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Old 05-20-2012, 11:14 AM   #166
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I greatly prefer ebooks, but there is a vacuum for books written in the last half of the last century, so would vote against restricting the choices to ebooks. As paolo mentions, geographic restrictions mean that even books that are available digitally often can't be found worldwide anyway.

I like the suggestion of shortening the voting schedule and using multiple choice open votes.

I also suppport the early creation of the thread for discussion, hopefully that will generate additional conversation and perhaps encourage those who haven't tackled the book yet to start reading. Spoilers would probably be a good idea for the first week, or at least some reticence in posting details and instead posting a general impression of the book first (either while reading or when finished) and coming back later in the month with your in depth analysis of the work.
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Old 06-29-2012, 02:47 AM   #167
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I want to say thank you all for the replies to and interest in the upcoming refresh! I would've liked to have responded sooner, but with many replies and much going on, I kept putting it off. Sorry for the prolonged silence but I'm glad to get to these responses at least before it all starts on the 1st.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paola
- Lottery Refresh: open mind on this one. I see the problems you mention, but I am not sure that concentrating it in one month would make a difference. One alternative could be that all members are included in the draw by default, and can opt out if they wish from the lottery month. Now how to know who all members are? It could be all those who nominated in the previous months (I think there may be noise in voting), or perhaps we could all "sign up" in this thread, but it may be intimidating for new members to put them forward - those who nominated in the previous month seems to me easier to implement, and we can also provide a reminder in the July nomination thread that if you want to opt out from the lottery, this is the time to do so.
These are all interesting ideas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by paola
- Slight Categories Refresh : OK, though I would swap July and August, as I have more time in August to go for a Highly challenging read, and I suspect this may be the case for other people too, but if I am in a minority then no problem.
I understand about the August situation and hadn't thought of that. However, for this year I'm going to leave them as is, partly because it's already upon us now and mainly because I'd rather the lottery not be the first month of the refresh. Also, I like the idea of the Highly Challenging month being next to the Short month (June) so that we can have a buffer of a shorter pick before we tackle a highly challenging one. But things can always change next year, and this year if you're too busy in July and so inclined you can wait until August anyway to read July's pick and just join in the discussion then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John F
Can we get some wording to stress more ebook choices?
As you see from the other responses, the opinions are divided, so I think I'll leave things as they are because I'd like for us to have the widest amount of options possible. But, so far most selections have been e-books and chances are many selections in the future will be too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamlet53
Isn't “Contemporary” a “Time Period”? I know that some people prefer not to read literature written before they graduated high school so I like the idea of a month devoted to Contemporary literature, but maybe then drop that time frame from the “Time Period?”
Your thoughts are wise! As there are two Region categories per year, I had thought of Contemporary really as the second Time Period category, only already decided and the same every year. So then I will drop that time frame from the Time Period choices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamlet53
With regards to the “Region” category, now that the procedure for dividing the world into regions is done (complete with that spiffy map), maybe we could just rotate through regions, selecting a random region not yet covered, until all have been selected once?
That's the plan!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamlet53
I like Paola's suggestion about including all active members in the lottery unless they decide to opt out.
paola's suggestions are interesting, but I'm leaning against this one at the moment because (1) it'd be more work to compile the list of active members each time and (2) there'd be the risk that someone could be chosen who happens not to be around at that moment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hamlet53
Starting the discussion thread as soon as the selection for the month is made sounds good to me. The question becomes should those who tend to finish the book quickly make generous use of spoiler tags, or just let people realize that the whole thread maybe full of spoilers from the start?
Hm, those are good questions! Without being too strict, I think there should be some guideline, so that in the beginning anyone who’s already read the entire book or finishes it early would be careful or use spoiler tags, so that everyone feels comfortable participating without worry of spoilers. But each discussion thread should eventually end up completely open to all discussion after an appropriate amount of time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Synamon
I also suppport the early creation of the thread for discussion, hopefully that will generate additional conversation and perhaps encourage those who haven't tackled the book yet to start reading. Spoilers would probably be a good idea for the first week, or at least some reticence in posting details and instead posting a general impression of the book first (either while reading or when finished) and coming back later in the month with your in depth analysis of the work.
Yes, I like these ideas!


Finally, I have a few other comments.

First, thank you issybird for the help! I agree with all your responses and even if it took me awhile to respond here, I’m glad you plunged in earlier to help clear some things up.

Second, we are all free to do as we please, but I do hope we can all be civil here! We have few enough members as it is! If an unchoice word was used in the first place that offended, I would think (hope) it was unintentional.

Third, the refresh starts very soon and here’s to a great second half of 2012!
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Old 06-29-2012, 09:08 AM   #168
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sun surfer View Post
...

As you see from the other responses, the opinions are divided, so I think I'll leave things as they are because I'd like for us to have the widest amount of options possible. But, so far most selections have been e-books and chances are many selections in the future will be too.
...
Did you see this poll:

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=168904

And that poll was for an outright exclusion of paper books. All I was suggesting was some sort of wording about stressing ebook choices.
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Old 06-29-2012, 05:02 PM   #169
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I understand what you're saying about at least including some wording and I see that many posters like e-books, even exclusively, but this is my reasoning to even keep a mention of e-books out of it -

The way I see it, if 60% of voters prefer an e-book, then one will always win.

"Literary" itself is already a restrictive category and after that I'd rather keep the pool as wide as possible. Also, this isn't just about the winner, it's also about people discovering other books just through nominees, even ones that don't get fully nominated.

So, to me, putting in even a mention of e-books in the wording may make some hesitant to nominate certain works. Those works may not win, but they'll then be exposed to everyone reading the thread and some may decide to look into and possibly read that work anyway.

I see nominations not only as a process to a monthly selection but also as a discovery of possibilities.

But, even if a non-ebook wins, why is that then bad? It would mean that that month, more people preferred and voted for a non-ebook. Anyone who doesn't want to read a non-ebook can always read another ebook nominee or wait and join again the next month.

I don't want to exclude anyone who only reads ebooks, but nor do I want to exclude the realm of non-ebook possibilities. So I think leaving it with no stated preference to any format is the best solution for everyone because e-books will still often win, but non-ebooks can still be nominated and discovered without hesitancy, and possibly even win now and then, if that's what the voters prefer.
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Old 06-30-2012, 08:06 AM   #170
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^ very well put.
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Old 06-30-2012, 08:29 AM   #171
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Let me start by saying I haven't read a pbook in 3 years, since I purchased my first reader. I'm going to read ebooks only, unless that must read pbook comes along, and a must read pbook hasn't come along in three years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sun surfer View Post
...

The way I see it, if 60% of voters prefer an e-book, then one will always win. ...
It wasn't prefer, it was ebook only. Seems like you are limiting participants. I was pretty gungo-ho when the club started, but lost interest once so many pbooks were being considered.

Quote:
... "Literary" itself is already a restrictive category and after that I'd rather keep the pool as wide as possible. ...
Potatoe, potato. You are limiting it by including pbooks, since people only want ebooks.

Quote:
Also, this isn't just about the winner, it's also about people discovering other books just through nominees, even ones that don't get fully nominated. ...
Again, I'm not going to read pbooks, so if they are nominated, then I'm going to ignore them. They actually waste my time, because I have to scramble to try and find them in ebook form, and they aren't.

Also, the lottery category doesn't make much sense then.
Quote:
... So, to me, putting in even a mention of e-books in the wording may make some hesitant to nominate certain works. Those works may not win, but they'll then be exposed to everyone reading the thread and some may decide to look into and possibly read that work anyway.

I see nominations not only as a process to a monthly selection but also as a discovery of possibilities.
If finding gems is really a concern, people can make a post like "this is a really life changing book, but it is pbook only, but you should definitely give it a read."
Quote:
...
I don't want to exclude anyone who only reads ebooks, but nor do I want to exclude the realm of non-ebook possibilities. So I think leaving it with no stated preference to any format is the best solution for everyone because e-books will still often win, but non-ebooks can still be nominated and discovered without hesitancy, and possibly even win now and then, if that's what the voters prefer.
Well, you just excluded me.

Enjoy the club, I'll check back in next year.
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Old 06-30-2012, 08:39 AM   #172
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John F View Post
Potatoe, potato. You are limiting it by including pbooks, since people only want ebooks.
How can you possibly be limiting something by increasing the options? I wouldn't have read "Black Rain" by Masuji Ibuse if the choice had been limited to ebook only, and that would have been a shame.

And I'm people, and I don't only want ebooks.
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Old 06-30-2012, 10:00 AM   #173
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orlok View Post
How can you possibly be limiting something by increasing the options?
I'll type slowly, so hopefully you'll be able to follow along...

There are only 5 slots.
If less then all 5 are filled by ebooks, it is limiting.
Quote:
...I wouldn't have read "Black Rain" by Masuji Ibuse if the choice had been limited to ebook only, and that would have been a shame. ...
And I read it because it was an ebook.
Quote:
...And I'm people, and I don't only want ebooks. ...
And I'm people. You think someone would do a poll or something.
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Old 06-30-2012, 10:35 AM   #174
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I like reading on my devices; I even prefer it. But I still read pbooks, because availability and price are factors also. Price is an every person for himself kind of thing, whether it's worth paying a premium for the convenience of ereading. But just as format is a limiting factor for some, so is availability, especially for a lit club where too many potential reads aren't availability digitally. Geo-restrictions further narrow the pool, if we're to be limited to ebooks available in all venues.

I understand that for some, ebook format isn't a choice, it's a necessity, and that's unfortunate. There's a tradeoff between breadth of selection and breadth of format, and I think sun surfer has made the right choice.

Here's what I don't get. I'm sorry that in any given month, people won't be reading the selection because it's only available in pbook in their markets, or perhaps not available in any format whatsoever. But why would someone walk away in a huff and decline to participate at all, even though the choice in many months will meet his criteria? Instead, why wouldn't someone get involved in the nominating process, actively promote selections in a preferred format, and happily read and discuss in months he can?

So the glass is half full; don't dump it on the ground because you didn't get as much as you want.
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Old 06-30-2012, 11:10 AM   #175
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John F View Post
I'll type slowly, so hopefully you'll be able to follow along...

There are only 5 slots.
If less then all 5 are filled by ebooks, it is limiting.

And I read it because it was an ebook.

And I'm people. You think someone would do a poll or something.
Well look. The lowest form of wit! How refreshing.

And I'd reexamine my logic if I were you. By restricting the number of titles available, that is limiting.

Last edited by orlok; 06-30-2012 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 06-30-2012, 07:47 PM   #176
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I clearly remember the poll mentioned by John F. and I would stand by my reply then. I still think that e-books should be the preferred option but I would be reluctant to simply exclude all other formats.

Sometimes, it is well worth getting a hard copy. For instance, it was quite impossible for me to obtain an electronic format for Turn Magic Wheel, so I ordered the pbook and am very glad that I did so--as otherwise I would have been denying myself a wonderful reading experience. I have since found other very good works which are simply not available in any ebook format at all. I couldn't get the Datkangel trilogy by Meredith Ann Pierce in any electronic form and had to read the paperback edition--which was very pleasantly printed.

You might recall that I nominated Wide Sargasso Sea and this too is not easily obtained in ebook form but it is quite inexpensive as a paperback. Another excellent book was chosen in the poll that was an ebook--and, personally, I think that was the correct option--but I still think that my nomination of WSS was worth making, if only to draw attention to the novel.

And, as Issybird pointed out, geo-restrictions add another problem. Living in the Republic of Ireland means that I cannot oder books from the UK Kindle store! They have to be available through Amazon.com. and be obtained from that site.

So I would agree that we really should allow latitude in the formatting choice.

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Old 06-30-2012, 08:10 PM   #177
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There is no guarantee that a title available as an ebook will be available world wide or available in both mobi and epub formats, so I agree with those who believe that insisting on ebooks for all is needlessly limiting.

For example, The Remains of the Day was the February nomination and it wasn't available as an ebook in Canada. Did John F consider that when he voted for it? Likely not, since it was available as an ebook for him. Does it meet his ebook only requirement? Obviously not. Since I wanted to read it, I voted for it anyway and got a paper copy from my library, even though I vastly prefer ebooks.

As sun surfer mentioned, the voting each month will separate the wheat from the chaff and if ebooks are preferred then they will win.

I use these nomination threads as book recommendations, I've scanned all the threads from the inception of this bookclub (and the other one) to find books I might like. Some of the non-ebook nominations will eventually be released as ebooks, so I'm happy to have those recommendations and I put them on my watch list.
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Old 12-19-2012, 03:18 AM   #178
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Change comes with time, and so the time for change is upon us, heh. We've been using this first Literary Club thread as a makeshift general discussion thread, but now the stickied "Categories and Selections" thread has been retitled to include general discussion and will now serve the purpose this one was serving.

So if you'd like to discuss anything, please use that thread instead. Here's the link:

The MR Literary Club • Welcome, Information & General Discussion
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