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Archive 08-19 GR Discussions > Attention Chunky (reads) Chicks UPDATED

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message 1: by Tera, First Chick (new)

Tera | 2564 comments Mod
I added Fall of Giants to the group bookshelf but i did so with some misgivings because now there are two with a possible third chunky read coming up at once.
That's way too many to count as group reads in my opinion. So here is what I am asking you for the future and maybe some brainstorming is in order.

**First can we define what is considered a "Chunky" read. 500 pages? 700 pages? 1000+ pages?
Defining that will help with the next voting session.

**How long can a chunky read go on for? Discussions that are drawn out get lost and so do the people discussing it. Basically I'm asking that we commit to chunky reads not dominating the main page for 3 months? 2 Months? What is a reasonable time to read and discuss a chunky read?

**In the future I am going to say the book that wins the vote for the next chunky read is the book I'm putting on the bookshelf. Because I have decided to shelf the groups chunky reads it will get crazy if there is a vote but half of the books voted on then become the chunky reads.

**Which brings me to the last thing; Voting. Do you want a poll that determines the next chunky read and then a poll after that so on and so forth? Or do you want a poll and then top 5 books are then your next 5 books to read? If the latter is the case then a reading schedule that doesn't overlap each other is what I am asking for. Chunky reads that overlap cause people to make a choice of which one they will participate in and which they wont because most cant/wont or dont want to read multiple chunkys at a time.

Books that don't win the vote or arent agreed upon to be an official chunky read with a schedule that doesn't edge over another I think fall more into a group read. Which is great - it's why we started the group reads and I hope that is considered when a book you want to read with friends doesn't necessarily win the voting or fall into the decided upon reading schedule.

Does that make sense? Please discuss this and talk it out. Ultimately Meg and I will try to come up with something that works for everyone with the opinions shared here.


Elizabeth (Alaska) I'm with you Brenda. I've put on 10+ pounds since joining this group, but I'm not sure I want to claim being a "chunky chick." ;-)

As to the rest of the above, whatever anyone wants is fine with me.

message 3: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments Haha, I was scared when I saw chunky chicks too. I am sad to admit I am one ............That being said. What happened this time is that everyone wanted to vote for more than one book and we decided to go with the books that didn't win when there seemed to be a group wanting to do more. I think this is a one time thing.
That being said, I would like chunkies to be 700-750 pages minimum, if that is agreed upon. The chunkies last usually 2 months, unless it is an exceptionally slow read.
What do the rest of you think?

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) First of all, none of us lovely ladies are chunky, we are just curvy. :) I think the 700 page minimum as Meg said and the time should be 1-2 months. I like the idea, Tera of having a poll, voting, and then the top 3-5 become the next chunkies for the next 5-10 months. This way everyone knows the schedule for awhile and it eliminates the need to vote every two months.

That being said, I will happily go along with whatever everyone else wants to do.

message 5: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (cyndil62) | 1774 comments I prefer to call it fluffy myself!! :)

message 6: by Amy (new)

Amy | 59 comments I really like a lot of what Tera laid out for us.

- I think a chunky read should be at least over 750 pages.
- I know when I read a chunky book, I give myself about a month, but it doesn't usually take that long. I am a one-book-at-a-time kind of reader, so when I'm reading a chunky book, I'm all in. When I read through the Outlander series, I averaged about 3-4 weeks per book. However, I don't typically read one chunky read right after another. So, it might be nice to pad the schedule with some breathing room.
- I'm a little torn about the voting thing. A schedule might be good. Since these are large books, it might be nice to see what's coming up and be able to plan accordingly.

Tera, this is just my opinion based on my own personal reading preferences, but I hope that this helps you and the group a little. You asked some direct questions so I thought I'd try to give you something to work with.

Also, can I propose something to the group? Would it be possible to select something that is not a hardcover? For example, I know that Fall of Giants is a very popular chunky read right now, but I'm just not in a position to purchase a book like that right now.'s just a thought.

message 7: by Elena (new)

Elena | 129 comments I like the idea of knowing in advanced what we are reading.

Amy, I think this is the first time we are reading a new hardcover release. That's in part why we are reading two chunkies at a time now.

message 8: by Jayme (new)

Jayme (jaymetheghostreader) | 4881 comments I think we should have a choice between two chunky reads to read for our group reads. So some people can read choice A and if they don't like choice A, they can read choice B.

Elizabeth (Alaska) Our chunky reads are instead of or in addition to our group reads.

I like the 700-750 page minimum. I don't know about having 4-5 books scheduled ahead, but I do like to know ahead of time. I often have my reading planned 2-3 months in advance, so knowing how/when to slip in one of the chunkies is advantageous. I'm not sure we need to schedule more than that far in advance - tastes change. I agree about not having new releases as one of the reads - I seldom buy hardbacks and a month is a little long for a library loan.

message 10: by Jayme (new)

Jayme (jaymetheghostreader) | 4881 comments I meant that we should have two options for our chunky reads so people can read book A or book B.

Elizabeth (Alaska) Well, since Meg usually leads our chunky reads selection, I think asking her to lead 2 selections and also hold down a full time job is probably a bit much.

message 12: by Jayme (new)

Jayme (jaymetheghostreader) | 4881 comments I wasn't suggesting she lead two discussions. Omne person can volunteer to lead Book A and another person can volunteer to lead Book B if we decided to do two chunkies.

message 13: by Jennifer W (new)

Jennifer W | 2175 comments I think part of what prompted Tera to post this in the first place is that there are currently 2 chunkies going on right now and what if someone wanted to read both of them? It's tough to be able to commit to 2 chunkies at once. I'm with Elizabeth, I don't think I want to plan 5 or more months down the road for a chunky read, but 2 months in advance seems good. I think polls like what we do for our monthly books would work, too, with the top 2 vote getters being our next reads. Also, if we plan further than that, new chunky readers would have to "put up" with the books we've chosen. Just my 2 cents, I'm game for however we wind up doing this.

message 14: by Shay (new)

Shay | 284 comments I don't like the idea of planning for five months out. It means that when a book like Fall of Giants comes out, there's no flexibility. I agree with Jennifer that 2 months is good because it gives people an opportunity to request books from the library or try to find it used. I do like having two choices, though, because I never know what I'll feel like reading. I think as far as length, it should be kind of flexible depending on how difficult a read it is. I found Fall of Giants to be an easy and quick read compared to, say, Ulysses which is shorter. But, I hate to complain because it's just nice to be able to read and discuss books with other people who are well-read and not petrified by the thought of reading something more intellectually challenging than the current issue of People or US Weekly.

message 15: by bridgette ✨ (new)

bridgette ✨ (bridgettef) I like the idea of voting and the top 3 or 5 are the next 3 or 5 chunky reads coming up! That way if I wanted to read both of the top 2 books and the main group is doing number 1 and a branch-off group is doing #2, I don't have to choose!

I think a month to a month and a half is a good time span, and I agree with 700+ pages.

message 16: by Sheila , Supporting Chick (last edited Oct 28, 2010 03:40PM) (new)

Sheila  | 3485 comments Mod
Just to add my input in the discussion, here are my thoughts on Tera's questions:

Define chunky read: I would say at least 700+ pages, and personally I love getting close to the 1000+ mark.

How long to read: I think chunkies should try to be read in 2 months or less. If it was a 1000 page book, and we had 60 days, that is only 17 pages a day to read, which should be do-able for most.

Winner of the vote is the next chunky read: I agree this should be the case.

Voting question: I don't mind there being voting, and the top 3 being the next 3 read, or even the top 5 being the next 5 read (though that would pretty much fill the whole years chunky schedule). Since the number of 700+ or 1000+ page books is more limited than the number of regular books, I could see the same books getting nominated over and over, which might get redundant in repeated voting.

New question from me: Is there a way to make polls where you can vote for more than one book? I think part of what happened with the last chunky vote is that people voted for the one book allowed, then the discussion got started on how some would have voted for other books too, so the talk of doing several chunky reads got started, and now I think there are two going on (GWTW & Fall of Giants) and I think Moby Dick is going to be starting soon too, right??
If we could vote for more than one book, maybe there could be a "big" chunky vote held to schedule the next year worth of chunky reads. Get all the nominations in, and do a "vote for your top 6" poll. The top 6 vote getters would bet scheduled to be read over the next year, one every 2 months. Any not in the top 6, then is someone wants to read them they can do it in the buddy reads section. (just a thought)

I personally would appreciate it if the chunky schedule didn't overlap, meaning that only 1 chunky book was being read at a time. That way if I wanted to read and participate in both discussions I could. If they were being read at the same time I would be forced to choose, as I would not want to try to commit to reading two chunkies at the same time.

I don't have a problem with non-winning books going into the "buddy reads" section for people that want to read those. I believe that is what the buddy read section was started for, correct?

Ok, those are my thoughts on Tera's questions. :o)

I just scanned all the other comments again too, and the only other thing is that I agree it might be best to keep new release books out of the vote. New release hardcover books are not in the budget for many people, and being able to check them out of the library for a 2 month long scheduled read is not usually an option either. So chunkies should probably be older books that people can pick up copies of for cheaper. Maybe new release chunkies would be better left for the buddy reads section?

message 17: by Tracy (new)

Tracy Phillips Getting involved in a chunky read with the group sounds like fun :o) I do have one question. It sounds like from the above discussion that we may have one or two chunky reads in our group read section that would last two months. In addition would there still be group reads for fiction (or what have you) books(that do not qualify as chunky reads) on the regular 2 week group read cycle?

message 18: by Amy (new)

Amy | 59 comments I second everything that Sheila said. Thanks for laying it out so well! I also loved the use of the phrase "chunky schedule." I don't know why that tickled me so much, but it did. Also, could a 1000+ page book be called "extra-chunky"? I'm suddenly craving peanut butter... :P

message 19: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments I must be admit that Fall of Giants, or an immediate new release was because I couldn't wait. I have been waiting so long for Follett to write another book, it was like opening my presents before Christmas. usually, this doesn't happen!

message 20: by Shay (new)

Shay | 284 comments Would it be possible to have two threads for the winning book? A slower one and a more accelerated one? Does anyone besides me devour books? I think I read Fall of Giants in under 2 weeks- could have done it in a few days if I weren't reading a bunch of other books.

message 21: by Sheila , Supporting Chick (last edited Oct 28, 2010 05:59PM) (new)

Sheila  | 3485 comments Mod
Shay, I think that is where Fall of Giants is different from what some of the past chunky reads have been, and why I think books like it (new release, popular reads with many pages) might be better as "Buddy Reads" than "Chunky reads".

I picture chunky reads as being some of those big, old books that you have heard about, those big classics, that can be a stuggle to get through. Books such as past chunky readsAtlas Shrugged, War and Peace, The Count of Monte Cristo, and the upcoming Moby-Dick or, The Whale.

These are all books that many people struggle to get through and read, and making them a group chunky read, with a planned schedule of up to 8 weeks, and a shared discussion with others who are struggling to get through these books, makes them much more tolerable to read. Personally I never would have finished Atlas Shrugged if I had been reading it on my own. But reading it with the chunky read group encouraged me to stick with it and finish it, which feels like an accomplishment to me. :o)

So this is the type of book I picture chunky reads to be. Big, tough books that take the encouragement of a group to read.

If Fall of Giants is a total page-turner that people are burning through and finishing in a couple days, it probably isn't what I picture in my mind as being a chunky read.

But that is just my thinking. What do others think?

message 22: by Elizabeth (Alaska) (last edited Oct 28, 2010 06:37PM) (new)

Elizabeth (Alaska) Observation about how it has worked in the past. About half way through the current chunky read we discuss what the next one will be. Meg has given us 3-4 weeks between reads for us to take a breath and gather our resources. Note that only has there been only 1 chunky at a time, but there has been a break between them. This worked well for some time. We typically had a reading schedule of about 100 pages per week. Some people have a busy schedule. Actually I prefer a somewhat more accelerated schedule, but I discovered that if I read ahead, the discussion became less meaningful to me. While I'm normally a monogamous reader, I've found that I can dovetail my shorter reads with the longer ones.

message 23: by Shay (new)

Shay | 284 comments But some are more "dense" than others, I think, Sheila. I found Count of Monte Cristo easy to read, it's more a matter of length. I think it would take longer to read something shorter like Ulysses. The "Count" and "Bleak House" to me are an issue because of length only because other than that they're pretty easy reads. To me, they're still books you could finish in a weekend if you had the time. When I think of something that actually requires a long time because, maybe, you might only want to read 30-50 pages a day, I think of books more like War and Peace or Atlas Shrugged. I read very quickly though- I go through about 550 books a year, usually more. (About 15,000-20,000 pages a month.)

Marialyce (absltmom, yaya) Shay, I know I have said this before, but you are amazing! 550 books year!

I, myself, like the idea of two books at a time. Choices can be made and for those of us who read quickly, you have longer books, if that is to your liking, to read jointly with a group of book friends. I, myself, read a number of books at a time, so I can devote the in between time to the others I am involved with.

It does seem that the current chunky is taking too long and I think it is because of the context of the reading. It is an easy read and does not need a lot of "brain power" to read. (I am loving it though and Jo is doing a great job moderating) I do agree with Shay, that the content determines the length at many times. You can read a non chunky that takes a week because you have to re read it a number of times (Tinkers) and you can read a chunky (Fall of Giants) that will take you much less time than that.

Again, however, whatever the majority feel is worthwhile, I will gladly go along with.

message 25: by Shay (new)

Shay | 284 comments Marialyce wrote: "Shay, I know I have said this before, but you are amazing! 550 books year!

I, myself, like the idea of two books at a time. Choices can be made and for those of us who read quickly, you have long..."

Exactly, Marialyce. I'm talking about maybe having an accelerated schedule for something like Gone With the Wind, that's more of a light read. The pace is kind of throwing me off. So, I don't have enough to read in one day, so I start another book, then I get wrapped up in that book. The next thing I know, I'm behind. That's also why the minimum page count should be a guideline because I think something like The Oresteia: Agamemnon; The Libation Bearers; The Eumenides, which is 336 pages on the GR count, could conceivably take 4-6 weeks.

There are plenty of "chunky" reads. I don't know what it says about our times, but I can think of quite a few books in the 70's that were chunkies. So, I think there are plenty of choices.

Elizabeth (Alaska) We seem to be just going round and round. I would like to suggest that Meg, who started the chunky reads and has been, for the most part, our fearless leader, put up 3-5 titles for a vote. We would read the top 2 in succession and on a schedule of her choice. However, I see the desire for other chunky reads. Perhaps those of you who would want additional chunky reads could put them up in the buddy reads section. I don't mean this in any kind of demeaning way because the way we have always done our chunky reads is actually a buddy read.

message 27: by bridgette ✨ (new)

bridgette ✨ (bridgettef) 15,000 pages a month?! I could not imagine. I am a slower reader than most :(

message 28: by Nancy (new)

Nancy | 1278 comments I have really enjoyed my first chunky read this year and am pretty happy with the way things are. I've been lurking through GWTW as I am behind and in a project situation on my job. I'm not sure I could keep up with any acelerated read. Its not an issue of speed of reading, but my average work week is 10-12 hr days. I would prefer the usual 'chucky schedule' for us 'fluffy' working chics.

message 29: by Tera, First Chick (new)

Tera | 2564 comments Mod
Meg and I have discussed everything and gone over this thread. This is the plan at the moment.

Chunky reads are 750 minimum.
Chunky reads take 4-6 weeks for discussion.
Chunky reads will be decided about 2-3 books in advance so people can plan and get the book.
Chunky reads will likely not be a new release unless by overwhelming demand.
Chunky reads will only be one at a time and not overlap one another.
Chunky reads not picked for group reads can move to buddy reads or wait to be picked at another time possibly.
Chunky reads have Meg for mother hen... ie she rules the roost when it comes to voting and schedule and I trust her to ammend things as needed.


Elizabeth (Alaska) Thanks for working through the various options. Nice to have it clearly stated.

message 31: by Nancy (new)

Nancy | 1278 comments Thanks for everything you all do so conscientiously!

message 32: by Amy (new)

Amy | 59 comments Everything sounds great! Thanks, Tera and Meg, for working through all our thoughts and comments and putting it all together in such clear way.

message 33: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments Thanks Tera for posting this and making it so concise. I think we will all be able to follow along easily now.

message 34: by Meg (new)

Meg (megvt) | 3069 comments OK so at this point Moby Dick will move to buddy reads. Whoever would like to do that, please step up and start a thread over in buddy reads. Start thinking about nominating our next book as FOG will be ending in a few weeks. I will start a thread for nominations in a week or two.

message 35: by Jayme (new)

Jayme (jaymetheghostreader) | 4881 comments Sounds good.

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