"When you get in here with your bosses, you build a relationship."

Dan Contofalsky

Shipping Control Coordinator, Warehouse Operations, National Manufacturer/Distributor

I’ve built relationships with people here that, normally, I wouldn’t have. I now know the director and some other supervisors. When you get in here with your bosses, you build a relationship. You think, I know him. We read books together. We talk together.

Why participate?

A few important reasons:

A chance to read – with colleagues – a book that you might not pick up yourself. This might be a well-known classic or a piece of modern literature.

Multiple interactions with different professors who share their passions and are eager to understand your experience-based perspectives on the books – without grades or judgments.

A rich opportunity to get to know your colleagues in whole new ways – whether you are meeting them for the first time or have worked with them for years!

What will we read?

For one sales team, Helen Macdonald's H is for Hawk inspired a conversation about how important it is to regularly reflect. The team’s leader likes to work while travelling. In discussion, his team members admitted that they liked to sit by the window and watch the landscape roll by – but they felt unable to. The director encouraged the group to use the time to recharge, and “Did you get a window seat?” has since become their metaphor for taking a little time to look at the world.


Books@Work programs are highly tailored to the participant groups and the passions of the professors who lead the sessions. Books intentionally include a broad range chosen to provoke and challenge: fiction, non-fiction, poems, stories and plays in multiple disciplinary areas.

These texts stretch our thinking, moving us beyond reading for mere entertainment. At the same time, such readings introduce us to new ideas and help us see the world from a different perspective.

You don’t need to wait for the first meeting to begin reading. We’ve featured some short stories and poems to give you a sense of the kind of texts we read and the topics we discuss.


Books@Work Badge Books@Work Badge

Books@Work badges may be issued to any reader who has participated in at least 3 months of Books@Work.

To earn a badge, electing participants must attend 10 out of 12 sessions, as verified by the faculty members, and respond to three short questions about the books, their impressions and their reflections.

Badges are digital representations of skills learned anywhere, coded to belong to a specific badge earner. Part of the Mozilla Open Badge system, Books@Work badges can be displayed anywhere on the web and combined with other badges to demonstrate your skills to your employer or for further education and lifelong learning.

For more information, please email us at badges@thatcanbeme.org.

How can I get my company to host?

Explore & Recruit
Align & Articulate
Promote & Inquire

Find a group of like-minded individuals who would be interested in participating in Books@Work. These may be members of the same team or a diverse group from across the organization. They will leave their positions and roles behind as they come together to explore ideas, books and shared experiences.

Think about the ways in which a Books@Work program might advance existing company objectives and strategies. These may include, for example, employee engagement, an open and collaborative workplace and/or customer-focused relationships.

Approach supervisors and managers to assess their willingness to sponsor the program and to participate themselves. For more information, or help in proposing or developing a program, please get in touch with us.