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Old 02-28-2013, 07:53 PM   #1
BeccaPrice
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is Social Reading the Wave of the Future?

On a kindle discussion list I follow, we were asked our opinion of social reading. As an introvert, I find the whole concept of social reading to be baffling. I find I don't really care what other people highlight in a book (when I got my Paperwhite, one of the first things I did was turn off popular highlights).

Is all this social reading supposed to make reading more attractive to extroverts ? (Hey, reading is *cool* - you don't have to be a four-eyed geek to like to read!) Is it seen really as a way to sell more books, to hasten new book discovery?

Somehow, being an introvert is seen as being un-American, I think. Is it so in other countries?
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:23 PM   #2
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It may be the "wave of the future" for those who are already interested in such things, but I don't see it getting so pervasive as to mess things up for the rest of us. My idea of "social reading" is talking about books with a few people in the MR Challenge group on Goodreads, checking out reviewers there that I like, and that's about it.

If I come across a really spectacular passage worth sharing, I'll take the time to type it out. I've never really seen the appeal of sharing highlights beyond a few specific applications (like a study group, for example).

I haven't come across the sentiment that introverts are un-American, just that we're weird. I'm okay with that.
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:43 PM   #3
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I think you are thinking about all this incorrectly. Book clubs are not new. While they are social in nature, it's not uncommon for introverts (I hate that word) to listen in.

Social reading simply removes geographical (and potentially language) barriers allowing kindred spirits to enjoy a book (or movie or anything, really) together. No doubt there will be lurkers.

The other piece is keeping track of who is interested in a book or a genre and hooking them up. Make no mistake, there will be a marketing angle here, but think about what could be marketed. Your library could invite you to participate in person. Dating services could award points for interest in reading and reading interests.

I guess you could get all big brother, but, with appropriate protections, this could be a nice way to meet nice people -- just like MR.
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:49 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by BeccaPrice View Post
On a kindle discussion list I follow, we were asked our opinion of social reading. As an introvert, I find the whole concept of social reading to be baffling. I find I don't really care what other people highlight in a book (when I got my Paperwhite, one of the first things I did was turn off popular highlights).

Is all this social reading supposed to make reading more attractive to extroverts ? (Hey, reading is *cool* - you don't have to be a four-eyed geek to like to read!) Is it seen really as a way to sell more books, to hasten new book discovery?

Somehow, being an introvert is seen as being un-American, I think. Is it so in other countries?
1) I use goodreads (example of social network) for me. For my own personal track record To get recommendations, and to use that challenge of theirs. I find it fun. I don't use it primarily for socializing nor do I care for highlights. People I have on my list are mostly people I care about and bookworms themselves so occasionally we steal each other books and give recommendations.

2) I don't think reading has anything to do with this introvert/extrovert division. And most of the people is not clean cut one or other but mix. I think that is very prejudicial what you are saying. Like only geeks read, and non-geeks are air-headed extroverts that would rather party.
People read for all kind of reasons, geeks are not exclusive species.

3)I think people have stereotypes about every country/people. And yes the world usually sees Americans as loud, fun, obnoxious and bigger then life types. Its a thing of contrasts.
You can care about stereotypes, and on other hand you don't have to. If you choose to care, then that is just one more thing from the outside to decide your life. In my country it is also perceived as better to be an extrovert, but for one thing I always liked my quiet time more then a party with bunch of people so I don't really care that much. (South-East Europe)

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Old 02-28-2013, 08:50 PM   #5
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I'm a member of a small book club (5 people) that meets roughly once a month to discuss an agreed-upon book, and I follow a couple of lists to discuss books by specific authors (the Bujold list can really be a time-sink!), so I'm not totally anti-social. It's just that so much of the "social reading" movement seems so contrived...
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Old 02-28-2013, 08:59 PM   #6
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Marketing. It is all about marketing...
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:00 PM   #7
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Dating services could award points for interest in reading and reading interests.
I want this.
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:02 PM   #8
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WTF is social reading? Reading is a singular activity unless you are reading a story to a kid. How does one go about finding enough people who will enjoy reading the same exact books as you. Good grief.
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:03 PM   #9
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I am not a social reader. I'll (often) post a review of what I've read -- after I've read it and decided what I want to say about it. I am not interested in other peoples highlights and am not interested in highlighting anything for anyone else.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go yell at some kids to get off my lawn!
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:09 PM   #10
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If this is the wave of the future I hope it passes me by. I will just float my own way across the ocean.
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:10 PM   #11
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I want this.
Well, looking at your avatar and imagining your accent, I don't even care if you can read
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:12 PM   #12
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Social reading is the wave of the next marketing campaign.

I got a membership on dotdotdot.me. It's social reading. The social features work fine. The actual reading, not so much. And the site's loaded with their own pop-ups: INSTALL OUR APP. CHECK OUT OUR NEW PUBLIC LIST FEATURE.

I predict a small swarm of public reading websites, as various companies try to figure out how to make money off other people's reading habits. One or two of them might even be successful... but reading will remain a mostly-solitary hobby.
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:30 PM   #13
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WTF is social reading? Reading is a singular activity unless you are reading a story to a kid. How does one go about finding enough people who will enjoy reading the same exact books as you. Good grief.

Goodreads.com

Check it out and all your misplaced anger against social reading will be laid to rest. Unless, of course, you are deliberately taking the tract you appear to be on.
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:33 PM   #14
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If this is the wave of the future I hope it passes me by. I will just float my own way across the ocean.
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We do read in Europe too
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Old 02-28-2013, 09:34 PM   #15
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WTF is social reading? Reading is a singular activity unless you are reading a story to a kid. How does one go about finding enough people who will enjoy reading the same exact books as you. Good grief.
Jeez, someone is angry.
I presume you already have those people in your life and they are all on goodreads
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