Recently my office started an office book club for anyone who wanted to take the challenge to all read the same book and hold a discussion during our lunch hours. I instantly witnessed the positive benefits this had on our work environment.
Starting a book club at your office may have these same successes:
Creates a discussion other than work
Day in and day out you sit next to your coworkers and talk about work related matters. Or you are stuck in your cubicle isolated from all conversation. That can get really old and tiring after nine hours a day, seven days a week. Mix up your conversation by all getting together to discuss the book of the month during your lunch hours or a set meeting time.
You might also find your coworkers stopping you on your way to the water cooler or chat you up while you are pouring your third cup of coffee about a juicy chapter in the book they just read or ask you what you think about the main character. This is an especially great benefit for those who are a little bit shy or quiet and might need a common topic to break out of their shell.
Bonding with your coworkers
If you are so busy during your work day that you eat lunch at your desk and hide behind a stack of papers you are definitely in need of a break. And what better way to take that break than with your coworkers discussing a great book? Step away from your desk for ten or twenty minutes at the end of the set deadline to finish the book and discuss it with your coworkers.
Tip: Pick a book that is also going to be released as a movie, that way you can all arrange a day and time to go to the theater and watch it together. Awesome outside of the office bonding will take place!
Encourages you to read for pleasure
When you are staring at a screen or scanning documents for nine…or more hours per day sometimes the last thing you want to do is read when you get home from work. It can be challenging to muster up the energy to read at the end of the day, but having a deadline gives your motivation to read a couple chapters a night to stay on track and meet your office book club’s deadline.
Reading can become so addicting, especially if you enjoy the book you are reading it can be difficult to put down. This will hopefully encourage you to read for pleasure more often…which obviously is a wonderful benefit!
Stretching your comfort zone
Romance novels may be the only genre you ever read or there might be a particular author you will only pick up when you go to the bookstore. This may stifle your ability to be exposed to some amazing literary work that you would not have otherwise even glanced at. Everyone in the office book club should agree on a title and rotate what type of book you all will be reading that month. That way everyone has equal say.
During discussion time you will be exposed to everyone’s different opinions on the book itself, characters, plot twists, the ending, author, etc. They will help expose you to a different perspective and you may have a deeper appreciation for the book. This may also help you feel a closer connection to your coworkers if they open up about their own life experiences and discuss how it relates to the book.
Have you started a book club at your office and have seen the benefits? Or have read a great book and think other offices will enjoy it, please share with us!