The Rory Gilmore Book Club discussion

Intros, Questions & Suggestions > Consolidated Nominations?

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message 1: by Courtney (new)

Courtney Stirrat | 201 comments In the face of all of the incessant reports on the ensuing recession and economic downfall of the United States, I have decided to try and use the library for new books. I got a ton of books for Christmas, but with 2 book groups and a bunch of my own fiction and nonfiction interests, I am constantly buying books. As my office building actually houses a library on the main floor, I am convinced I can reform my ways and starting to believe I might be a bit foolish for not starting earlier.

This being said, I wonder if this group has ever discussed nominating books a few months in a row? My other group, Constant Reader, picks books 6 months at a time and while I am not sure I need that much time, it would be nice to have more than a week's notice that I need to get cracking on procuring and reading a new book.

I own most of the classics on Rory's list and have read quite a few, but even those I own and have read, I might like to "re-listen" to them on cd. Any chance of picking maybe 2 months at a time?

message 2: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (sarawesq) This idea sounds good to me. I'm new to the group though, so I'll go along with whatever works best for the group. All I know is, I ordered Atonement and Northanger Abbey from Barnes & Noble over a week ago and still haven't received my books (for some crazy reason the UPS delivery person got the impression that my office moved, so it could not deliver these books - even though I received some other books, through UPS, from B&N in a different shipment that I ordered at the same time! Ggggrrrrr!!!). This certainly isn't the group's problem, but I am frustrated b/c I feel like I'm missing out on some great discussions. By the time Atonement arrives, we'll practically be in February! I think I'm going to start hitting up the library as well, so hopefully I won't have to wait such a long time to get the books. Anyway, sorry for the venting! Regardless of when the books are chosen (one or two months in advance), I'm going to get my hands on them a lot quicker.

message 3: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) Sara, you can read Northanger Abbey online for free at

message 4: by Sara W (last edited Jan 18, 2008 12:40PM) (new)

Sara W (sarawesq) Thanks! I never thought to check for a copy online. I just checked out Project Gutenberg and found Northanger Abbey there as well. I'll have to keep these sites in mind for any of the classics we read (BTW, Project Gutenberg is awesome - thousands of free ebooks to read and download! I'll have to check out sparknotes too).

message 5: by Nicole (new)

Nicole | 38 comments I agree, I think nominating ahead of time would give people a chance to decide what they would like to read and discuss. Whether this change actually takes place or not doesn't matter, both systems work. I just feel having the nominations ahead of time would make it better for everybody.

message 6: by Liz M (last edited Jan 19, 2008 06:50AM) (new)

Liz M I would love love to have more time between nominating & discussion dates, as I am a library girl and can only get to the libe on weekends, it would be helpful to have a longer lead time to acquire discussion books.

One other thing that i would find extremely helpful is a Calendar topic to which ONLY the moderators posted. It would be just for posting the selected books, their respective discussion dates, and nomination/voting dates, with absolutely no tangents. (NA's selection & discussion date was announced in post 81 of 141 posts in the topic -- it took me a very long time to find the date, even with the ability to search posts).

message 7: by Meghan (new)

Meghan Oooh Liz, great suggestion!

Moderators, you could just have one thread and then add posts for each month. Then we'd all know where to look each month and it wouldn't confuse anyone from the other discussions.

message 8: by Meghan (last edited Jan 19, 2008 03:19PM) (new)

Meghan Can I add a suggestion to this?

If you decide that alternating months (classic one month, contemporary the next, etc.), we could incorporate this new request of consolidating nominations.

For February, we could have two nominations. One a classic (to be read in February) and a contemporary (to be read in March). After the selections have been picked we then choose the pair book (either a classic or contemporary depending on what the group feels best suits the winning book).

This would give everyone 4 books to read for the next two months.

Then in February, we nominate April's book (which would be a classic and it's pair). Since we would be reading a contemporary in March any way, we eliminate the problem for those who are concerned that their book tastes may change from month-to-month.

So this way we would have 4 books on our list with two months to read them. While also keeping it somewhat current. It can leave us some extra time to tackle some of the longer books that are on the list.

It also leaves us the option that if some month we find we don't want to read the nominated book, we still have time to re-vote.

Anyway, this is way long. But there's my dollar fiddy.

message 9: by whichwaydidshego, the sage of sass (new)

whichwaydidshego | 1996 comments Mod
While I'm not discounting these ideas, I think for this month we have quite a few changes going on and maybe should just start there.

We certainly can have earlier nominating and voting. I think we were doing it this way because then no one would start discussions the previous month, but that is also why we had a week lead before discussions started. So that people would have time to get the book and get started, not feeling left behind.

But fixed dates for voting each month was suggested. Perhaps that is a good idea... something like nominating on the 15th, voting on the 20th, and book announcement on the 25th. (Obviously on the holiday months, we'd have to be fair to us moderators and alter it some.) Because then, no matter how involved you have been, you'd know exactly when to go on to see the book announcement. Do these dates sound fair or were you wanting earlier? I'm willing to do whatever the group as a whole wants.

As far as nominating multiple months, I think it might be unfair to those just joining... say right after we voted for two months. They couldn't be a part of selection for some time. This is a really big group, and while there is a core group that regularly contributes, as moderators we have to consider the less involved and new members as well.

Also, as people like to comment as they are reading, if they are reading next months books do we have all four book discussions at once? Wouldn't this be a little intense, and possible confusing?

Liz, I was concerned about the announcing thread being a jumble of conversation, but I didn't know how to move that conversation elsewhere. Yes, we certainly can have a thread where just the moderators post the announcements - of voting dates as well as selections. A very good - and needed - idea.

The idea of nominating two books together might be a solution to being able to get your hands on both books right away. Since I can't change the voting dates this month, why don't we try that out? Voting begins tomorrow, so unless you strongly object, I think we will.

By the way, I'm not saying the idea of nominating multiple months is out. But for this month, lets do with what we have and go from there. The other changes were discussed at length in group, and also the moderators discussed it with each other. So no decisions are made unilaterally or without regard. Thanks!

message 10: by Alison, the guru of grace (last edited Jan 19, 2008 08:55PM) (new)

Alison | 1282 comments Mod
What she said! :) Thanks for the great suggestions. I'm looking forward to February!

message 11: by Meghan (last edited Jan 19, 2008 09:27PM) (new)

Meghan Michele - I'm not trying to argue with you. I just want to clarify a couple of points though, since you asked the questions:

1. We would double up on nominations in February to get us on a certain track. Afterwards, there would only be single nomination each month.

2. We would only be discussing the one book and its pair each month.

Example: In January, we vote for February's books. Say we selected Sense and Sensibility and chose to pair it with maybe Jane Eyre. We also chose March's book, say the Kite Runner and picked its pair, like Reading Lolita in Tehran.

So when February rolls around we ONLY discuss S&S and JE. Then on the designated nominating/voting dates (in February), we select April's books (which would be a classic again and its pair).

New people would still be able to nominate and vote and participate right away and only be about one month behind in the book selecting.

It would be a lot more work for the moderators in this month as we'd be doubling up, but I think there are a few members here (namely offering myself) who would be willing to help out should this idea be accepted but time being limited for the moderators.

Anyway, just wanted to clarify myself. NOT trying to argue my point.

Oh, and obviously, this doesn't have to happen this month. It can be used whenever, if ever, this was instituted.

message 12: by Sarah (last edited Jan 19, 2008 09:59PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) As for me, I don't care when we select the books because I'm a bored housewife with no children and endless time on my hands to book shop and read whatever is chosen, whenever it is chosen. Heh. But I want to address the needs-of-the-many issue.

I get wanting to include the not-as-active members, but there's no way all 400+ people who've joined this group can be satisfied.

Personally, I'm a little confused by the number of people who nominate and/or vote every month but then don't participate in the discussions. Are they unhappy with the selections and so they don't read along with us? Do they pop in, see that a vote is taking place, and then forget to ever return? Maybe any lurkers or one-time posters out there can clarify this for me.

And I don't want to offend anyone (although I most likely will since I seem to do that a lot without intending to or knowing when I do it). I love talking about the Oscars and GG and cookies and all that as much as anyone (obviously, just look at all my posts! But again, bored housewife) but first and foremost we are a book club, not a fan club, and our main focus should be the discussion of books. Therefore I feel that the people who regularly contribute to the book discussions are probably the people who care most about the process.

We're an ever-growing and ever-changing group and I like that we're flexible enough to try new things. If they don't work, we can try something else. We've only been doing this for a few months and I think that we're still trying to get a feel for what works best.

Also, if new people who really want to participate are too late for the next month's nominations, how is that different from them joining, say, the day after voting has closed? They are still more than welcome to read the selected works and participate in ongoing discussions, of course.

Well, that's my two dollars. Oy with the poodles, already. I'm sorry if it seems like I'm some sort of squeaky wheel. I always have trouble keeping my opinions to myself. I really do think you moderators are doing a great job, and everything I say is, believe it or not, meant to be in the interest of the group as a whole and not just myself. And they're just suggestions, not criticisms.

Anyhoo... carry on.

message 13: by Dini, the master of meaning (new)

Dini | 691 comments Mod
Sarah, I'd like to offer my take on the issue you're raising as I am a once-lurker ;P

First of all, maybe some people just have other things in their lives and only remember to visit the group every once in a while. I know a lot of people who just sign up and then never update their account for months, unlike us Goodreads addicts.

As for the lurkers who only read the posts but don't comment, maybe they're just a little shy and prefer to stay in the audience as it feels like a warm, safe place (I used to do this in most of my online groups). Or they're new to the group and would just like to look around first. But some others maybe feel a little intimidated by the smart, sophisticated, fast-talking ladies abundant in this group (trust me, I did feel that way at first!).

On the people who nominate and/or vote every month but don't participate in the discussions: "Are they unhappy with the selections and so they don't read along with us?" Maybe. Back in December I wasn't too interested with Holiday's on Ice so I didn't read along. Another reason is people couldn't get their hands on the chosen book in time. For example: when the group was reading The Time Traveler's Wife my usual bookstore ran out of copies and I didn't have the time to search other stores.

In the end I think it's all about motivation -- how much do you really want to read and discuss even though the book may not be the one you're rooting for and it may be difficult to find. That said, regarding the rules I'd go with the majority and what looks like the best for the group -- everybody has been making the effort to include as many people and cater to as many needs as possible and I think it's just great. Have I ever mentioned this group rocks? Well I'll say it again cause it does ;)

message 14: by Sera (new)

Sera I echo Dini's sentiments and those of many others in that this group rocks. You are all very interesting people with thoughtful ideas and a wealth of knowledge regarding many different topics.

Sarah, as always your comments are very sound ones. We have a huge membership, but the core diehards are the ones who regularly participate in the discussions. I think that this group draws much curiousity from its myriad discussion topics and because some of us have developed a familiarity already, others may be feel reluctant to join in. Anyone who does feel this way should just dive right in - the more the merrier and we want to hear different thoughts and perspectives.

I believe that book selection has alot to do with the discussion. I skipped Holidays on Ice because I don't enjoy reading David Sadaris at all, but I did pick up The Christmas Carol, which I enjoyed very much, because it was able to get me into the holiday spirit.

You are absolutely correct that first and foremost we are a book club and not a fan club; however, I think the GG theme lends us to have discussions about pop culture, which I am fine with, but I would like to see more side discussions about books that we are reading besides the one on Rory's list. Maybe we can start a thread section where this group can do that. When I first joined, I really enjoyed talking about other books, such as The Pillars of the Earth, which by the way, I am determined to read in the near future. I also think that some of side discussion that are more personal-oriented serve a purpose in that we all get to know each other better, which benefits the group as a whole because it brings us closer. Nevertheless, book discussions are my primary motivation for joining this group. I'm still working my way through GG so unfortunately, I avoid the discussions about the show, because there are many spoilers along the way, and I want everything to be fresh when I see it. I'm hoping that at some point, I will be able to go back and read everything.

Meghan, I agree with your point about someone coming in midstream to a discussion. I came to the group in the middle of The Time Traveler's Wife. I had to play some catch-up and didn't get to participate in the discussion as much as I would have liked, but it was fine. I don't think that we will be able to avoid having new members join after we have already selected a book or started a discussion of one. And, because I am a big planner, I would really like to pick multiple books at once so that I can read ahead. My neighborhood book does just that and it works really well for most.

I can't believe how chatty I can be in the morning. It must be the coffee kicking in.

message 15: by Meghan (last edited Jan 20, 2008 09:19AM) (new)

Meghan Dini - I am thrilled that you are participating more. You have really brought in some great discussion points, especially in Atonement (I haven't read NA so can't comment there). I agree that for a lot of newbies, it might take a while for them to get comfortable before making posts. Hopefully, they will see this group is definitely the "more the merrier" kind of people. I'm definitely someone who hopes more people comment because it furthers the discussions and that's my main goal--to get people talking (about books!).

Sera - You rock as always. I've been a little hesitant to start a Pillars thread because I'm not sure how it was going to go over. Moderators - do you have a thought on this? Does it fit in with the goals of this group (having side threads for outside books)?

Sarah - You know how I feel about you (you pot stirrer-er-er you). hee! Thanks for asking those questions. I too would like to get more feedback from the newer members (or ones who haven't participate as often).

message 16: by Dini, the master of meaning (new)

Dini | 691 comments Mod
Thanks, Meghan! It's wonderful discussing these books with all of you.

message 17: by Nicole (new)

Nicole | 38 comments Well, I have yet to post in a book discussion because I am always reading other books when the books are nominated. Plus I work and I am in college. So finding just the right amount of time to get the book and discuss by the date posted is not always simple. If I had more time than I would be participating in those discussions as much as possible. I hope that clarified things alittle bit Sarah. That is why I liked the idea of having a few months planned at a time, so I could get my hands on the books that I am interested in reading and discussing. It's whatever works for the group.

message 18: by Sera (new)

Sera I understand, Meghan. If the moderators feel that it isn't with the spirit of the group, I'm all right with that. Conversely, if they agree to allow it, then I think that it might get more members involved with book discussions in general. Either way, I'm having a blast with you and the others :)

Nicole, I hear you sister. Things are about to get real hectic for me. I'm starting a new job on Tuesday, and I am currently doing alot of textbook reading as prep for that. If things get too crazy, I may only be able to read one of the two books that this group selects. We'll see how things go. I think that many readers tend to be organized and like to plan so that they can participate in book clubs. I've only been a member of this group for two months, and we have already made a number of changes for the betterment of the club. The Moderators have been very open-minded and accommodating, but it will be tough to please everyone, especially since there are so many members.

Nevertheless, Nicole, I'm glad that you are here, and I hope that your schedule will have room for us :)

message 19: by Nicole (new)

Nicole | 38 comments I agree the moderators are being very helpful. When there is a group this size there is no way to accomodate everyone.

Sera, good luck with your new job!

message 20: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) Oh I absolutely agree that the off topic conversations help us get to know one another and I think that's great. I guess my whole point is that I want to encourage more people to get involved in the book discussions. My other concern is that people who aren't discussing the books are in essence choosing them.

So I guess I agree then, that it would be helpful to choose the books earlier so people have more time to buy/borrow them and get reading them sooner. Whatever encourages more discussion! I've loved the insightful comments from all of you and it's really increased my enjoyment of reading these books.

Also, as an aside to the moderators, I was the one who got too excited and started the Time Traveler's Wife discussion too early. I'm sorry about that! But I don't think that my mistake should keep everyone else from voting earlier if that's what they want to do.

message 21: by Robbie (new)

Robbie Bashore | 592 comments Sarah:

I know that in my 'live' bookclub, there are people who come to the meetings and don't necessarily say much, but who feel they get a lot out of the discussions. In that group, we don't choose books by voting, but if we did, we would certainly give the silent participants a vote. In this club, we can't really tell if someone is "at the meeting" unless they post. I know that I often don't post because others have already said what I might have contributed, I'm too tired or busy to post, or I'm just blown away by all the new thoughts I'm having from reading others' thoughts. Some people *need* to share their thoughts with others in order to get the most from a book. Others get more from a book by hearing several different points of view. Many of us thrive by participating both ways. Anyway, I guess my point is that there may be lots more people out there "participating" than you think, and that there are lots of benign reasons why those participants aren't posting.

Peace. And keep posting! That's how I found this great group :)

message 22: by whichwaydidshego, the sage of sass (new)

whichwaydidshego | 1996 comments Mod
Also to address Sarah's comment of:

But I don't think that my mistake should keep everyone else from voting earlier if that's what they want to do.

I just want to point out for the group that the moderators don't make decisions in that way or for that sort of reason. We listen to everything you guys say. Sometimes the ideas are at the perfect time, have immense support, and can be put into practice right away. Most often, we wait and hear more voices and process how it might best be put into effect to benefit the whole of the group. We seek inclusion for all in our decisions. On rare occasion the ideas might be great but just not conducive to the group at that time.

Regarding voting early, a couple months ago the majority of the input was for the way we have it with a few dissenters. Now it appears that more members want to select early. Okay, then we will look at how to best put that into action.

Just know our role is not to reign or even govern, but to listen and facilitate in the way best for the group as a whole.

As Robbie so eloquently pointed out, just because someone isn't vocal doesn't mean they shouldn't be considered in the decision making. The idea is to have as many involved as possible and to hopefully draw some of those seemingly less active in to the discussions.

I hope that you all feel this is how things are. Please do let the moderators know if you feel otherwise. We want a happy, communicating group where discussion can flow!

Thanks for listening.

message 23: by whichwaydidshego, the sage of sass (new)

whichwaydidshego | 1996 comments Mod
Oh and Meghan, of course non book club book threads are a great idea!

We've had many discussions - and threads - along the way on other books. At one time I had made a folder specifically for other book discussions, but was told there were too many folders so I put them all back in the general folder. If the group thinks it would be helpful and encourage book talk, I would be pleased to bring that folder back.

I personally (speaking as a member, not a moderator) think we should keep separate folders for the other book discussions and the monthly book discussions - as we had previously. Topic accessibility is a big part of that... as is our defined focus. But that means a bigger group home page. So it's up for debate.

message 24: by Alison, the guru of grace (last edited Jan 20, 2008 07:11PM) (new)

Alison | 1282 comments Mod
You know, I was kind of thinking, what if we wanted to discuss another book, say, Pillars of the Earth. What if one person started a Pillars of the Earth discussion group with it's own moderator, and we announced it in our group, and whoever was interested could join. Then, over months, or years even, other people who are reading that book at a different time may choose to chime in, and revisit the discussion. It seems that would be easier than putting books into our folders here, where they may never be found by posterity (since they'd be kind of hard to get to). So, say, Meghan starts a Pillars of the Earth group with herself as moderator, and announces it in our group, and invites all her friends, and then that discussion takes place there. What does anyone think of that? (By the way, I have Pillars at my house, unread, also. I'd be interested in joining.) Or we could even call it the Ken Follet group, and may choose to read another book somewhere down the line. We're kind of inventing this forum as we go along, and I think we should use trial and error to see what works best. (Again, I'm not saying this to move that discussion away from this group. I'd be there also. It just seems like it may work better for purposes of organization, and so that other people outside of this group might be able to find it easier.)

message 25: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) I just want to clarify that I don't think the moderators are punishing anyone or making mandates or anything. I just know that in October I got a little too excited about TTTW and started the thread a week early. I want to take responsibility for that and just let EVERYONE know (moderators and other members alike) that they don't have to worry about that from me anymore. That's all.

message 26: by Dottie (new)

Dottie  (oxymoronid) | 698 comments The other book discussions can take place under the books themselves and be titled as The Rory Gilmore Book Club group discussion -- that discussion is then under that book to stay -- my home group Constant Reader has been doing all the book discussions that way. since we moved here to goodreads. It isn't another group but the discussion is not in the folders on the group's homepage either -- they are with the books.

message 27: by Sera (new)

Sera I agree with Dottie; keeping the discussions on within this group makes sense. However, I agree with Alison that the person who lists the book and starts the thread should lead that discussion - not as a moderator- but just as the lead.

message 28: by Arctic (last edited Jan 21, 2008 07:55AM) (new)

Arctic | 571 comments The advantage of Alison's suggestion would be that you can break the book down into chapters like we do here. I'm torn though. Don't really want another group on my list or another folder for this group, but I like being able to spread the discussion out...

I suppose we could still clutter up the book's discussion page with numerous chapter posts - RGBC book discussion: tPotE Chaps 1-5, etc. That does seem to be what it's there for, and it also seems to be an under-utilized feature of this site.

If we *do* decide to have discussions on the respective books' pages, it might be good to have a book discussion index topic posted here in the general folder, linking to the beginning chapters of whatever books are read. just a suggestion.

message 29: by Dottie (new)

Dottie  (oxymoronid) | 698 comments Sera and Heather you two just cleared up those annoying details -- hee-hee. Great job!

message 30: by Arielle (new)

Arielle | 120 comments First of all, "lurkers" is my new favorite word. For some reason it tickles my funny bone!

Second, Michele, I like those dates a lot. I do a lot of library borrowing, and that's just about the perfect amount of time to put something on hold, then go get it.
Thanks for all the hard work you all do to improve an already great online group.

message 31: by Meghan (last edited Jan 22, 2008 01:10PM) (new)

Meghan Okay, I guess I could have posted it here. Anyway, just to let people know (in case you missed it in the general folder), I've started a new group called "Books I Want To Read". It has a folder on Pillars up for discussion. Also other books for discussion, so come take a look. All are welcome.

(And this was created to avoid distracting from the RG book discussions and a new group allowed us more freedom to break down books in the way best suited for that book.)

I wrote it much more eloquently in the other post. Sorry.

message 32: by Alison, the guru of grace (new)

Alison | 1282 comments Mod
O.K., I can't help it, but lurkers brings to mind "Lurch" from the Addams family. But it shouldn't! I'd like to give a shout-out to all the lurkers. Don't be shy!

message 33: by Sara W (new)

Sara W (sarawesq) Yay, Atonement and Northanger Abbey finally arrived! It only took four delivery attempts and about six calls to UPS (keep in mind, I was getting it delivered to my office in downtown Chicago and the address was correct), but they are finally here! At this point though, I might as well wait for the February picks (especially if it's Anna Karenina - I already own that book and know how long it is). I really wish I could never use UPS again, but I'm addicted to and its amazing deals, so unfortunately I have no choice! (Sorry if anyone here works for UPS - your company is normally ok!)

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