What a better time to share the books near and dear to me and my work at Modern Learners than on World Book Day? The team relies on some awesome books to inform the work that we do in the community, content, and event space.
First, let’s talk books about community. Peter Block’s book Community: The Structure of Belonging has been a long-time favorite. Block’s emphasis on the small group being the unit of transformation and his encouragement to ask more questions has shaped all of the communities we’ve hosted and supported through the years.
Another book about community that helps me make sense of my work is David Spink’s book The Business of Belonging. This book helps me consider how to measure the impact a community is having on it’s members and the business as a whole. Without thinking about these metrics, community may never get the investment it needs.
When it comes to reading books about content and content marketing, I’ll be honest and tell you I read far more blogs than I do books. But one day as I was reviewing the significant amount of content on the Modern Learners website, I came across the book F#ck Content Marketing: Focus on Content Experience to Drive Demand, Revenue, and Relationships. Anyone who knows me knows I love to create experiences. I talk about it all the time, so the thought of creating an experience through content really resonated with me. The author, Randy Frish, defines the content experience like this: “A content experience is (1) the environment in which your content lives, (2) how it’s structured, and (3) how it compels your prospects and customers to engage with your company”. If I could add some Modern Learners flare to that, I’d simply substitute prospects and customers for community.
In the event space, I fell in love with Casper ter Kuile’s book The Power of Ritual. Becoming intentional with our habits and traditions can become truly transformative. The intentionality behind the experience creation deepen connections established in the ritual. I read this book in the heart of the pandemic which was the most isolated I had ever felt, and in reading it and hearing Casper speak, I realized just how deeply connected people could become even with the limitations of virtual gatherings.
Finally, my favorite book on this list is one that seriously changed my life. I’ve read several times, and it impacts my thinking as I design every single event and gathering. I could not do my work without Priya Parker’s The Art of Gathering. This book convinced me that being exclusive is actually the only way to create inclusiveness. This book showed me the power of the invitation. This book causes me to seriously cringe when an event host begins with logistics. I cannot recommend this book enough. It is a must-read for everyone.I’m looking forward to scouring my social feeds today for more world book day recommendations. Please don’t hesitate to drop a few in the comments for me.