The Readers Review: Literature from 1714 to 1910 discussion

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message 1: by Gem , Moderator (new)

Gem  | 798 comments Mod
We (the moderators) need your suggestions. We have noticed a decline in participation, especially since the end of the Dickens Project. We've tried expanding the group's timeline and including cultures beyond European and American while trying to stay true to the intent of the founders which was to have in depth discussion of the art, politics, geography, etc. of the time/setting for each book.

We are in need of feedback and suggestions to encourage more member participation. Please know that all suggestions are welcome and will be seriously considered. We ask you to realize, as well, that not all suggestions can be implements, however that does not mean we do not wish to hear from you.


message 2: by Lori, Moderator (new)

Lori Goshert (lori_laleh) | 1439 comments Mod
I'm not sure about the others, but I'm still interested in participating. I sometimes get behind in reading the Trollope books due to having less reading time than I used to, but I'm still participating there.

I haven't participated recently in the other discussions just because the last few books were either ones I'd already read (Persuasion, Eugenie Grandet) or wasn't too interested in (The Female Quixote), but I do plan to read The Mystery of the Yellow Room with you!

In short, I have no suggestions, but just wanted to chime in and say, "It's not you, it's me (really)."


message 3: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2941 comments Mod
I know exactly where you are coming from, Lori. So many books--so little time!


message 4: by Calvin (new)

Calvin | 1 comments I feel the same as Lori , I would like to also be more involved tho what books are we going to cover next


message 5: by Karen (new)

Karen (karinlib) I really don’t have suggestions either, and I don’t participate much. I am not very good at discussion. I do love the Trollope books.


message 6: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2941 comments Mod
Our next book is The Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux for May.
The poll for our June book is now open, at the bottom of our home page, using the internet, not the app.


message 7: by Gem , Moderator (new)

Gem  | 798 comments Mod
Karen wrote: "I really don’t have suggestions either, and I don’t participate much. I am not very good at discussion. I do love the Trollope books."

I understand when you say you aren't good at discussions. I don't feel I am either.


message 8: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2941 comments Mod
It is nice to hear different opinions on books and I enjoy reading other group members' comments. So please don't be shy and feel free to share your opinions, if you feel comfortable doing so.


message 9: by Robin P, Moderator (new)

Robin P | 2229 comments Mod
I hope those of you who feel you aren't good at discussions will still chime in sometimes with your opinions. Some of our discussions are whether we like the character or not, or what we think will happen next. They are not all academic topics by any means. And if you prefer to observe, that is perfectly fine, thank you for letting us know you are still here! For every group on Goodreads, there are supposedly thousands of members but those who participate are a tiny fraction. So it's good to know people are following along.


message 10: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2941 comments Mod
That is a good idea, Erato. It could be a more organized version of What are you reading now, or as we call it "What is on your bedside table?"


message 11: by Fred (new)

Fred Steele | 1 comments Please do not let the fact that most members do not participate in the various discussions discourage you. Like most people it for me it is just a matter of taking the time to be an active participant. I absolutely enjoy reading the the opinions and comments of those who do make the commitment to be an active group participant.


message 12: by Kerstin (new)

Kerstin Robin wrote: "I hope those of you who feel you aren't good at discussions will still chime in sometimes with your opinions. Some of our discussions are whether we like the character or not, or what we think will..."

Are there numbers on goodreads how many people follow silently the discussions without participating? Just curious.

As a fairly new pup here in this group, I can't really comment. But from what I've seen elsewhere, there is a bit of an ebb and flow with participation.


message 13: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2941 comments Mod
Fred wrote: "Please do not let the fact that most members do not participate in the various discussions discourage you. Like most people it for me it is just a matter of taking the time to be an active particip..."

Thank you, Fred.


message 14: by Gem , Moderator (new)

Gem  | 798 comments Mod
Kerstin wrote: "Are there numbers on goodreads how many people follow silently the discussions without participating? Just curious. "

I don't know if Goodreads keeps numbers, but I analyzed the numbers in this group and had nothing to compare it to. So, I then analyzed the numbers in another group I mod, the numbers were almost exactly the same even thought the groups couldn't be any different (different genres, different number of members, different number of books read each month, etc).

About 2% of the groups members have made 50 or more comments. 17% of the members have made 1 - 49 comments for a total of just under 20% of the group members actively participating in group discussions.


message 15: by Abigail (new)

Abigail Bok (regency_reader) | 720 comments I have to apologize, being one of those underparticipating members. I keep intending to read more classic literature, and then life keeps getting in the way. I am a caregiver for a family member with dementia, and it’s hard to carve out any concentrated reading time. Always hoping to do better! I love this group and its mission, and the level of discussion is often very high.


message 16: by Gem , Moderator (new)

Gem  | 798 comments Mod
Abigail wrote: "I have to apologize, being one of those underparticipating members. I keep intending to read more classic literature, and then life keeps getting in the way. I am a caregiver for a family member wi..."

There is no need to apologize for taking care of your family.


message 17: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2941 comments Mod
We all have time when life takes priority over books, as it should.
If members are inspired to read some of our book choices, at whatever time, due to reading our discussions, I am glad.
I belong to some groups where I do not participate very much, because reading the books takes time too.


message 18: by Deborah, Moderator (new)

Deborah (deborahkliegl) | 4505 comments Mod
Lori wrote: "I'm not sure about the others, but I'm still interested in participating. I sometimes get behind in reading the Trollope books due to having less reading time than I used to, but I'm still particip..."

Lori your post made me smile. I had to put some down this last year because I got too far behind. Sometimes life intervenes


message 19: by Deborah, Moderator (new)

Deborah (deborahkliegl) | 4505 comments Mod
Rosemarie wrote: "It is nice to hear different opinions on books and I enjoy reading other group members' comments. So please don't be shy and feel free to share your opinions, if you feel comfortable doing so."

In adding on to Rosemarie’s comments, some times we may feel we aren’t great a discussion, yet you might the person who notices something different that brings perspective. It’s a safe place here. No comment is consider silly. All comments have value.


message 20: by Deborah, Moderator (new)

Deborah (deborahkliegl) | 4505 comments Mod
Kerstin wrote: "Robin wrote: "I hope those of you who feel you aren't good at discussions will still chime in sometimes with your opinions. Some of our discussions are whether we like the character or not, or what..."

You’ve hit something. Another way to participate is to read the book and comments, but not comment. You are never too new Kerstin to comment. Your thoughts are important


message 21: by Kerstin (new)

Kerstin ⊱✿Gem✿⊰ wrote: "About 2% of the groups members have made 50 or more comments. 17% of the members have made 1 - 49 comments for a total of just under 20% of the group members actively participating in group discussions."

These numbers actually ring a bell. It is the 20% / 80% ratio. 20% of the people do 80% of the contribution, whatever 'contribution' means for any given organization/entity.


message 22: by Gem , Moderator (new)

Gem  | 798 comments Mod
Kerstin wrote: "⊱✿Gem✿⊰ wrote: "About 2% of the groups members have made 50 or more comments. 17% of the members have made 1 - 49 comments for a total of just under 20% of the group members actively participating ..."

I didn't even think of that, but yes, that makes total sense... spot on!


message 23: by Linda (new)

Linda | 230 comments I don't have any suggestions for the group. I'm just chiming in to say that I do follow along when the nominations and polls are happening so I know which books are coming up and try to jump in when a book wins that I've wanted to read. However, I only have so much time and usually too many books on the go, and so more often than not I end up not reading with the group.

The last book I read with the group was Wind in the Willows, which I can not believe was nearly two years ago! :( And the book before that was A Harlot High and Low which, unfortunately, I ended up not finishing. But when I do read with the group, I do participate in the discussion, even if I don't have much to say besides "I liked this scene or character".


message 24: by Andry (new)

Andry I've just joined this group and the reason is that I love reading classic literature of the 19th. The first impression I got, being a new member, is...confusion! I mean too many discussions, too many sections. What I'd like is to get suggestions for my future readings and discussions on the most famous books. It has no sense to me to open a new discussion for a book that just a few people have read. And moreover, I think it would be useful to group the discussion according to the nationality of the authors.
For example:
french authors: count of montecristo, phantom of the opera, madame bovary
english authors: oliver twist, jane eyre, dracula.
and whatever...that could be done for example according to the # of reviews on goodreads...


message 25: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2941 comments Mod
I know what you mean about confusion when you first join goodreads and a new group, Andry. It takes a while to find out how to navigate a new group, and I know that from personal experience. We read Persuasion by Jane Austen not that long ago and last year we read La reine Margot by Dumas.
The discussions in the archives are still open for new comments even though we have gone on to the next books.
Thank you for your suggestions about organizing books by themes or language. It will help with our planning for the future.
If you have any questions, please ask us on this thread.


message 26: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2941 comments Mod
Linda, it is hard to believe we read Wind in the Willows two years ago. Where did 2017 go? I hope you can join us for another read sometime this year. I have not read as many group books as I want either, since there is (alas!) only so much time to read in one day.


message 27: by Brian E (new)

Brian E Reynolds | 754 comments I don't agree with the comment that there are too many discussions. There are usually only 2 books being read: the Monthly read and the Project read. If there are a confusing number of discussions it is only because there are separate discussion threads for each weekly read of a part of a novel, sometimes up to 12. To me, having separate discussion threads is the key to the organized discussions that make this group great. Any minor confusion caused by the volume of discussion threads is more than made up by the advantages of having these separate threads.

I really don't know how to improve the site. Possibly having 2 monthly reads to address situations like Lori's, as I too had read Persuasion and was not interested in The Female Quixote. Maybe as a result of the expansion of the time period for the group reads, there should be a late 19th/early 20th century alternative read whenever there is an 18th/early 19th century read like those 2.

However, while possibly increasing overall participation, that could further reduce participation on a single read, possibly dilute the quality of comments and only exacerbate the problem.

Personally, participating in the Trollope project and a few monthly reads are sufficient. I read Eugenie Grandet and plan on joining The Yellow Room. It depends on how much activity you want to attract from non-participants in the Project.


message 28: by Linda (new)

Linda | 230 comments Rosemarie wrote: "Linda, it is hard to believe we read Wind in the Willows two years ago. Where did 2017 go?"

I know, I didn't realize it was so long ago until I went back and looked at the threads! Crazy.

The May and June (if the current top contender wins) books both appeal to me and they are short, so maybe now is the time to jump back in on a group read.


message 29: by Janice (JG) (new)

Janice (JG) If the book I vote for doesn't win the poll, I probably won't read that month's selection... mainly because I belong to too many book clubs here on GR and can get stretched pretty thin. The last book I participated in was Persuasion.

However, I also have an ebb and flow of interest for this time span of authors. Plus, I am guilty of not nominating or listing books I would like to read, which I'm sure would increase my odds at the polls, and therefore my participation. This is a result of nominating & winning a few books early in my GR life, and then having to moderate the discussions - which is when I discovered that I am no good as a moderator, and I hated it. Once burned, etc., so for the most part I tiptoe through nomination/naming threads with nothing of value to offer. (The recent suggestion of The Last Man sparked my interest, and I hope it makes one of the polls.)


message 30: by Deborah, Moderator (new)

Deborah (deborahkliegl) | 4505 comments Mod
Janice(JG) wrote: "If the book I vote for doesn't win the poll, I probably won't read that month's selection... mainly because I belong to too many book clubs here on GR and can get stretched pretty thin. The last bo..."

When you lead discussions, it can often feel like you aren’t doing well if the discussion is slow. Typically it’s not the leader. It may be the book or lack of participation. While we are open to have a member lead a discussion, we would never require the nominator to be the leader. So Janice feel free to nominate


message 31: by LiLi (new)

LiLi | 281 comments The only books I have read with this group have been Palliser novels, but I've been so happy to have a group to motivate me to read them all and to see everyone's comments. I think most of my comments are pretty inane, but I like to participate a little bit.

For non-Trollope books, I tend to pick whatever appeals to me and is already on my shelf at home from a variety of books selected by my different classics groups. My goal lately has been to read all I have so that I won't have to move so many books next time I move house; so if I don't own it, I'm probably not going to go out to buy it.


message 32: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2941 comments Mod
Elizabeth, I also have a lot of books on my shelf that I need to read, and I don't have time to read all the books I want to each month, so I choose books that I really want to read, preferably those I already own, in free ebook format or from the library.
We appreciate all comments, and though I haven't been reading the Pallisers series, I doubt very much that your comments are "inane".🙂


message 33: by Erin (new)

Erin (erinm31) | 29 comments ⊱✿Gem✿⊰ wrote: "We (the moderators) need your suggestions. We have noticed a decline in participation, especially since the end of the Dickens Project. We've tried expanding the group's timeline and including cult..."

I am relatively new to the group but I really loved participating in the discussions of two of Jane Austen’s works a couple months back!!! I really appreciated the posts on background and the group discussions really added to my enjoyment and appreciation of Persuasion and Lady Susan!

I am probably less well-read than many of you and there are many “major” classics that I would love to read and discuss! I haven’t joined in on the Trollope reading only because I joined after the first book had been read and don’t feel that I can catch up in the series to join the group now (perhaps this is a deterrent for others as well?). I always check out what groups reads are coming up now: The Female Quixote was just one I wasn’t interested in reading. I hope to join in The Mystery of the Yellow Room but have to buy a copy first (my library doesn’t have it, alas).


message 34: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2941 comments Mod
I don't know if you read ebooks, Erin, but The Mystery of the Yellow Room is available for 99 cents, in various editions. That is how I got my copy of the book.


message 35: by Erin (new)

Erin (erinm31) | 29 comments Rosemarie wrote: "I don't know if you read ebooks, Erin, but The Mystery of the Yellow Room is available for 99 cents, in various editions. That is how I got my copy of the book."

Thank you for the info! Those have to be read on a computer, not a Kindle, right? I confess it is not my preference to do a lot of reading from a computer screen as it’s not as comfortable for me. Perhaps there is an inexpensive Kindle version though... 🤔


message 36: by Rosemarie, Moderator (new)

Rosemarie | 2941 comments Mod
I have an ipad, so I don't know about Kindle, but most classics are reasonably priced or even free. I prefer books too, but the price is right for ibooks.


message 37: by Erin (new)

Erin (erinm31) | 29 comments Rosemarie wrote: "I have an ipad, so I don't know about Kindle, but most classics are reasonably priced or even free. I prefer books too, but the price is right for ibooks."

99 cents for the Kindle too! I’m all set! 😃


message 38: by Robin P, Moderator (last edited May 03, 2018 08:19PM) (new)

Robin P | 2229 comments Mod
Erin wrote: "⊱✿Gem✿⊰ wrote: "We (the moderators) need your suggestions. We have noticed a decline in participation, especially since the end of the Dickens Project. We've tried expanding the group's timeline an..."

We appreciate feedback from a newer member. It's not necessary to have read the earlier books to join in Trollope. In fact, he sometimes changes his character's personalities from one book to another. So feel free to join in if you like. We are only on the 3rd section of the current book, and it's fine to read at a different pace and comment as you can. I'm sure Trollope is available free or cheap on Kindle, or at any library. Some years ago I found all the Barchester and Palliser novels (6 each, I think) at a library sale for 50 cents each (we have great sales at our libraries since it is a college town). But I've been reading them on my iPad because I can make the print bigger. I have an app called Megareader that cost me a few dollars originally but lets me download from the Gutenberg Project and several other databases for free and read them on the tablet instead of a computer. It even has books in multiple languages.


message 39: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments The Mystery of the Yellow Room is available free from Gutenberg.org. Can be read in a browser, or can be downloaded in many formats, including Kindle and epub (Nook) among others. No need to enrich Amazon to read it on your Kindle, or Barnes and Noble to read it on your Nook!

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1685


message 40: by Kerstin (new)

Kerstin Everyman wrote: "The Mystery of the Yellow Room is available free from Gutenberg.org. Can be read in a browser, or can be downloaded in many formats, including Kindle and epub (Nook) among others. No need to enrich..."

I was looking for it on Gutenberg and it only gave me the French version, not sure what happened there!
Thanks! Now I don't have to worry about a return date - it is on digital loan via hoopla through my library :)


message 41: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 3582 comments Kerstin wrote: "I was looking for it on Gutenberg and it only gave me the French version, not sure what happened there! "

The title is in French, but the text is in English. Don't know why the disconnect, but what you get is English, though I didn't notice who the translator was.


message 42: by Creative Orange (new)

Creative Orange (Rumell Khan) (rkrespectedmember) Suggestion - I think you should leave all background information marked as important.


message 43: by Rafael (new)

Rafael da Silva (morfindel) | 270 comments I guess that the group focuses more in some countries, USA, England, Germany, Russia. The group should look for more diversity although the polls are decided randomically and the reads by votes.


message 44: by Rafael (new)

Rafael da Silva (morfindel) | 270 comments Rumell wrote: "Suggestion - I think you should leave all background information marked as important."

Good suggestion.


message 45: by Deborah, Moderator (new)

Deborah (deborahkliegl) | 4505 comments Mod
Rafael wrote: "I guess that the group focuses more in some countries, USA, England, Germany, Russia. The group should look for more diversity although the polls are decided randomically and the reads by votes."

Any member can nominate any book during our time period. That is added to our to be read shelf, which is used to create the polls. I know one of the polls I created included a book from Japan which unfortunately did not get the votes. Australia has been included in poll with the same result. We always aim at diversity.


message 46: by Rafael (last edited Aug 09, 2018 01:48PM) (new)

Rafael da Silva (morfindel) | 270 comments I know. My last phrase recognized it. I was not saying that the group, consciously, only chooses books from certain countries, but that certain countries have more books chosen by voters.

I have suggested some books in that thread.


message 47: by Linda2 (last edited Aug 09, 2018 09:48PM) (new)

Linda2 | 3744 comments Some countries have more published literature than others, and more books translated into English. We haven't seen many books from Liechtenstein, but you can nominate one.


message 48: by Creative Orange (new)

Creative Orange (Rumell Khan) (rkrespectedmember) I haven't seen the polls in this group so far. I can't wait though.


message 49: by Robin P, Moderator (new)

Robin P | 2229 comments Mod
For my months as moderator I chose some books from diverse countries but they didn't win the poll. One option would be for the moderator to offer a choice of books all from outside Europe/US and see what happens. I'll be doing the November poll in September and I'm happy to try that out.


message 50: by Linda2 (new)

Linda2 | 3744 comments Rumell wrote: "I haven't seen the polls in this group so far. I can't wait though."
Click on "Polls" at the top right corner of the page.


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