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Author Topic: Book Club Voting and Participation Etiquette  (Read 11108 times)

Offline Arry

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Book Club Voting and Participation Etiquette
« on: June 17, 2013, 10:53:12 PM »
I have put off creating this post because I am worried I may sound critical of people in the book club, that my post may come across as accusatory instead of encouraging. I am worried people will see it paired with my first decline in participation and think I am just upset for not getting a book I wanted to win. Honestly, that is not the case. When I look at past polls, it is not unusual for the book I want to read to not win, and that is fine. It’s a group decision as it should be. The book that is going to garner the most votes and participation should win. This is a trend I have noticed for awhile (unsure how to bring it up), but I have finally decided to bring to light. My goal here to encourage participation and discussion, not to discourage people from joining in and certainly not to point any fingers.

When placing a vote for Book club, I ask that you only vote for a book if you intend to participate in the discussions. I know it can be tempting to cast a vote when you see a book that you loved and want others to read it. If you plan on participating, great, go for it. But if you don’t have time for a re-read or don’t plan to participate in the discussions, please leave the vote alone and let the participants decide amongst themselves what they would like to read. You are more than welcome to lobby for the book in the nomination thread, let people know why you think they should vote for it. But if you are unable to participate in the discussions for a book, please don’t vote for it.  Book selection should be made by those who are participating, not by whoever has an opinion on the books.

An example is Foundling which pulled in 11 votes. But there are only 4 of us in the discussions and I suspect 3 of us did not vote for the book (I could be wrong, that is just a guess). Ideally, I would think there should be at least 11, likely more, because a number of us participate whether we voted for a book or not.

Maybe some of you read along, but don’t post in the discussions. If that is the case, I would like to encourage you to try to jump in and make some comments. Those of us in the discussions would like to hear from additional readers. If you disagree with comments, come let us know. If you agree, jump on board. Tell us something that you like/dislike about the book. Is there something we could do different that would make you more likely to join in?

So anyway, that is my appeal. When you place a vote for a book in a poll, please consider it as “I am going to join in the discussions if this book wins the vote”. I know there are exceptions that can happen in real life that may prevent you from participating when you fully intended to. That’s understandable, that’s life. But I feel this is a trend larger than the exceptions would make up.

Hopefully this post does not come across as negative or unreasonable and as always, any feedback, recommendations, reactions are very welcome. Thanks!
« Last Edit: June 17, 2013, 10:59:52 PM by Arry »
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Offline sabrok

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Re: Book Club Voting and Participation Etiquette
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2013, 10:59:23 PM »
I think this sounds fair :)

Offline Victoria Hooper

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Re: Book Club Voting and Participation Etiquette
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2013, 11:07:29 PM »
Agreed, very fair!  :)

Offline Nighteyes

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Re: Book Club Voting and Participation Etiquette
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2013, 11:26:30 PM »
How many times have we all complained about this? The classic was in Sci Fi book club when Armor won! Not a single person then posted in the discussions! Grrrr.... And was quite annoying as two of the books that came runner up I had voted for and would have read and discussed that month! I think people just can't resist a damn poll! So yes, please only vote if you will actual read along and post!
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Offline Jaedia

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Re: Book Club Voting and Participation Etiquette
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2013, 12:11:53 AM »
I tend to vote for books I own, can get from the library, or in rare cases.. if I have a tiny bit of money and can actually get hold of my own copy. It does come up that I might not be able to get hold of a book (if it's not one I voted for) or that when it comes around, I'm just not in the mood for that particular book - what would the etiquette be on this if I fully intend to participate but sometimes find I can't read the book for one reason or another?

Would never vote for something I don't intend to read along with, however. That's only fair. :)

Offline Doctor_Chill

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Re: Book Club Voting and Participation Etiquette
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2013, 12:13:38 AM »
Once again, Arry has nailed it.
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Offline Arry

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Re: Book Club Voting and Participation Etiquette
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2013, 12:48:25 AM »
It does come up that I might not be able to get hold of a book (if it's not one I voted for) or that when it comes around, I'm just not in the mood for that particular book - what would the etiquette be on this if I fully intend to participate but sometimes find I can't read the book for one reason or another?
There is nothing wrong with not participating in a read for a book that you did not vote for. Voting for one book should absolutely not make you feel obligated to read a book that you did not vote for.

And I'm glad to see that so far people think this is fair. Definitely keep the feedback coming, and ask any other questions. Like I said, I posted this more to encourage participation than to try to be negative.
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Offline Funky Scarecrow

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Re: Book Club Voting and Participation Etiquette
« Reply #7 on: June 18, 2013, 01:22:08 AM »
No, it's totally fair. I also feel a bit like one of those responsible for the disparity in numbers, since there have been a few times I've voted but then withdrawn from the web for a few weeks, or even months, due to health reasons.

Sorry about that. :-[
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Offline Arry

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Re: Book Club Voting and Participation Etiquette
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2013, 01:27:20 AM »
No, it's totally fair. I also feel a bit like one of those responsible for the disparity in numbers, since there have been a few times I've voted but then withdrawn from the web for a few weeks, or even months, due to health reasons.

Sorry about that. :-[
Don't be! I hesitated to post specifically because I didn't want to make anyone feel bad. Life gets in the way of many things, it just happens and is nothing to feel bad about. My motivation for posting was just to make people pause before they cast a vote to decide if they intend and think they will be able to participate. And also to encourage people who may actually be reading the books to pop in and post more in the discussions.
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Offline Jaedia

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Re: Book Club Voting and Participation Etiquette
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2013, 01:28:51 AM »
It does come up that I might not be able to get hold of a book (if it's not one I voted for) or that when it comes around, I'm just not in the mood for that particular book - what would the etiquette be on this if I fully intend to participate but sometimes find I can't read the book for one reason or another?
There is nothing wrong with not participating in a read for a book that you did not vote for. Voting for one book should absolutely not make you feel obligated to read a book that you did not vote for.

No no, I mean.. if I did vote for a book that won but found I wasn't in the mood for the book when it comes to picking it up, or suddenly didn't have time? Should I avoid voting if that's a possibility? :)

Offline Fellshot

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Re: Book Club Voting and Participation Etiquette
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2013, 07:02:29 AM »
I think this is entirely fair. Yes life happens, but if you were interested in the first place you can still post in the discussion threads at a later date. I don't know about everyone else, but I do keep an eye on some of the prior book club reads.

Also as much as a critical jerk I know I can be, I don't bite. At least not often. :)

Offline xiagan

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Re: Book Club Voting and Participation Etiquette
« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2013, 10:40:18 AM »
Totally fair. Maybe (if possible) add a short reminder to every poll?
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Offline Arry

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Re: Book Club Voting and Participation Etiquette
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2013, 01:02:30 PM »
No no, I mean.. if I did vote for a book that won but found I wasn't in the mood for the book when it comes to picking it up, or suddenly didn't have time? Should I avoid voting if that's a possibility? :)
Well, I will tell you that before I led the book club decisions, I never once voted in the Sci Fi book club polls specifically for that reason. Sci Fi is not as big of a pull for me as Fantasy is and even if I had a preference amongst the choices, I opted out of voting because even if it won, I was not sure I would feel like participating. I still participated in about half of the reads and discussions, I just let other people pick what the books would be.

This is a small group, which I love, I think it gives the club a different vibe, more comfortable and familiar. Saying that, I am always very happy to see new people join in too :) But with it being smaller, having just one or two people vote for a book could make the difference between it winning or not winning. If those couple of voters then do not participate, it can easily cause the group that is participating to read a book they would not have selected amongst themselves. That is what I don't like and for that reason, I do ask that if you cast a vote that you fully intend to participate in the discussions.
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Offline pornokitsch

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Re: Book Club Voting and Participation Etiquette
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2013, 02:03:02 PM »
Ditto. Really good post.

I'll try to a) vote less and b) talk more! Which sounds like the reverse of the normal election process, doesn't it? :)

Offline Charlemagne

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Re: Book Club Voting and Participation Etiquette
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2013, 05:07:33 PM »
Good post, and well said! Hopefully this'll put to rest a number of the problems we've been having with book club participation. (Also glad I didn't vote for Foundling, and now I don't have to feel bad about not reading it! :D)

Also, Houndeliverer - I actually did read Armor, and was planning to post in the book club, but no one else did. At the time, I was still a very recently joined member, and really not sure of the normal order of things, and... yeah. End result being that was a dead month. :-[
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