March 26, 2017, 03:56:53 PM

Author Topic: Book Club Moving Forward - An official stepping down  (Read 3760 times)

Offline Arry

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Book Club Moving Forward - An official stepping down
« on: August 27, 2015, 10:26:03 PM »
Hi Everyone,
I have debated about this for awhile, but have come to the decision to "step down" from officially running the book club. I have put a lot of time and effort into it over the years and really appreciate the time and conversations I have had with everyone here. For me the book club was always supposed to be about camaraderie and conversations, sharing our experiences with books as we read them together (or revisit them for those that have already read them). I have enjoyed it tremendously and am grateful for everyone that has taken part.

I know I don't do as much as I used to, and I tend to feel bad about that, maybe it would do better if I put more work into it. Because of this, I decided I need to either "step up" or "step down" and decided to step down and see if the book club can sustain itself.

Honestly, what I think would work best is a rotation of people "leading" the discussions. This way the responsibility to read and initiate conversations does not always fall on the same person every month. I hate to admit it, but with the lower participation the book club started to feel less like a great experience chatting about books and more like work. I don't want anyone else to fall into that, I think the extra pressure of trying to get others excited and chatting, and then not always having it happen was just a bit demotivating.

By stepping down, I feel like I can still participate when I am interested and able and actually enjoy the book club more rather than feeling guilty when it does not do well. I also feel like having other people cycle through could maybe revive it a bit. But this will only work if other members are willing to take it up.

For book club to continue, it will be up to the members to select books and organize discussions. The format could change, maybe people would prefer splitting the discussions in a different way. Maybe there are ideas out there for different ways to approach this. Maybe it will move to just the Read Along format with impromptu groups picking books they are interested in. This change could actually lead to more opportunities because it could annihilate our existing criteria. Published only in the UK? OK, its still game. Want to read an entire series back to back (like Malazan)? Go for it! Two different groups of people want to read different books? Nothing is stopping you, run them both at once!

I don't want book club to go away, but I do think a change is necessary for it to be successful. For me, right now, I think my stepping down can give opportunity for that change.

If you made it to the bottom of this, thanks for taking the time to read my message :) And hopefully we can find a way to have book club continue. Either way, Happy Reading!

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only once.”
-- George R.R. Martin

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Offline Arry

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Re: Book Club Moving Forward - An official stepping down
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2015, 02:05:39 AM »
I should have mentioned that September's book club will obviously still be run as planned. I'm really looking forward to starting that book as soon as I finish my current read. Hopefully people can join us:
http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/(apr-2015)-the-long-way-to-a-small-angry-planet/

But for any past that, I am leaving it to the masses to determine if it will continue, if you want a theme or not or if you just want to do read alongs.
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only once.”
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Offline Doctor_Chill

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Re: Book Club Moving Forward - An official stepping down
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2015, 02:30:36 AM »
I fully anticipated this to happen, but it doesn't make it any less sad. It's understandable that you're stepping down from the Book Club. Lot less traffic lately, and moving to a more "user-centered" experience is probably best for the time being. Though I do want to thank you for all that you've done. I'm almost positive that your input into the Book Club is what kept the forum going during 2013/14, Overlord notwithstanding. ;)

Seriously, I can't tell you how thankful I am for what you did. I know I only jumped in a few times, and even then they were usually late editions, but seeing in continue at a strong pace was such a strong motivator for me.

But as I said, I think being more flexible with Read Alongs or fresher with different moderators for each month will be better for the moment. It might gain us more Book Club traffic in the future.

Can't thank you enough, Arry. Really.
“It’s a dangerous thing, pretense. A man ought to know who he is, even if he isn’t proud to be it.” - Tomorrow the Killing, Daniel Polansky

Offline Eclipse

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Re: Book Club Moving Forward - An official stepping down
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2015, 06:25:12 AM »
Gives a big hug to Arry, thank you fir running the book club it helped me to post more when I first got here.

Why not join the read along of Shattered Sand I think you would like it.
I'm Saloninus, by the way. And I tell lies, from time to time. Which goes to prove the old rule; never entirely trust a man who talks about himself in the third person.

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Offline xiagan

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Re: Book Club Moving Forward - An official stepping down
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2015, 08:28:27 AM »
I anticipated this too. I knew that it felt more like work for you and that it was slower going than it used to was visible for everybody.

I love(d) to participate in book club and will do this in the future if time permits.

Book club should be fun and if that wasn't the case anymore for you, it was the right decision to step down.

Like the others, I can't thank you enough for what you did those past years. Thank you! :)
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Offline Nighteyes

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Re: Book Club Moving Forward - An official stepping down
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2015, 03:45:05 PM »
Agreed with the others, Arry.  You have been fabulous, but can see it has become a chore.  A thought that just came to mind for me, as that back when we were first doing book club we were reading all the 'stone cold classics', now we have covered so many books we are now reading lesser known books, which is possibly a reason for the massive drop off.

Looking forward to A Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, but want to sneak in The Martian first before the movie comes out.  Then need to return to the Expanse for Nemesis Games so looking like a Sci Fi adventures set in Space month!
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Offline Arry

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Re: Book Club Moving Forward - An official stepping down
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2015, 12:00:42 AM »
Thanks everyone, it means a lot. I am hoping that the book club or discussions will keep going.

Why not join the read along of Shattered Sand I think you would like it.

*sigh* Is there a way to answer this without sounding bad? If it were a year or two ago, I likely would. But to be honest  with the books I get for review, I don't leave a lot of time for impromptu reading. I left space to read Sept.'s book club, and I leave room to read 1 "backlist" book a month, but with my current schedule, I really don't have time to pick up another book until late in the year, if then. (I have already just about finished my September "backlist" book)This month is particularly busy because I am launching another website in about a month and most of my free time is spent doing the website for that as well as scheduling with other contributors and getting a "buffer" of posts ready to go so I am not scrambling last minute with it. That all sounds like "work" but really it isn't. I only have books lined up that I really want to read, and really enjoy working on the website (I'm a programmer by trade, and while I don't typically do web development, it is kinda fun). That said, even though I enjoy it and am looking forward to everything I have lined up to read, it doesn't leave me with much time to pick up other books.

I really respect everyone's opinions here on the book, and I also really value Bob's feedback as well. He is a blogger I follow and trust and was excited to see he selected it from his batch of books. So, I do hope to read it eventually, I just don't have the bandwidth to join in right now.
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only once.”
-- George R.R. Martin

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Offline Victoria Hooper

Re: Book Club Moving Forward - An official stepping down
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2015, 05:16:05 PM »
I want to join in with the thanks - you've done such a great job running the book club Arry, and I've always had a great time discussing the books with everyone.  :) There were some in particular (e.g. Snow Crash) where I think the book club's input helped me enjoy the books more too, and it's always fun to discover books I would never have picked myself.

I feel bad that my own participation dropped this year, but it does seem that in general it's been quieter, and I think it's definitely the right thing to step down if it stopped being fun for you. I hope the club/read-alongs do continue and that you can join in when you have free time, Arry. I'll try to join in as often as I can too!

Looking forward to September's club, though I'll be on holiday the first week so will catch up later. And looking forward to future book discussions too, in whatever form they come in, whether it's book club, read-alongs or anything else.  :)

Offline Geekory

Re: Book Club Moving Forward - An official stepping down
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2015, 02:21:31 PM »
I also would like to thank you Arry for your work with the book club. While my participation was minimal, by following along I read many books I wouldn't have otherwise. I especially remember your posts in Gardens of the moon allowed me to understand and appreciate the book.

Thanks again and hopefully we will find a way to continue it on in some form.

Offline doclivingston

Re: Book Club Moving Forward - An official stepping down
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2015, 02:46:04 PM »
I know I came late to the book club, but thanks for all of the time you put into it.  I hope that you are enjoying all of those books you have for review!  Best of luck in all of your endeavors and I hope to see you on the forums.

Offline Lanko

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Re: Book Club Moving Forward - An official stepping down
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2015, 08:56:11 PM »
I also joined very recently and was curious to see how book clubs work.

Joined one in Goodreads, but apparently everyone in that group read the book they picked. Not much discussion, and when there is some, there are spoiler tags everywhere, and that was within the first days.

Altough November is probably tricky (exams, NaNo, etc).

Any plans for next year?
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Offline Eclipse

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Re: Book Club Moving Forward - An official stepping down
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2015, 12:40:10 AM »
I would like to see the book club return one day.it was always interesting to read the posts on the book even if you weren't reading the novel at the time.

If we have more then 5 votes for a book we should go with it.any less then 5 then we give that month a pass

Now all we need is someone to run it like @Jmack as his quite witty and intelligent
I'm Saloninus, by the way. And I tell lies, from time to time. Which goes to prove the old rule; never entirely trust a man who talks about himself in the third person.

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Offline Jmack

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Re: Book Club Moving Forward - An official stepping down
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2015, 01:10:31 AM »
I would like to see the book club return one day.it was always interesting to read the posts on the book even if you weren't reading the novel at the time.

If we have more then 5 votes for a book we should go with it.any less then 5 then we give that month a pass

Now all we need is someone to run it like @Jmack as his quite witty and intelligent

Hmmm.
Not sure about witty and intelligent, but I'd consider administering things.
My price might be that I ge tot pick the first month.   ;D
Change, when it comes, will step lightly before it kicks like thunder. (GRMatthews)
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Offline Lanko

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Re: Book Club Moving Forward - An official stepping down
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2015, 02:12:11 AM »
Then get the one for December, already!
“I love you as certain dark things are to be loved, in secret, between the shadow and the soul.”

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Offline Eclipse

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Re: Book Club Moving Forward - An official stepping down
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2015, 04:00:35 AM »
A Christmas feeling fantasy novel pick
I'm Saloninus, by the way. And I tell lies, from time to time. Which goes to prove the old rule; never entirely trust a man who talks about himself in the third person.

Blue and Gold by K.J Parker

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