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message 1: by Robert (new)

Robert Smart | 359 comments What Drives Our Shared Shelf?
Why are YOU here?

Why do YOU stay?

Lets be honest!

Are you here because you want to read? Or are you an Intersectional Feminist? Or is it because you are a fan of Emma? Or some other reason entirely?

What brought you to OSS and has what brought you here changed or evolved over your time spent here?

In order to further understand my meaning for asking these questions of the group, I, will begin the discussion:


Yes. I, probably like a lot of you came here in some part because of Emma. I heard she had a book group and I wanted to see what this group was. In doing so a part of me that I lost years ago re-emerged. I had feminist thoughts and theories in my teens though at the time had no idea what it was I was thinking about or that it was called being feminist or being gender equal.

I have read all of the books starting from the group's inception up until now plus other books the group has not read and have learned a lot not only from those books but also from other members in discussions and so on. In the beginning I was afraid to post in discussions or create them and sometimes it still scares me. Especially writing this one now.

Fear of being judged or ridiculed for how you feel or what you believe is a powerful detractor as well as the occasional troll that shows up and creates negativity towards everyone. Though I do feel that the trolls help to keep us sharp and on our toes so to speak and help to reinforce our reasons for being feminist and standing up for what we feel is right.

During my time here I have also come to make some incredible friends. Friends that I would not give up for anything. Through those friendships I gained the courage to make my first trip outside the USA which I did alone (which was a bit terrifying), to meet up with friends from OSS in England and Poland.

I have said before in another topic thread that I feel OSS is not just a book group. I believe that my time spent here has evolved into thinking that OSS is a place where like minded people can congregate and gain strength from one another and feel to a point a sense of acceptance or community that some people do not have outside of the group. It is from that, that I feel strong bonds are created in people all over the World, who, would not have ever met in their daily lives without joining.

It is for that reason that I feel OSS needs to continue and thrive in order to keep bringing those people together, creating incredible friendships and bonds in the people who spend their time here now and new people in the future. Through that network of friends we will spread and strengthen our message.

For those that have posted in OSS discussions but have not done so in a while...

You are missed!

For those that never have tried or had the courage to post anything...

You are invited to do so... and if the need arises, we WILL stand up for you!

I may have lost a bit of my initial purpose in writing this as I at times figure things out as I write... but hopefully you can all see through to my purpose for this discussion and add your own stories, thoughts and revelations.

message 2: by Pam (last edited Aug 13, 2018 03:23AM) (new)

Pam | 1091 comments Mod
Fun post Robert.

Why are YOU here?

I started on Goodreads because I wanted a place to keep track of the books I read. I found soon after that people could have discussions on the books and had book challenges. I was intrigued.

I belong to a family book club but as much as I love my siblings we rather avoid confrontation then to delve into the reasons why opinions differ. Book club with them meant answer 10 questions and then spend an hour gabbing about life. Which is great! But it also awoke a hunger for learning more or hearing more nuanced ideas regarding the book.

I joined two book clubs before finding OSS. They included challenges and reviews and not much else. It was a cursory overview. And would have been fine, if I didn't also see reviews for books on OSS and the community discussions that spawned from them.

Going from a 5 person book club to a 30 person book club to a 10,000 person book club was amazing.

Why do YOU stay?

The discussions and viewpoints here are so much more than what I can find on Facebook.

What brought you to OSS and has what brought you here changed or evolved over your time spent here?

The book choices are secondary for me. Emma's involvement means little to nothing to me. I'm glad she started it, and really greatful that she hosts the interviews with the writers, but I didn't come here for her, I came here for the 10,000+ people and their opinions.

As for what has evolved... My appreciation and understanding of topics has evolved. Each book forces me to confront my reality and ways that I can change and soften my heart.

And I second your other item Robert, I too have made friends here that I look forward to hearing from and take interest in their lives outside of OSS. It's been amazing to get to know them.

message 3: by [deleted user] (last edited Aug 13, 2018 01:31PM) (new)


Why are you here?

That is a question I keep asking myself and not only about OSS. I have randomly heard about Emma Waston's book club last year, and I was curious about it so I read the threads for a couple of weeks maybe a month and I decided to join it.
Why did I choose to join this book club, because the community gathers people who are able to think, challenge, question and usually look for what is right and fair first.

To be honest, I grew up too quick and I have looked for ways to develop myself without fully getting the help and support from people who are supposed to help you in building yourself (I do not blame them, they were focused on something/someone else and were unable to do what I was expected I guess). I spent years looking for some kind of mentor until I realized I could not find any, that I had to create it so I started looking around me gathering what seemed to be right and good and to incorporate it in my flow (I suppose I shoulf say than nobody was my mentor but everyone was my mentor without knowing it hihi!^^). I have done that for more than 10-15 years and I hope I'll do that until I die ;) . So I am here because OSS community is a great source for self-development (not the only one, there are many).

Why do you stay?

The answer is quite simple: I stay because of you, you the OSS community, because of what this community brings. Also, my friends are not really insatiable readers so it makes it difficult to talk about books or to get suggestions, so I guess the suggestions I have here either from the announcements or from goodreads members are a great source for me to make a choice about what will be the next books I'll read. I usually have a good intuition about people's opinion I can rely on and for now I have always got good suggestions ;)
From 7 to 14 I hated reading, now I cannot help to enter in a library or a bookstore whenever I see one on my way.

What brought you to OSS and has what brought you here changed or evolved over your time spent here?

I agree with Pam, book choices are secondary. I mean I love reading now, especially at night with a candle and a herbal tea, but I prefer to interact with people. What I like are people's thoughts, and I really love when someone disagrees with me while bringing arguments and show me that the way I am walking on may not be as right as I thought. Then I can modify my flow and evolve, that is what I like: to change while having the feeling to reach step by step what I am looking for :)

I like the involvement of the moderator team and of Emma Watson because we get both good books suggestions and the chances to ask questions or to simply watch interviews of the author. Nevertheless, if I had to rank, I would say that people's opinions and thoughts are probably more important than Emma Watson's involvement (even if it is to some extents important too), no offense, maybe she is a great person but I do not know her. I do not fully know people with who I discuss here but through their multiple comments they are showing a bit who they are and I appreciate that, it is a mutual sharing which may be difficult to do for several reasons. However, I do not see the entire painting and I know that the majority of the efforts are made in the shadows and we will never hear about them. Holy turtle! Now I feel I look ungrateful but please do not think that because I am quite the opposite ;) Long live OSS team, long live OSS community because there are interconnected!

I would not say I made friends here (Except for one person, I have my own meaning of friendship, when most of the people are usually using the word friend I use the expression "good acquaintances") but I met great people who have great thinking.

Agnes Szalkowska | 386 comments Hello Girls and Boys my Dear Friends and Family !!

Why are YOU here?

Once upon time when I was little boy.... shit wrong forum sorry

Because of the books and feminism daaaa :)
I am here from the beginning after I watched Emma speech from UN. I was mind blowing from the info about Feminism ( plus that was very good speech ... go go Emma ) I knew it that feminism got some ups and downs but I didn't know that is so bad . I can say i was and I am still piste off about that . So when I hear that Emma open the Feminism bookclub ( heard means I was kind of stalking her on twitter , just a bit aaaanyway :) ) I jump straight away on the board because I knew that I can learn more about this subject plus read more books but who cares . ( Literally I sleep on the books ) I knew it will be very helpful to discus that with the people , find out about their point of view. In the end we learn entire life. Make my own research and find a way how to move forward with feminism. Personal my life was very shity probable because I am a girl I was always treated like less human being. Agnes don't play football is so not girl sport , don't play basketball , don't punch boys ect you know what I mean. So I want that to change for the future girls and I do whatever I can to make that happened. The Feminism is worth fighting for.

Why do YOU Stay?

And why not ?!!
The true is I stay because I am dyslectic and I am still on the first book. Sorry I try to be serious.
I stay because I still want make a better future. We got so much to fix. And we must do that together. How I see it we are on the good way to make a four wave of Feminism. I still want to learn.

I meet lot of interesting people on oss. Some of them are my best friends ( I hope they still are ) .
people with who I travel , jokes, cry . And I am very grateful for that . Without OSS that would be impossible.
I learn more about my self then I thought I will.
So I stay no matter what .

PS: Ok ok I am in here because of Emma in some way. :)
Peace out

message 5: by Anshul (new)

Anshul Singh | 7 comments I am here because I want to learn more about the past, the present and the future of literature in all its forms and beauty. The work of our leading times that have the potential to shape an opinion and hopefully take our world forward.
Most importantly, i am here for poetry.

message 6: by Anshul (new)

Anshul Singh | 7 comments Robin wrote: "I'm here because of the history of all life and the human race
Not just music!
There is no more beautiful poetry than the fact that we exist.
It might not be an escape to say that, well!
It is for ..."


message 7: by Jesus (new)

Jesus (jesuswatson) | 2 comments Love, courage, strength, wisdom, patience & effort ALL produce "great results." These are what drives Our Shared Shelf. 🙂

message 8: by Robert (new)

Robert Smart | 359 comments Thanks to those who have posted here so far.

Does anyone else want to share their thoughts, experiences and or so on about OSS?

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