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AIM Reads: Book Club

Illustration of a multimedia book.
Illustration by Emery Vanderburgh of an open book comprising various alternative media in its pages including an e-reader, paper, audio, and braille.

Our book club is a creative and critical reading space that welcomes different ways of reading, analyzing, engaging, and critiquing texts from an anticolonial, anti-ableist, and feminist point of view. We focus on cultivating a sense of open dialogue, self-reflection, and inventive engagement with the texts, building a relationship with the material beyond the pages as part of our values and commitments (see AIM Values). Our AIM Reads book club started in 2021 with Donna Kahérakwas Goodleaf’s Entering the Warzone: A Mohawk Perspective on Resisting Invasions. We met virtually every second week for a period of three months to share our impressions of the text and responded to each chapter with a variety of creative outputs including poems, photographs, and crochet. By doing so, we hoped to bring inspiration from Donna’s words into our individual creative practices as a way of expressing our gratitude for the story she has shared and for what her book has taught us. 

Our book club is an organic and vibrant space that helps us gain more theoretical and experiential tools to analyze the world we live in. We take turns leading each meeting, experiment with different reading practices, and allow plenty of space for flexibility and reflection. Now that we can gather physically and virtually in the AIM Lab, we will continue building our AIM reading community by reflecting and engaging with different texts, authors, and each other. 

How do we do it? 

Our book club follows the AIM practice of horizontal decision making and is open to all AIM members. To choose a new book, all interested participants are welcome to propose a book for the upcoming session. A hybrid meeting is held in which books are presented to the group, with each person explaining the reason for their choice and why it would be a good text for AIM to engage with. We give preference to books that come in epub/ebook formats to ensure accessibility for all readers. 

Following this meeting, members are asked to vote for their two favourite options. In the event of a tie, we go through a second round of voting to ensure that everyone gets a fair say in the final decision. Once a book is decided upon, we circulate a Doodle poll to decide on the dates and times of our meetings. To ensure that are meetings are accessible to all, each of our meetings is carried out in a hybrid format: members are welcome to gather in-person, but the meeting is also held virtually so that everyone can participate.