Hyperlink Forum

Book Club Variations

Prompted by this topic I thought it would be fun to brainstorm up different book club variations.

  1. A book club where each chapter is assigned to a differnet member who summarizes it for the groups (everyone else is welcome to read but doesn’t have to)
  2. A book club where everyone picks a different book on the same subject
  3. A book club to produce a zine version of the book

Tagging @bts cause you definitely have some thoughts here! Also @azlen as you’re real good at variations!

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Yeah! I kicked off a similar topic a while back; for some Antilibraries forum cross-pollination see:

To touch on a couple ideas I think would be fun to explore:

  • Ways of bringing together people who are either already reading the same book, or have it in their queue and could use some incentive to get through it. (As opposed to joining an ongoing book club where not everyone may be equally interested in each new book selection.)

  • Reading groups that are loose, emergent, fluid, possibly very tiny…could be just enough to have even one or two other people to chat with about a book you’re into (sometimes may not need a full group / club, just one accountability partner).

  • Reading retreat! I’ve read a couple good blog posts about this kind of thing, a weekend getaway w/ a small group dedicated to reading + some structured discussion / digestion sprinkled in…would love to try this w/ some folks in the NYC area sometime, maybe an Airbnb in the Hudson Valley

  • Forum book clubs :smiley: I think there’s more potential to use FNS + Antilibraries to host these experiments, particularly more asynchronous book discussions (or a mix of sync / async). Along w/ this, really slow book clubs could be cool, particularly for a long / complex book where I don’t really want to read it all right now but do eventually…e.g. reading GEB or SICP, one chapter a month or something…

Also got to talking w/ @cjeller1592 about possibilities for reading clubs around shorter form content like blog posts, essays, papers…tried some Hypothesis annotation but tbh I didn’t get too far w/ that. This could be a good fit for a thematic + academic reading group of some kind (e.g. on climate science).

And yeah I really like these ideas too—

I did a one-off dinner event thing a while back kind of along these lines, but w/ readings around a single topic — the theme was “worldbuilding” and I found a number of good articles and gave one to each of the half-dozen-ish attendees to read, that was a lot of fun, would be fun to try w/ some other variations / topics!

That could be cool for more of a long-term / larger scale version of the above :slight_smile:

Hmm I like the idea of thinking about ways of collaborative reading that’s focused not just on the reading itself but on some kind of creative output! Or to put another way, what else might the next-gen, more active version of the “book report” look like?

Love this idea! And with each person publishing a post or something about the book, I could imagine an interesting publication/series on popping up on a subject.

And inspired by @bts , why not an antibook club? Discuss a book that nobody is supposed to read! Fair game if you read the book a long time ago but barely remember it.

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Oh yeah love that, it’d end up as kind of a round robin style thing maybe with a zine or microsite at the end of it…could be a good way to fairly quickly get a baseline of collective knowledge on some kind of really niche topic where not much publicly available online collected stuff exists.

Antibook club would be a fun thing to explore for sure! Kind of along these lines I’ve hosted a couple “antilibrary show and tell” events, where everyone brings a few of their top unread books and talks about them, but could be interesting to do a similar thing w/ more of a deep dive on one specific book.

Tiago Forte actually did something like this a while back, there are a few posts about it on his blog but most are paywalled. This one’s public though:

Basically sounds like each person reads one book + summarizes for the others, so not quite the same thing (and I’m not super into the progressive summarization thing, feels somewhat overdetermined) but a cool experiment to see!