Book Clubs for the Obsessive-Compulsive Learner

There are so many books out there. In fact, there are so many titles to choose from that it’s becoming a problem for busy readers out there. Anyone can self-publish an e-book on Amazon or CreateSpace that claims to have a solution to your business problem, without having any experience in actually solving such issues.

Viktor Hanacek, picjumbo

Viktor Hanacek, picjumbo

So where do you go for ideas on the next book you should buy (other than this column, of course)? Do you post a blurb out on social media asking for the best title? Or do you join a book club in order to consistently hold yourself accountable for staying up the latest trends?

In this post, I wanted to share a few different book clubs that have not only vetted the work of the author, but also offer a community of like-minded learners who take their professional development seriously.

C-Suite Book Club: Senior executives determined to find the latest trends that are impacting business today find their home at the C-Suite Book Club. Many of the authors featured have written New York Times Bestsellers, including Gary Vee, Shep Hyken, Scott McKain, and Jay Baer. In addition to the public book club, the C-Suite Collective offers a private community for VPs at companies averaging more than $10 million in revenue, as well as TV and radio networks to reinforce the dialogue. Sales supervisors, team leaders, and community managers can expect to see results from the books they recommend to their associates when they join the Better Book Club. This site allows the subscriber to select books from 400 titles for their employees to read. Each time an employee reads a book from the list, they share the lessons they learned with one another and explain how it impacts their everyday challenges. In return for contributing, they get a dollar. This way, team members read what they want, when they want, and are compensated for helping to create a culture of learning.

Blinkist: This app provides a sort of CliffsNotes version of approved titles that is more comprehensive than the marketing descriptions, but requires less of a commitment than buying the entire book. This helps you narrow down your list to the books that you’ll find most interesting before you make your purchase. Key insights are shared as bullet points and act as menus for more thorough explanations. You can access one book a day for free, or pay a nominal subscription fee to get access to unlimited reading.

Goodreads: Goodreads is like Facebook for avid readers. This online community and app allows you to synchronize all of your past books bought from Amazon, add them to your own profile, and review them so your friends can benefit from your experience. There are hundreds of groups you can join, and you can use the site’s widget to display books you’ve read and reviewed on your blog, if you like.

Most people who buy books don’t get past the first chapter, but readers like you and me are different. Dedicated learners not only devour books, but they also share how reading impacts their business or life through their own community. Take the time to write reviews on the books that you read on either the title’s book review section or your own profile. Share your best takeaways, what you like about it, and what could have been better. This reinforces to the author what worked and how they can improve the next version for your benefit.

Doug Devitre

Companies bring in Doug Devitre, CSP, when they want to improve sales and marketing using the latest technology with quantifiable metrics. He is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® Business Specialties Hall of Fame and earned the Certified Speaking Professional award, which is bestowed upon the top 10 percent of professional speakers worldwide. His new book, Screen to Screen Selling—published by McGraw Hill and available in October 2015—helps executives and sales managers increase sales, productivity, and customer experience without being physically present.

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