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Old 16th Jan 2007, 14:35   #1
Wavid
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Default Book Group Review

The admin dudes are currently having a conflab about the book group and how we can structure it to make it work better and help people get involved. I will hold my hands up now and say that I have neglected it admin-wise and haven't been keeping up to speed with matters at all.

What I would like is for everyone who is interested in the idea of a Palimp bookgroup - not just those who have participated thus far - to provide some thoughts here on both a) what has gone wrong with the current set up and b) what your ideal Palimp book group would be like.

Issues to consider could include:
  • The schedule - one book per month, per 6 weeks, 2 months?
  • Length of books
  • Price and availability of books
  • Not just novels - a single short story for relief?
  • How books are chosen

When we have gathered opinion and sorted some things out ourselves we should be able to get the book group on track a little better. I and the other admin will keep our views to ourselves for now!
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Old 16th Jan 2007, 18:27   #2
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Default Re: Book Group Review

One thing that would be good is if you vote for a book and it gets chosen, you should plan to read it and participate.
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Old 17th Jan 2007, 11:52   #3
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Default Re: Book Group Review

On reflection, I think book groups are not for people like us who get exposure to unfamiliar literature from fellow Palimpsesters all the time. I frequently find myself posting comments on a book that several others reviewed years ago. We don't need to be doing it all together.

On the other hand, I think the Book Suggestion Swap we had for World Book Day was excellent.
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Old 17th Jan 2007, 13:03   #4
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Default Re: Book Group Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by gil View Post
On reflection, I think book groups are not for people like us who get exposure to unfamiliar literature from fellow Palimpsesters all the time.
This is pretty much how I feel about book groups. I'm confident in my ability to introduce myself to new writers, which is part and parcel of what these groups are about. I never participate in them, simply because I prefer to read what I want, when I want, otherwise it feels like I'm been pressurised.
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Old 17th Jan 2007, 13:08   #5
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Default Re: Book Group Review

We could have a sort of serial book group, where a small number of copies or even a single copy of the book can be sent round a group and each posts their thoughts when they're ready.
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Old 17th Jan 2007, 13:29   #6
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Default Re: Book Group Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stewart View Post
I never participate in them [book groups] simply because I prefer to read what I want, when I want, otherwise it feels like I'm been pressurised.
My feelings exactly. While I love hearing about new authors and new books, I can't tell you several weeks in advance whether I'll feel like reading a specific book at the appointed time. And if I don't, then as Stewart says, it feels like a burden rather than a pleasure. Besides, in my case, I don't get enough time for pleasure reading as it is, so am loathe to spend it on books I'm less than nuts about. Also, as gil says, if another Palimper recommends a book that sounds as though it might be your cuppa cha, then you'll read it anyway, very likely, and can dive in with thoughts and comments on the relevant thread - or start a new thread if there isn't one already - so you get your discussion factor with or without figuring a book group into the equation.
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Old 17th Jan 2007, 15:52   #7
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Default Re: Book Group Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stewart View Post
This is pretty much how I feel about book groups. I'm confident in my ability to introduce myself to new writers, which is part and parcel of what these groups are about. I never participate in them, simply because I prefer to read what I want, when I want, otherwise it feels like I'm been pressurised.
I understand that but there's something appealing about a group of us reading the same thing at the same time. I don't think anyone should read something that doesn't appeal, but through a voting system, there should end up at least a few. On the forum, you have the choice whether to read the book or not, whereas in a face-to-face book group there's not really the option to opt out (sometimes I wish there was, but I can be pleasantly surprised).
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Old 17th Jan 2007, 15:56   #8
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Default Re: Book Group Review

I don't think the book group needs improving - it's fine how it is. The main reason I don't join in is that I never seem to have the book in question and then can't afford to go out and buy it! If I like the sound of the book being proposed then I'll join in - simple.
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Old 17th Jan 2007, 16:48   #9
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Default Re: Book Group Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by amarie View Post
I don't think the book group needs improving - it's fine how it is. The main reason I don't join in is that I never seem to have the book in question and then can't afford to go out and buy it! If I like the sound of the book being proposed then I'll join in - simple.
Affording and having the book is a real issue here. One suggestion the admin have been discussing is having some representation in the list of books that are public domain, and freely available via, say, Project Gutenberg, for example. We could even host the text on the PalimpWiki to make things even easier for people.

Would this help things?
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Old 17th Jan 2007, 16:54   #10
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Default Re: Book Group Review

It would - that's a grand idea Wavid. Then there's always borrowing off amner! My other problem is that I owe the library money, so I can't even borrow books at the moment. In fact I've owed the library for about three years, but they've yet to wipe my fine. Ho hum.
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