For Bookup №2 we chose George Orwell’s “Nineteen Eighty-Four”. We also chose a cosy place which serves alcohol, hoping that a glass of wine/beer will make a bunch of strangers open up a tad more. And boy, were we right!
Five people showed up, besides Radu and me. It was more than we expected, and more than had pressed Going on our FB event page. Not that we are complaining…
How did the talk go?
Well, the book itself is packed with meaning, so the conversation flowed. More or less on topic. Here are some of the ideas raised:
The concept of freedom was a hot topic — most of us found it hard to define it in concrete terms and when we did, it was usually in opposition to something someone has (e.g. choices);
Big Brother — general surveillance is definitely something that concerns people, but it was difficult to point out why or what can be done about it;
Very much of what is described in “Nineteen Eighty-Four” is happening now in modern society, some believed. However, others saw the novel as something extreme and abstract, not as something we could get caught in very soon;
Also talked about was the relationship between sexuality and the need for power. Most people agreed on the existence of a link, but there was reticence in discussing this idea at length. Which makes us wonder whether sexuality is still tabu in our society.🤔
What are the lessons learned during Bookup No. 2?
Food & alcohol attract people and boost conversations. But I guess we already knew that;
At least 30 min are required at the beginning of the bookup for people to get familiar with each other;
People like to talk. A lot. 😁 The discussion went on for longer than anticipated: almost 4 hours;
Some people felt the need to keep in touch after the bookup. Would a closed FB group help at this stage to keep them engaged & maybe ask for feedback as well? We will give it a try.
Identify types of bookups people want to attend: a starting point would be to ask those attending a certain bookup how they would describe it (social, debate-oriented, in-depth discussion etc);
Evaluate the importance of being able to see, pre-event, who will attend the same bookup as you, and whether that changes the perception or intent of attending;
Testing monetisation method: ask for a fee/participant/event.
All in all, we seem to be on the right track 👍🏽