I’ve been a member of a few technical book clubs, and always enjoyed them. You get to commiserate over bad chapters, and deepen your understanding of good ones. Primarily it’s a good way to hold yourself accountable - it’s hard to finish a technical book. Some chapters just drag, and there’s a lot of distractions and priorities in the world we live in.
Separately, in the last couple of years, my partner and I have been reading a lot. It’s my primary form of media at this point. While we’ve fired off book recommendations at each other here and there, we read the books so far apart that it was hard to remember all the details to dig in.
Recently we decided to give a book club a try, for fun. Talked it over breakfast and here are the rough rules:
One month to finish a book
This feels intrinsically correct - 2 weeks is too short, 6 feels too long. Reading 12 books together for a year would be a huge accomplishment. We’re starting at the beginning of a month, so the cadence of ending a book and starting a new one at the end of the month will be an easy habit.
No chapter deadlines
Depending on the month, one of us will be much faster at reading than the other. It’ll suck to be really into the story, and have to pause for a week to wait for the other person to finish. This’ll be a whole book club to start, we each finish the book at our own pace (within a month!) and then talk.
Might change this for nonfiction books where the reading is less fun, then weekly discussions really helps.
Fiction to ease into it
Fiction is just more engaging to read. I love nonfiction, and primarily read it. But to start, and to get this a set practice - fiction! Keep it fun.
Swap Book Picks
This ones easy - each round, one of us picks the book. The other person has veto power if the book seems awful, but that should only be reserved for extreme cases.
It’s okay to miss a month
Some months of the year just suck - feeling like we have to do a book for the month could make this more of a chore than a joy. So if the month seems like it’ll be tough, or things change mid-round- it’s perfectly ok to bail.
That’s it - nothing like rules to make something seem fun and exciting! If we’re lucky, we’ll do 9 books this year. We’ll be starting with Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir. The Martian was a great book, and this looks just as good. I’m excited to get back into fiction - reading’s so individualistic, it’s nice to make it multiplayer with a friend.