Reading the Chunksters discussion

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message 1: by Loretta (new)

Loretta (lorettalucia) I thought it might be useful to open up a thread where group members could make recommendations etc. for how to improve the group (increasing the number of books we read, reading "better" books, increasing posting/activity within the group, and so on). Don't feel compelled to make a recommendation (0or complaint) if you don't have any, but if you do, this is the place to do it.

(You can also separately PM me, Kristi, or Andrea, if you don't want to post publicly.)

And, of course, please be polite when giving your recommendations (as I expect you all would anyway)!


message 2: by Shea (new)

Shea The only thing I can suggest is that each book read has separate threads for each section. It seems the side reads get lumped into one thread and that makes it harder, especially if you get behind, to keep track of which posts belong where.


message 3: by Loretta (new)

Loretta (lorettalucia) Shea wrote: "The only thing I can suggest is that each book read has separate threads for each section. It seems the side reads get lumped into one thread and that makes it harder, especially if you get behind..."

I can understand the concern, but the idea of the side reads is to make them a little bit less work for the mods (and to prevent the home page from getting cluttered).


message 4: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie i can't tell a lie this is one of the best groups i've been in. everyone is nice and opinions of all are really taken into consideration.

is there a place, that can easily be found, where details of the group rules etc. are posted?


message 5: by Loretta (new)

Loretta (lorettalucia) Stephanie wrote: "i can't tell a lie this is one of the best groups i've been in. everyone is nice and opinions of all are really taken into consideration.

is there a place, that can easily be found, where details ..."


Nope, and there probably should be, though to be honest I'm not sure we have an actual list of rules we follow...


message 6: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie hahaha!...yes...isn't that true of all good groups. the rules are implied and for the most part followed. :D how can you argue with that! :D


message 7: by Loretta (new)

Loretta (lorettalucia) Stephanie wrote: "hahaha!...yes...isn't that true of all good groups. the rules are implied and for the most part followed. :D how can you argue with that! :D"

Well, I think the mods should probably huddle and come up with a list, though I think Kristi's been a little quiet lately...


message 8: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Loretta wrote: "Stephanie wrote: "hahaha!...yes...isn't that true of all good groups. the rules are implied and for the most part followed. :D how can you argue with that! :D"

Well, I think the mods should probab..."


i would really like that, really, really, really...


message 9: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 885 comments Stephanie wrote: "is there a place, that can easily be found, where details of the group rules etc. are posted? "

I'm not sure rules are needed, other than maybe "be respectful," "no personal attacks," and "no spoilers." I haven't seen any inappropriate behaviors, so either there haven't been any, or the moderators have dealt with any swiftly and unobtrusively.

Making rules tends, I think, to make people more formalistic, and can lead to arguments about whether somebody is or is not following the rules; if there's a rule and somebody does a bad thing that isn't against the rules, does that mean it's unfair to boot them?

I think the best way is if people see behavior they think would break a reasonable rule if the rule were written down, tell a moderator, and if there are repeated offenses by several posters, that suggests that the rule is necessary. Otherwise, why make the moderators go to the trouble of drafting rules, having (inevitably) people try to edit them, and maybe have a long thread about what should and should not be a rule?

Just my personal opinion, but I will say that my group has worked fine without any rules, and I've only had to boot one person for misbehavior and only occasionally have to remind folks, when discussions get heated, to tone it down. I think the key to good moderation is first, of course, to have good members, but second, to be proactive and head off trouble before it becomes trouble. I think the mods here do a great job, personally, and don't really see that they need to create rules unless they think they're necessary (which they haven't seemed to be up to now).

This is a much longer response than I had intended to post, but it's easier to write at length than briefly.


message 10: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Everyman wrote: "Stephanie wrote: "is there a place, that can easily be found, where details of the group rules etc. are posted? "

I'm not sure rules are needed, other than maybe "be respectful," "no personal att..."


not rules about behavior etc. but rules about voting and discussion leading, book picking etc.

we definitely don't need the other kind of rules! :)


message 11: by Amanda (new)

Amanda This is of the most insightful, respectful and community minded groups I have come across on Goodreads. Thank you to everyone for that!

My only niggle, as mentioned before, is falling behind on side reads, where you have to decide between risking spoilers, or not going to the discussion, which is what most people seem to do and after a while the discussion starts to die off. I sympathise with not cluttering the home page though.

Also, if the person who nominated a book doesn't step up to lead the discussion, perhaps a volunteer could be found amidst the voters as with Mists of Avalon? After all, if it is the popular choice, there must be a majority who still want to read it and someone amongst them who might be willing to take on the duty. Failing that, it should fall to the second choice book and so forth.

It might also be helpful to make a distinction between what it considered a classic and what is contemporary? One of the reasons I didn't join in East of Eden was because it was too contemporary for me to find a copy available on Gutenberg to read during my lunch breaks at work.


message 12: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 885 comments Amanda wrote: "My only niggle, as mentioned before, is falling behind on side reads, where you have to decide between risking spoilers, or not going to the discussion, which is what most people seem to do and after a while the discussion starts to die off. I sympathise with not cluttering the home page though.

Also, if the person who nominated a book doesn't step up to lead the discussion, perhaps a volunteer could be found amidst the voters as with Mists of Avalon? After all, if it is the popular choice, there must be a majority who still want to read it and someone amongst them who might be willing to take on the duty."


I approve of this comment. I agree that the moderators shouldn't be burdened with the obligation to deal with side reads on to of the regular selections, but perhaps side read shouldn't be set up unless there is a volunteer to moderate the discussion at least to the extent of setting up a reading schedule and appropriate threads for progressive discussion. If the regular moderators set up a Discussion Topic for the side read, the volunteer can set up the necessary threads within it without having to bother the moderators.


message 13: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Another thing that came to mind is notification of sidereads. The polls for the main reads are ample enough warning, but I missed the proposition and start of Pillars of the Earth, which I'd have quite liked to get involved in. Could moderators send out general messages advertising the start of a side read?


message 14: by Loretta (new)

Loretta (lorettalucia) Amanda wrote: "Another thing that came to mind is notification of sidereads. The polls for the main reads are ample enough warning, but I missed the proposition and start of Pillars of the Earth, which I'd have ..."

You didn't get the automatically generated "Reading the Chunksters is about to read..." email? Because those are supposed to serve this purpose, and I believe they've been sent out about everything.


message 15: by Amanda (new)

Amanda I get them for the main ones definately, but I'm almost 100% certain I didn't get a Pillars one for some reason. I might have gotten emails about The Three Musketeers and Uncle Silas but I can't recall either way - I was already aware of their start dates, so maybe I dismissed these messages from my mind.

If we already have a system in place that works, then I withdraw my suggestion!


message 16: by Loretta (new)

Loretta (lorettalucia) Amanda wrote: "I get them for the main ones definately, but I'm almost 100% certain I didn't get a Pillars one for some reason. I might have gotten emails about The Three Musketeers and Uncle Silas but I can't r..."

It's possible that we didn't post the start dates for Pillars early enough for the message to go out. But I know that we generally mark the books as to-read and select a start date, and rely on the automatic GR emails. But let us know if those aren't going out as they should.


message 17: by Sera (new)

Sera I am relatively new to the group but I did participate in the Pillars read and enjoyed it very much. I think that rules about book selection, timing etc would be helpful, but I prefer a more simplistic approach, which hopefully wouldn't cause much work for the moderators.

I would like see the group have more books going if others are interested. For me, I would like to work on a chunkster over a long period of time between my other reads. Maybe we can work one more into the rotation and to see how things go?

By the way, kudos to the mods for opening up this dialogue.


message 18: by Loretta (new)

Loretta (lorettalucia) @ Sera: If you'd like to get more reads going, suggest one in the side reads thread and offer to lead it. We're always open to having more than 2 reads going.


message 19: by Amanda (new)

Amanda If I may chip in, I am of the opposite persuasion. The books this group picks are excellent and I find myself wanting to read them all but unable to do so. At the level we read them now, it isn't too bad, but if we start introducing more books I think people are going to miss loads of books they really want to read because of prior commitments. At one point I was reading three chunksters and that seemed a little too much.


message 20: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Amanda wrote: "If I may chip in, I am of the opposite persuasion. The books this group picks are excellent and I find myself wanting to read them all but unable to do so. At the level we read them now, it isn't..."

i only do one at a time, sorry! i love that there are more options out there and i love that, should i choose to read any of the others, there's a schedule and comments.


message 21: by Sera (last edited Nov 12, 2011 10:51AM) (new)

Sera Loretta wrote: "@ Sera: If you'd like to get more reads going, suggest one in the side reads thread and offer to lead it. We're always open to having more than 2 reads going."

Sure thing, Loretta, if other members are interested. Thus far, there doesn't appear to be any.


message 22: by Judy (new)

Judy (patchworkcat) Loretta, this is good info about the side reads being open for members to start. I've always wanted to read Great Expectations, maybe next year I'll have the opportunity to suggest it for a side reads.


message 23: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (kristicoleman) Loretta wrote: "Stephanie wrote: "hahaha!...yes...isn't that true of all good groups. the rules are implied and for the most part followed. :D how can you argue with that! :D"

Well, I think the mods should probab..."


We can totally do that...sorry for being quiet lately, been dealing with a case of whiplash that won't let up, so my neck has really been buggin me.


message 24: by Kristi (last edited Nov 14, 2011 08:13AM) (new)

Kristi (kristicoleman) Ok, let me clarify about the side reads. We added side reads for those of you who want to read more than just the main reads that we vote on. They are all in one thread so that we don't clutter up the main site and also so that the side reads don't get confused as group reads. Since for the side reads there is no mod that is "responsible" we decided to let the side reads be a bit more organic in their threads and kind of flow. That being said, if we want to change it up, we can totally do that.

If there is a book that you want to read, please post about it in the side reads thread and gather some people who want to read with you, then submit your outline and plan to the mods and we will approve and set up your thead.

The 3 mods will work to put these rules up where they are visible and you can refer to them...maybe in a "rules" thread? We'll work on it as well as incorporating any changes that will help the group be more fun and social!

Keep the ideas coming!


message 25: by Sera (new)

Sera Kristi wrote: "Ok, let me clarify about the side reads. We added side reads for those of you who want to read more than just the main reads that we vote on. They are all in one thread so that we don't clutter up ..."

Sounds great, Kristi! Thanks for the feedback.


message 26: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (kristicoleman) Sera wrote: "Sounds great, Kristi! Thanks for the feedback."

No problem! Let me know if I can help with anything else!


message 27: by Amanda (new)

Amanda For information, I've been wanting to read Great Expectations.


message 28: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (kristicoleman) Amanda wrote: "For information, I've been wanting to read Great Expectations."

Great...you should post in the side reads section and see if there is anyone else who wants to join you...I know I'd do it if I had time!


message 29: by Juliette (new)

Juliette Amanda wrote: "For information, I've been wanting to read Great Expectations."

Ditto


message 30: by Martha (new)

Martha (marthas48) I hope to read it next year. Just don't have time now.


message 31: by Bucket (new)

Bucket I just have a suggestion that is simple and could help with the 'danger of reading spoilers in the sidereads threads' issue without burdening any moderator or discussion leader. If everyone agreed to put the chapter they are in of a book as the first line of every comment made in a sidereads thread, then members could glance at that and choose whether or not to read the comment based on how far along they are in comparison to the commenter.


message 32: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (kristicoleman) Bucket wrote: "I just have a suggestion that is simple and could help with the 'danger of reading spoilers in the sidereads threads' issue without burdening any moderator or discussion leader. If everyone agreed ..."

Great Idea!!! I second this idea!


message 33: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Bucket wrote: "I just have a suggestion that is simple and could help with the 'danger of reading spoilers in the sidereads threads' issue without burdening any moderator or discussion leader. If everyone agreed ..."

Such a simple, yet effective system! Could we adopt this, please?


message 34: by Loretta (new)

Loretta (lorettalucia) That makes sense, and helps avoid all the toher problems (clutter, etc.) with changing the sidereads threads. We'll incorporate this into our next side read.


message 35: by Loretta (last edited Nov 15, 2011 09:02AM) (new)

Loretta (lorettalucia) All: We're working on a "rules" list right now. I think it's probably a good idea to delay the next nomination/voting until those are finalized. But I was guessing most people wouldn't want to start a new book until January anyway, right? So a delay of a few days shouldn't be a big deal.


message 36: by Loretta (new)

Loretta (lorettalucia) All - a new thread, Guidelines for Group Membership, has been posted.

I closed that particular thread to discussions (just because we want that thread to be easily accessed and not confusing) but questions can be brought up here.

Please note especially Rule 9. I think one problem/concern we had, which caused some problems in previous nominations/voting rounds, was that we wanted the voting and nominations to be completely democratic, and yet we had members of the group who would nominate and vote, but then never participated in reading. Therefore, some of the group reads were not actually reflective of what the active members wanted to read. Therefore, we've decided to remove all non-active participants from the group. I will be sending an email out shortly to all group members letting them know we're going to do this.

Of course, no one who is here often and who has participated in/commented on this thread would be removed, so please don't be alarmed by the email when it goes out.

Thanks!


message 37: by Loretta (new)

Loretta (lorettalucia) Also, I will be waiting until after we have removed the inactive members to open up threads for nominations for our next two reads (so only active members have the opportunity to nominate and vote). This might delay our reads by a week or two, but I think it's the better choice in this case.


message 38: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (kristicoleman) good idea Loretta. makes sense.


message 39: by ~Geektastic~ (new)

 ~Geektastic~ (atroskity) My activity seems to wax and wane, depending on the situation. I'm going to go ahead and remove myself, as I don't really fall under the criteria for the overall removal but I'm definitely not contributing as much as I should. I hope to come back and be more regularly active someday, when I have more time to participate the way this group deserves. Thanks everyone!


message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

I really enjoy reading the discussions but often don't have much to say so I'm going to make a real effort to contribute more to the reads I'm following after this message. Hopefully I'll be able to add something interesting to the discussions although everyone else seems to have far more insight than I do!


message 41: by Kristi (last edited Nov 17, 2011 08:56AM) (new)

Kristi (kristicoleman) Amber, please come back anytime! Hope to see you again soon!


message 42: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (kristicoleman) Heather wrote: "Hopefully I'll be able to add something interesting to the discussions although everyone else seems to have far more insight than I do!"

That's how I often feel, and I'm a Mod! Just pitch in whatever you have to say. I'm not a critical reader, I'm more of a "enjoyment" reader, so I don't usually have a ton to say about a section other than if I liked it and why...but I try to comment on what others have to say. That's why it's great to have those critical readers in the threads too...they really make you think about what you have read! It's a fun experience!


message 43: by [deleted user] (new)

Kristi wrote: "Heather wrote: "Hopefully I'll be able to add something interesting to the discussions although everyone else seems to have far more insight than I do!"

That's how I often feel, and I'm a Mod! ..."


Yeah, I find reading the threads really interesting and they make me think more about what I've just read but I find it hard to add! Will just have to think harder!


message 44: by Loretta (last edited Nov 17, 2011 09:17AM) (new)

Loretta (lorettalucia) Everyone: I think there's been a little confusion. We're not planning on removing members who were active in the past, but who have grown quiet over the last few months (we all know how life gets!).

If you check the "members" link, you'll see that there are--not kidding--over 100 members of the group who have never posted once, or who once nominated a book, and then never posted again. That is the section of the membership that we meant to target.

Sorry if there's been confusion, and please post any questions or concerns here.

Edit: Also, this is only applicable to those who have been members for more than 3 months. We understand that it can take a little while to begin to participate, so if you're a newish member--no worries! :)


message 45: by Rosemary (last edited Nov 17, 2011 09:46AM) (new)

Rosemary I would like to stay a member. I have not posted before because I already read 'East of Eden' and I don't want to read 'Mists of Avalon', but I would like to stay a member so that I continue receiving the notification of the books that you are planning to read. I will definitely join in when there is one that I want to read. I promise I would not nominate a book and then disappear :-)

I guess I will need to make 3 more posts, I will go look at the side reads and maybe there is something that I can contribute to :-)


message 46: by Kristi (last edited Nov 17, 2011 10:00AM) (new)

Kristi (kristicoleman) Rosemary wrote: "I would like to stay a member. I have not posted before because I already read 'East of Eden' and I don't want to read 'Mists of Avalon', but I would like to stay a member so that I continue receiv..."

Thanks for letting us know Rosemary...I know that sometimes the books don't intrest us much. Please feel free to post in any of the other threads, it's always fun to see what others are reading besides Chunksters...and it's always fun to see who introduces themselves!


message 47: by Sera (new)

Sera The Guidelines look great! Thank you for the work.


message 48: by Martha (new)

Martha (marthas48) Thanks for all you've done to set this up. This is one of the nicest groups I've been in. I've dropped out of some, but would like to stay in this one. I've failed miserably in keeping up with the 2 books I wanted to read. It's not that I'm not reading, I'm just trying to finish the challenges I set for myself for this year & I'm running out of time! LOL
I'm not going to do that this year ... OR one of my challenges will be to participate in reading chunksters! Maybe that will work.

And Heather, I always feel that I don't have much to contribute to the discussions, but I feel so much smarter after reading some of the comments others make!!


message 49: by Nina (new)

Nina (ninarg) | 79 comments Heather, I (and many others) know how you feel, but the thing is what you see as obvious might not be noticed by someone else. We all notice and miss different things. And even comments like "I loved this bit, I thought it was really funny" can either spark comments or make people smile. Either way, the more the merrier:)


message 50: by Lahni (new)

Lahni Martha - That is totally me! The last couple of months have been crazy with trying to finish up other reading challenges! I think I got in over my head! I think next year a goal of mine will be to stay caught up with my chunkster! (I'm still on week 1 of East of Eden and I think they are on week 7 or 9!)


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