Learning to Read Without Reading

7987926034_eae16c06e2_k How do you read all the books you want to read without reading them? About four years ago, I began a book club. It is not like an ordinary book club. It is not a discussion of a single book, nor is it a lengthy discussion. Let me tell you what it is. It is a small book club of about 4 to 6 members who each read a book of their own choosing and prepare no more than a 10 minute presentation on the main messages of the book. Each month, the members ‘meet’ by phone (we have since graduated to Google Hang Outs), and each person presents the message of the book in 10 minutes allowing about 2 minutes for clarifying questions. Taking turns across up to three members, the conversation ends in 30 minutes at which time everyone has been exposed to at least 3 books whether they have read them or not. It’s been a wild success. It’s like having a book review from a trusted colleague along with the opportunity to ask a question.

Today, I encountered a Fast Company article which warmed my heart. Called The Warby Parker Book Club, it presented how a company brought the idea of learning from books through group meetings whether each had each read the book or not. Often staff went off and read the book for themselves. It’s a great story because it shows how an “organically” grown idea has now transformed from a company-wide club to smaller clubs throughout the company who meet at least monthly. Sound familiar?

I love it when an idea that works for me just seems to self-generate in other places. If you want to read another perspective on the book club, check out my blog on boundaries.

Books are a great source of knowledge because a book gives the author the space to really develop the topic. Reading within this enlarged space, readers have time and space of their own to integrate the ideas with their own thinking – the true goal of any author!

How do you read all the books you want to read without reading them? Where is your book club?

Photo by Sebastian Wiertz