Digital Garden

Book Clubs

Researching different blog posts on running effective book clubs in both a work and personal context for both fiction and non-fiction works. The following consolidates some of the pointers made on in "Leading a Successful Discussion," "How to Lead a Book Club Discussion," and "Recipes for running a successful technical book club at work."

On Housekeeping

  • Encourage participants to join even if they had to missed, or didn't complete reading the section.
  • Consider keeping an external document or Wiki on notes from the text
  • Settle on a format for the discussion and intervals of meetings in the first week.
  • For programming texts, consider fifteen minutes summarization of the chapter and thirty minutes of pairing over problems.
  • Roughly 10 participants is the upper limit for discussion

On Reading

  • When reading technical works, read in order to apply knowledge
  • When reading technical works, ask what would you use it for?
  • Bookmark liberally

On Moderation

  • Encourage ad-conversations as it goes along
  • Prepare eight to ten questions before the club meeting
  • When askings questions, do not answer them yourself but rather wait for others to hop in with their answers
  • Call upon quiet participants and attempt to involve everyone, avoid letting a single individual or individuals dominate the entire discussion.
  • Allow for silence.
  • Connect answers to the follow up questions rather than run linearlly through the prepared questions.
  • Allow tangents, but reel them in if they threaten derailing the entire conversation.
  • A good starting point is to ask what everyone's opinion is on the book.

External References

  1. Leading a Successful Discussion. BookBrowse. Retrieved 2021-01-14.
  2. Miller, Erin Collazo. How to Lead a Book Club Discussion. ThoughtCo. Retrieved 2021-01-14.
  3. Ramen, Bob. Recipes for running a successful technical book club at work. ZenDesk. Retrieved 2021-01-14.