My name is Karthi Subbaraman and here is my short bio. You can find me on LinkedIn here. This entire craziness about Book Club started here. It was so good to see so many people coming together on a simple idea. I was hesitant to add one more project to my plate but nevertheless decided to do it because a lovely bunch of folks came together and told me we will not do this alone but we will do this together. We decided to change the math from 1+1=2 to 1+1=11.
Now that we started this, we know for a fact that we can’t take up more, so we decided to write a playbook so that we can spread the reading revolution across the planet.
Treat this playbook as an expression of our experience in doing just one book club. It is a limited experience. The book club has not even crossed day 10 of it’s birth. So take it with a pinch of salt. Treat this as ONE point of view. I am sure the playbook can become bigger and better with many point of views.
We are open to append and correct ourselves when better ideas hit us from anywhere. We are an inclusive bunch of passionate product makers. We have a perspective about everything (like all product people should be) but we are humble and grounded enough to take POVs as they come.
So shall we begin here?
If yes, dig in to the following sections to understand the Why, What and How behind the book club.
I am so confused and I don’t know where to start? It is overwhelming.
We understand and empathise with you. Please breathe. We are doing our best to bring clarity to everything. The best place to get started is here
A book club as a Whatsapp group, are you nuts?
🙈 We know what you are thinking! Yes, we also wanted to go discord, slack, teams, circle, mighty networks, reddit and more. Unfortunately adoption in all these apps are not great especially in India. It is also seen as work related when we use professional communication apps. We want it to be fun, not-so-serious, chat with friends kind of a feeling. So we are sticking with WhatsApp. There will only be one group and we will not try and grow beyond that. The objective is to have a close-knit tribe where each one of us feel the belonging and strive to become a better product maker than who we are now.
So now you cool with WhatsApp eh?
Thank you so much for considering to give your time, attention and energy towards the club. It means a lot to us.
Know about your fellow club members here
So what will we do in this club?
Simple answer is we read product books and reflect on them via discussions with like minded folks in the group.
Long answer is we do the above systematically as a large group of like minded product makers.
The entire community reads (or listens) one book in that week as scheduled by our reading calendars. If you already read this one, pick another one and keep going. We have 10000 books to pick from 🙈
We all will inculcate that one good reading habit as a tribe. Videos will be shared how to do it. It is designed by behavioural scientists in the group so the choice architecture and nudges are well done 👏 You can trust the goodness of the system.
There will be three core reviewers (who raised their hands) who will share their learnings from the book by the end of the scheduled week for the entire club. This happens every single week. You can raise your hand to be a reviewer. If you put your name, make sure you show up. We are a voluntary group, run on commitments. So it matters we model our acts really well.
If the entire club (500+) wants to share their personal reviews we will have the setup ready technically (all formats supported - verbal, visual, voice or video) 🙌 So don’t worry about expressing your thoughts. We are here to support you.
A smaller reading circle based on timezone/vibes is formed for accountability 💪 They will hold you to your reading habit.
Don’t have to be overwhelmed by the number 52. That was just to push us to do better. Start from where you are and go where you want to go. What matters is YOU. Pick and commit to. This way your point A and point B is set .
Level 0 - less than 12 books a year
Level 1 - 12 books a year
Level 2- 24 books a year
Level 3- 36 books a year
Level 4- 48 books a year
Level 5 - greater than 52
Pick your current level and choose one level above it. For eg if you are Level 0, pick your goal as Level 1 for now. No harm in overachieving bro 🔥
We don’t know if we all will read 52 books in 52 weeks. I know this much that we all will strive to read more and this year is going to be so much better than the past year ✅
🫂 Now that we have scaled a lot in just a day here are something’s that is common in large communities
We will lose a lot of info to scrolling. Don’t worry we will capture the most important info in our vault so that there is no loss.
There will be some attrition every now and then in such a large group. It is hard for some to handle such information overload. When I was becoming a community builder in 2018 I use to have tears when someone left but slowly I understood why they leave. Let’s be inclusive of joining/leaving the same way.
Rules will help insanity. The rules are simple. Be nice. Be valuable. Be you.
Large communities also mean a lot of thoughts/ ideas/ opinions. Feel free to DM me/the core team when you feel you want someone to listen to you intently and take action.
we will have a safe environment that allows all of us to talk openly. Belonging and inclusion in the fabric of every community. Let’s build it right from day one.
Thank you so much for your support, enthusiasm, time, and attention. We will publish the calendars and rules of the game by this weekend max.
Who is our Book Club Core Team?
We are 20 of us voluntarily helping you have a better experience.
In our WhatsApp group, whoever shows as ADMIN is a core team member. Ask them any help you need at any time.
We are trying to put all our deets here (this is work in progress)
Should I join all the Whatsapp groups related to book club?
Short answer you don’t have to. You don’t even have to be in the main group to keep up your reading strive. If there is one important group you should be a part of that helps you in reading then it is our paced reading circle. It focuses you with the book we are reading at a time based on schedule. All other announcements can be seen from vault. If you are not that disciplined then be a part of the main club where we send announcements.
It is overwhelming what have I missed so far?
Everything worth knowing is documented from week 2 of the club here in the musings section. This is an amalgamation of both groups (the main and the paced).
How do I participate in book reviews
Choose your level of reading. Follow the club schedule. Sign-up for reviews and just do it. The club is here to support you.