Monday, May 3, 2010

Rethinking the book club

I'm in a book club. It's one of the high points of my week, although truth be told we don't always spend that much time talking about our week's reading at the meetings. We do read, though, and we discuss. We discuss what we read; what the reading made us think of; and what other things we've read, &c. &c. Basically, it's your traditional book club.

I was reading last week, however, about a new take on the book club: "One Book, One Twitter" (1b1t). The premise follows that of uber-librarian Nancy Pearl's "One City, One Book" campaign, in which all participating members of the community read one particular book. In theory, the book is then on the collective consciousness of the community, and book club-esque discussion can take place in all sorts of forums. In the case of 1b1t, these discussions take place on Twitter. Huge community, right?

1b1t will be reading Neil Gaiman's American Gods, and then full-force discussion will (hopefully) take place. A very large book club, indeed.

I'm curious what people think about this Twitter book club phenomenon. What kind of discussion will the 140-character limit promote? Will small groups inevitably branch off on their own? Will the discussion be too multi-faceted to be really meaningful? Feel free to chime in, and if you tweet, maybe participate!

Additional thought: American God is available in e-book format, which means, at least in theory, that 1b1t participants could read the book on their internet-enabled, e-reader devices and then participate in the online discussion from the same platform. Ponder that: a handheld book club experience.

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