Book club - An initiative inspired by love of books and community

Book club - An initiative inspired by love of books and community

By Ankita Arora, Denver Metro chapter

Recently, three Denver area CCL chapters came together to form one large Denver Metro chapter. With the pandemic restrictions being lifted, the combined chapter was on the lookout to do more social activities. This laid the foundation for a summer initiative to start a book club, where members could get together to build community and empower one another towards climate action.

“We got different members than those who usually attend the chapter meetings. In addition, the book club had a mix of members and non-members, which was a good way to engage a wider community of climate enthusiasts,” said Emily Wortman-Wunder, member of the Denver Metro chapter and facilitator of the book club.

The book club met once a month during the summer from June to August in person at the Table Public House. They read and discussed three books: The Sixth Extinction by Elizabeth Kolbert, Saving Us by Katharine Hayhoe, and Drawdown, the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming, edited by Paul Hawken.

There was a strong preference amongst attendees for books focussing on building climate resilience. “Though the books provided the attendees with a conversation starter, the discussion was more open-ended which allowed increased engagement and building connections,” said Emily.

One of the lessons Emily learned is that, in addition to reading the book, it helped to have some fellow seasoned CCLers present who could provide answers to common questions about CCL and climate policy.

Emily’s tip on how to facilitate a successful book club with the aim to foster relationships is to keep the meetings pretty open and flexible. “Everyone was excited to engage on climate issues, whether or not these issues were explicitly discussed in the book, and I felt like the most important thing was to give everyone a voice,” said Emily.

Take Action: If you love reading books and wish to engage in discussions on holistic climate movements, consider joining the CCL’s Book Study Action Team.