Thursday, June 12, 2008

Thursday Meme

The Thursday meme courtesy of Booking Through Thursday:

A combo of two suggestions by: Heidi and by litlove

Have you ever been a member of a book club? How did your group choose (or, if you haven’t been, what do you think is the best way to choose) the next book and who would lead discussion?

Do you feel more or less likely to appreciate books if you are obliged to read them for book groups rather than choosing them of your own free will? Does knowing they are going to be read as part of a group affect the reading experience?

I’ve been a member of a Yahoo book club in the past. I don’t really remember how they picked the books that we voted on. As for who led the discussion, nobody did really. The group “facilitator” didn’t really facilitate. I was pretty frustrated with that group, left, and I don’t miss it all that much. Now, I have my own book discussion group on Ning. During a normal month, I pick three books from our list of suggested reading, minus themed books such as Christmas books, by using a MASH sort of method. Then, those three books are voted on by our members. Either Jennifer or I will start the discussion and then, as people finish the book, members contribute their thoughts. While a new book is chosen every month, the previous months’ discussions never close so that if someone misses out or new members join, they can still read and discuss the books too. For June, we had a contest so the whole method for choosing a book was way different.

I definitely am not less likely to appreciate the books we choose just because I didn’t pick them out myself. I look forward to the opportunity to read and discuss books that I might not have chosen myself. One of my favorite books that we’ve read so far is Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods and I never would have picked it up on my own. Our members have also voiced similar opinions even if they didn’t enjoy the book(s) at all.

Knowing that they are going to be discussed does affect the reading experience for me. If I’m reading a book that I’m really enjoying, I look forward to expressing my enjoyment with the group. If I’m reading a book that I know is a bit controversial for our group, I greatly anticipate the possible debates and just seeing what everyone else is going to say.

Overall, despite being apprehensive at starting my own group and the ups and downs, it’s been a great experience. The “main” members, or the ones who participate regularly, are a great group of people.

I hope this didn’t end up sounding like an endorsement for my group, lol, but oh well if it did. ;)

8 comments:

  1. Your group sounds great. Good for you for starting your own instead of giving up on a reading community altogether.

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  2. Maybe I should look up your book group.

    One problem is I read pretty fast and move to the next in no time. A book group slows us down.

    Booking through clubbing

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  3. I love the group. I agree about Walk in the Woods. I had actually wanted to read that one and, being that month's choice, it gave me an excuse to finally stop putting off reading it. I've been reading some of his other books as well. My fav part has been hearing about how he met Katz and how he basically stold an entire railcar of beer.

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  4. I like the idea of reading books you wouldn't normally pick for youself. But I've never been in a book club. I just bought A WALK IN THE WOODS for my boss for his birthday. I'd heard so many great things about it! I'm so excited to give it to him. Of course I'm going to ask to borrow it too! lol

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  5. Speaking of picking books... I though us up a new way to pick books in July that costs me nothing! WOOOO! Remind me to tell it to you because I need you to do something.

    I like it best when we all participate. It's not as fun when we do all the work.

    And as soon as I get a new job and all... I can read the books too!

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  6. Writer2b~~We do have a pretty good group. We're not even a year old yet so we still have some building to do.

    GT~~We have a read at your own pace policy. One member had June's book finished on the 2nd this month, while some won't finish or post their thoughts till the last week.

    Pam~~I've been wanting to read some more of Bryson's books too. They sound so funny.

    Lisa~~You and your boss will enjoy A Walk in the Woods. Everyone in our group who read it liked it.

    Jennifer~~I agree about it being more fun when I don't feel like I'm pulling teeth, lol.

    I'll get in touch about the thing.

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  7. I have been in Yahoo groups like you describe. I've been fortunate to be a part of some good discussions in Yahoo groups as well though, so it has balanced out.

    It's been a while since I've taken the time to participate in a group read, although sometimes I do if the group is reading a book I plan to read at the time anyway.

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  8. I experimented with a couple different online groups, Yahoo and otherwise, but none of them really spoke to me.

    I like the camaraderie of reading books with other people.

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