The Warby Parker Book Club

by Rachel Baker on May 10, 2014

Really quite awesome. It shouldn’t surprise anyone really that Warby Parker has a book club – it seems the sort of company they’d be – and the name “Warby Parker” is inspired by two of Kerouac characters.

The Warby Parker book club has gone through multiple iterations in the last four years. What began as a few people talking about their current reads has evolved into multiple department-specific book clubs and a company-wide speaker series.

“It happened very organically,” Warby Parker cofounder Neil Blumenthal says. In the summer of 2010, he and some of the early employees at the eyeglass retailer started exchanging books. Soon enough, they had all read each others’ books and decided it would be nice to talk about them. They would swivel their desk chairs into the office showroom and have informal discussions.

That soon transformed into a weekly book club at the company-wide meeting. Each week someone would read a book and present it to the 20 or so other employees with key findings. “The hope was that if it was fiction that it would spur creativity and that if it was nonfiction there would be inherent lessons from other industries and walks of life that allow us to be better at designing eyewear,” Blumenthal told Fast Company. One of the first books the group read was The New Gold Standard: 5 Leadership Principles for Creating a Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, which inspired Warby to strive for an exceptional level of customer service.

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