today.

In rather sharp contrast, business people today seem to be reading less and less. In fact, 63% of adults never finish a book they read, according to research. Not because they don’t know how important reading is in helping them grow their careers and personal lives, but because they view it as a hobby so much that they shove it to the very end of their to-do list and eventually forget about it.

The solution to this is simple; Joining a book club.

As the saying goes, together we stand, divided we fall. In this case, together we read, divided we don’t.

Reading is not meant to be a solitary activity all the time. Sometimes, having people who are reading with you gives you that needed push and motivation to read and enjoy what you read.

Today, a lot of companies are seeing the importance of group reading in improving the lives of their employees and the culture of their company at large. They now have company book club sessions, where they all choose a book to read and discuss. And it is awesome.

So, what are the perks of joining a book club? Why should I join many people in reading one book when I could read it all on my own?

Being part of a book club as a professional or even an individual helps broaden your mind and appreciate other people’s perspectives on trivial issues. Reading alone confines you to one perspective about whatever you read. By discussing the same book with others, you get to view the book in so many ways you didn’t pay attention to and get a broader understanding of it.

Reading as a group also helps you to achieve your individual reading goals and makes it easier to develop a systematic reading habit. Group reading reinforces commitment as they give you a constant reminder that you have something to read. It takes out the headache of choosing what to read next as well and so you find yourself reading a lot of diverse topics that you normally wouldn’t read on your own.

Book clubs also help make you more comfortable and confident in professional discussions. It provides an informal and safe environment where you can discuss content and learn to make meaningful and productive conversations more freely.

STARTING YOUR OWN BOOKWORM ARMY

Starting your very own book club is as easy as it is exciting. It is inexpensive and doesn’t require a physical presence if you don’t want one, especially in these times of a global pandemic, but it does require creativity and consistency to make it worth anyone’s while.

You can start your very own book club in 4 easy steps.

The first thing you need to do is find people who will be interested in joining your club. It could be friends, family, or even co-workers who you won’t mind spending time with outside the workplace. You need to bear in mind that these people need to be enthusiastic about reading or want to develop a reading habit. If you want the book club to be company based, then you need to psych your co-worker’s minds about it and encourage them to start bringing good book suggestions.

The next thing to do is to set group guidelines. Group discussions have a way of turning into social events if not checked. Surely, you want your members to have good relationships with each other to enable discussions to become more and more interesting. But if the pleasantries take too long, you all tend to forget the main purpose of your gathering; the book and that prolongs the activity and makes it quite unproductive in the end. Rules make it easier for the discussion to be managed and made productive in the end.

Now that you have people and rules, what you need next is a good book. This might be the trickiest part of the process. You need to decide which kind of books your club is focusing on. It could be business books, inspirational, politics, or even novels. It is advisable to give it a mix so that it doesn’t become too boring, but that is solely up to you and the members of your club. You also need to set a system for selecting books so that different topics can be covered. The best selection method is usually rotating which member chooses the next book to be read.

After reading, you decide where to meet up, either physically or virtually, so you can brainstorm discussion questions. It is best to get a format for this so that it is easier to discuss and more structured. The format doesn’t have to restrict the flow of the discussion, but helps you to time the event and get the best out of every book. At this stage, your club is set! The next step is deciding the frequency of meeting days and how long it takes to read each book.

KEEPING IT RUNNING

It is one thing to start a book club and another thing to keep it running. No one wants to be part of a group that isn’t exciting or worth their time. That’s why you should spice things up every now and then.

A book club isn’t another seminar or workshop. It is meant to be fun and educational at the same time. There are a few things you could do to make the club much more than just a book reading session.

Start the session with a little gaming activity. It doesn’t need to be anything long and boring. A simple game of cards, Uno, or Ludo is bound to create an atmosphere of excitement before the discussion actually starts. It also makes members more enthusiastic about meeting times and could help grow your club overtime.

Food is naturally a fun element of any gathering. If you plan on having physical club meetings, then food has to be involved. It doesn’t need to be anything heavy. A bowl of popcorn and fruit punch or chips and soda can actually make a difference. Not only does it keep them awake, but also makes members feel at home and relax.

You could also create a reward-based system for your club. For the stubborn members who don’t seem to like reading, a reward might be enough incentive to keep them glued to their books. Again, this doesn’t have to be expensive. Something as little as a medal for the most interactive member or the fastest reader can spark excitement in your book club. You could also explore online book club software like Better Book Club or Pigeon Hole which allows you to create a reward system for members of your club. Better Book Club’s software allows you to set up a system that rewards members of the club when they finish a book and provide a report which is approved by the administrator. You can sign up on www.betterbookclub.com/signup.

If you want to join an exciting and interactive book club but don’t know where to find one, you can join Bloop Global’s exciting business book club, ACME on https://t.me/joinchat/Ivf_nEO013GhFRpRTWNCLg.