What Is the Book Club?
- It's a private Discord community where you can discuss books and the ideas in them, get inspirations and recommendations for new books to read—and hopefully make new like-minded friends. Besides directly discussing particular books, we chat about ideas, concepts, podcasts we listened to, documentaries we watched, etc.
- It's a space where important topics and complex, nuanced problems can be openly discussed without fear of upsetting someone or saying the wrong thing—including those topics that are so polarized and politicized right now. Where we can explore, through conversation, how to become better people and how to build a better society.
- The idea is to build the digital equivalent to a country club: You can show up anytime, when you walk in you see familiar faces (over time), hang out for as little or as long as you want to, catch up with people's lives and chat about the topics you care about.
Club Rules (Read Before Joining)
Culture is important. It's what allows us to have difficult conversations and debate sensitive topics while keeping it civil and feeling safe to speak our minds. So we have some rules.
- Always assume you might be wrong.
- Always assume the other person has good intentions and knows something you need to know.
- Always remember that everything is more nuanced and less black-and-white than you think it is.
- Treat everyone as a peer. Everyone has something to add to the conversation.
- Every member needs to use their full, real name (first & last name) as their username and their real face as their profile picture on Discord. The ability to hide behind a username is one of the reasons why the internet is so toxic.
- Every member needs to join at least 1 live discussion/hangout per month to stay being a member. As of now, that's roughly 25% of discussions/hangouts.
- What happens in the Book Club, stays in the Book Club. For anything you want to share (screenshots, recordings), ask the people involved for permission.
Note: The rules are always open for revision, and it will be every member's responsibility to build out and maintain this kind of culture.
When and how often do you meet?
We currently meet once a week: every second Friday at 4pm CET and every second Wednesday at 8pm CET. On top of those regular hangouts, we sometimes have interviews with guests or topical debates on a very specific question, idea, or book. Conversations also happen spontaneously where someone just writes in the chat that they're around for 30min and someone or another joins. Everyone can participate as much as they want, and as little as 1 discussion a month (there's a rule).
Who can join the club?
Anyone—if you're willing to learn and keep an open mind. No one is too old or too young to join. Currently, members are anywhere from 15 to 40 years old. We have people from Germany, the US, Pakistan, India, Croatia, Poland, China, Turkey, etc. Just make sure you're ok with the rules before joining. You don't need to have a certain level of experience or "sophistication."
I don't read a lot of books. Can I still join?
For sure. We have members who don't read a lot of books but use the club as motivation to get more into the habit. It's more about being someone who's interested in learning and discussing new ideas while keeping an open mind. Maybe you listen to a lot of podcasts, or watch a lot of documentaries, or read a bunch of newsletters in your free time.
Why does this book club cost money?
Three reasons: One, it allows me to add fun extras like a Discord bot that can play background music during discussions without thinking twice about it. Two, it makes sure the Discord doesn't get flooded by trolls. And three, I like money. Charging for the book club forces me to create something that is so valuable that people are willing to pay for it. I know that not everyone can afford $7 per month, so see below for discounts.
What does the Discord look like?
Here's a screenshot taken on a random day:
Refund & Discount Policy
If you're not 100% satisfied or the book club is not what you were expecting, just reply to the signup email within 30 days, and you'll get a full refund. No questions asked.
If you can't afford $7 USD per month (because you're still in school, etc.), send me an email with why you want to join and I'll give you a 100% discount: firstname.lastname@example.org.
What Members Have to Say
"If you want to build a habit that lasts, join a group where the desired behavior is the normal behavior." — James Clear (he is not a book club member)
Upon joining, you'll get an email with an access link to the private Discord community.
- Upon joining, you'll get an email with an access link to the private Discord community.