Be a Bungee

On this page, we have tried to anticipate most questions a person interested in joining The BBC might be thinking of. If you are still in need of further information, drop us an email at jbellis@usaid.gov.

How can I join the Bungee Book Club?
Nothing could be easier. Just send an email to Jim Bellis (jbellis@usaid.gov) and say, “Put me on The BBC mail list.” You’re in.

How do I participate?
Participation is up to you. People do so in a full gamit of ways.

Some people never miss reading The BBC book selections and attend all of the discussions (more about the discussions below).

At the other extreme, there are those who never read the books nor attend discussions. They just like to keep abreast of what we have selected to read. They just might want to keep their eyes open for something that will strike their interest or pertain directly to their work.

Then there are others in between these extremes who pick and choose an occasional book and join in only for these selected readings.

Finally, some people don’t read the books, but like to come to the discussions for the give-n-take of ideas and the commeradarie they find there. And that’s OK too.

Does The BBC have any rules that we must abide by?
The BBC is a pretty free-wheeling operation. We read and we get together to discuss what we read. However, we have implemented some meeting rules in order to get the most out of our discussions and to respect everyone’s time. They are called The BBC Rules of Meetings. They go this way:

1. We start on time and we end on time.
2. If we don’t need the time, we don’t take the time.
3. The best way to be on time is to be early.

The BBC Rules of Meetings are strictly enforced.

How am I informed when a book is selected and when The BBC will be meeting to discuss it?
Up until we launched this blog site, everyone was informed via email of the book selection and of the days and times of the disccussions. Now this information is being posted on the blog.

However, the discussion days and times will also come to you as an Outlook (or Google) calendar invitation. Moreover, if you sign up for an RRS feed from this blog, you’ll get notices (not more than once a day) if and when new material has been added to this blog.

This has the distinct advantage that if don’t want to receive notices of new material, but you only want to check in every so often to see what’s new, you simply don’t request an RRS feed.

How often does The BBC meet to discuss a book?
This depends on the book. We generally meet between one and three times.

If the book is short, one meeting will usually do — unless we feel the material warrants a fuller airing. If it is very long, we will break it up into three meetings. This has the advantage of biting things off in small chuncks, so no one is overwhelmed with too much reading at any one time.

How frequently does The BBC read a book?
We generally read a book then take about a month off before starting the next one. We recognize that USAID staffers are very busy folks with work, family ,and other interests.

BBC Book reading should be a pleasure not a burden, so time between books gives everyone some breathing space and it also helps engender enthusiasm for the next read.

There’s another plus to this “down-time.” Selecting The BBC books is a very time consuming job. The time between books affords us the opportunity to give the selection process the time to choose wisely.

How do we buy our books?
The BBC has the Read Now-Pay Later (RN-PL) Plan. Somewhere between a half to two-thirds of the Bungees buy their books via the RN-PL Plan. The others either have a Kindle (or Kindle app for their iPad) so they don’t need to use the Plan, or they purchase their books on their own.

There are a couple of advantages to using the RN-PL Plan. First, we buy “in bulk” through Amazon.com so we don’t have to pay for shipping and handling. Also, buying from Amazon.com we don’t pay tax either. Second, it saves you time. You let us know you want a book, we place the order, and you pick up your book at work. You can pay for the book at anytime up to the first discussion meeting.

In what ways can I contribute to this blog?
In all ways. All Bungees are readers, and all Bungees can also be authors. Many blogs have only one or two authors. Everyone else can only add responses. Not so with this blog. Every BBC member has author rights.

This means you can submit comments, start discussions, add suggested resources. This blog has been built more like a forum than a typical blog. When you notify us of your intent to “Be a Bungee,” also let us know if you want author rights to the blog.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *