Reading groups

Reading groups

Last updated: 4th October, 2023

Some EA groups like to hold book clubs. These are usually held over several weeks, with one or two chapters of a book discussed each week. Book clubs can:

  • Eencourage group members to read books they might want to read, but otherwise wouldn’t get around to
  • Help group members get a deeper understanding than they would by reading alone
  • Provide a space for group members to delve deeply into a topic
  • Often have more consistent attendance than a similar number of one-off discussion events.

This post on  "How to run a high-energy reading group" by Tessa has some suggested formats for reading groups. Other formats are mentioned on our discussion groups page, and discussion facilitation tips are available on our facilitation guide.

CEA is able to provide funding for books. Check out our guide on Getting Books for Members for more information.

1. Recommended Books

Some organisers decide on which books to read by asking group members for suggestions and then voting among the suggestions. You can also suggest a book you would like to organize a book club on for your group.

Before choosing a book, check out a review or two and scan through the book to gauge the level, then advertise your book club accordingly.

Below is a list of books that may be relevant to your group, sorted by subject area. You can also look at the Effective Altruism books list on Goodreads for more ideas.

a. Popular EA books for book clubs

b. Rationality

c. Ethics

d. Artificial Intelligence

e. Global Health and Development

f. Animal Welfare

2. Other Resources