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One book, one LibraryThing?

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1timspalding
Edited: Oct 11, 2013, 12:58pm Top

What do people think of a "One book, one LibraryThing" thing—basically, a promoted "group read," or an online version of "One Book, One City" ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_City_One_Book ) or "The Big Read" ( http://www.neabigread.org/ ).

I think we'll inaugurate a new section in the newsletter highlighting some groups reads. This would be a group read sponsored by the site generally. At first staff would pick it, but we could also have it be something people vote on.

We'd probably try to get publisher buy-in on it, but as we don't want to become an arm of their marketing departments, we'd also do older books, etc.

2Dogberryjr
Oct 11, 2013, 1:01pm Top

I'd be into it, depending on interest in the subject book, of course.

3keristars
Oct 11, 2013, 1:05pm Top

Yeah, I think it'd be worth trying. Mix in at least a few books available on PG or otherwise available for free, to allow broader participation some months.

4timspalding
Oct 11, 2013, 1:06pm Top

Mix in at least a few books available on PG or otherwise available for free, to allow broader participation some months

Right. No question. Widely-available classics you've always wanted to read or re-read, but want to do with people. A lot of the "Big Reads" are like that.

5keristars
Oct 11, 2013, 1:12pm Top

Oh, yes! I was just thinking that "older books" doesn't guarantee PG/free/widely available status.

6AnnaClaire
Edited: Oct 11, 2013, 1:13pm Top

...depending on interest in the subject book (#2)

That's probably the single biggest impediment, especially for someone like me whose preferences are a little bit not-run-of-the-mill. Add, too, that I'm currently taking 10 credits of classes required for my accounting major* so the interest bar is substantially higher for me to participate.

----------
* That's north of 80% of a full time load, 2/3 of it accounting and the rest economics. (This term's textbooks, if you need more detail.)

7timspalding
Edited: Oct 11, 2013, 2:24pm Top

>6 AnnaClaire:

I don't think there's any way to make it appealing to everyone. As far as I'm concerned, books that everyone likes aren't even always the best ones anyway. But then few of us want to commit to reading something others' chose every month, so it wouldn't be too bad if you only saw a book you wanted to read every several months.

I was actually thinking we could do Dave Eggers' The Circle as a sort of ironic first book. But although a huge deal in literary fiction, he's loved and hated even within that world. I would expect we'd alternate between big new books and big old books, and try to move between genres a bit.

8nordie
Oct 11, 2013, 1:29pm Top

I was talking about something v similar to someone at HarperCollins earlier this week (insert name drop here). If someone from LT wants to ping me an email address I can forward the email exchange to, please do, and you can make use of it what you will (as long as you dont abuse me in it!)

9fdholt
Oct 11, 2013, 1:31pm Top

#7 I'd like to see both non-fiction and fiction; best seller types and more "obscure" types. That way, LTers could participate in some reads and not others.

10leahbird
Oct 11, 2013, 1:31pm Top

The thing I find that makes group reads NOT work for me is that everyone just posts thoughts willy-nilly as they work through the book at their own speed and, therefore, you don't usually end up with good, interesting discussions. I think a Big Read would be AWESOME if we had some set days/hours for actual group discussion. So, we could say "On October 30, at 7pm LT Time, group discussion of Book X will take place." Of course, you'd probably want to set a couple of discussion times to be time zone friendly, I'm just suggesting actual book group type discussion rather than all of us just reading concurrently and nothing really coming out of it.

11_Zoe_
Oct 11, 2013, 1:35pm Top

>1 timspalding: Have you participated in many of the existing group reads on LT?

12AnneWK
Edited: Oct 11, 2013, 1:38pm Top

I just began Dave Eggers' The Circle and think it would be a great first book. Like him or not, there should be lots to discuss. Excellent idea, Tim!

13timspalding
Edited: Oct 11, 2013, 1:48pm Top

>11 _Zoe_:

No. Most of the ones I've been in haven't worked particularly well, mostly because of size. I'm eager to hear what you think.

14matthewmason
Oct 11, 2013, 1:55pm Top

>10 leahbird:
>13 timspalding:

A dedicated thread for each group read work, with the option of subdividing according topic, whether it be plot, theme, character development, etc, might be a good idea. But then again, if a group read thread particularly flourishing, new topic threads may fracture the flow of discussion.

15CurrerBell
Oct 11, 2013, 1:56pm Top

Good question that Zoe asks @11. I have this hundredweight of guilt-guilt-GUILT that I haven't been more participatory in the VMC group reads this year (Barbara Pym) and last (Elizabeth Taylor). I wonder if an LT-wide read would wind up competing with group reads on existing specific LT groups, especially if the LT-wide read is monthly. But if it's (say) quarterly, will folks lose track of it?

16_Zoe_
Oct 11, 2013, 1:58pm Top

>13 timspalding: Hmm. I wouldn't say size was the problem; if anything, I think the smaller ones often worked better. The problem is when you have one long thread with jumbled thoughts, and people who have just finished the book post their first impressions without responding to what other people have said, and it's impossible to get into a deep discussion of an particular aspect of the book because the thread is just wandering all over. Basically what leahbird said in #10.

In a previous thread (about GR?), someone pointed out that this could be addressed by threaded forums, and this was immediately dismissed as something that isn't going to happen. I agree that threading isn't right for LT, but I do think you should seriously consider other ways to address this major issue. Multiple threads are an option. It would also be worth trying leahbird's suggestion of having the discussion at one particular time.

Anyway, I feel like you should try something like this on a smaller scale, and make sure it works, before promoting it everywhere.

17CurrerBell
Edited: Oct 11, 2013, 2:01pm Top

13> Tim, take a browse through the Virago Modern Classics group. Our group reads do tends to be successful, maybe because the core VMC group is a little smaller (and quite a bit more fanatical in a nice kind of way).

ETA: Zoe (@16) is absolutely right. The problem isn't that group reads might be too small, it's that if they're too big they really get rambling all over the place.

18timspalding
Oct 11, 2013, 2:02pm Top

>15 CurrerBell:

Right. That's a worry. We don't want to weaken, but strengthen. My feeling is that the more you do, the more you do. Perhaps a particular group could sponsor each one? (Egger's would be the snobs group, whatever it's called this week.)

I think the answer might be as simple as a no-spoilers thread and a spoilers thread. Then, perhaps, we could have a specific time set for a Google hangout, or something.

Anyway, I feel like you should try something like this on a smaller scale, and make sure it works, before promoting it everywhere.

These things tend to be boil-the-ocean. The scale IS the problem.

19_Zoe_
Edited: Oct 11, 2013, 2:14pm Top

These things tend to be boil-the-ocean. The scale IS the problem.

I'm not really sure what this means.

I wish you could keep it on the site, though.

20lorax
Oct 11, 2013, 2:15pm Top

18>

(Egger's would be the snobs group, whatever it's called this week.)

There's only one? I thought there were at least two (Literary Snobs and one with a French-sounding name).

I couldn't disagree more with _Zoe_ in 16; there are already lots of attempts, some more successful than others, at group reads. The idea of a big LT-wide read is attractive; it's a different thing, just like the real-world One City, One Book reads are something different from regular book clubs.

(To my mind the main problem with group reads is their disjointedness - you get two dozen "Okay, I got my copy, I'm starting now!" posts, a dozen "I'm at chapter five, really liking it so far", and some "I finished, I liked it, here's a link to my review", without any attempts to engage in conversation. I would suggest starting the discussion AFTER people have finished. Read the book in November or whatever, and start a group to discuss it in December. Content-free posts just for the sake of watching the thread - the bane of other group read threads - obviously couldn't be prohibited, this being LT, but they could be gently discouraged.)

21TheoClarke
Oct 11, 2013, 2:15pm Top

This has my unreserved support.

22timspalding
Oct 11, 2013, 2:18pm Top

I hear you.

You can perhaps tell me why it works in certain context, and not others. I suspect that certain groups have a coherence that allows it. The water is already boiling there. But if a Big Read program doesn't work at a large scale, it isn't a big read.

23lesmel
Oct 11, 2013, 2:21pm Top

#7 - Tim, you have the wrong touchstone. *grins*

24_Zoe_
Edited: Oct 11, 2013, 2:42pm Top

accidental double-post; see #26 below

25timspalding
Oct 11, 2013, 2:24pm Top

There is definitely a problem with in-progress reading. (I don't think threading helps these problems, incidentally. But anyway it won't happen.)

Some solutions I've seen:

1. Say that discussion happens after X time--once people have read it.
2. Make a thread for people who've finished the book.
3. Make threads at other break-points (finished, halfway through, up to page 100, etc.)

It would be interesting if talk posts could have a page number on them, and showed up with "(hidden)" on them until you hit that page. Interesting, but probably dysfunctional.

26_Zoe_
Oct 11, 2013, 2:25pm Top

>20 lorax: My point wasn't that group reads don't exist. I know there are a lot, and I also know that a lot of them haven't been particularly successful. I'm concerned about this particular attempt because Tim hasn't seemed at all responsive to other threads about how to improve book discussion on LT, and because he hasn't participated in many successful group reads himself.

I feel like your statement of the "real problem" is pretty much exactly what I said in #16, anyway. And that Tim's solution of one spoiler and one non-spoiler thread does nothing to address it.

Similarly, the idea that the success of a group read is dependent on the group's coherence doesn't really make the idea of a site-wide read seem promising.

I do think the idea of having different groups host it is interesting, though. That could be a nice way to take advantage of existing structures on the site, and to raise awareness of interesting communities that already exist.

27_Zoe_
Oct 11, 2013, 2:30pm Top

>25 timspalding: I like the idea of discussion starting after a certain time. But I don't think in-progress reading is really the problem, at least not in a way that having one thread to read only after completion would help. I'd rather see threads broken down by content: specific discussion questions, themes, etc. There could be one thread for initial reactions after reading, but I'd like to have specific places for more focused discussion as well.

28lorax
Oct 11, 2013, 2:34pm Top

I agree with _Zoe_ in 27; if I think about how discussions about books that have worked (none of which have been on LT) have been structured, it hasn't been based on breakpoints. Throw in a non-spoiler "in progress" thread if you must, but threads to discuss particular issues are far more likely to get good discussion going than "So what did you think of chapters 6-10?")

_Zoe_, thanks for your clarification in #24 and #26.

29_Zoe_
Oct 11, 2013, 2:42pm Top

>28 lorax: Oops, thanks for drawing my attention to that double post!

30keristars
Oct 11, 2013, 2:43pm Top

Oh, yes. I think specific topic threads would be ideal. That's what always helped jumpstart discussion in all my lit courses, after all. We could talk about how far we'd read, or things we'd liked/disliked, but the discussion didn't really get going until someone brought up a specific question or the instructor pointed out a theme for us to examine.

31timspalding
Oct 11, 2013, 2:54pm Top

That's been my experience in real-world book discussions to. You need questions.

But that leaves the progress question open.

32_Zoe_
Oct 11, 2013, 2:59pm Top

>31 timspalding: Is the progress question really an issue? Especially if the discussion is scheduled to begin on a specific day, I don't see it as much of a problem. But I also have nothing against the existence of in-progress threads—I just don't see them as being enough in themselves to ensure a successful discussion. Is there a worry about too many threads?

I'd ideally like the discussion format to be open enough that users could even start new threads themselves if there was something in particular that they wanted to talk about in more detail.

33lesmel
Oct 11, 2013, 3:14pm Top

I've found that the most successful book clubs reserve one day for discussion of the book. The discussion is guided, tangents are allowed to a point, and gently steered by the person in charge for that discussion. Seems like that would be easily replicated via a hangout; but not via LT Talk. Drawn out discussions never work: spoiler rage, specifically, kills all joy in a partitioned discussion. Maybe if various questions/topics were posted on a single day.

The discussion about Dahl vs. Lewis here is a perfect example of how this COULD work. I hadn't realized until now why I don't read Dahl. Tim's post made me realize I instinctively dislike Dahl's meaness for the sake of meaness and avoid reading his books.

34timspalding
Oct 11, 2013, 3:22pm Top

I wonder if something like The Circle could work. Or if a new, hardcover literary fiction just won't, and we should do something really broad, like Dickens or Bronte…

35bestem
Oct 11, 2013, 3:27pm Top

>25 timspalding: 1. Say that discussion happens after X time--once people have read it.

In another forum I participate in, that's what they did for a reading group. They selected a book, and gave people a month to acquire and read the book prior to discussion happening. There were posts in the 2nd and 3rd week where someone went to the sign-up thread, and said "I just started reading it, I'll join in," and someone else replied to them "I really enjoyed it, I hope you do too," but aside from that, they waited until the end of the month to start actual discussion threads.

36timspalding
Oct 11, 2013, 3:33pm Top

The discussion about Dahl vs. Lewis here is a perfect example of how this COULD work. I hadn't realized until now why I don't read Dahl. Tim's post made me realize I instinctively dislike Dahl's meaness for the sake of meaness and avoid reading his books.

I've moved the Lewis/Dahl thread to here: http://www.librarything.com/topic/160018

37andyl
Oct 11, 2013, 3:33pm Top

#34

The problem with a lot of books that are being suggested (and I think I would include The Circle in this) is that it currently is only available in English. The only versions on amazon.de and amazon.fr are the English language ones. So what you are saying is one book, one LT for our anglophone readers. No particular problem in that but it does kinda isolate and diminish those who don't read English. At least a well known piece of literature from the 19th or early 20th century stands a chance of having a translation.

38_Zoe_
Oct 11, 2013, 3:54pm Top

Even without the translation aspect, I think it would just generally be better to choose a book that's readily available: something that's out in paperback and doesn't have enormous hold lines at the public library.

39MikeMonkey
Oct 11, 2013, 3:56pm Top

#37: And it counts us in who does not have English as a primary language, and read in a slower pace.

I wonder if not the best way to deal with the question is to set a date where you have to have read to a certain chapter (or the whole book, if it is short) and discuss it from there. If you start the reading after everone else has, than you have to blame yourself.

40eromsted
Oct 11, 2013, 4:29pm Top

If you're thinking about classics, there's always this list to go to for ideas. Some of the top selections are a bit too long, but not all.

41MarthaJeanne
Oct 11, 2013, 4:58pm Top

A group read just got me to pick up Ivanhoe which I never would have done otherwise. I enjoyed it, so whether or not the discussion went anywhere was sort of secondary to me.

The Circle is not one I would be interested in, but then, I only bother picking up every third or fourth book of the Vienna books - and all I would have to do is pick up the free book at the library.

42lorax
Oct 11, 2013, 8:34pm Top

39>

The whole book, please, even if it's long, just set the date farther ahead. I've never had good luck with midway-through discussions.

43wcath
Oct 12, 2013, 1:47am Top

I like the idea of a group read. I think most of the problems that I have had with other group reads have been addressed already here. My experience has also been of disorganized "discussion" threads with everyone finishing the book at a different time and posting their thoughts about the book. Really no discussion at all. I like the idea of choosing a book for one month and then discussing it in the following month and at a specific day and time after everyone has finished the book. I think discussion questions would be helpful, as would a moderator to take control when rants go on a bit too long or when the discussion wanders. As someone who reads for the love of reading, I would hope that the discussion would also be comfortable for someone like me who does not have a Literature or Library Science degree. I agree also about choosing books that are widely available and not so new that the hold lines at the library are huge. With all that said, I would be interested in participating.

44Helenliz
Oct 12, 2013, 3:55am Top

47> I was thinking that the recent Ivanhoe was a good example of a group read that didn't turn into a good discussion. There's all sorts of themes and elements in the book, but I think everyone was so afraid of spoilers (who the Black Knight was, that sort of thing) that the discussion of the topics never got off the ground.

Having said that, the fact that it got you and me to both read a book we'd probably have not picked up otherwise is a good thing of itself.

So is the aim to "read" or "discuss"? as I think the thread structure and ettiquette for each would be somewhat different to achieve each aim.

45MarthaJeanne
Edited: Oct 12, 2013, 4:59am Top

Actually, that group read had more discussion than most. I was careful about spoilers because I liked the way someone (I think maybe you) mentioned that she thought she knew who he was. Some one else replied that you were probably right. That was enough for me to start guessing - also right - and pay more attention to the clues.

46hailelib
Oct 12, 2013, 10:00am Top

I thought that the discussion for the group read of The Guns of August was better than for most I've participated in. This may have been because it was nonfiction and the various people who commented on the thread didn't have to be as careful of spoilers. A general thread for progress reports plus a guided discussion thread that begins when most people are finished reading would work for me.

47sjmccreary
Oct 12, 2013, 10:38am Top

No suggestions to add, but I'd be interested in an LT Big Read, however it is set up. I think having a moderated or guided discussion at a specific date and time would be a nice change from the other group reads I've done here. Nothing will please everyone. If I'm one of the unhappy people, then I'll simply wait for the next one or just add it to my mental list of LT features that I don't use.

I thought the question in #44 was key - is the goal to encourage reading or discussion? I think both are worthwhile.

48Tanya-dogearedcopy
Oct 14, 2013, 2:20am Top

I love the idea of a site-wide read! Though challenging on a large scale, it wouldn't be that difficult to take a smaller, successful group read model and scale it up:

1) Pick a title that has paperback edition(s) available. Not every reader enjoys eBooks, audiobooks and/or can afford hardbacks;
2) Allow readers anywhere from 4-6 weeks to acquire and read the book;
3) Post discussion questions beforehand; but do not open comments until the date of discussion. The comments wouldn't close after the date, just not earlier;
4) Spread the discussion out over a period of several days, e.g. questions about plot and theme on Day 1, questions about plot twists on Day 3, questions for foodies on Day 5, etc.

There are a couple of things that always kill healthy discussions:
1) Progress posts (e.g. "Got it!" "On Chapter 10 now!" etc.);
2) Technical issues (e.g. eReader/Mp3 player issues, etc);
2) Know-It-Alls (notorious amongst Shakespeare readers especially)

I don't know who would moderate the discussions, but someone or a couple people probably should whether it was someone on staff at LT or volunteer moderators.

These are just thoughts. Hope they are helpful.

49Britt84
Oct 14, 2013, 5:42am Top

I like the idea!

One thing that some groups do and that seems to help with group reads is to have a general thread, where people can post progress, questions about different editions available, and just chat, and then to have a separate spoiler thread where you can discuss contents and where it's ok to post spoilers. That way you don't have to be afraid to spoil the book for others and can freely discuss things from the book, whereas people who are still reading also have a place to chat.
For longer books you can split up the discussion threads so people who finished the first part can discuss that part already before continuing on to later parts.

I personally would also very much like a more guided discussion, with questions/issues that can be discussed and that you can pay attention to while reading.

50reading_fox
Oct 14, 2013, 10:45am Top

Those wondering about the issue of 'just read it enjoyed it' sort of posts - set a culture int he thread of asking questions and responding to posts. it will take a couple of dedicated people to keep a focus going, but once there is that assumption - of asking and answering questions about previosu posts, then discussionw will follow. It isn't going to be PhD literature analysis!

I dislike themed discussion about how the author was trying to transpose metaphor x in this passage. It relies on someone having read the book before hand to set the questions. And it's not how I read. I read for plesure, and I'm happy to talk about why I find it plesurable, what works for me, what doesn't and how it does/not relate to my life as I've experienced it. But I'm not on LT for scholarly studies.

51foggidawn
Oct 14, 2013, 3:27pm Top

The few "One Book, One City" programs I've been involved in were significantly larger than just a group read, and usually involved a longer timespan (for planning, if not for execution). My advice would be to think big, if you want to do this -- have the new guys promote it all over the place, plan giveaways and review contests and maybe even in-person meetups in a few different locations, plus threads and Google Hangouts and what-have-you. Perhaps you are already thinking of it at this scope, but if you try to do it monthly, I think people will get burnt out.

Lots of the discussion on this thread so far has been about the logistics of fostering high-quality book discussion in the LT environment. Ideally, there will be quality book discussion as part of the program, but the idea of most "one book" programs is to have a lot of people reading the book and talking about the book informally, as well as in the venues set up for official events (bookstores, libraries, civic events, etc.). So, talking in terms of LT, this would transcend the specific discussion threads and blog posts, and a successful One Book, One LT would see the specific book popping up in a lot of "what are you reading" threads and individual challenge threads. That is, if you want to follow the Big Read or One Book model. Maybe a monthly sitewide book discussion is more in line with what you want -- or maybe you want both. I like the idea of a really big One Book, One LibraryThing event more than a monthly book discussion, though.

52tututhefirst
Oct 14, 2013, 7:44pm Top

What 51 said.....I think the LT community can really do a great service to READING by promoting a good book, and encouraging people to discuss, comment, review, meet up, and share in whatever format or model suits their fancy. Like someone said, this shouldn't be a graduate level lit course. This is a Site wide READ.

Maybe come up with 3-5 books, give people 3-6 months to read/discuss, and then have a vote on the favorite!

53AnnaClaire
Oct 14, 2013, 8:08pm Top

...but if you try to do it monthly, I think people will get burnt out. (#51)

Agreed. One book a month is almost guaranteed to fail, if there literally is only a month to obtain, read, and discuss a book. I've already described my own circumstances, but I'd be very surprised indeed if more than a tiny handful of users have that kind of time on their hands.




Maybe come up with 3-5 books, give people 3-6 months to read/discuss, and then have a vote on the favorite! (#52)

I'm not sure about the last bit, as it would require that
     1) All 3-5 books to be up participants' alleys, or else there really would be a lot of math to control for how many people did or did not opt out of a book, and
     2) All participants have the time to read all 3-5 books within the given period. See my response to post #51.

That said, I like the idea of having several books going at once over a larger time period. That said, I think it should be staggered, so that one discussion ends and a new one begins every six weeks or two months or something. Think of it being like the U.S. Senate: Senators are in one of three classes so that only a third of them are up for re-election at once. A further improvement could be that the concurrent discussions could be aimed at people with different interests, so that more people would be participating at once and there's less chance of having to pick one book over another for time purposes.

54jen.e.moore
Oct 15, 2013, 3:54pm Top

I agree with foggidawn@51, a One City/One Book program is a six-month affair, not a monthly routine. When I've worked with them in the past, there are lots of tie-in programs, people do a lot of recommending of related or similar books, discussions were organized at different times for people with a different focus. And I think a successful One LT/One Book event would have to be similar: announce the book, promote it, and start having events a couple of months later.

(I'm a programming librarian, so my instincts are, discussions are great, but what else could be tied in? Partner with a relevant MOOC? Link the book to a large RL-event, like a holiday, and organize meetups? We had the greatest series of lectures last summer when the regional libraries did Rocket Boys as a group read.)

55Morphidae
Oct 15, 2013, 4:27pm Top

Yeah, it would be really cool if I could promote the book to my own book club. But we'd need a few month's advance notice.

56jeshakespeare
Edited: Oct 15, 2013, 10:40pm Top

If a book is easy for me to download, it's free, and it makes me look good on LT, then I'm there. The book would have to be out of my league (college text for calculus) or just at a very bad time for me not to participate. There has to be accountability on reading and reviewing somewhere or it just isn't as cool, at least for me. If this has already been mentioned, sorry but I just get cross-eyed trying to read all these posts and lose focus.

57_Zoe_
Oct 17, 2013, 3:08pm Top

I'm sad that you chose a book that's not even close to available from the library in the given time.

58timspalding
Oct 17, 2013, 3:13pm Top

Some libraries haven't got it yet, better ones do. It's a major release so, for example, Boston has 21 copies out there. The NYPL has 112. You have a month…

59_Zoe_
Edited: Oct 17, 2013, 3:20pm Top

>58 timspalding: There are 400+ holds. The loan period is two weeks, plus time in transit between locations. It's not happening.

60_Zoe_
Oct 17, 2013, 3:17pm Top

>58 timspalding: And the comment about "better libraries" is really obnoxious, especially since having copies in the system isn't the problem at all.

61timspalding
Oct 17, 2013, 3:24pm Top

Well, it is in some. I did some searching around. Portland and a bunch of smaller systems don't have it yet. Larger libraries are much more publication-date focused.

62lorax
Oct 17, 2013, 3:26pm Top

Will new books for the group be announced on the blog? I have no interest in this particular book, but might be interested in future reads, and don't want to miss them because I'm not reading the One Book... group.

63_Zoe_
Oct 17, 2013, 3:27pm Top

>61 timspalding: That doesn't even matter, though. Even if a library buys a popular new book, they don't buy enough so that everyone who wants one can have it immediately. Two months would be a pretty optimistic estimate for the NYPL's 112 copies.

64Morphidae
Oct 17, 2013, 3:28pm Top

Having books so close to release is extremely restrictive for many people. I have access to one of the best library systems in the country. There are 53 copies and 231 holds. There is no way I could get it in time.

So this is a group read for people who can afford to buy the book only.

To be honest, I can't believe you are having a group read for a book that was released only a week ago.

It's not One book, One LibraryThing. It's One Book, One LibraryThing Middle Class or Higher Member.

65timspalding
Oct 17, 2013, 3:31pm Top

>63 _Zoe_:

I hear you guys. We'll make the next one a classic with a million copies everywhere. But there are also advantages to reading new books.

66_Zoe_
Oct 17, 2013, 3:33pm Top

>65 timspalding: Thanks. But are there really such extreme advantages to reading a brand-new book, versus one released a year ago that's now available in paperback? I'm not saying that I always want to read classics, but I think it's possible to balance currency and availability.

67timspalding
Oct 17, 2013, 3:35pm Top

I'd have liked to score more books from Knopf. I might be able to wangle some more. This was a funny one, though. They're not doing any social media at all on it. I find that very funny. Apparently Eggers isn't doing anything either.

68tututhefirst
Oct 17, 2013, 3:45pm Top

So did I miss something? Has this actually been decided as THE Book? If so, then I'm with Zoe on her comments....it's not a ONE BOOK ONE READ, it's a read for a group of super intelligentia who have decided that this is the book, and screw you if you can't afford to buy it, or happen to live near an incredibly wealthy and accomodating library.

I'm going to lurk for awhile, but this doesn't sound like a group I'm going to be interested in.

Would have preferred:

a. a group decision (or mechanism for group input) about what to read
b. some criteria drawn up about availability and time frames in addition to genre, format, etc
c. much more lead time so people can look forward to the read, arrange a reading schedule
d. Some publicized info about what structure (if any) the read and discussion (if any) will have.

69lorax
Oct 17, 2013, 3:55pm Top

a group of super intelligentia who have decided that this is the book,

Huh? I understand the objections based on newness, but this was solely Tim's decision, and the anti-intellectualism is a little weird.

70norabelle414
Oct 17, 2013, 4:01pm Top

I agree about the book. I'm a member of four large urban library systems and it would take me several months to get my hands on The Circle at any of them. The best I could find was 84 holds on 12 copies.

71MarthaJeanne
Oct 17, 2013, 4:08pm Top

And the link to the giveaway doesn't work.

I wouldn't be asking for it, anyway, because the book doesn't interest me at all. Wierd to chose it when there was so little enthusiasm about it above. But Iwas curious as to who was eligible to win.

72emmaliminal
Oct 17, 2013, 4:18pm Top

Um, where did you say about the deciding on a book part? I gathered which book it is (The Circle, right?) but did you decide somewhere else than this thread, or am I missing things? Somewhere before _Zoe_ in >57 _Zoe_:, but where?

73timspalding
Edited: Oct 17, 2013, 4:26pm Top

We made the first choice because it's a kick-off, I could get some free copies, and it's apposite both in time and to what LibraryThing is. If I chose whatever book there is that everyone can get a handle on for $0.50 cents—Atlas Shrugged?—people would complain too. Yes, it's literary fiction. We'll pick something non-fiction, science fiction or whatever next time.

74emmaliminal
Oct 17, 2013, 4:30pm Top

>73 timspalding: Thanks, but did not answer my question.

75_Zoe_
Edited: Oct 17, 2013, 4:33pm Top

>73 timspalding: There's actually a whole range of books out there, between "published last week" and "long ago past its peak and abandoned in all the Goodwills". Books published last year can still have a hold list at the library, meaning people are still interested, but the list tends to be short enough that you can expect to get a copy within a few weeks.

If you're looking at a book and thinking "no one will be interested in this anymore if we wait a year", it's probably not worth reading anyway.

I can understand the appeal of getting free copies from the publisher for a new book, but honestly, I don't think the ten copies they offered in this case were nearly enough to be worth the cost in lost participation.

76_Zoe_
Oct 17, 2013, 4:35pm Top

BTW, for concerns about literary fiction, see the Amazon reviews: "The writing is straight, mainstream, third-person limited narration. You won't find any of the layered themes, complex metaphor, formal experimentalism, stylistic prose or psychological lyricism common in modern literary fiction."

78timspalding
Edited: Oct 17, 2013, 4:46pm Top

>74 emmaliminal:

No, I decided this one. We're going to come up with some process for the future.

(For that process, I think it has to be something less than a vote on anything in the universe. That could too easily pick the same sort of book every time, and never go past things people already know well. Rather, I think we'll come up with some category--"classic fantasy" or "contemporary YA," and have people vote between them.)

Look, guys, I'm sorry you didn't like the choice. I see no program like this that doesn't now and then turn to a current, bestselling, "big" book by an popular, acclaimed and award-winning novelist. Not everyone likes those kinds of books, but "books that are now on the table at the bookstore and in the book reviews" is major category that a lot of people care about. And not everyone likes anything.

79norabelle414
Edited: Oct 17, 2013, 4:47pm Top

I have no concerns about what genre books get picked, as long as it's not the same genre every time. If it wasn't literary fiction then people would complain about mystery or science fiction or romance or whatever. My concerns are entirely about the cost and availability of a book that is so new.

Like Zoe mentioned in #75, I don't understand why there can't be a middle ground between a) published 9 days ago or b) published 56 years ago.

80timspalding
Edited: Oct 17, 2013, 4:52pm Top

Like Zoe mentioned in #75, I don't understand why there can't be a middle ground between a) published 9 days ago or b) published 56 years ago.

For the same reason there's not always a viable middle ground between genres. Choosing is choosing. Sure, not everyone buys new books, but not everyone buys any category. If you are concerned with interest, there are just as many people who don't want to read an "old" book as who want to read the ones that just came out. Bestselling books are bestselling. In this case, one hopes there there's a reason the book is #19 on Amazon, a serious literary fiction book jostling with Bill O'Reily and the like. That reason is not, I think, unrelated to interest.

81_Zoe_
Oct 17, 2013, 4:53pm Top

>80 timspalding: You've completely missed Nora's point, and many of ours. The issue isn't interest. Lots of people are interested in reading whatever you choose, because they like LibraryThing and group reads and community and all those good things. The issue is access. For many people, it's just not possible to read this book at this time.

Can you give some examples of similar reads that have chosen something brand-new and popular? In library settings at least, I think that these sorts of activities are usually accompanied by extra book purchases to make sure that people can actually read the book in question.

82emmaliminal
Oct 17, 2013, 4:56pm Top

>78 timspalding: I was just looking for the explanation or announcement because all of a sudden some people knew A Decision Had Been Made and I couldn't figure out how they knew. Turns out my browser cache is lazy on the LT blog.

FWIW I selfishly like the choice. I'm job-searching at internet companies on the west coast right now and it's the sort of thing I'll ought to have read anyway.

83lorannen
Oct 17, 2013, 4:58pm Top

>62 lorax: Sorry this one's not up your alley, but we will definitely announce future books on the blog, State of the Thing, Facebook, etc.

84timspalding
Edited: Oct 17, 2013, 5:06pm Top

Books are arrayed along a spectrum of access. New hardcover fiction is closer to one end. Some people prefer to wait for the book to come out in paper, but then some people wait for a book to show up in stores or simply won't buy the book at all. If we maximized access, we wouldn't maximize interest. Rather than attempt a compromise—recently out in paper but with declining library patron interest?—we're going to move around. This is (1) literary fiction, (2) a new "it" book. That's not for everyone. Nothing is.

Is this a book for rich people? It depends on your definitions. The book in question is $16 at Amazon, $11 Kindle. That's more than some people want to spend, but par for the course on the bestseller lists. Members would pay about the same for anything off them. As for library access, you aren't going to do much better with a bestselling book. NYPL has 286 holds on 27 copies of Killing Jesus, 423/98 on David and Goliath, 433/137 on Doctor Sleep, etc. Are we really saying that LibraryThing can't do OBOL discussions on bestsellers?

85_Zoe_
Oct 17, 2013, 5:05pm Top

>84 timspalding: After about a year the previous year's bestsellers are available at libraries without the ridiculous wait.

There's no reason for LT reads to require that people buy the book at all.

86eclecticdodo
Oct 17, 2013, 5:08pm Top

I've put in a reservation at the library but with only 2 copies, 8 people ahead of me in the queue and 3 week loans, I doubt I'll get it anything like in time. I wonder how many of those other 8 are on LT? Or was it popular here already and I just missed it?

For what it's worth I think doing a new book is a good idea, but next time we need more notice. Say we knew a month ago we could all have put in our reservations or pre-orders.

87_Zoe_
Oct 17, 2013, 5:11pm Top

>86 eclecticdodo: That's a good point. This would be a reasonable read in January or February. Though that would still prevent people from hearing about the discussion in progress and joining in right away.

88timspalding
Edited: Oct 17, 2013, 5:14pm Top

Well, I wanted to kick this one off in the near-term. Since we want to do this every month, and since people seem to want more than a month, we'll probably be picking the next one before this one is decided.

Clearly we'll have to go the other direction for the next one—classics sci-fi, classic fantasy, childhood favorites, etc.

89eclecticdodo
Oct 17, 2013, 5:14pm Top

oh bother, the giveaway is US only. Any chance of blagging some e-books to offer overseas?

90suitable1
Oct 17, 2013, 5:18pm Top

91AnnaClaire
Oct 17, 2013, 5:21pm Top

Having books so close to release is extremely restrictive for many people. I have access to one of the best library systems in the country. There are 53 copies and 231 holds. There is no way I could get it in time.

So this is a group read for people who can afford to buy the book only.
(64)


This, of course, may have been addressed in the thirty-odd new posts in this thread since I went to sleep last night (I had classes all morning and a few errands), but it bears repeating. If there are four times as many holds on a work as there are copies of it in the system, it's effectively unavailable. Just because it's literally available doesn't mean it's practically so.

92MarthaJeanne
Edited: Oct 17, 2013, 5:30pm Top

89>Exactly. If you really want to make this for everybody, you have to be prepared to give non-US members at least a chance of getting a book free. Preferably a real book, but at least e-book.

Are you using the normal algorithm? My other suggestion is that this should be more like member giveaways. Getting the book for this should be open to anyone willing to have a go at reading it. ie totally random, or maybe a bit skewed against those who have already won a book for the one book program.

93jjwilson61
Oct 17, 2013, 5:24pm Top

I thought the arguments above against doing it monthly were pretty persuasive. I think quarterly would work better.

94lorannen
Oct 17, 2013, 5:25pm Top

>89 eclecticdodo: Yeah, I agree that's a shame. Tim's working on it. There'll be an announcement if we do manage to snag some more copies.

95JerryMmm
Oct 17, 2013, 5:25pm Top

hrumph.. ER batch is not available in my country.
We do read English, Publishers! Also, I can buy it from Amazon.

I'll never understand these geographic restrictions.

At least it's available for download 'elsewhere'.

96timspalding
Oct 17, 2013, 5:38pm Top

>89 eclecticdodo:

Knopf USA is a different thing than others—I'm not sure if it's a different release date, but it's a different group that does it. But I'll follow up with Canada and Britain to see if they're interested too.

Are you using the normal algorithm? My other suggestion is that this should be more like member giveaways. Getting the book for this should be open to anyone willing to have a go at reading it. ie totally random, or maybe a bit skewed against those who have already won a book for the one book program.

I see your point. I think I'll halve the degree to which it's about your collection, or something.

I'll never understand these geographic restrictions.

A lot of this is just going to go away. Ten years ago movies would have radically different UK, US and Chinese release dates. That's ended. I suspect bookselling will be fully globalized in a few years too.

I thought the arguments above against doing it monthly were pretty persuasive. I think quarterly would work better.

I think monthly is quarterly, as most people won't be interested in most of them.

97AnnaClaire
Oct 17, 2013, 5:38pm Top

I thought the arguments above against doing it monthly were pretty persuasive. I think quarterly would work better. (#93)

And if it were quarterly people would actually have plausible, though still not necessarily good, chance of getting it through the library.

If Tim still insists on doing twelve books a year perhaps they could work on the staggered-quarterly schedule, along the lines of what I suggested in the last paragraph of post 53. Every month one group read would end and another would start, but still allowing three months to read any given book. And with three books at once you'll be more likely to see broader interest. In effect, it would be "One new read, one LT."

98timspalding
Oct 17, 2013, 5:39pm Top

But I'll follow up with Canada and Britain to see if they're interested too.

I lied. I'm going to ask Lorannen to do that. :)

99AnnaClaire
Oct 17, 2013, 5:42pm Top

>98 timspalding:
While you're here, what are your thoughts on the staggered-quarterly idea?   ;-)

100MarthaJeanne
Edited: Oct 17, 2013, 5:51pm Top

98>There are still lots of members who don't live in Canada or the UK either.

101> Sorry, fixed now.

101AnnaClaire
Edited: Oct 17, 2013, 6:02pm Top

>100 MarthaJeanne:
True, but I think you meant that for the post before mine. </nitpick>
Thanks!

102chg1
Oct 17, 2013, 8:35pm Top

Just a comment:

several years ago there was a "Nrw Haven Reads" event, in New haven,CT., featuring Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451. I saw the movie when it came on TV in the 60's but never read the book and so finally bought a copy discounted for the occasion. I still haven't read it.

But as so far as the chosen book title for this event I'm reminded of one of Murphy's Laws: "If anything can go wrong, it will; at the worst possible moment".

Real life is dystopian enough

103sjmccreary
Oct 17, 2013, 9:25pm Top

My library is showing 48 holds on 3 copies. With 4-week check-out periods, and allowing 2 or 3 days for transportation between branches, and up to 10 days hold for pickup, it's entirely possible that I will have to wait as much as 18 months to get the book.

I agree with the others who have said that a book that is less new, less "hot", would be a better choice. What was the hot new book from last fall? Let's do that one.

104leahbird
Oct 17, 2013, 9:41pm Top

>88 timspalding: FWIW, I don't think every month is the way to go if we want good actual participation and discussion. I'd focus on once a quarter maybe or bi-monthly.

105timspalding
Oct 18, 2013, 7:07am Top

There are still lots of members who don't live in Canada or the UK either

I understand, but we don't give out the books, publishers do. Publishing is still very much a country-by-county, region-by-region thing. It's clearly going away, but as it is now, a US publisher doesn't care about giving out books to Dutch bloggers, because Dutch distribution may even be in the hands of a competitor.

>88 timspalding: FWIW, I don't think every month is the way to go if we want good actual participation and discussion. I'd focus on once a quarter maybe or bi-monthly.

Yeah, I've been thinking bi-monthly now.

106BogAl
Oct 18, 2013, 7:39am Top

>Yeah, I've been thinking bi-monthly now.

It's good to be the king. How often are the new hires required to think?

107timspalding
Oct 18, 2013, 8:18am Top

All the time, to make up for my bad thinking.

108TheoClarke
Oct 18, 2013, 9:48am Top

All the time? I bet you wouldn't have got 700 applicants if you had spelt that out in the job ad!

109lesmel
Oct 18, 2013, 12:56pm Top

I'm fascinated by the whining about the book choice, how the choice was made, etc. There are perks to owning the company. Well played, Tim. Well played! Hopefully, one of the holds I placed in 3 of the four library systems comes in time for me to participate!

110TooBusyReading
Oct 18, 2013, 1:05pm Top

>109 lesmel: I have to agree about the whining. No one is being forced to participate. There will be other books, perhaps more to some readers' liking, but inevitably displeasing to others. There are other group reads, city reads, book clubs. Play if you want, don't play if you don't. Suggestions are good; whining just smacks of Congress.

111_Zoe_
Oct 18, 2013, 1:10pm Top

>109 lesmel: Yup, excluding the poor people is an awesome perk for company owners everywhere. Well played indeed.

112PhaedraB
Oct 18, 2013, 1:30pm Top

Just one comment on the library hold issue -- I know for me that if I get a book from a popular hold list, I do try to read it and return it promptly because I know other people are waiting for it. Not that I always manage it. But I've often gotten books through the hold system more quickly than I expected, so I'm sure I'm not the only one who tries too be a responsible library patron.

113conceptDawg
Oct 18, 2013, 1:31pm Top

To be fair to Tim, it was a hard choice. He had to stop counting all of his money long enough to select a book. (sarcasm alert!)

114Bookmarque
Edited: Oct 18, 2013, 1:32pm Top

OMG, it's ONE instance. A beginning. Considering LT's industry and the timeliness of Eggers' book, it's appropriate on a lot of levels. No matter what Tim decided, there's be people here blackening his name and calling unfair. Oy.

115lorax
Oct 18, 2013, 1:53pm Top

111>

Seriously? One instance of a snap decision to inaugurate a "Let's have a big discussion of one book" with a hot new release and suddenly Tim's Scrooge McDuck?

Not everything needs to be exhaustively hashed out with a dozen polls, two weeks of discussion, and near-universal consensus. There will be another read.

116_Zoe_
Oct 18, 2013, 1:56pm Top

>115 lorax: Yeah, but there's a difference between making a quick lazy decision and actively celebrating it, as in 109.

117Bookmarque
Oct 18, 2013, 2:06pm Top

So what if someone is getting behind this and wants to participate. Enthusiasm for a good idea is verboten now because others might not be enthusiastic? Is it a thought crime now? And what makes you think Tim is lazy? oh wait, I remember, Tim must always be argued with and challenged no matter what he does, my bad.

118timspalding
Oct 18, 2013, 2:06pm Top

There are perks to owning the company. Well played, Tim.

Meh. The large number of stuffed grapes leaves I bought for this weekend's LibraryThing party is a perk. This was just a choice, based on the humor of picking an anti-social-networking book and because it's hot. It's the sort of book I will read but, if it were a perk, I'd just pick the book I was planning to read next.

In all honestly, I get people's complaints. It will cause an adjustment—we'll probably do fewer new books, to avoid the charge that we're favoring people who buy books at full price. But we'll do new books sometimes. Diversity includes hot bestsellers.

blackening his name

The next pick is between something by Charles Murray and a history of caviar.

119fdholt
Oct 18, 2013, 2:12pm Top

I don't think that everyone will like and read each selection. What matters is that we are doing it! If this isn't your book, the next one or the one after that may be.

120Bookmarque
Oct 18, 2013, 2:15pm Top

Yeah, but that martyr's cross in conspiracyland is just too tempting, evidently.

121Collectorator
Oct 18, 2013, 2:24pm Top

I read two posts about "being told what to read." Yes, the forces force me to turn on this computer, go to LT, buy a certain book, and sit and read it. I just have no say in the matter at all.

When will we receive instructions on what to wear?

122scarper
Oct 18, 2013, 2:29pm Top

> 121 You mean you visit LT not wearing your LT T-shirt??

123_Zoe_
Oct 18, 2013, 2:30pm Top

>118 timspalding: I'd still like you to consider new books that came out maybe a year ago. It doesn't have to be a choice between classics and books published last week.

124eclecticdodo
Oct 18, 2013, 2:30pm Top

>121 Collectorator: You mean you're not wearing anything?

125_Zoe_
Oct 18, 2013, 2:33pm Top

>118 timspalding: Also, I think it would be interesting to do Real Education. It's short, controversial, and relatively recent (2008). I'd certainly expect it to generate lots of discussion.

I might sit out the caviar book, though :P

126timspalding
Oct 18, 2013, 2:37pm Top

When will we receive instructions on what to wear?

http://www.librarything.com/tshirt.php

127Collectorator
Oct 18, 2013, 2:47pm Top

126, but I want a pale pink one with dark pink lettering. No, not that pink, that's salmon. I mean pink like baby pink. No, that's real pink. Baby pink is softer. The one you have has blue hues. And the lettering is too dark and makes my eyes hurt. Could we lighten that a little? Also, the placement is off. The lettering is too high on the chest. I believe it is actually not even level. You would think that the developers would first concern themselves with whether or not something is level before forcing it on all of us.

128Bookmarque
Oct 18, 2013, 2:50pm Top

OMG
that's brilliant.
lol
applause!

129Morphidae
Oct 18, 2013, 3:11pm Top

I don't appreciate being told that being upset about not being allowed to participate in the group read as "whining."

It's not like I'm saying I don't like the book or author or genre. I am saying I'm not even being given a choice.

It's a matter of do I eat ramen for two days to afford to buy the book? Or maybe put off having the dog groomed? Should we turn the thermostat down to reduce our heat bill? Where exactly will we get the money from our already slim budget to pay for this? I just spent $15 to get 43 books at a library sale. It's the first money I've spent on books on myself in THREE years. I don't have any more right now.

I can't be the only one in the position of getting all my books from the library. I appreciate it that Tim will take this into consideration in the future.

Meanwhile, what I don't appreciate is a perfectly valid complaint being called "whining."

130TooBusyReading
Oct 18, 2013, 3:14pm Top

131lesmel
Oct 18, 2013, 3:38pm Top

>116 _Zoe_: I'll be sure to kick some kitties and puppies for you. To celebrate, of course.

>129 Morphidae: Who says YOU are the whiner? I said whining. I didn't say who was doing it...just that it was being done. Who says you can't participate? There are a lot of options for getting the book. Ask someone to buy it for you. Have you looked at a hospital patient library? Maybe they lend to the public? Lots of libraries all over the world lend new books to other libraries via ILL. Have you looked at the electronic collections at various libraries? Have you looked at university libraries?

I find it perfectly reasonable that Tim picked a book that caught his attention no matter how current/unattainable it is. This is his business. If I owned something like this, some of the decisions would definitely be tipped in my favor/interests. No one is going to be 100% happy 100% of the time. I think it IS well played that he made a quick choice, a personal choice. And yes, I think people are whining. Will it suck if I don't get the book in time to participate? Yep, but I'm not going to whine about it either.

132enevada
Oct 18, 2013, 3:39pm Top

#130:
>127 Collectorator:
Bravo!

Well, yes, but for pure satire, >129 Morphidae: wins, hands-down.

133conceptDawg
Oct 18, 2013, 3:44pm Top

He also picked a book that had free copies to give away, remember that.
Next month it might be a book that I'm not interested in reading. Maybe I won't participate. It's not the end of the world. I'll just wait until the next one. The same holds true for those of you who, for whatever reason, can't get your hands on a book in time. But also remember that the discussions aren't going away. When you DO get the book there will likely still be discussions going on in the Talk threads.

134jjwilson61
Oct 18, 2013, 4:00pm Top

It seems that a lot of people just don't like the hear anything negative and if they do they just dismiss it as whining.

135.Monkey.
Oct 18, 2013, 4:36pm Top

>133 conceptDawg: Yes, but the number of copies he had is marginal compared to the number of people who "need" one. And since the discussion(s) are actually being held at a set time, presumably there is going to be a bit of guidance/structure, so anyone not reading it at present will be missing out on the actual discussing, and just throwing out their 2¢ later on, which really isn't the same thing. Of course it's not the end of the world, but come on, it's a book discussion on a site full of book-lovers, of course tons of people are going to want to join in, and of course people are going to be pissed off that the chosen book is, for all intents & purposes, very unavailable unless you're willing & able to shell out a fair amount of hard-earned bucks on a brand-spanking-new book.

136eclecticdodo
Oct 18, 2013, 4:46pm Top

>129 Morphidae:

you count getting the dog groomed as one of the essentials with food and heating?

137Morphidae
Edited: Oct 18, 2013, 5:32pm Top

>136 eclecticdodo: You obviously don't own a dog. Or rather one that grows long hair.

And we've got it down to four times a year, as is.

ETA: And it's obviously less important than food or utility bills. Do I really have to point that out?

138Morphidae
Edited: Oct 18, 2013, 5:42pm Top

Ask someone to buy it for you.
- I don't ask someone else for luxuries. That's just rude.

Have you looked at a hospital patient library? Maybe they lend to the public?
- They don't. They barely have enough for patients as is.

Lots of libraries all over the world lend new books to other libraries via ILL.
- If one of the biggest library systems in the nation doesn't have enough for lending, why in the world would I go looking at smaller libraries? Even if I could get one from another library, it takes 4 to 6 weeks minimum.

Have you looked at the electronic collections at various libraries?
- E-book lending at our library takes even longer than paper books as it does in many libraries.

Have you looked at university libraries?
- Don't loan to non-students - at least here. And most don't have large fiction sections.

Not to be a Debbie-Downer, but really. None of these are actual answers.

Meanwhile, I'm satisfied that Tim will take it into consideration in the future. What more can I ask for?

139Nicole_VanK
Oct 18, 2013, 6:12pm Top

Sheesh guys. Tim made a call - no more, no less. I may not be able to get a copy of it in time to participate - I'm currently not exactly loaded myself. So I might have to sit this one out: big deal.

As for obscurity: before I wasn't even aware this author existed. As I see it that's very much part of the fun: discover new things.

140tututhefirst
Edited: Oct 18, 2013, 7:50pm Top

Just because I may not have the $$/time/inspiration to actively join in this particular read, doesn't mean I can't/won't lurk on the discussion threads and find inspiration as to whether in the future I want to buy/borrow or forgedaaboutit.

This would never have been a book I chose to read on my own, but the collective discussion should prove helpful in my decision down the road when I see it on the bargain table or as an e-download.

Wishing all of the participants a good read.

141Merryann
Oct 18, 2013, 8:09pm Top

I admit I read only about the first 30 and last 30 posts about this, but it sounds like a great idea to me!

I like the book Tim chose: it's not what I would normally read and that's good. Getting to discuss the book with others sounds like a fun way to get me to read something outside my normal reading place, broadening my reading horizons.

We are too diverse a group to ever ALL agree with what is read, so I personally think Tim, or someone, should just pick a book each month and I'll participate or not depending on how busy life is for me at the time and whether the book sounds good to me or not, and I won't stress out about it on the months I can't or don't want to. That's why I'm glad this is a monthly thing and not a quarterly thing. Maybe I'll only do it once a year, but I expect it will be great fun for that once!

That's my opinion. Thanks and have a nice day.

142japaul22
Oct 18, 2013, 8:15pm Top

I agree that in general it would be nice to choose books that have been out long enough to be in paperback. That way they are less expensive to buy and more likely to be available at the library. I'm number 128 on my library's wait list for the chosen book. They only have physical copies at the moment - no ebooks available yet.

That being said, I'm excited to have this new feature. If this month doesn't work out for me, I'll join in some other time. I think having a specific date for discussion to begin is a great idea and I hope it will result in a flurry of discussion and avoid the most common group read pitfall of trying to avoid spoilers as people finish a book at different rates.

143MikeMonkey
Oct 19, 2013, 2:05am Top

You have to count all Swedes out. This book is not available in any Swedish library yet. And I guess it's the same all over the world, except for the US.

144deadwhiteguys
Edited: Oct 19, 2013, 8:28am Top

>138 Morphidae: You shouldn't have to justify your financial situation to anyone on this board. People nitpicking your pets and brushing off your concerns with "just get someone to buy it for you" is gross. It's one thing to say, yeah, not everyone is going to like the selection and that's too bad- it's another to imply that people who can't afford the book are making inappropriate lifestyle choices or aren't trying hard enough. Ugh.

145sturlington
Edited: Oct 19, 2013, 11:42am Top

I probably wouldn't have chosen this book to read either, but this discussion piqued my interest. There was an excerpt published in the NYT magazine a few weeks back, which you can read online for free: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/29/magazine/dave-eggers-fiction.html

The "sample" may help you decide whether you want to purchase the book or not. I'm probably going to read it now.

146TooBusyReading
Edited: Oct 19, 2013, 2:27pm Top

>129 Morphidae:
You said, "I don't appreciate being told that being upset about not being allowed to participate in the group read as "whining."

While I was not addressing you specifically, there is a huge amount of whining on this thread. I am sorry that you are not financially able to buy the book, but that does not count as "not being allowed" to participate. I am not able to buy a Ferrari, but I would certainly be allowed to buy one if I had the money. An extreme example, but along the same lines. "Not allowed" and "unable" are not synonymous.

This is not to say your point about needing to purchase the book doesn't have validity, but saying you are not allowed to participate is unfair and inaccurate.

147JerryMmm
Oct 19, 2013, 2:22pm Top

The fact I can't afford to buy the book doesn't stop me from acquiring it through other means. I've started and read the first 36 pages of a pdf on our laptop.

148TheoClarke
Oct 20, 2013, 6:38am Top

My local library service (in the UK) has no copies in any of its 44 branches but my purchased copy arrived yesterday in a delivery that I have yet to catalogue. I am looking forward to this group read.

149eclecticdodo
Oct 21, 2013, 2:43pm Top

Any progress with the UK distributors doing a giveaway?

150timspalding
Edited: Oct 21, 2013, 9:15pm Top

Lorannen's still working on it.

151reading_fox
Oct 22, 2013, 4:35am Top

Another disgruntled Non-USian.

152lorannen
Oct 22, 2013, 5:18pm Top

Good news for our Canadian members interested in doing One LibraryThing, One Book with us! Knopf Canada was kind enough to offer 10 copies that are now up for grabs for Canadian members only. Go here to request yours!

153_Zoe_
Oct 22, 2013, 5:26pm Top

Ooh, nice!

154timspalding
Oct 22, 2013, 5:29pm Top

Good deal. Thanks Loranne.

155japaul22
Oct 23, 2013, 9:21am Top

Is there a plan for how far ahead subsequent books will be announced for each month? If I understand correctly, this will be a monthly feature, so I'd like to know what the December book will be so I can get a jump on getting it.

Since I'm still number 147 on the wait list at my library for The Circle, I think I'll skip the first discussion, but I'd like to get in on the next one if possible.

Thanks!

156_Zoe_
Oct 24, 2013, 9:55am Top

>155 japaul22: I think the last word on frequency was Tim in #105: Yeah, I've been thinking bi-monthly now.

I agree that it would be nice to announce books farther in advance. Six weeks or even two months notice would be nice.

On that note, if these are going to be bi-monthly, I wonder whether the start of the first discussion could be delayed a bit to allow more people to participate. December 1 is a nice easy-to-remember date.... (This still wouldn't be nearly enough time for me personally to get the book, but at least the discussion wouldn't be quite so stale when I finally got to it.)

157ablachly
Oct 24, 2013, 11:17am Top

I also like the idea of some extended lead time for upcoming books, to give people ample time to get a copy and read it. And maybe even to plan which reads they want to participate in and which to skip?

158Morphidae
Oct 24, 2013, 12:00pm Top

It certainly would help those of us dependent on the library and trying to get newer books.

159jjwilson61
Oct 24, 2013, 12:23pm Top

So, how about it Tim, would now be a good time to pick the book for the second group read?

160lorannen
Oct 31, 2013, 11:01am Top

More good news! UK members now have a chance to score a free copy, too!

Details on the blog. Or click here to request a copy!

161_Zoe_
Oct 31, 2013, 11:06am Top

I'm glad it's being offered in the UK too!

All the more reason to delay the start of discussion, though, so that there will actually be time for the books to be delivered and read.

162eclecticdodo
Oct 31, 2013, 11:57am Top

oh darn it, I bought a copy already!
Well done though.

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