Rebel Team: Ben Keene

Our Rebel Book Club Hall of Fame puts the spotlight on our global community of curious minds, to showcase their unique personalities, wild breadth of talents and passions, whilst digging into their connection with non-fiction.


Introducing Ben Keene, Co-Founder of Rebel Book Club

Ben K is the Co-Founder of Rebel Book Club. He started Rebel Book Club with his wingman, Ben Saul-Garner, whilst in Bali back in 2015.

They both realised they were under the curse of ‘Tsundoku’, the Japanese term for the growing pile of unread books on your bedside table or Kindle.

Ben now credits rhythm, community + accountability with jumping from 4 books a year to between 35-50 since starting RBC.


Rebel Readers x 20 Questions

We ask our Rebel Readers to answer 20 quick fire questions in no more than 3 minutes. But can they cut the mustard?


Time to get up close and personal…

1. How did you end up here?

In the monkey forests of Bali (the other) Ben and I realised we were suffering the curse of ‘Tsundoku’, the Japanese word for the growing pile of unread books on your bedside table (or in our case on our kindles).

Turned out we shared a similar stack of unread books; mostly non-fiction reads about the world, business, technology, inspiring people and the future. We decided to commit to reading one non-fiction book start to end and meetup at the end of the month to share what we learnt and enjoy a book-themed cocktail.

The first book was Zero to One by Peter Thiel and we drank a chilli-mojito. Rebel Book Club was born.

2. What makes you pick up a book?

The title & cover if it triggers my curiosity.
Recommendations from our members.
New publication listings.
Magazine reviews.
What RBC members vote to read!

3. Does it come naturally to you?

It didn’t. Before RBC, I was reading around 4 books a year and that usually included a summer holiday novel and a sports biography. Now, thanks to the accountability, rhythm & community at RBC I read a 35-50 books a year. That’s about 30 mins a day during the week and a couple of longer stints at the weekend. As soon as I finish a book I’m excited about the next one. Kind of like the Netflix countdown to the next episode. I’m hooked.

4. Tell us something you’ve done as a result of reading non-fiction.

Started a book club!

Lots of other things that I’ve read have reinforced, sharped or shifted my perspective….

  • Turning the Tide on Plastics (Lucy Siegle) led to my being much more conscious about my consumerism. 
  • Doughnut Economics (Kate Raworth) led to me thinking differently about business models and how we can build a better future. 
  • Mindf*ck (Christopher Wylie) led to me deleting Facebook. 
  • Doing Good Better (Will Macaskill) led me to reimagine how to have a positive impact. 
  • The Art of Gathering (Priya Parker) led me to never opening an event with logistics again. 

5. What makes you get out of bed in the morning?

New members joining RBC. Seriously.
That, and the chance to work on a project that doesn’t feel like work most of the time.

6. How do you take your tea?

Strong with a dash of milk.

7. You meet someone who has never read non-fiction and wants to read 3 books in 2021, what do you recommend?

  1. Rise Up – Stormzy
  2. A Long Way Home – Saroo Brierly
  3. An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth – Chris Hadfield

8. Tell us about your business / passion project / a cause and how we can support it?

Join RBC!

Outside of this support anyone building a business or project that is trying to solve a problem in the world either by buying their product or service or helping them build valuable connections.


How can I be a Rebel Reader?

Simple…

  1. Head to our membership page and check out which membership is right for you (we offer one-off or subscription options, with or without book vouchers).
  2. Hit the ‘Join’ button and we’ll take you through a few simple questions and then sign you up.
  3. As soon as you’re a member, you’ll be welcomed by our community, offered links to join our various social networks based on location or special interests, invited to vote on which book comes next, and invited to all of our community socials + events, featuring experts + authors!

Not Your Average Book Club.

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