NYRB Classics discussion

Group Book Club > Book Club Rules and Regulations

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message 1: by Louise (last edited Dec 16, 2018 12:11PM) (new)

Louise | 491 comments Mod
Not to worry, I won't be coercing many rules and regulations on you but I would like to have a system in place and this is where we can talk about it.

As we get the monthly book club going again, I propose the following. For our Jan. book we are a bit pressed for time, so I will take nominations until Dec. 8th, then I will create a poll which will close on Dec. 15th at which point I will announce our January group read.

Going forward after that, I would like to start nominations on the 1st of each month, put up the poll on the 7th, then announce the winner on the 15th giving us 6 weeks before the discussion starts to prepare. For example, for our March discussion, nominations will start on Jan 1st, then I will set up the poll on the 7th which will close on the 15th of January, announcing the book we will read for March, and on March 1st the discussion begins, of the whole book, spoilers and all.

I personally prefer being able to discuss the entire book when discussion starts so I tend not to peek at the discussion until I have finished the book. Would the majority be in agreement that on the 1st of every month, when we start discussing the book, all bets are off in terms of spoilers? Or does the majority prefer using the spoiler feature?

Would love to have everyone's input.

message 2: by Trevor (new)

Trevor (mookse) | 1425 comments Mod
I think people should be free to discuss the book in its entirety the day the discussion begins, so if you haven't finished the book it's a "reader beware." Otherwise, we end up filling the thread with spoiler warnings or, worse, spoiler tag html which cannot be worked around on mobile devices (so I'd recommend we don't use any of those).

message 3: by Jason (new)

Jason (uberzensch) | 83 comments Agree with you both! It’s hard to have a good discussion in a spoiler-free zone. Also, if we stick the plan of choosing the books a month in advance, we should be in good shape.

message 4: by Seana (new)

Seana | 407 comments Sounds like a good plan, as people don't actually have to look at the thread until they have finished the book, even if they come to it a little late.

message 5: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 288 comments I agree with the plan. So it sounds like the plan is not read the books of the month? I think that is better since not everyone will have subscriptions and the subscriptions are not cheap, especially for those of you in Canada!

message 6: by Louise (new)

Louise | 491 comments Mod
WndyJW wrote: "I agree with the plan. So it sounds like the plan is not read the books of the month? I think that is better since not everyone will have subscriptions and the subscriptions are not cheap, especial..."

There doesn't seem to be that much interest in adding the NYRB Classics book club monthly books but subscribers are more than welcome to nominate those books to have them included in the poll. I suspect most people don't read them as soon as they get them so they can be nominated later on.

message 7: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 288 comments I agree. What you’ve laid out sounds very good.

message 8: by Lois (new)

Lois (literanarchy) | 113 comments All sounds good :) and yes, sadly the book club subscription is a bit beyond the reach of those of us who live internationally - I’m in Australia and I believe the postage is more than the subscription itself, which is why I’ve never quite been able to bring myself to subscribe even though I’ve wanted to for years :(

message 9: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 288 comments I like that idea. Two threads per book. I too like to be able to say that Im loving a book or I might not finish,

message 10: by Trevor (new)

Trevor (mookse) | 1425 comments Mod
I’m personally not a fan of two threads per book. I think it could lead to a lot of clutter and moderator work. Maybe I’ve never approached it the right way, so I’m open to suggestions.

message 11: by Louise (new)

Louise | 491 comments Mod
I like the simple way. We will announce the next book a month ahead of time, so before the discussion actually starts people are more than welcome to start posting things like "I've just started it and I love it" or "what a weird first chapter" or whatever. At that point please use spoiler alerts but on the 1st of the month when discussion start then it's an open discussion. To me that seems the simplest way.

message 12: by Mirko (new)

Mirko | 77 comments Having one thread per book would work well and would help to keep the discussion together. I like the idea of having the thread available as we read a book where everyone can share their impressions as they make their way through the book and then it switches to the actual discussion.

message 13: by Antonomasia (new)

Antonomasia | 44 comments I like the two threads idea, and it seems to work well in the 21st Century Literarure Group, but it could be excessive clutter if there were only a small number of people involved in a given group read. I think it's more important for long books; several of the nominations this time are under 250 pages.

message 14: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 288 comments I know that the (view spoiler) html doesn’t work on all platforms so a simple ***Spoiler Alert*** ahead of spoilers works well enough, I’ve figured out how to skim and stop before I read something I don’t want to.

message 15: by Louise (new)

Louise | 491 comments Mod
It has been brought to my attention in another thread that some members have a harder time getting the books on time for the discussion. For those who have a hard time acquiring books, how long does it generally take? I prefer to choose one book at a time but we can do it with a longer lead time. Or we can use the second place book from our recent poll The Book of Ebenezer Le Page as our March read, then create a poll in Jan. for the April, May and June books so that would give 2.5 months for the first book of the 3, and we could continue that way, choosing 3 books at a time. Next round of nominations/polls would be in April to choose the books for July, Aug, Sept. and so on. Thoughts?

message 16: by Janet (new)

Janet (janetevans) | 63 comments Louise wrote: "It has been brought to my attention in another thread that some members have a harder time getting the books on time for the discussion. For those who have a hard time acquiring books, how long doe..."
I like thé idea of reading 2nd place book voted in the poll, and then doing as you suggest, choosing 3 at a time. I would think picking 12 at a time for a group of this size would be cumbersome.

message 17: by Mirko (last edited Dec 18, 2018 09:51PM) (new)

Mirko | 77 comments I think using the The Book of Ebenezer Le Page as our March read, sounds good. Three months is plenty of time for me to get the book. This one, I would need to have it ordered through the bookstore, which generally takes about 13 business days to come in.

I wonder, how would you feel about if we vote for the April book in January, and for the May book in February, etc... i.e. have about three months to acquire and read a book.

Not sure if we select books too far ahead of time, whether there is still going to be the same amount of interest in reading them when the time comes.

message 18: by sisilia (new)

sisilia (sisilia9) | 53 comments Louise wrote: "It has been brought to my attention in another thread that some members have a harder time getting the books on time for the discussion. For those who have a hard time acquiring books, how long doe..."

Great idea, Louise. Definitely enough time.

message 19: by Antonomasia (new)

Antonomasia | 44 comments I can see this is very likely the way things are going to go, so the following may not make much difference.

However I'm one of those people who finds reading scheduled so far ahead of time to be offputting, and it makes it seem like duty. The hidden poll I found also increased my enthusiasm by introducing suspense into the process.

Ebenezer LePage is another long book and I for one was hoping there would be a new poll which might be likely to select a shorter book, as many voters would during the time of voting be in the middle of a long book for the group (i.e. Berlin Alexanderplatz). One of the main reasons I participated was that the majority of books in the poll were short, and for those who don't want to spend a long time on one group read or have other reading they need to fit in a shorter book is much more appealing. (However as I was kind of interested in Berlin Alexanderplatz anyway, and while reading East European literature I keep finding that a greater knowledge of German literature would enhance my understanding, I hope to be able to fit it in.)

Not having another vote for so long also may reduce the new momentum created by renewed participation. Short books may also encourage participation by more casual members of the group. Short books that were also published a few years ago - meaning there are plenty of second hand copies on the market and in libraries - would seem an ideal means to encourage more readers and make it easier for those who want to read paper copies and aren't in a position to buy books new or live further away from outlets where they are readily available.

message 20: by Louise (new)

Louise | 491 comments Mod
You make some valid points Antonomasia. I too think a monthly poll is more exciting. Maybe I will make another poll to see how much lead time people want. I thought 6 weeks seemed to be plenty.

message 21: by Antonomasia (new)

Antonomasia | 44 comments The snag with this poll is that two of the options are very similar: "Choose one book at a time, with a 2 month lead time" and "Choose one book at a time, with a 6 week lead time". (Although those two weeks can make a difference for people who are ordering books from abroad, who find they have to join a library waiting list or are buying with a very tight budget.)

You might end up with a majority for choosing one book at a time over choosing 3 at a time - but because the former is divided between two options, it may not be counted as such. It is difficult to know what to choose if you prefer one at a time but it doesn't matter to you either way whether it's 8 weeks or 6 weeks lead time.

message 22: by Louise (new)

Louise | 491 comments Mod
Well drat. I see what you mean. Well at this point let's just see how the poll turns out. The "choose 3 books" option is getting less support than the other 2 so far.

message 23: by Louise (new)

Louise | 491 comments Mod
I want to keep things as simple as possible. As a moderator I cringe at having to keep two threads going for each book. And from what the poll is telling me, I think we will stay with my proposed format for now (6 week lead time). We can always tweak later if the need arises. Does it take more than a couple of weeks for worldwide shipping?

So we will proceed with nominations starting Jan. 1st to choose our March book. As Antonomasia pointed out we might want to consider nominating and voting for a shorter book so we don't have two long books back to back.

message 24: by Lois (new)

Lois (literanarchy) | 113 comments Personally, I feel having two threads could get messy for us as well - I’m finding it hard to keep up with all the threads as it is :/ Also, once you move to the “finished” thread, do you have to re-say everything you said before? Maybe it’s just because I’ve never been in a group that’s tried this method, and I wonder what makes it work so well for your other group. Or maybe it’s just because I don’t really care about spoilers! I understand, though, that everyone’s different and we will never be able to please everyone completely. I’m just happy to have a reason to have more NYRB Classics in my life :)

message 25: by Lois (new)

Lois (literanarchy) | 113 comments By the way, for those struggling get a hold of the book (as I would in Australia), it might be worth considering using an ebook service/device. They are usually significantly cheaper than a paperback (especially getting one sent to Australia from overseas!) and arrive instantly. I know then you’re missing out on the beautiful design, but in the past I found it was really the best way to keep up (especially as I’m a slow reader, so I need the maximum amount of time for actually reading the book!). Occasionally, the actual NYRB Classics version isn’t available due to regional rights, but so far I’ve found that I can get the same translation (just from a different publisher). I like to think of this as a way to see which ones I really like so I can then consider investing in the print copy of those I love or want to share with people. Just an option to consider :)

message 26: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 288 comments I second Antonomasia’s wish for a shorter book after Berlin Alexanderplatz. Nyrb has many shorter books and since many of us are in other groups having a long book, them 1 or 2 short books between longer nyrb might help keep people more motivated to read along.

message 27: by Antonomasia (new)

Antonomasia | 44 comments Hey, what happened to the book choice frequency poll? Has it been deleted?
(posted this in the wrong thread first time round)

message 28: by Louise (new)

Louise | 491 comments Mod
Yes I deleted it, to try to keep things clean and orderly since every other poll is for our book choices. The poll gave me the information that I needed so I didn’t see the point in leaving it up. 40% voted for choosing one book at a time with 6 week lead time and 20% voted for the same but with a 8 week lead time. So we are going to stick with a 6 week lead time for now. We can tweak later if we find it’s not long enough.

message 29: by Louise (new)

Louise | 491 comments Mod
Is anyone interested in leading our book club discussions? I can continue with nominations and polling but I don’t find I am having much success at moderating the monthly discussions. I would love to pass it on either to someone who wants to take over for all the discussions, or to volunteers who are willing to lead for particular months/books?

message 30: by Ken (new)

Ken (kensch) | 1 comments I just started my monthly subscription with “Good Behaviour” May ‘21 - is there any interest in reviving the group?

message 31: by WndyJW (last edited Jun 28, 2021 11:08AM) (new)

WndyJW | 288 comments If you post comments I think people will respond. I’ll start by saying that I read Good Behaviour years ago and remember liking it. It was not what I expected and would like to read it again some day.

message 32: by Michael (new)

Michael (myerstyson) | 30 comments I just started my subscription with The Stone Face.

message 33: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 288 comments This has all 4 and 5 star reviews, so it should be good.

message 34: by Seana (new)

Seana | 407 comments I saw this on a Lit Hub list of books to read this summer and it looks really intriguing.

message 35: by Janet (last edited Jul 08, 2021 06:54PM) (new)

Janet (janetevans) | 63 comments I’m way behind in keeping up with the nyrb book group selections, but was pleased to see recent posts here, which prompted me to read Good Behaviour. An astonishing study in delusion, especially self-delusion.
Just ordered two Tove Jansson works published by nyrb, Fair Play and The True Deceiver. Really liked her The Summer Book
Just received The Stone Face— looks interesting, as do his other novels, particularly those set in Philly.

message 36: by Kameron (new)

Kameron | 1 comments I too miss posts here. It would be nice to discuss the books in a “book club”. I’m reading Good Behavior. What strikes me most is the detail about British high culture - material culture. The clothes, the hats, the boots, cologne,etc. And she is an Irish author.

message 37: by Janet (new)

Janet (janetevans) | 63 comments Re: Good Behaviour, Yes, so true about the details of material culture of a certain British class, between the wars. I have some thoughts on this but will wait till you finish the book— don’t want to inadvertently introduce a spoiler into the comments!

message 38: by Seana (last edited Jul 08, 2021 10:33PM) (new)

Seana | 407 comments I do miss this book group discussion. It seems like it's hard to coordinate everyone, but maybe Ken (or someone else if Ken's not wanting to for some reason) could pick a date when those who were interested could discuss, or start discussing Good Behavior. I'm a bit overbooked, no pun intended, on reading group books right now, but I might be able to squeeze it in if there was a group interest here.

message 39: by Michael (new)

Michael (myerstyson) | 30 comments So do people want this group back? I'd be willing to co-head this group, if I could get some help. I miss it.

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