Gambling with interactions: book club

I’ve always liked to read, even in periods of life when I’ve not carved out much time to do it. I’ve never been a social reader and didn’t like talking about books in school. So joining a book club was never on my to-do list.

I don’t remember the first time I heard of book clubs, but I’m certain I’ve never belonged to one. Most of the women who I’ve heard talk about book clubs feel strongly—they love them or they hate them—and they’ve rarely mentioned the books they read. The feelings are about the club—the people, the location, the vibe, the food, the interactions—not about the books. I’ve never heard a man talk about a book club.

Despite all of this, I put together a small book club for one specific book. (If you’re on my mailing list, you received an invitation to participate.) The sales page suggested working through the book with a team, coworkers perhaps. I have no proper coworkers, so I asked around.

Across three time zones and two continents, five of us found a time, worked out a system, and have met online a handful of times. (Technology! I could never have conceived of this 20 years ago.)

It’s fantastic.

Our conversations are rich and I grow from them, regardless whether it’s the kind of conversation where we all agree or we all disagree.

Part of that is buy-in from everyone in the process.

Part of that is feeling safe in the space.

Part of that is everyone choosing to be vulnerable in how the content strikes us, for better or worse.

Part of that is a non-fiction book that pushes people’s buttons, in good and bad ways, which gives us more to talk about than we have time for.

We’ll decide if we want to do another book, which book, who wants to continue, whether we should open an invitation to others. I don’t know what’s next after this book. Regardless, I’m grateful I took a risk in setting it up, and I’m grateful others took a risk in jumping in.

Where do you have a small opportunity to take a risk right now?

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