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+42
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Book Club?

I am pondering reviving Snapzu's Bookclub but would love some feedback from others on what might work best.

Previously, we had strong participation in the selection of books to read, but very few or no comments in discussions of the books chosen after the first month. I'm guessing that for most of us, finding the time to read another book or two a month is a daunting task, but am wondering what might encourage more discussion.

We were selecting both a fiction title and a nonfiction title each month, on the grounds that most people read one or the other, but was that too much commitment for those who read both?

What about alternating months--fiction one month, and nonfiction the next?

What about selecting books to discuss that many of us have already read but would like to talk about?

We started out with fairly narrow topics for nomination--fantasy, technology, etc. Does narrowing the nomination criteria make it easier or harder to choose a title of interest to more of us?

Previously, the discussion snaps weren't posted until several weeks after a book was chosen, presumably so people would have had a chance to read the book. Would it be better to start a discussion snap immediately after the voting closes, so we can make comments and ask questions as we are reading?

Or if you have no interest in a book club and would never participate, that is valid feedback as well.

Let me know your thoughts and level of interest and we will decide where to go from there.

5 months ago by gladsdotter with 15 comments

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  • bogdan
    +8

    Perhaps an idea would be to make a schedule and have it posted somewhere, with discussions for books every week, say, 2 months in advance.

    In that way, people could read one of the books on the list and have ~two months to choose the one(s) they'd want. Perhaps that would soften the image of having one book be mandatory?

    • gladsdotter
      +5

      That is definitely an interesting idea. Maybe we could do a vote each month for books people would like to read, and post the top four for discussion a week at a time. Though when we chose two books with a month to read them, no one actually did. I'm interested in hearing what others think of this idea.

  • spaceghoti
    +7

    I love the idea of book clubs, but I'm singularly bad at participating in them. My enthusiasm for reading depends a great deal on the author as well as my bandwidth, and there are so many things I'm trying to do simultaneously. I swear, if I could take a pill or shot that eliminates the need for sleep I'd do it in a heartbeat.

    • gladsdotter
      +8

      I understand. Reading a specific book in a time frame is definitely a commitment. If you do find that pill, be sure to let us all know!

    • ekyris
      +5

      Off-topic, but have you heard of polyphasic sleep? I switched to it a few years ago to help me manage my time better / give me more hours in the day, and it worked wonders for me...

      • spaceghoti (edited 5 months ago)
        +4

        I have, and I've heard good things about it. But it requires a flexible schedule and working contract puts me at the mercy of my employers. There's no way to avoid the need to stay awake for nine hours during my shift.

  • Petrichor
    +6

    I would love a resurrected book club, but would vote for one fiction and one non-fiction a month, because I don't read non-fiction and would just ignore every second month.

    Given that there are some genres that people just don't like, is there any chance we could perhaps have a choice of three titles each (fiction and non-fiction) to chose from and discuss whichever one interests us?

    Would it help to align choices with mainstream book clubs/competitions (e.g. Oprah's book club choices/the Man Booker shortlist etc.)?

    • gladsdotter
      +3

      I think aligning with a mainstream list is a great idea, since those books should be readily available in libraries and used, and people might be inclined to read them anyway. I wonder, if we took all the books on, say, the Man Booker shortlist and did discussion snaps for them, how many people would participate. I know both /u/jcscher and I try to return to snaps for books and comment after we have finished reading the books, but I don't remember seeing anyone else do that. If there were dozens of snaps available at /t/bookclub for discussion, do you think more people would use them?

      • jcscher
        +3

        I like to talk about books after reading them and like to hear what other people think too. I will participate /u/gladsdotter if you get this started again. I would really like a discussion snap for books we have read!

        • gladsdotter
          +6

          This gives me an idea: what if /t/bookclub becomes a place where anyone can post a snap for a book they'd like to discuss. Thus, if you finish reading a book and really want to talk about it, you can post a snap at /t/bookclub asking who else has read it, and encouraging others to read it too, because you want to talk about it. Does that strike anyone as workable?

          • jcscher
            +5

            I would like that idea!

          • ekyris
            +4

            Could it also work for posting if you want to read a book? As in, post a snap saying 1) which book I'd like to read and 2) how soon I'm planning to finish it, and then others could agree to do the same and check back in after that time period? I never participated in the book club before, but would be interested in following along as it develops...

            • gladsdotter
              +8

              That's a great addition to the idea. Snaps that are "requests for discussion" could be books you've finished reading, or are starting to read, or even are considering reading.

          • Gozzin
            +4

            I also like the idea.

  • gladsdotter
    +4

    So it seems to me that everyone has said basically the same thing: you want to be able to talk about books, but you don't want to have to read a specific book by a specific time. I'll draw up some new guidelines for /t/bookclub. In the meantime, please feel free to start creating posts (snaps or text posts) about books you want to read, are in the middle of reading, or have read that you would like to talk about with others.