Book Club

This group has been really busy lately - (thanks Glyn!) - it just got me thinking...Would there be any interest in a virtual book group?

I got bored then. I was early/mid 20s, now mid 60s, so a smidgeon different. I did not give it away, swap it or something along those lines as I have done with many books, so maybe I left myself a subliminal message? I provocatively said that 'I doubt I shall ever continue from where I left off' by which I sneakily meant that I could not remember, therefore could not extract the bookmark and take it up from there. I left it ambiguous because I was after views on its 200 years of 'success'.

I've never tried a book club. I am an erratic reader, have often needed to be when airport selections and the only shop in town with a choice of six books in English (or another language I read) sees me pick things the hotel often inherits. Fiction is a leisure activity, so I always want pleasure from it. I share your apprehension but also long books often take me months to read so I go for shorter rather than longer.

Sorry Brian - I wish it was easier to show smiles when typing! I couldn't remember exactly what you said about it - I just remembered that it wasn't all sunshine and roses! And I am guessing that you didn't like it much if you gave up on it! I guess that isn't a good or bad vote really - more a not interested!! (On the other hand I have a biography of Charles Stuart Parnell on my book shelves and I don't think I have ever opened it!!)

I am a bit wary about choosing books that are unread by anybody - after all we can all stick a pin into a series of book reviews and come up with something! (Once bitten twice shy here!! I freely admit - I had a bad experience with a book group, where a book was chosen sight-unseen by somebody who had read the authors previous book! The one we ended up with was miles long, hugely tedious and had a mystery that remained unsolved! As far as I could see it was a COMPLETE waste of the £6 it cost me and the time I spent reading it!) I think it may be easier to choose an unread book in UK where it is considerably easier to see the book, and read the first page to see what it is like!

I sort of think that if you choose a book for others to buy and read then it is quite good to start by explaining WHY you have chosen it... what you liked about it, and why you want to share it! Just MHO and I am sure there will be others who feel differently about it! :-)

Heck no Lucy. I have it on my shelf. I also do manuscript reviews of books I would less wish to stick my nose into so not my excuse. Apart from that, I actually said I gave up reading it and do not actually know whether it is good or bad, whether decades on and several TV/film versions later I might 'enjoy' it. Open verdict, look at my question again.

As for the rest, the choosing, voting and deferring or opting out seems more than reasonable for whatever reason. Perhaps any person who floats a suggestion should opt for something they have never read so that they can go into it without prejudice and the options you mention go for the rest - unless everybody else is against that book.

Does someone / (some people) want to volunteer to coordinate this? Please?

Is that just because you don't want to have to read P and P Brian?? :-)

I seem to remember something along those lines!

I was thinking about how the books are chosen. Would it be a good idea for each member to choose a book in turn (alphabetical order - or something)? I just wonder whether if we choose what to read by a vote we might end up with "safe" reads - that we all like the sound of.... rather than something that might push us out of our comfort zone!? Also - presumably there would always be the option of not joining in THIS time - if there was a book that you REALLY didn't want to read or re-read!

I am in but please keep the books a tad shorter than some of the classics. Perhaps also go for modern popular fiction as a starting point, there are too many people who are 'school classics damaged' who might otherwise not join in. Chunky classics might follow once the group has found its feet and a 'popular vote' accepts them.

Sons and Lovers is available from Amazon Kindle Store free:

and Pride and Prejudice is below

in case we do want to start with either of them.

I think that sounds interesting and would be keen to give it a try! I rather miss going to Book Group - so this might well be a perfect solution - and be a good reason to read something that I wouldn't otherwise read!

Perhaps we should start with either the 150 yr old Pride and Prejudice, or the 100yr old Sons and Lovers :-) !!!!

Count me in please.

You could send the biscuits through the post, Catherine.

I see you mean like the book group my wife attends. A member chooses the book. Everyone reads it and then discusses it on a certain date. Time would have to be given for people to read it.

Would everyone who opts in have to read the book? Probably so. After all it would broaden the range of a person's reading.

Nick Aurelius Haddock had joined Goodreads for a similar purpose. He may be interested in this. Better pm him.

Okay - we set up a separate page within the group for the book in question. Anyone who wants to join in can. We create a shortlist of books - new and classics (?) - then vote. Everyone reads or rereads the book in question and then discusses it just like you would in a 'real' book group. We will have to settle for virtual coffee and biscuits though....

Or something along those lines.

I would be interested in a virtual book group. How would it be organised?

I have to say I've been very pleased how busy this group has been.

Can you explain, Catherine, what you mean by a virtual book group. I'm not really clear.


Explain more, sounds intriguing..