How could we make bookclub work next time?



So @Bookclub – things really took off with a bang but despite my relentless pesky nagging, they’ve slowed to a complete halt with no real action for 2 months.

I’m curious – what went wrong? What could we do differently to make it a success next time?


I just joined! I think back to the episode of The Office where Pam, Toby, and Oscar form a book club that was very “exclusive.” Then when Jim wanted to join, they were wary because they knew he wouldn’t be reading the books. They eventually they kicked him out, because it turned out to be true!

Is it a chapter a week or a book a week? I’ve never been part of a book club, excuse the newbie questions.


Hey Hawk,

How bout doing a monthly/bimonthly whatever works for you google hangout/skype/other video method to discuss the books naturally, like the Don Norman Hangout. Luke can still have guiding questions to get us started, but having it just on the message board felt like homework to me and I just eventually forgot to check it to follow up on people’s comments and stay engaged. And maybe the chats could be recorded so people who cant make it can watch them at their leisure that would be perfect.

Erin McCool


It was a chapter a week and for the first 3-4 weeks we all kept off and then it tapered off… to nothing.


This would make me want to join the bookclub.
Also, is your last name really McCool? Dang that’s crisp.


Hey David.

Yup thats really my last name. And yes it would make me stick with bookclub
too. I hope Hawk likes the ideas too! Thanks for the support!



I’ve been collecting my thoughts on this. I’ll update you after the weekend.


Ok, I’m back (with questions).

I love this idea in theory but I have a bit of a concern about attendance. We only had 4 people (not counting me and Luke) join the hangout with Don Norman! If no one takes advantage of an opportunity that huge then it doesn’t feel likely that many will bother when we don’t have an amazing guest. I could be wrong, but the idea of organising a hangout that no one attends (or has anything to contribute) is a bit disheartening.

What are your thoughts on making bookclub a part of our monthly theme? We could choose a book that relates to the theme, give people a month to read it, organise an event/hangout, a book review, related articles etc. That might add more value and give people more to think about/other ways to contribute.


A monthly theme sounds good to me.


I was annoyed at missing it I had somehow got the date wrong and went online a day after the event.


We can give the monthly theme idea a go. However, i think we would need forum discussions throughout the month to keep the activity on a high or at the end of the month people would not have read the book. Shall we give this a try in November?

The other option is to try the chapter a week method again. Although it tapered off, it worked well in the first few weeks.


Yup, agreed. I’ll chat to Luke on Thursday and see if we can get something sorted for Nov.


I run an in-person book club in San Francisco. Despite having over 2000 members on Meetup, only an average of 6 to 10 people shows up to talk. We read one UX book a month and then meet up once a month to discuss the book.

Some positives that have helped is letting people know they don’t have to finish the book as it is more a themed discussion. Also, getting authors to speak, and finally, having a theme for the month and reading 5 articles for that theme (30 people showed up for that).

Hope that helps!