Laurie R. King Virtual Book Club discussion

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From Laurie: Where should the VBC go?

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message 1: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 92 comments Hello, friends! (And yes, I think of you in the VBC as my long-time friends.)

Seven years ago we opened up the Virtual Book Club here on Goodreads, having started it some years before on a private forum site. It’s been a great place to interact and share news and thoughts, but now that we’re opening up a Facebook group—for more general chatter and time-wasting (“The Beekeeper’s Apprentices” https://www.facebook.com/groups/83918... ) —I thought this would be a good time to take a survey of you all, loyal VBC citizens, and see where you’d like our Book Club to go.

I feel that the world of LRK readers is big enough for both ventures. I think that the BEEKS (the BAs?) opens up a place to natter on about all the odd topics that pop around in my writing, while the VBC functions as a club for the Friends of LRK who share a love of good books, where they can meet to talk about new books and writers the love.

(Essentially, the Goodreads format isn’t built to encourage side chatter, while the Facebook format is.)

So, what I hope to do (with the help of friends old and new) is focus on making the VBC a place where people come for active book talk. Open it up to new discussion leaders, maybe, and see what we can do about involving the authors of the books we’re reading.

But I’d like your feedback here. What do you like best about the VBC? What do you not much care for? What do you like and dislike about being here on Goodreads? Do you think we should vote on the books we discuss? Would you like to volunteer to lead a month’s discussion? Do you want to stick to mysteries or branch out into scifi and mainstream fiction? What do you think of discussing a graphic novel? Nonfiction? Cookbooks?

The VBC is YOUR book club—let us know where you want it to go.
Yours,
Laurie


message 2: by Lenore (new)

Lenore | 1079 comments I don't have a Facebook page, and will not get one, for a variety of reasons in which probably no one is interested. I would therefore hate for the Goodreads platform to go away on the theory that I can just be on Facebook instead. Because I can't.

The Virtual Book Club on Goodreads is actually my idea of a perfect book club. On the one hand, we read mostly books in which I am interested. On the other hand, if I am not interested, I just don't read it and don't participate in the discussion and no one is offended. I never have to clean my house and prepare snacks for the book club.If it's more convenient for me to engage in the club at 3 a.m. rather than at a "normal" hour, that works. If I think someone has offered a great comment, I can respond, but it I think someone's comment is inane, I can roll my eyes and no one will be offended.

There is actually a possibility to create threads with side chatter, which is nice, and which I can ignore if the side chatter is uninteresting to me.

I am certainly willing to branch out to other than mysteries. Myself, I read a lot of crime fiction and espionage fiction, but I also read a lot of other stuff. Literary novels and science fiction, and plenty of nonfiction, especially history but also behavioral economics and plenty of other stuff as well. I have led monthly discussions in the past, and am willing to do so in the future, although my ability to do so depends on my workload and whether the book is accessible to me. Graphic novels and cookbooks, not so much. (I used to love to cook. And then, one day about 30 or so years ago, I just wasn't interested anymore. Alas, I still love to eat.)

Was this a helpful comment? Is there something I can add that would be helpful in determining where the Goodreads site can/should go?


message 3: by Antoinette (new)

Antoinette | 186 comments I agree that the virtual book club is a good book club I do not want to see go away.


message 4: by Mary (new)

Mary (storytellermary) | 261 comments I'm relatively new, but I do enjoy it and would hate to see changes that would push people away.
I've also joined the FB group. Perhaps keep both as they are for now?


message 5: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 92 comments That’s what we’re thinking, Mary—and Lenore, there’s lots of folks who don’t do Facebook. Which I can certainly understand.
Laurie


message 6: by Dena (new)

Dena | 85 comments I'm with Lenore- I don't know your reasons, Lenore, for no FB, but for many reasons, I won't use it. Not the least because they will allow lying politicians to influence the (willfully) ignorant to try to ruin our (US) next election as they did the last one.
I hope the book club stays here! I'm glad I found it.


message 7: by Ladyhawk (new)

Ladyhawk | 12 comments Perfectly Stated Lenore. I enjoy the VBC on Goodreads as exactly that. I am open to other genres and suggestions. I may participate in the book thread on FB and am a member of several book groups. I am selective with what I see and whom I follow on FB and enjoy the book recommendations and discussion but it's usually brief unless designated. The discussion here is usually more in-depth and enjoyable.


message 8: by Laura (new)

Laura Stratton | 240 comments I belong to both groups and find them both entertaining and important. I would be very disappointed to see the VBC disapear. Even when I can't read the book of the month I enjoy the discussion.
As Laurie has mentioned Facebook discussion tends to be very random. I can't imagine trying to have a serious book discussion on Facebook.


message 9: by Erin (new)

Erin (tangential1) | 1638 comments Mod
I know a few people who really dislike Goodreads for being not very user-friendly, but I've always liked it (except the mobile page, which is terrible).

The big difference I can think between FB group and GR group is the transience of the discussion. FB posts are designed to be more in the moment: someone posts a thing and everyone responds to that thing and then the next post rolls in and the first is forgotten. You can sort of have back and forth in the reply thread, but those posts and discussions are not meant to be very long-lasting.

On Goodreads, on the other hand, I can pop in once a week and comment on fifty different threads if I want. I could think of something I want to say about a thread from six months ago and start it up again. All the old conversations are still there (for better or worse) and the format lends itself to organized discussion topics like book club.


message 10: by Linda (new)

Linda | 44 comments I too am a non-Facebook person because of their position on lying political ads, Cambridge Analytica, etc.

So I would stick with Goodreads. I rarely comment, but I do enjoy reading.


message 11: by Lenore (last edited Jan 13, 2020 07:01PM) (new)

Lenore | 1079 comments Erin wrote: "...I could think of something I want to say about a thread from six months ago and start it up again. All the old conversations are still there (for better or worse) ..."

Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention that that's another thing that's really good about this format, because sometimes one can't read the book in the month it's discussed, but a couple of months later, when one can read it, the previous comments are all there and one can take up the discussion.

And, oh yes, the mobile app is terrible.


message 12: by Dina (new)

Dina | 81 comments I must admit that I am having a problem with Goodreads because they will not monitor posts. For more on this go here:
https://www.patreon.com/posts/32921860

As a result I am torn between two organizations, FB and Goodreads, and cannot decide which is worse.


message 13: by Megan (new)

Megan | 97 comments As a long-time lurker, I will chime in to agree with the general sentiment that the two platforms fulfill separate, complementary purposes. I now spend more time on Goodreads than Facebook, but at other stages of my life I would have participated much more frequently in the FB group - I suspect that group will be more enticing to those who might just be discovering Laurie's work now, or are more casual readers, so some of those folks may eventually join here as well.

I hardly ever get around to reading this group's selections during the month they are discussed, but I always put them on my list to read eventually, and I have discovered many new-to-me authors here that I have gone on to read more broadly than the initial selection. I like that this group has a focus on mystery, since that's Laurie's primary genre - but I would be open to including other books selected by Laurie, particularly if she is able to lead the discussion for those selections. Since the one thing we all have in common is an enjoyment of her work, I think that Laurie should be the primary source of selections. I do like the idea of branching into different types of mystery stories, such as graphic novels, YA, nonfiction, etc.. I'm in several Goodreads groups with quarterly or monthly reading selections, plus multiple IRL book clubs, so I'm not looking for a general book club here, but something specific to Laurie's work and tastes.

Thank you to everyone who puts time and effort into moderating this group, leading and participating in discussions, etc. - please know that we lurkers appreciate you, even if we rarely come out of the shadows to express it.


message 14: by Ellen (new)

Ellen | 56 comments I joined the FB group but I love this group on Goodreads, I have found so many great books and authors I would never have heard about otherwise. I just finished book four in the Lady Sherlock series! I don't always read the book each month, but when I can I like coming in and checking out the comments. I occasionally post, but I'm more of a lurker. I like that there's no pressure here! I belong to four different boom clubs and trying to keep up with that all plus whatever I am interested in reading for myself can get to be too much sometimes.


message 15: by Dayna (new)

Dayna | 204 comments I haven’t been very active of late having skipped the last couple of books, but I would like to keep the Goodreads VBC.


message 16: by [deleted user] (new)

Hi, I haven’t been on Goodreads for ages but the new fb page has brought me back....

I have very much enjoyed the books and discussion here, often reading books I wouldn’t normally read. I like the idea of a crime/mystery related bookclub and would keep it that way. Do we need more leaders? Heavens it’s a tough job, done well by those who do it. Not sure I could even come near their insight and ability to weave all the comments together. I guess that other people may also want to try their hand, so why not open it up.

Do we need to vote on the book choices? I am in BRexit Britain/post election and totally fed up with voting for anything (I’ll get over it....give me time) and actually quite enjoy the surprise. I am sure there are other questions Laurie asked, but that’s my two pennyworth.


message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh just one other thing....yes it would be great to have authors of our reads come in for a q&a as Laurie has done in the past. I am associated with a local bookclub and they invited a local author along which was thoroughly enjoyed by both the author and her readers (ok, it was in a pub and alcohol and food was involved but you get what I mean).


message 18: by Kathy (new)

Kathy  (readr4ever) | 399 comments I'm in favor of keeping this Goodreads group and welcome the new FB page. Even though I can't always fit in reading the book for the book discussions, the ones I do read and discuss are a great experience. I hope to be able to participate in those discussions more this year. The virtual book club allows me to satisfy my desire to be in a book club. The FB page will be, and already has been, an excellent place to share quick conversation. I really think Erin expressed my thoughts exactly. Room and need for both formats.


message 19: by Kathy (new)

Kathy  (readr4ever) | 399 comments Pam wrote: "Oh just one other thing....yes it would be great to have authors of our reads come in for a q&a as Laurie has done in the past. I am associated with a local bookclub and they invited a local author..."

Pam, I had been thinking about the authors visiting the discussions for a bit of Q&A, too. I like that idea, but I think I'd like to see that at the end of the discussion, after we had all talked, at which time we would probably have plenty of questions to ask. I know that many of the authors I review on my blog would be happy to participate.


message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

Kathy you are right, at the end when we have questions: much more fruitful.


message 21: by Erin (new)

Erin (tangential1) | 1638 comments Mod
Kathy wrote: "Pam, I had been thinking about the authors visiting the discussions for a bit of Q&A, too. I like that idea, but I think I'd like to see that at the end of the discussion, after we had all talked, at which time we would probably have plenty of questions to ask."

We've had author Q&As here a few times in the past. I'm always excited when someone agrees to come visit. I agree with your thought, Kathy; having a separate Q&A thread after the discussion would be good. Having the author be part of the discussion can be stifling sometimes (like if you have a negative comment).


message 22: by Kathy (new)

Kathy  (readr4ever) | 399 comments Erin wrote: "Kathy wrote: "Pam, I had been thinking about the authors visiting the discussions for a bit of Q&A, too. I like that idea, but I think I'd like to see that at the end of the discussion, after we ha..."

Yes, I was concerned about that, too, from both ends--people not feeling as if they could discuss the book as freely or the author feeling badly if something negative was said.


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