Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Goodreads and it's book clubs

I know that everyone has been talking about Goodreads lately.  Half the people want to leave.. half the people want to stay. This post is not about that... I assure you.  This is about all those book clubs you see on goodreads.  Oh you know the ones.. there are like thousands of them. I happen to run two groups on there and have run them since 2007. I moderate The Young Adult Book Club and the Stephen King Fans group.

Honestly lately I have seen such a drop in participation.  I work really hard in the Young Adult Book Club.  I read along every month.  I work on getting authors to stop by for Q&As (even though there hasn't been an author stop by for a while now).  I think that in the Young Adult group there are maybe 2-10 people out of 6648 members who actually comment in the book club discussions.  And those people aren't even reading along they are the ones who have already read the book and then maybe comment. I take the time to read the book and come up with 5-6 discussion questions which I think makes my group a little different then the tons of others on goodreads who just put the title of the book and then everyone discusses from that.  This group even takes volunteer discussion leaders from the members who might want to read a book for one month and then discuss it.  Sometimes though I have felt bad for people who have volunteered for this if there aren't that many people participating in the discussions.



The King group is much more active. This month we are reading Doctor Sleep and there are plenty of people reading along. 5834 members in that group I think people stay pretty talkative. Each month in both groups around the 20th I take the time to set up the polls to vote on the next book of the month send out a group email to announce the poll and the challenges in the group and any other news.  Funny how many people vote in the polls.  Quite a few more then actually read a long with the group. 



I am curious.. how many of you are actually apart of a book club on goodreads?  Do you ever actually participate in the group reads?  What would make you actually want to participate... or would you just rather read what you want and maybe comment if the group happens to be reading a book you have already read?  I have been questioning participating in the Young Adult Group anymore.  I always thought it was very important for the moderator to read along each month to encourage participants but it seems like I am discussing the book with myself.

Do you particpate in a monthly book club on goodreads?


 


 I discovered where Let's Discuss has moved to.. so I am adding this there.. here is a link:


Thursdays With Luxa
Do you have a discussion post that you want to share to the blogosphere? Link it up on Thursdays with Luxa so everyone can read it!
 

37 comments:

  1. I haven't really found book clubs to work for me - just because I have so many books that I would like to read, that I haven't found a club that would consistently feature books I haven't read yet that I would like to read. I think it's fun to read a book with a small group of blogger friends with similar taste and it's a very unrestrictive format.

    It was interesting to get your thoughts on this! It makes sense if you'd rather put your time into the book club that is more active, that way you can really concentrate on growing the participation in that group!

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    1. Honestly I have had a lot more fun doing read-alongs with blogs too. I don't know if it's because everyone comes to visit your personal space and you can make it as fun or as clever as you want.

      Honestly I have been running that group soooo long maybe I am getting burnt out. Possibly it's like bloggers who get burnt out. I put work, and work and work into it. Try to make it attractive.. but at the end of the day the question is... do people really participate in online book clubs??

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  2. I love to read, but I think as soon as I joined a book club, I would cease to do so because somewhere in my convoluted thinking, it would become just another obligation.

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    1. I see that as a common answer here. I wonder if that is what a lot of people think. I mean... I does make me read each and every month. I have discovered some books I would've never read otherwise. There is that I guess.

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  3. I am part of one group and have never participated because they don't read anything I'm interested in. For them, the ultimate book of books is Harry Potter.... which I have never read (and won't). I should remove myself from the group, but I'm lazy. Do you send private emails? I think that if I see an email in my inbox it would remind me to participate. Do you pick the books to choose from to read? Maybe letting the group suggest books and pick from there? I dont know, we people are weird. But I understand that if you put so much effort in the group at least a little more participation would be encouraging.

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    1. I don't pick the books we read. There is a Master Book List where I randomly pick 10 books for the group to vote on. The list is made up of suggestions from the group members. I thought about having them nominate books (we do that in my King group) but I thought it would just be more work for me to do in a group that doesn't really participate. Maybe though if they nominated books each month then they would be more likely to participate.

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  4. I would probably be like the people who don't actually read the book, but chime in on the discussion when it happens to be a book I've already read. I've never been a big fan of feeling like there's something I have to read according to an outside schedule. So, book clubs aren't really my thing.

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    1. I think the obligation thing is true. There is one member in my group who would actually read a long every month.. but no one read a long in September and I think that turned them off (I wasn't able to read along that month either) so now they haven't returned and read a long.

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  5. I love Good Reads just as a way to track the books I read and to look for what to read next. I don't participate in their book clubs. I started a book club locally this year. The only book that everyone could agree on was Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson (whose blog is where I found your blog). After that, we just met to drink wine. Because wine.

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    1. Red Red Wine You Make Me Feel So Fine... ok ok back to books. How funny that you found me through the Bloggess! I love her.. she is fun to read and I always find sites through the comments on there. If I am just sitting around I will stop at the blogs on her comments. I found some fun ones last night... and am about to check yours out now. PS... that book was fabulous!!

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  6. I wonder if the drop off in Good Reads is similar to the drop off I'm noticing in blogs. Obviously Goodreads has other issues, but I wonder if it's a symptom of a greater problem in the YA internet world. What do you think?

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    1. OH wow!! I didn't think about the two correlating! I thought the reason the YA group was maybe losing members is because when I first started it, it was actually one of the ONLY YA groups on goodreads. Hard to believe I know. Then goodreads took off and there were tons of groups. I have even looked at the ones more active then mine and discovered their focus isn't really being a book club.. but well really just a bunch of discussions.

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  7. I have participated in reading a book along with members of one of the groups I belong to on GR, but once I started reviewing for book tours, I've stopped doing that. One time in one of my groups, I was asked to come up with a book for the month, and I was the only one who read it! It's really just a time factor for me. I feel like I'm not able to keep up with all of the social media sites I'm on sometimes, lol.

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    1. See, it's hard when you are the only one who reads it. Then it's just not fun. It is a time factor. When some months I can only have time to read 2 books I want those to be books I am looking forward to.

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  8. Before my blog I was a lot more active on Goodreads in book clubs, and just groups in general. Now between the blog, facebook and twitter I am so busy it just doesn't happen like I want.

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    1. It's the same for me, too. I barely keep up my Facebook page for my blog. It can be a lot at times, and I'm trying to find ways to balance blogging with family time and laundry, etc.

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    2. I agree... I was on goodreads before I was ever on facebook. That was my first social site. Then I joined facebook... and then blogging and really goodreads just seems to be some old friend. The more I read these responses the more I think I am going to stop focusing on that YA group and start reading along with the King group.

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  9. Starting on Goodreads, I joined two young adult book clubs but I've since left. It's not something I can put my finger on, but for some reason, book clubs on Goodreads just don't work for me. I'm already so bad at keeping on top of my IRL book club that having two other book clubs to keep track of is a bit too much.

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    1. One of the reasons I was really into book clubs on Goodreads was because I didn't have anyone in my real life to discuss books with. In fact, I still don't. But now that I have discovered blogging that has filled that gap. When I first started goodreads it was a way to learn about new books too... now I visit blogs and find out what is hot or not. I need to look around more for a RL bookclub!

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  10. I don't think I'm part of such a group. I have a book club in real life and that is more than enough for me, but I understand it's frustrating!

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    1. I am seeing that really no one here participates in a book club on goodreads. I am surprised, I thought like one person would read along with a group but it seems really no one does that. People just aren't into it.

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  11. I'm part of a few groups (like the SK group), but I rarely participate/comment (I used to comment the most in the MM group but since I started my blog, I simply don't have time for it. I still stop by quite often though)
    As for group reads; I'm afraid, I'm group read-challenged. I'm a huge mood reader so there is no telling what book I'll be in the mood for tomorrow/the next week, so commitments like group reads/reading challenges are not for me :/
    But wow, you run two groups and a blog? Wow, I don't know how you are keeping up with everything, but *bows* :)

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    1. OK the MM group is AMAZING. Now there is a group where the moderators put a lot of work in it and it is repaid. I wish I was more into the books they read. I got my idea for the group maps from the MM group. The moderators were so nice to me and helped me out.

      LOL... running the groups and the blog isn't that difficult. I use Bloggiesta to actually go in and work on the groups. So I really get use out of that time.

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  12. I'm so guilty of this right now. I was reading Doctor Sleep but I haven't participated in the group. I haven't read a book in my Mysteries group in months. I occasionally read a buddy read for one of the other groups I participate in but that's about it. I love the Stephen King group but I haven't participated much since the Joyland read. Ocassionaly I popped in on the Under The Dome series thread.

    I have no time to read these days so I have just given up on group reads for a bit. I do try to keep up on my favorite blogs though ;-)

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    1. I went yesterday and fumbled around in the group (not the King group) and changed some things around. Hoping to get a little more participation. I look at the other YA groups on goodreads for inspiration. One thing I wish I could get rid of is my goodreads author section but if I do then self published authors spam the hell out of the group. I don't have issues with this in the King group because I never allowed self promotion in the group.

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  13. I am in that YA book club on Goodreads and I like it. I used to read the book every month and it got me to read quite a few books that I never would have read, but totally ended up loving. (Like Anna and the French Kiss). I haven't been keeping up with the monthly book because I've been trying to catch up with books I need to review and books I've been wanting to read. I also felt like no one wanted to talk about the book with me all that much. I was like wow a big group, but then I realized it wasn't so big after all. I hope you don't quit moderating. I feel like everyone is quitting everything in the blogging/reading world these days :( I'm definitely planning on reading more of the monthly picks... and I love doing the challenges!

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    1. LOL... I agree...with at LEAST 6000 members and no one participating in the monthly read it is such a bummer. I looked at the other YA group on goodreads though and it seems like the group read is the least popular. Everyone likes to participate in the games... and just general chats.

      In my YA group I have noticed though that the challenges are more popular. My co-mod actually handles those. I felt bad for her one month, all the work she puts in and someone started complaining about the challenges she was picking. :( I think people really just don't realize how hard it is to be a mod and to keep coming up with new and exciting things to do. It is very similar to blogging actually. If you want to keep people reading and interested you have to be doing the next best thing!

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    2. I remember when that happened. I thought it was rude to be complaining. Plus those quarterly challenges are super fun no matter what's on the list. But ESP on the Internet you'll always have complainers. I haven't seen an online book club where the monthly read was just booming... Unless its a private one where the people actually know each other IRL, so don't take it hard.

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    3. I have looked in my area for a local book club. There just really aren't any. There are some up at the library here I think... perhaps I should try one of those out some month.

      I don't usually check the challenges thread except for every now and then. When I saw the complainer on there I felt so bad and contacted Kim (the co-mod). She confessed to me it upset her so much that she was going to step down being a co-mod! I mean... we have a thread set up for suggestions. Though.. I think the complainer tried to say Kim wasn't using the suggestions. I don't know. It was rude. A lot of people enjoy her challenges so I am glad she didn't step down because if she does challenges in that group are done. I don't even want to deal with them.

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  14. I am a member of a couple of bookclubs/ genre oriented groups on Goodreads, but I really haven't been very active lately. And sometimes, even when I wanted to participate, the book choice didn't work for me. Not that a book I absolutely did not want to read was picked, but that the on book I didn't own was the one that was picked. I live in Europe, and there is no library with English books here. And I really don't want to read books by English-speaking authors in French or in Norwegian. There are so many things that get lost in translation.

    Also, ever since that notice in GR, I am not very active there anymore for anything. I still keep my shelves there, and I rate my books, but I don't review there anymore. And I don't feel like adding content in bookclubs or groups anymore either :(

    Great discussion post, though. I hope you'll get more participation in your read-alongs.

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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    1. I have wondered just how many people aren't going to participate anymore because of the whole deleting reviews/not being able to talk to authors anymore. I talked to my co-moderator and we have decided to not put so much work into the book discussions. Sad I know... but we will just use generic questions now instead of trying to come up with some outstanding questions that should get people talking.

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  15. I've never been in a real-life book club (although I've always wanted to), and I never wanted to join a book club on Goodreads, because it seems kind of impersonal and strange. I don't know, it's just not really my thing.

    But a friend of mine recently started a Goodreads book club, so I joined that one and read along with it last month (and am trying to this month as well). I'm not sure if it's something that I'm going to stick with, but I want to support my friend, so I'm going to try to read along when I can.

    This is a good discussion topic, though, because I've always wondered about it as well..if people who are actually in those billions of book clubs on Goodreads actually participate or not.

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    1. Unfortunately I don't think most people do participate. I mean... this month alone in my group it's me and one other person. No one has commented on the book that was picked since the first week of November. I have decided to let this book club go. Meaning I am not going to participate anymore. I am going to start concentrating on my King book club and read along with them each month. It's really nice of you to support your friend. That is great! I usually get my friends to chime into my club if there is an author Q&A to get more participation.

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  16. I used to be part of a group on goodreads that I was participating in actively and doing a book club for every month, but unfortunately, it was disbanded. Since then, I've found a couple of blogger hosted read-a-longs I do regularly so I haven't had time to get involved in another goodreads book club. I might in the future though :)

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    1. Oh... why was the group disbanded if you don't mind me asking? Especially with an active participant. I did see one recently that I was apart of (I wasn't reading along) that disbanded because the moderator didn't like goodreads new policy and they were leaving goodreads all together so they deleted the group.

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  17. Angie, I love the idea of a book club and a read-a-long but then when the time comes, I am usually too busy with other stuff. If I had more time in my life, I would participate with a heart and a half but trying to schedule the book and then taking part in the discussion just becomes another area of stress for me. What I do enjoy is reading back on past discussions of a book that I love as you get some interesting views to think about.

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