Books are the Through-line

Christine Murphy

I’ve always been drawn to stories of any medium, and this love of narrative brought me to Los Angeles after college to work in film and television. I spent my days running around sets, and at night I took a photography class, one that would prove quite fortuitous. It was during this class that a fellow student invited me to a book club, and I was introduced to a crew of avid readers who are still a huge part of my life. To this day, we meet up every year in Palm Springs and swap reading recs. Books have always been and continue to be a big part of my life.

How BookClub has Changed

We’d chatted casually at events, but one day over coffee Dave excitedly told me about a new start-up he was helming. 

Speaking of fortuitous, another chance encounter in my adult life would turn out to be life-changing. I met BookClub and Degreed CEO David – I call him Dave – Blake in San Francisco because our kids attended the same school. We’d chatted casually at events, but one day over coffee Dave excitedly told me about a new start-up he was helming. 

The idea was an online hub for readers and authors alike, and a platform for book-centric, author-led content. It would be Master Class meets Goodreads. Dave floated the idea for me to lead up video production, utilizing my years of experience in the entertainment industry – having worked on long-running shows like Judging Amy, or for the production companies of stars like Mel Gibson and Bill Paxton. 

Another book club had taken my life on a new path.

Eventually BookClub pivoted from consumer to a more teams based; enterprise content focus - with books as the continued narrative thread of the BookClub offering. This might sound like a substantial change. And, you’d be right because it was. However, the team I built and currently lead was able to pivot quickly to strategizing content inspired by top business non-fiction titles.

Whether we’re filming book-inspired conversations between big names in fiction and TV; or we’re shining a light on the lessons, insights, and new perspectives that books provide – books are the throughline.

Finding where Book Clubs and BookClub Belong

The greatest, longest lasting knowledge-building happens from books and reading. 

This is true in the comfort of your home, a neighborhood library, an online book club; or in a corporate setting utilizing structured, actionable learnings from best-selling business books. 

There isn’t a question about the power and wisdom of books, and their capacity as a conduit for change. If that’s true, however, and books are the skeleton key to greater knowledge, empathy, and know-how – why aren’t people reading constantly, every second of the day? 

Great question. There’s an array of likely answers. Not enough time in the day to read. Books are too long. I like TV more. Books make me fall asleep. The actors on audio books aren’t always the best. Whatever it is, there is a wide chasm between the knowledge to be gleaned from books, and a potential reader’s capacity to engage with them. 

What The Future Holds

An album was, not so long ago, seen as a collection of around 8-12 songs because that’s how much music a vinyl record could hold. Now, with the advent of streaming — an album means something else entirely. 

The same can be said for books. What does it mean for a book to be a book? How can more readers become acquainted with insights and invaluable knowledge from brilliant authors? How can we democratize reading? 

I don’t have the answer. But I know that the future of books and reading are endless. And I want to be a part of that journey.

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