Literary Activism

Action Book Club: Readers Start a Ripple Effect of Good Deeds

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Action Book Club logoCalling all book clubs! (And all you readers who want to start one!) This week, Little Free Library launched the Action Book Club, and they want you to join.

In this new twist on the traditional book club, members read a book and discuss it, then carry out a meaningful group project to benefit their neighborhoods and spread a little kindness.

Think of it as “good reads and good deeds.”

The core idea is that books can inspire us to make a difference. They can build empathy, bring people together, and spark the do-good, activist spirit in everyone. Here’s how it works:

Action Book Club infographic

The first twelve groups that sign up to be an Action Book Club will receive free books of their choice from Little Free Library; every group that signs up will receive a welcome kit.

During the Action Book Club pilot program, early adopters of every age dreamed up easy and inventive community-minded activities for their groups to carry out.

  • An elementary classroom in Grand Coteau, Louisiana, read the book Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña then pledged to collect new socks for a homeless shelter. At the end of the month, they were able to donate more than one hundred pairs.
  • An existing book club in Minneapolis, Minnesota, read the book One Hundred Shadows by Hwang Jung-eun, then joined a volunteer bike patrol to help deter crime and serve as community ambassadors. Bonus: They had a lot of fun doing it!

Beyond bringing something positive to their own neighborhoods, Action Book Clubs will inspire others, too. The final step for every Action Book Club is to share their story online, helping start a ripple effect of readers doing good things.

The Action Book Club’s theme for its inaugural session is “Good Neighbors,” so your club might read A Man Called Ove and write thank you notes to members of your community, or read The Revolution Where You Live and volunteer at a local food bank, or read The Underground Railroad and explore social justice training opportunities.

While recommended reading and activity lists are given, you’re encouraged to choose the book and action that speaks to your Action Book Club. What will be your good read and good deed?


Full disclosure: I work with the Little Free Library nonprofit, wrote The Little Free Library Book, and have a Little Free Library of my own, so I’m admittedly biased in my support of LFL’s Action Book Club. Please note that Little Free Library makes no money from Action Book Club activities. (In fact, the opposite is true!) –Margret