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A Twitter Book Club???

A Twitter Book Club??? Yes, I know this sounds a bit crazy, trying to discuss a book in 140 characters, but I’m here to tell you that it can be done! This idea actually is new to What’s Falmouth Reading?, but not new to twitter. A fellow named Jeff Howe came up with this idea in 2010. He wrote about it for Wired Magazine:

“I have a dream. An idea. A maybe great notion. Actually, as Auggie March might say, ‘I got a scheme.’

What if everyone on Twitter read the same book at the same time and we formed one massive, international book club? Usually such programs are organized by big-city libraries. Seattle started the trend for collective reading in 1998 when zillions of Seattlites all read Russell Banks’ book, Sweet Hereafter. Chicago followed suit with To Kill a Mockingbird a few years later, and then other cities started jumping on the bandwagon.

When the program works — and it doesn’t always — it gets more people reading, more people talking and more people generally appreciating the written word. What’s not to like?”

Well I actually participated in that first twitter book club that he ran, and we all read American Gods by Neil Gaiman. It was a book I would never have read on my own, and it turned out to not only be a great novel but also a great way to talk about a book, and it also was a great way to connect to people who were online and loved to read.

So this year, as we were putting together all our programming for our 2012 book, Seen the Glory: a novel of the battle of Gettysburg by John Hough, Jr., I decided I wanted to try this with our town wide read. A twitter discussion about the book. I’ve no idea if this will work, or how many people in town have twitter accounts or how many people in town who have twitter accounts actually follow @falpublib. What I do know is that it could work!

So the first step I made was to create a twitter account just for the book discussion, separate from our library twitter account. The new twitter account (which I hope you will follow!) is @falmouthreading, and here is the official schedule for discussing Seen the Glory:

Week 1: January 23- January 29
Part 1, Chapters 1-12

Week 2: January 30 – February 5
Part 1, Chapters 13-17

Week 3: February 6 – February 12
Part 2, Chapters 1-7

Week 4: February 13 – February 19
Part 2, Chapters 8-11

The biggest challenge with a book discussion of this type is to keep everyone talking about the chapters we will be discussing that week! We do not want to spoil the book for people who haven’t read ahead. Feel free to read as much as you want, but limit your twitter discussion to the schedule. I’ll be posting questions from time to time, and reading along with you, but feel free to tweet whatever observations you might have about what you are reading, or even post a favorite sentence you might have read.

One other important link for twitter is the hashtag. The hashtag is a little bit like subject indexing in a library, it lets everyone read everything that happens to get written on twitter about that particular subject. So our hashtag for What’s Falmouth Reading 2012? will be #wfr2012. When you post a comment on the twitter feed, please also add the hashtag #wfr2012.

Questions? Just send me an e-mail at or you can call the Reference Desk at 508-457-2555, ext. 6

Happy reading and happy tweeting!

Category: For Readers | Permalink


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