We asked for your feedback on our first online book club, and you gave it to us. Your comments were really encouraging. You want more, not less, which is gratifying.
One reader wrote to say: “I love to read and discuss books and find it difficult with little kids at home and a full-time job to actually join a book club or regularly meet with other ‘booky’ friends. But this was great as I could jump in on the conversation whenever I had a free moment.” That’s precisely the way I imagined the book club: open to anybody, any time, anywhere.
Half of you learned about the book club from the web and 40 per cent from the newspaper. Relatively few heard about us from word of mouth or social media. So please spread the word on Twitter and Facebook.
The book club is a work in progress. I’ve learned so much about what works and what doesn’t from moderating the discussion of Half-Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan and from your comments. Personally, I think we need more time to read the book in question before launching the discussion in earnest, and that the conversations should be expanded or condensed depending on the book. Flexibility is paramount.
We will have another book club soon. Nearly 70 per cent of you wanted a new book every month. That is a bit ambitious for us at the moment, but we are gearing up for another one beginning March 1.
I will post a list of suggested titles later this week – five fiction and five non-fiction works with links to reviews and articles. Once again, you will be able to vote for the book you want to discuss. Once the winner is announced, I will give you at least two weeks to read the book – that was another message that came through loud and clear in your comments.
Nobody wanted a drastic change in the format, so we’ll carry on much as before. I will post a daily question to focus conversations as we work our way through the chosen book, and invite experts to join the conversation. Our technology is improving all the time, so we will investigate ways to enhance editing and posting, but for now most people are fine with ScribbleLive.
More than 90 per cent of people who filled out the survey are fiction readers. I’m still going to include non-fiction titles on my long list of 10 book choices because I want to be as expansive as possible. Persuading non-fiction readers to open the pages of a novel can be as daunting a task as encouraging people who love fiction to pick up a biography or a memoir, but I am a huge crossover reader myself, so I want to keep on mixing up the list.
Thanks for joining me in this never-ending conversation about books and authors. Let’s keep it going.