Active Book Dialogue

Flow of ABD

ABD is the futuristic reading method, developed by Sotaro Takenuouchi, that revolutionized the habit of reading and getting people to love books. This is done through the process of reading and sharing and repeating that process as you present. This includes, getting a group to be responsible for what they have in the book and creating short summaries of what they have read. I was introduced to this methodology towards facilitating groups, at IAL (Institute of Adult Learning) through the folks from IAF. They did a marvelous job of introducing this approach and getting a team of strangers to practice this approach when facilitating teams. 

Flow of ABD, how it works

Start with a check in with all the participants in group from 7-15 participants. Decide in advance the book you have in mind. Prepare 2 sets of chapters for each participants, or enough reading materials for 15 with 2 sets of materials for 2 rounds. 


Provide an explanation and the flow of ABD and what is expected of the individuals. Provide, magic pens, tape and post it notes that is half the size of a4 or a4 sized papers (6 pieces each). Whats is expected of each participant;

  • Ask each participant in the group to read their chapter or pages assigned and provide a crisp summary in a single page,…. call this the twitter experience on pen and paper
  • No hard and fast rule how much paper you want to provide, limit to 6, B5 or A4 sized papers
  • Encourage participant to write their perspective instead of gleaning the sentences from the book and keep it strictly towards summarizing the contents

Relay presentation

Paste the written paper on the wall, following the flow of the chapters. Like a relay race, get each one of them to present the summary one after the other, without pausing or explaining. Get the participants to link and see the value how their summary is connect to the person before you and after. 

Dialogue through Gallery walk

After the presentation is done, get the participants to assimilate and reflect what has been shared by taking a gallery walk across all the summaries that has been share, like what you see here. 

Dry run with IAF

I went through a dry run with the facilitators from IAF (International Association of Facilitators) 2 weeks ago. The approach was novel, I liked it a lot. It brought strangers who have not met one another focused on a singular purpose, getting the summary across. The curiosity to understand the whole story, made this facilitation tool, very engaging, which is why I have blogged this article. Do get in touch with me, and share with me how you used ABD, cos I will be using this in my strategy planning sessions that I will be facilitating.  

Hey! get in touch us we can do the same for you

If you need help having a seasoned facilitator to help you define your strategies, we would love to hear from you. Johnson and Johnson, Markono, Panasonic, Beltcollins and Ministry of Home Affairs are organisations we have worked with. Contact us on this e-mail