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The Sci-fi and Fantasy Book Club Message Board › Obligation to Posterity???

Obligation to Posterity???

Kent
MakeDifferences
Springfield, VA
Post #: 11
Anna, et al. -

I've only been a member of this bookclub for a little while now, but have read several of the club's selections. Over all, the group tends to read some pretty decent stuff. And yet, throughout my time with this group, I keep feeling that there is one element lacking in my bookclub experience - a real sense of the collective opinion of each novel we read. Sure, we have Amazon or Barnes&Noble - but, those seem so diluted by too many impersonal ratings to be of any real use to me. I'd rather see our own group's "personality" reflected.

I realize that this might...no, it WILL...create a little more work for the organizers, BUT, what if we were to have a quick poll open for a few days after each discussion session, to allow those who attended (and those who read the book, but couldn't make it) to quickly express their opinions about their reading experiences. I'd also suggest that we NOT have a discussion area as a part of this feature - but certainly, we could start a separate discussion if the book merits it!

So, perhaps more than a simplistic thumbs-up/thumbs-down response - which is too vague - would be in order. I'm thinking of something useful, yet simple - say a 5-point scale:
1 = STRONGLY DO NOT RECOMMEND ["Geez! This book totally blows goats! After I read it, I burned my copy and scattered the ashes - and I'm even thinking of encouraging my dog to piddle on them!"]
2 = SLIGHTLY DO NOT RECOMMEND ["Although not a complete waste of paper, it wasn't worth my time! I could have been trimming my toenails instead!"]
3 = NEUTRAL - Neither recommend nor discourage ["It was okay - nothing great, but not my cup of tea! I may keep this book as a doorstop, or donate it to the library for a tax-credit!]
4 = SLIGHTLY RECOMMEND ["Not bad! In fact, I kinda liked it (which I may or may not admit)! If you've got time, give it a read! Probably worth buying/keeping - but getting it from the Library might be better!]
5 = STRONGLY RECOMMEND ["Dude, you GOTTA read this thing - it's awesome! A totally sick read! If this author ever comes to town, I'm going to the reading/signing event (which I also may or may not admit)!]

And, I'm sure we could even come up with some clever theme for this scale - cups of coffee, cheeseburgers, cold beers, book covers, starships, Klingons...whatever! I feel confident that this group can devise something pithy! Put your thinking caps on!

Finally, it would be useful to have a list of our bookclub's historic titles, which we could maintain. (In fact, I'll look back on the site now and start compiling one now!) Then, if we could add the additional data-point for the collective rating of the members? [e.g. "Octembuary 2010 - Fantasy - "Interstellar Vixens, and the Robo-droids They Control" by Piers Heinlein - member rating: 4.6 Galactic Laser-whips on the Nebular Mecha-natrix scale (38 members voted)]"

Personally, I know that I leave each discussion session still thinking about the book on my drive home. What a wonderful way to cap our experience - and the time we've invested - by bringing each chapter to a close with a quick assessment! New members will hereby have a way to get a sense of our group's nature, and have a tool that will help guide reading choices. And, those of us who (wrongly or rightly) didn't read the book can either feel justified or remoresful - ["Dang! I knew I should have read that book! I guess I'll have to do penance by saying 4.6 "Hail, Azamov's", and give that book a fair chance!" or "Whew! Dodged THAT stinkbomb!"]

Anyway, just a thought. Comments?
Mike
user 10567812
Washington, DC
Post #: 6
Hi Kent,
I have to disagree with you on this one. I think when the group does get togeather and talk about we are giving our own opinions and ideas on the book since we all read it and we all come to our own conclusions as to the who, what, where, why and how. As for a raiting system that might be pushing it a little. If I like it I like it, If i don't I don't. Its that simple. I don't think we should drag it out with things like voting and raiting using food, star trek references or any other thing to get a point across. That to me at least is the point of getting togeather and talking about the book. So we can get different ideas and think about it some more. Worse case senario we put up posts about it. Just some food for thought on that one.
-Mike
Mike
user 10624140
Springfield, VA
Post #: 5
Dude!
I think that your ideas are fantastic, but part of the fun of our little group is that it is so informal and relaxed. We are just a bunch of folks that get together every two weeks to eat sandwiches, drink coffee, and talk about geek stuff like sci-fi books and giant sharks. I know it sounds a little silly and all, but part of the fun of it is that I don't have to worry about anything, we can just read, then show up and talk and stuff. It is relaxed. If I have to fill out a checklist, point paper, etc. then it might as well be work, and then I wouldn't look forward to it. Great Idea and I totally understand where you are coming from, but I am not sure if this is what I am looking for in terms of a book club. I want a good, fun time, that even if I don't read the book, I can still show up and laugh / have a great time.

Gotta go, I think there is a Dalek at my door.

-Mike (version 2)
Eli
user 11220456
Arlington, VA
Post #: 2
Kent, I'm in favor of the proposal. Since it would be strictly voluntary (I assume), we could opt to opine or not about the merits of a book, just as we could elect to take or ignore the resulting review. I don't see a whole lot of down side risk (I'm hoping we can tolerate each others' negative opinions about a book that we might recommend), and I would find this kind of information pretty helpful to inform my future reading decisions. I *never* have enough time, and would rather take a recommendation from a trusted source I've gotten to know than a stranger (Amazon, etc.).

Thanks for the suggestion!
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