The set-up is so simple. I pulled A LOT of books from our shelves that are appropriate for sixth grade. I selected books that students might not notice, particularly non-fiction, and tried to focus on high interest titles. I placed about 20 books in a pile on six tables. Students in groups of four sat down at each table. They had two minutes to select a book from their pile and fill out a simple form. I used Online Stopwatch to countdown the time; when the two minute timer went off, students had to get up, move to the next table clockwise, and start again.
In just twelve minutes, every student had looked at over 100 books and given their opinions about six of them. They then had the opportunity to discuss what they saw on the tables with their peers and check out anything that looked interesting. The students really seemed to enjoy speed booking. They were extremely well-behaved during the whole process and very interested in the books. They loved having the opportunity to talk about what they saw with their friends after we were done. Though no one was required to take a book, of the 21 students who came during the first class, 18 checked out a book from the tables before leaving the library.
I will definitely continue using speed booking in addition to my regular booktalks. It is a fun, easy method for energizing students around books and reading. This program is very student-centered; my only involvement while they were here was to stop and start the stopwatch. The only downside is that I will have to shelve a lot of books after the program is over, but I can live with that.