You'll love this one...!! A book club & more discussion

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Closed Discussion Topic > CHANGE to Monthly Book & Theme Selections

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message 1: by Molly (new)

Molly | 270 comments Back in June, this group voted on a new method to select group reads 3 months at a time in advance to allow for greater time to plan, obtain and read the selections prior to the discussion. It does not appear that the goal of increased discussion participation has been met using this method. An alternate suggestion that was presented but did not get majority approval at the time was Cecily's idea. Jenny & I have decided to give her suggestion a try through the balance of the year to see if it works any better.

Going forward, we will be nominating and voting for books each month, to be discussed 2 months later. In other words, this month's winning vote getter will be discussed November 1st. Next month's winning vote getter will be discussed December 1st.

As Cecily pointed out when making her suggestion initially, this will keep the group involved in the process on a regular basis, while still giving enough advance notice to plan your reading accordingly.

Since we will be doing this each month again, to reduce some of the time involved in the nominating and voting process we would like to propose a change in the Theme selection.

As it stands now, people nominate themes, the group votes on them. The winning theme is announced. Then people nominate books to fit the theme, the group votes on them. The winning book is announced.

We are proposing that going forward, a dedicated topic/thread is set up in the group where people can submit themes via comments at any time year-round. Jenny will then pick a theme each month from the list and announce it to the group when calling for book nominations. This would allow us to keep the uniqueness of the themed reads, make the random selections fun in the surprise reveals each month and allow the voting process each month to be focused on the book titles and reduce the overall time involved.

Please leave a comment here within the next week letting us know if you think the new Theme submission idea is a good one or not. Once consensus has been reached we can begin the book selection process for November.

message 2: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl (cherylllr) June to September is not a good trial period - in fact as I understand it this system wasn't even implemented in June yet. What I'm saying is that participation depends second on being able to get a copy of the book, but first, at least for me, on being interested in it. I'll participate when I'm warned in time about a book that I *want* to read.

Other than that consideration, whatever you want to do is fine. Maybe an ongoing Theme topic will help (assuming I understand correctly the key part of the current suggestion).

I'll try to come up with a theme that will prompt nominations for specific books that I'd be likely to find appealing... :)

message 3: by Molly (new)

Molly | 270 comments Thanks Cheryl - yes, the main point for discussion here is whether or not we should create a continuous topic for theme nominations to pull monthly themes from for the group reads.

As for discussions, we arranged them in order of popularity - i.e. the ones receiving the largest amounts of votes for each theme got put on the schedule first. Very few of those who voted to read the books have shown up to discuss them, including one of the people who nominated the book itself. Maybe plotting them out too far in advance makes it easier to forget about intended reads? Maybe summer living got in the way? Hopefully the new method will make it easier for everyone to participate when the book is one that they want to read.

message 4: by Charmian (new)

Charmian (clo1) | 26 comments I must say I like the idea of having a continuous thread for themes, I find it a bit extraneous to have to pick a theme each month and then pick a book within that theme, could people comment on the thread if they like suggested themes and then the more popular ones are pulled out ?

message 5: by Molly (new)

Molly | 270 comments Charmian - I thought having a continuous thread for themes would be fun too. People could certainly comment on those suggested. You never know what might sway Jenny's choice from month to month ;0)

message 6: by Jenny, Group Creator - Honorary Moderator (new)

Jenny (notestothemoon) | 846 comments Ah the power :P kidding!

message 7: by Judy (new)

Judy (patchworkcat) | 5760 comments So, we still have the challenges to keep us chatting until November, right?

message 8: by Judy (new)

Judy (patchworkcat) | 5760 comments Do we know what the main reason(s) is why people don't participate in the group read? If its because they don't like the book, maybe we need to change the format. If that is the problem, I have an idea cooking that I need to refine a bit. I'll warn you it is a bit out of the box!

message 9: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 47169 comments Judy wrote: "So, we still have the challenges to keep us chatting until November, right?"

I think this thread is almost a year old. It refers to November 2010.

message 10: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 47169 comments Judy wrote: "Do we know what the main reason(s) is why people don't participate in the group read? If its because they don't like the book, maybe we need to change the format. If that is the problem, I have an ..."

I like ideas that are out of the box. What have you got in mind?

I think there are a number of reasons why people are not participating in the group reads. One may be that they don't like the book. More likely, it's time constraints.

If the group is a book for which I voted, I will read it. If it wasn't one of my votes, I will read it if it's on my TBR or wishlist.

I think interest dies out quickly if it's not facilitated or if people don't substantiate their opinions. If you really liked the book, tell the group why. If you hated it, tell us why? Simply stating a preference isn't discussion.

message 11: by Kate (new)

Kate Z (kgordon3) | 144 comments I try to read things and make things work for me. I do agree that sometimes it's hard to actually GET a book quickly - at least for the library readers among us. I don't purchase many books anymore. I missed the Phillip Roth challenge even though I voted for that book because I just didn't have time to get to the book. I did follow the discussion though.

Part of the problem, I think, at least in discussions, is the format of GoodReads itself. There are advantages and disadvantages to everything/every way of doing things but I know that there are two MAJOR factors FOR ME that limit my discussion(s) and they are entirely related to the GoodReads format.

#1 - I get email notices when there is a new comment but I have to follow the link to the GoodReads site in order to read them. I have a smart phone and *can* do that (not everyone even has that) but it's a pain for me to do that and try to read the discussion thread on my phone and, even when I do that (as I did with this particular thread) it's even more difficult for me to write/type a response. I wait until I get home to sit down at the computer, log back in, yadda yadda. That right there limits things for me because at least 75% of the time I don't get the chance to actually go back home and sit down at the computer while I'm thinking of it and write up a response.

#2 GoodReads only sends you an update the first time someone comments on a thread and doesn't send you another notification (that there are more comments) until you login and see the comments. So, for example, message #7, the message from Judy, is the only notification I get. If the email notification from Goodreads of the comment gets buried up in my In Box because I didn't get a chance to look at it pretty quickly after it came through, I miss/lose the entire thread.

I think that happens to me a LOT with the monthly book discussions. Someone comments and I don't get a chance to go and see what they said and then the comment email moves up up up in my email inbox and even if there is more discussion I don't see it ... it doesn't feel as "alive" to me.

I know that people hate that about Facebook - that they get notified EVERY time someone says something in the comment field but it does keep that "conversation" more present and alive/ongoing.

This is reminding me to go back and check the Moloka'i discussion because that has probably happened and I've probably missed (and therefore not contributed to) several comments.

message 12: by Sandy (new)

Sandy H (sandyquiltz) I'm simply commenting so you know I'm interested and reading the threads...! I tend to be a more immediate person--if something is three months from now then yes, I'm likely to completely forget about it. On the other hand, now that I have a Kindle I'd probably compensate for that by immediately downloading whatever book is the chosen read and then just hanging onto it until the appropriate time. I can understand the issue library readers would have getting hold of books. So, all that's to say that I basically will go along with whatever choice you make. I do agree that having a permanent thread for theme suggestions would speed up the process and allow for discussion--you would just need to periodically remind people that it exists and then remember to leave a comment on any themes that do get chosen, so they don't continue to get voted for/commented on after they've already been done.

And Kate, I'm definitely still a bit baffled by the way some things are set up in GoodReads. Conversations I thought I was following disappear, then others start appearing in my inbox that I didn't think I was following. I've messed with my email settings a few times but I'm still not figuring something out, clearly, and I'm pretty comfortable with this stuff normally. I love GR, but there are still some not-particularly user-friendly aspects to it!

message 13: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 47169 comments The waitlist at the library can be prohibitive to reading the book selected and may be one of the reasons people opt out of the discussions. Good point Kate.

I have a Kindle app on my iPad and it's great. At my last bookclub meeting, I had purchased and downloaded the next book before we'd left the meeting.

As for the problems with Goodreads, I'm going to start an ongoing thread devoted to how to get around Goodreads.

I have disabled the email notification because I use my email for work and don't want the distraction during the day. Everyone has their own personal preference about that.

One thing I've learned about Goodreads is not to ignore the tiny writing because there are some good tools hiding there. On the title bar for "Discussion Board" there is "topics: all|new|unread". I always click on "unread" and all the topics that I haven't read are listed. When I first started on Goodreads, I only looked at the first four items in each section because that was the way the discussion boards were set up.

Sandy, you can go onto your profile and disable the email option which is what I think you've done. But you can override that for individual threads by clicking on the "email me when people reply" at the bottom of the comment box. Just take a double check before you post to see if that box is checked or unchecked.

As for an ongoing suggestions thread for the ongoing monthly read, there is one: :)

message 14: by Amber (new)

Amber I have only read one of the monthly selections for two reasons. First, life is a bit hectic and second, none of the choices have struck me as exciting enough to want to make time for the title. And I'll admit, the one book I did read didn't strike me as very thrilling and I didn't feel compelled to even comment on it. I just couldn't come up with anything to say. That being said, I *am* disappointed that I wasn't able to make time for this month's read because it sounded quite interesting. I've not been allowing myself to read the discussion because at some point I'd like to tackle the story and I don't want to spoint it for myself! I will be doing my best to participate in the discussion for the July title because I read that one last year and absolutely loved it. And, it has made for great discussion among my friends and I.

As for picking titles in advance. . . One of my in-person book clubs tends to pick our titles 3-6 months in advance for multiple reasons, one of which is that everyone's schedule is always changing and we need to make sure that everyone has enough time to get their hands on a copy and get it read. So I, personally, think that picking titles to be read several months in the future is a great idea for that same reason, but I'm wondering if there's a way we can remind ourselves sooner than 7 days before the start of the month that the title is coming up. Perhaps this is just a matter of my needing to change my notification settings. Or putting a post-it on my bathroom mirror! :)

message 15: by Amber (last edited Jun 13, 2011 05:13PM) (new)

Amber I'd also like to say that when I first joined the group, I was more of a 'sit back and listen to what everyone else has to say' member. I'm working on becoming a more avid participant. Talking about books is so much fun!!

message 16: by Judy (new)

Judy (patchworkcat) | 5760 comments Janice wrote: "Judy wrote: "So, we still have the challenges to keep us chatting until November, right?"

I think this thread is almost a year old. It refers to November 2010."

Oops! How did I get on that thread? Oh well, it started some more good discussion.

message 17: by Amber (new)

Amber Wow. I even reread that post 3x and still didn't catch that we were almost a year beyond what it was talking about. I think the comment about challenges threw me because I thought they were new to the group as of this past month. Ah, well, what are you gonna do?

message 18: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 47169 comments Judy wrote: "Janice wrote: "Judy wrote: "So, we still have the challenges to keep us chatting until November, right?"

I think this thread is almost a year old. It refers to November 2010."

Oops! How did I ge..."

You had me scratching my head, Judy. I looked at your comment and was wondering about the significance of November. Then I scrolled backwards to get the gist of the thread. It was a good chuckle.

You're right, it has started some great discussion.

message 19: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 47169 comments Amber wrote: "I'd also like to say that when I first joined the group, I was more of a 'sit back and listen to what everyone else has to say' member. I'm working on becoming a more avid participant. Talking ab..."

I'm so glad that you are coming out of the lurker mode. :)

message 20: by Judy (new)

Judy (patchworkcat) | 5760 comments I think I'll do this about once a month and see if everyone is awake. LOL!

message 21: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 47169 comments LOL! Good plan. :)

message 22: by Jaylabelle (new)

Jaylabelle | 8 comments Hi!
I can only speak for myself, but I'm finding it hard to keep up. I don't have a lot of time to read, but then sometimes it's not easy to get a hold of the book on time.
For example, I got this month's book a couple of days ago in the mail, it's 400 pages long and I have, with a lot of luck, an hour and a half a day to read... and I'm still trying to finish last month's book. Even if I read both at the same time, I don't think I would make it on time to comment about it on a timely manner.
Sorry I'm a bit whiny today. I miss having time to read.

message 23: by Janice, Moderator (new)

Janice (jamasc) | 47169 comments I certainly understand. The book club I belong to meets every 2 months and sometimes people have trouble getting the book. At least we then can lend the book to our friends. In an online book club, it's a little harder. :)

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