SciFi and Fantasy Book Club discussion

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message 1: by Allison, Fairy Mod-mother (last edited Jul 05, 2018 11:48AM) (new)

Allison Hurd | 13043 comments Mod
Hi all,

I know we've been down this road before. We'd like to consider a new format for the official group reads.

Presently, we have a "First Impression" thread that starts at the beginning of the month. This is for non-specific impressions so people can decide if it sounds good with a little more info, and at least say what they're feeling so far.

On the 15th or thereabout, we open the full spoilers thread.

We chose this format initially because it prolongs conversation, helps keep the spoiler-averse from getting spoiled, allows mobile users to see the full discussion (as opposed to the use of spoiler tags), and helps keep people from feeling rushed, which happens when we did things by chapter or opened both threads at the same time.

We want to pulse check to see if this is still aligned with our overall goals. (Encourage participation in the reads, encourage discussion all month, and be courteous of people's reading styles/speeds)

Do we want to:

A. Keep the format. It's not perfect but it's simple and doesn't accidentally spoil, discourage or stress anyone.

B. Keep the two threads, but have the "full spoiler" thread go up at the same time. Spoiler tags will be used buddy read-style until the 15th, when full, open conversation is fine.

C. Add a third thread that will either be buddy read style (all spoiler tags) or chapter-limited (i.e. the first half of the book) and will begin at the same time as the First Impression thread.

D. I have a better option, I will explain it to you in my comment.

Help, please!


message 2: by Kristin B. (new)

Kristin B. Bodreau (krissy22247) | 719 comments I like B.


message 3: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 1615 comments I don't know.. that's a good question. I think structuring it too much makes discussion difficult, because a thread about a specific topic can easily wander, and I find that having to stick to rigid topics makes me less likely to participate, rather than just letting the discussion flow.

I do prefer spoilers to be tagged, even in spoiler threads, because not everyone reads at the same pace or with the same process and so an unmarked spoiler might ruin the experience for someone who only wanted to post a thought from the mid-point or something. If I know that a thread is likely going to be open spoilers, I won't use it until I've finished, and then likely I'll post a few thoughts and move on to the next book. If the book was really interesting or if there's a REALLY good discussion, I'll come back, but most times, not so much.

I do like having a non-spoiler and a spoiler thread, but I would like them both open at the same time, since a book usually (USUALLY) doesn't take me more than a few days to read. If I read it at the beginning of the BOTM, then by the time the spoiler thread opens weeks later, I'm already long past thinking about that book.

Just my two cents. :)


message 4: by Allison, Fairy Mod-mother (new)

Allison Hurd | 13043 comments Mod
Becky wrote: "I don't know.. that's a good question. I think structuring it too much makes discussion difficult, because a thread about a specific topic can easily wander, and I find that having to stick to rigi..."

So it sounds like C might work best for you? 1 thread no spoilers, 1 thread full spoilers, 1 thread tagged?


message 5: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 1615 comments Allison wrote: "So it sounds like C might work best for you? 1 thread no spoilers, 1 thread full spoilers, 1 thread tagged? "

Umm... I guess? Have there been complaints against spoiler tagging? I think having 3 threads, and two of them being spoiler threads in some fashion, would just be confusing. Or maybe not confusing, people are generally smart, but it would split up the discussion, and would probably result in less of it. I personally would probably never use the open spoiler thread. *shrug*

In my own and other groups, for official group reads, we generally do a no spoiler thread and a tagged spoiler thread. People can choose their thread accordingly, knowing that they'd have to click to see spoilers if they want, but they can also post safely in the larger discussion without the book being ruined. If it's a buddy read, we just have one thread, for marked spoilers.


message 6: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 1615 comments I dunno... It's not like I've participated in many group reads lately myself, so maybe my vote shouldn't carry much weight. :)


message 7: by Anna, Circadian heretic (new)

Anna (vegfic) | 9645 comments Mod
The problem with spoiler tags is that people using the app don't see them. I love using them, but it would be nice if everyone could see what's being discussed.


message 8: by Ariana (last edited Jul 05, 2018 10:56AM) (new)

Ariana | 657 comments I tend to enjoy discussing while I'm reading, so having a mechanism for that would be nice. I think B makes the most sense for this. With option C, it could be a little awkward to transition discussion from the "spoiler tags" thread to the "full discussion" thread after the 15th.

I am ok with A as well. Does anyone know if Goodreads is working on this huge flaw in the app? This seems like a major issue.


message 9: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 2611 comments I don’t know if it’s a better option, but I’m wondering how people would feel about this:

Since we have two group reads a month, breaking them up. Group read #1: 1st-15th, Group Read #2: 16th-end of month. Spoiler and non spoiler threads go up a week apart.

That might stagger it a bit because people could still discuss end of book 1 while we start book 2 and wait for spoiler threads on the next book.

But I’m also totally overcommitted and haven’t been able to participate in as many group reads as I want. So I’m probably not a good person to ask.

If this sounds totally ridiculous to everyone- I like option B.


message 10: by Allison, Fairy Mod-mother (new)

Allison Hurd | 13043 comments Mod
Ariana wrote: "I tend to enjoy discussing while I'm reading, so having a mechanism for that would be nice. I think B makes the most sense for this. With option C, it could be a little awkward to transition discus..."

Really hoping the new app takes care of this, and then we can have a spoiler thread with tags asap! But it's not available to me yet to check :(


message 11: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 1615 comments Anna wrote: "The problem with spoiler tags is that people using the app don't see them. I love using them, but it would be nice if everyone could see what's being discussed."

Ahh, true. Stupid app.

Ariana - not to my knowledge. They just rolled out some "improvements" to the Android app, though as I don't use it, I'm not sure whether they actually are improvements. I don't think spoiler tagging was included though.


message 12: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 2611 comments That’s a good point about the spoiler tags in the app. It would make it super inconvenient. I can put them in but I can’t click other people’s to see their’s.


message 13: by Kristin B. (new)

Kristin B. Bodreau (krissy22247) | 719 comments So I checked the comments on the announcement about the updated app. This is what a member asked and what a staff member replied:

"Odette wrote: "I checked it out and it is amazing how much better it is! so much thanks for this! But I still have one major issue: spoilers in group discussions are removed, it says so and there is no option to reveal them.. Is this something that is going to be added? The same goes with reviews btw. This is one of the main reasons for me to not use the app but go to the website.."

Odette, we hope to improve the way we handle spoilers in the future. The best part of this update is it enables us to release improvements to the app more regularly!"


So it looks like that particular bug won't be fixed yet, but they are aware of it.


message 14: by Allison, Fairy Mod-mother (new)

Allison Hurd | 13043 comments Mod
Sarah wrote: "I don’t know if it’s a better option, but I’m wondering how people would feel about this:

Since we have two group reads a month, breaking them up. Group read #1: 1st-15th, Group Read #2: 16th-end ..."


It's an interesting idea, though I'm afraid it might make it overly complicated or limiting. If people think otherwise I'd like to know!


message 15: by Allison, Fairy Mod-mother (new)

Allison Hurd | 13043 comments Mod
Kristin B. wrote: "So I checked the comments on the announcement about the updated app. This is what a member asked and what a staff member replied:

"Odette wrote: "I checked it out and it is amazing how much better..."


Thanks, Kristin! So, that's unfortunate. Back to square one for the time being.


message 16: by Ariana (new)

Ariana | 657 comments Kristin B. wrote: "So it looks like that particular bug won't be fixed yet, but they are aware of it."

Thanks for the update, Kristin! But ugh, it took them literally years to fix the bug where your read date wasn't being saved, so I'm not optimistic that just because they know about it means we'll see any improvements soon.


message 17: by ~ Giulia ~ (new)

~ Giulia ~ | 146 comments Some kind of tagged discussion would be nice, because sometimes as I read I find something I'd like to discuss with the group, but by the time I reach the end and am ready to join the full discussion I'd have forgotten about it. Of course there's the problem of the app and the extra work for the mods who would have to make sure that all spoilers are tagged properly.

Of the three options, the one I like less is B. I can totally see myself wanting to check out and participate in the tagged part of the thread while still in the middle of the book, only to get spoiled when I reach the open discussion part. Even if we were to put a giant warning post before the open part of the thread starts, I still wouldn't be able to join the discussion until I've finished the book because the comment form is at the bottom of the page.


message 18: by Anna, Circadian heretic (new)

Anna (vegfic) | 9645 comments Mod
I'd like to know how many of you only use the app, and have no way of using the desktop version? Does the mobile version show spoilers? I don't think I've ever tried it long enough to know.

Anyway, it would be helpful to know how many people would feel left out if we were to use more spoiler tags?


message 19: by Allison, Fairy Mod-mother (new)

Allison Hurd | 13043 comments Mod
Giulia, the way I think I'd do it is that the thread would be Book Discussion - SPOILER TAGS and then changed to Book Discussion - FULL SPOILERS so that even before clicking folks could know where we were in the process. Would that help address your issue?


message 20: by Shanna (new)

Shanna | 43 comments I like B.


message 21: by Becky (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 1615 comments ~ Giulia ~ wrote: "I can totally see myself wanting to check out and participate in the tagged part of the thread while still in the middle of the book, only to get spoiled when I reach the open discussion part. Even if we were to put a giant warning post before the open part of the thread starts, I still wouldn't be able to join the discussion until I've finished the book because the comment form is at the bottom of the page. "

You can reverse the thread order of the page by clicking the "date" link so the little arrow/triangle points up. That orders the posts newest at the top, with the comment box at the top. That lasts the session, though I wish it was a permanent option, because that's how I prefer things. :)


message 22: by Chris (last edited Jul 05, 2018 12:00PM) (new)

Chris | 1046 comments How about a single "What SF/Fantasy are you reading in July 2018? *no spoilers*" thread (with the month changed as appropriate) plus one spoiler thread per book? The no-spoiler thread would be similar to the "What else are you reading in 2018?" thread, except there would be a new one each month, and it would be limited to science fiction and fantasy. A lot of people would be reading the Books of the Month, but the thread wouldn't be dedicated to one book, so there would be less temptation to go into a discussion that could spoil details for others. The spoiler threads could be posted earlier than the 15th, though maybe not on the 1st of the month.

I would also be OK with the spoiler threads becoming "mark your spoilers" threads.


message 23: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) | 2526 comments A or B for me. I actually don't like using spoiler tags in my app. I wish there is a quicker way of doing that or at least shorter html codes.

B is fine since in the new Android app you can open spoiler. I read rather fast and tend to move on quickly as well. Waiting two weeks for a spoiler thread is too long.


message 24: by ~ Giulia ~ (new)

~ Giulia ~ | 146 comments Allison wrote: "Giulia, the way I think I'd do it is that the thread would be Book Discussion - SPOILER TAGS and then changed to Book Discussion - FULL SPOILERS so that even before clicking folks could know where ..."

So since I rarely finish by the 15th, I just have to think of it as option A with the added temptation of the fist few tagged comments? It's OK I guess


message 25: by Allison, Fairy Mod-mother (new)

Allison Hurd | 13043 comments Mod
Chris wrote: "How about a single "What SF/Fantasy are you reading in July 2018? *no spoilers*" thread (with the month changed as appropriate) plus one spoiler thread per book? The no-spoiler thread would be simi..."

Hmm... I'm trying to see the gain. What do you see this getting us that a first impressions and WEAYR thread don't accomplish?


message 26: by Allison, Fairy Mod-mother (new)

Allison Hurd | 13043 comments Mod
Silvana wrote: "A or B for me. I actually don't like using spoiler tags in my app. I wish there is a quicker way of doing that or at least shorter html codes.

B is fine since in the new Android app you can open ..."


So if it was 1 week delay instead of 2 week, would that make A more appealing?


message 27: by ~ Giulia ~ (new)

~ Giulia ~ | 146 comments Becky wrote: "~ Giulia ~ wrote: "I can totally see myself wanting to check out and participate in the tagged part of the thread while still in the middle of the book, only to get spoiled when I reach the open di..."

That's a good advice, too bad that I can see the last (spoilery) comment along with the comment form :(


message 28: by Silvana (new)

Silvana (silvaubrey) | 2526 comments @Allison: Yes! I love unrestricted, html-code-free discussion.


message 29: by Allison, Fairy Mod-mother (new)

Allison Hurd | 13043 comments Mod
~ Giulia ~ wrote: "Allison wrote: "Giulia, the way I think I'd do it is that the thread would be Book Discussion - SPOILER TAGS and then changed to Book Discussion - FULL SPOILERS so that even before clicking folks c..."

Right! That way if you start reading you can join in discussion while it's tagged, and only have a few days missing the last few tags before you finish and can join the full spoiler chatter.


message 30: by Chris (new)

Chris | 1046 comments Allison wrote: "What do you see this getting us that a first impressions and WEAYR thread don't accomplish?"

I just think that the current no-spoiler threads are a waste. Anything more than a roll call post can be considered a spoiler. In some months, people have complained about "judgy" comments being spoilers. I can see how a bunch of people saying that they didn't like a book could discourage others from picking it up.

I think that the "What else are you reading?" thread escapes that dynamic because it isn't about one book.


message 31: by Allison, Fairy Mod-mother (new)

Allison Hurd | 13043 comments Mod
Chris wrote: "Allison wrote: "What do you see this getting us that a first impressions and WEAYR thread don't accomplish?"

I just think that the current no-spoiler threads are a waste. Anything more than a roll..."


Ah, okay, I think I see your point.


message 32: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1326 comments I think the gap is too large as if a person reads it in say the first week they’ll be on to the next book long before any full discussion opens. If they are like me they will have forgotten the best discussion points after two weeks in another book or three,

As for spoilers I would prefer a tag free environment since I use the app 95% of the time. I just can’t participate meaningfully if I have to find time and memory and kid free space to hit up the computer.

When ai see spoiler tags I just have to keep scrolling and frequently never find out what they are.

I liked Sarah’s idea best (hope I spelled it right since I can only see first couple letters in app) but current general format with shorter time between also good.

Staggering the reads might appeal to anyone who want to read both!


message 33: by Sarah (new)

Sarah | 2611 comments Rachel wrote: "I think the gap is too large as if a person reads it in say the first week they’ll be on to the next book long before any full discussion opens. If they are like me they will have forgotten the bes..."

You spelled it right! Also I was thinking staggering/scheduling the reads might help get more of us reading the same book at the same time so there are more people involved in the discussion at the same time.


message 34: by YouKneeK (new)

YouKneeK | 1397 comments I rarely participate in the group reads, at least the first time around, so maybe count this as .01% of a vote. :)

I’d be happy with any option that allows both a spoiler and non-spoiler thread to be available at the beginning of the group read. In my opinion, the advantages would be:

1. It might reduce the temptation for people to toe the spoiler line in the non-spoiler thread.

2. It allows people who read the book early in the month to participate more fully. As Rachel said in post #32, people finish a book and move on to new books. Once I start a new book, the details of the last book I finished will never again be quite as clear in my mind as when I first finished. My eagerness to talk about that book also fades in many cases, especially if I have to think too hard to remember details so I don't spout too much nonsense. If I don't post when a thought is fresh in my mind, then I tend not to post it later either.

As far as whether to have spoiler tags or not, I would lean toward not having them for the sake of the mobile people. I do think it should be all one or the other though, to keep it simple. If spoiler tags are required early in the thread, then people on the app still won’t be able to read the older posts even if the restriction is removed in the second half of the month. Also, people who haven't finished the book might start reading the thread after the 15th with the intent of just reading the earlier posts, but then get lulled into a false sense of security and read too far.


message 35: by Katy (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 120 comments I like option A -- maybe with opening the spoiler thread a bit earlier -- around the 10th of the month?


message 36: by Bobby (new)

Bobby | 869 comments The perfect option for me would be just one thread, buddy read style where all spoilers are tagged. I realize this might not be viable if people only use the app, but I think it would be best for discussion purposes.

My main problem with the current system is that I want to discuss parts of the book as I'm reading them, but the spoiler threads are limited to either no spoilers or spoilers after you have finished the full book. There's nothing for middle of the book spoilers. I don't really like adding a 3rd thread to the mix, but I would like to find a way to add middle of the book spoilers.

So after thinking about it, I would go with option B. The app only users may be losing out on a bit of the discussion in tags, but it won't be too different for them than what we have now. While it will give everyone else a place to discuss what they feel about current things they are reading and how their opinion changes over the course of the book.

P.S.
I use both desktop and mobile, but I always use the full website on my phone, and I can see spoilers there. So if it's viable for people, maybe they can start using the full website on their phone when they want to access spoiler tags? I don't use the app, so there may be other features that people don't want to give up, but at least it's another option.


message 37: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 2306 comments How about the First impressions one and a few different spoiler ones that cover different chapters. At 1-5, 6-10 etc that way you can stay within the chapters you’ve already read and not have to worry about spoilers (I work with the app and it’s annoying to have spoiler tags) and then one for the overall discussion with spoilers included.


message 38: by Allison, Fairy Mod-mother (new)

Allison Hurd | 13043 comments Mod
Jacqueline wrote: "How about the First impressions one and a few different spoiler ones that cover different chapters. At 1-5, 6-10 etc that way you can stay within the chapters you’ve already read and not have to wo..."

I think that's a variant of Option C, yeah? I'm really hesitant to have more than three threads, as I think that will really confuse people. Two already pushes it :)


message 39: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1326 comments I’ve got it!!! What if the spoiler thread was timed - as in the first week can have spoilers up to a certain way through the book and then the next week it opens up more (in the same thread)

With some ‘spacer ‘ posts between for those behind???


message 40: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1326 comments This compromise would give s bit of what most people want if not all. And both threads would go up at the same time- but the spoiler thread would be only first 25% say.

Hope I’m making this make sense.

It would help with timing and keep app users able to play while also spacing/protecting spoilers to a reasonable extent.


message 41: by Allison, Fairy Mod-mother (new)

Allison Hurd | 13043 comments Mod
Rachel wrote: "I’ve got it!!! What if the spoiler thread was timed - as in the first week can have spoilers up to a certain way through the book and then the next week it opens up more (in the same thread)

With ..."


So, like B but instead of spoiler tags, limit it to a certain chapter?


message 42: by Anna, Circadian heretic (new)

Anna (vegfic) | 9645 comments Mod
I think having too many moving parts in one thread is risky. Accidental spoilers might occur. And it would be hard to talk about some major plot twist at 20% if most people were still at 10%.


message 43: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 2306 comments I don’t know Allison....this is a SFF Bookclub. I’m sure we can handle it. If people can navigate and understand the Bingo and whatever else I’m sure they can understand a few threads for a book. One of the bookclubs has heaps of questions about different aspects of the book as well as different chapters. As well as confusing games and shit. And it doesn’t have to be a few chapters per section. Even 1-10 or something depending on how many chapters there are. If it was a James Patterson book 1-10 would be nothing lol I was just thinking that it would be easier for people like me who use the app with the lack of ability to see spoilers when we want except in reviews and we could read to a certain spot and know there wouldn’t be spoilers pertaining to later chapters.

But whatever floats your boat.


message 44: by Anna, Circadian heretic (new)

Anna (vegfic) | 9645 comments Mod
I would want the system to float as many boats as possible :)


message 45: by Rachel (new)

Rachel | 1326 comments I would think percentage may work better since chapters are so so inconsistent even inside a book!

I think the sections would be the most reasonable way to help the spoiler adverse - once its sectioned that way all it takes is a bit of self control as you know exactly when which parts of the book are ‘opened up’ (this is not meant to be derogatory as I have totally spoiled myself by lack of self control before!!)

Spoiler tags take out a huge swath of people for the smallest payoff if you will they are kinda the opposite of inclusive


message 46: by Allison, Fairy Mod-mother (new)

Allison Hurd | 13043 comments Mod
Jacqueline wrote: "I don’t know Allison....this is a SFF Bookclub. I’m sure we can handle it. If people can navigate and understand the Bingo and whatever else I’m sure they can understand a few threads for a book. O..."

No it's a good idea! In fact, we used to do it, but stopped because conversations started getting really limited and, I'm led to believe (before my time!) there was some contention.

I am not trying to be dismissive, I am looking for all thoughts. I think it's time for some dreaded statistics.


message 47: by Allison, Fairy Mod-mother (new)

Allison Hurd | 13043 comments Mod
We're still listening!

What I'm hearing overall is that things are *close* but not quite. What we'll do this month is open up the spoiler thread early (Like, Saturday) and see if our parameters remain more or less consistent. If that makes people happier, we'll see how that goes. Likely once we get a few more thoughts here, we'll set up another experiment in a couple months and see how that goes.


message 48: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 2306 comments The division would have to be tailor made to the book. If it has 3 distinct sections then sections would be great. If it was a James Patterson then maybe Chapters 1-40, 40-80 etc. Honestly those things have more than 100 chapters. But they do make it easy to finish the chapter before you have to run off and do something else. And a normal book with 20-30 chapters could be 1-10, 11-20 etc.

And in all honesty if the spoiler things worked on the app we wouldn’t have to worry. Maybe someone could fix the app. That would be a nice start. And make it so we can tag books while they’re at it.


message 49: by Anna, Circadian heretic (new)

Anna (vegfic) | 9645 comments Mod
Jacqueline wrote: "The division would have to be tailor made to the book."

This is my concern. It would almost mean someone would have to read it before the group read, and then divide it into logical chunks. I've taken part in buddy reads with this style, where it was five chapters at a time. It was horrible, because there might be a complete shift of focus after chapter 16, but you couldn't discuss it until you'd read to chapter 20. I also felt a lot of pressure to read in five chapter sittings, because I couldn't look at what everyone was saying before I'd finished the last one.


message 50: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline | 2306 comments Unless it is a brand new book there’s always someone who has already read it so they could help with the divisions. Sections is a good division but not all books have sections. As to reading in chunks and looking to see what other people have said isn’t that just like a normal book club. Some read the book and then discuss it while others read bits and discuss the bits. And there would be an overall spoiler filled one anyway that you could use because basically my idea is a before and an after with a few in betweens. You can ignore the in betweens if you want. Or you can be totally into the discussion. I only suggested the sections because of the fact that people who haven’t finished the book end up seeing spoilers in the final discussion thread and this way they only see spoilers up to where they are up to.


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