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STEEPSTER BOOK CLUB: Feedback!

Hello everyone! We have just completed our first month of book club, and I wanted to get some feedback on how you think it went!

First of all, do you want to continue the book club? If you all would like to continue, I would love some feedback so we can keep making the book club better :)

A few questions:

What did you like about how it went? What didn’t you like? (Or, what should we keep doing, and what should change?) Are there any new things that we could incorporate to make it more of what you are looking for?

Any comments or suggestions appreciated! If we decide to continue (I, for one, would LOVE to continue :), I will open voting for July and August next week. I was thinking of limiting it to each person nominating ONE book per voting period to keep the list manageable. Once voting is done I will call for discussion leaders. The Steepster Overlords also said that they might be able to offer tea related books as a Steepster Select with enough lead time, and I think that will be fantastic :)

I thank you in advance for any feedback!

14 Replies
Cofftea said

(I’m hoping Jason will see this)- this would be yet another wonderful use for a chat room. Not that just tea chit chat isn’t enough lol;)

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Janefan said

All I can say is that having the author join us to answer questions and read our discussion was AWESOME! thank you so much for setting that up! I know it’s not something we’ll be able to do often, or maybe even ever again, but it was a GREAT way to start things off, and it sounds like Sarah Rose was just as thrilled to be here as we were to have her, because the feedback and insight really went both ways.

I agree to anything that makes the nomination list manageable for the person running the show! :-) I hope we keep this going! I like the structure of breaking the book down into chapters by week, and having a few questions to lead off the discussion.

I think anything that can make our discussions more “multimedia” is great – chat rooms, sharing relevant online video/links, etc. My only caveat is I wouldn’t want it to become a “chat room only” discussion at X time and date. The beauty of the current system is that it allows for people to participate at their convenience without worrying about work schedules, time zones, etc. (That giveaway/chat on here the other day is an example of something great that most people missed out on due to the timing.) I think a chat room would be best for 1) discussion kickoff or wrap up, but keeping the “meat” of the discussion on the boards 2) a special event that IS time-limited, such as an author chat 3) a “sidebar” type of discussion (ex. discussing a film based on the book). I’ve really only done an online book chat once, so that’s just my gut feeling/2 cents. :-)

FIXED the crossouts – that’s what I get for using dashes!

I really enjoyed the author discussion too, and it’s something I’m going to keep in mind when I do my nominating and voting. If we pick a book from a living author, I would not be at all shy about asking them to come visit us here on Steepster :)

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Rabs said

I would love to keep the book group going! I sort of fell off with our first book (I had been telling a patron about it and she had me put it on hold for her, thus not allowing me to renew the copy and I had to turn it back in before I’d finished — she doesn’t even drink tea! ::sniffle::). But I’m catching up with Hitchhiker’s since I own it :D

The only thing I noticed that AmazonV did that I don’t recall with Tea in China is that she just posted on the original “reading schedule for Hitchhiker’s” that the next week’s Q’s are posted. That’s a nice touch :)

Otherwise I’m loving it and can’t think of anything that I’d change so far. Thank you so very much for making this happen!

That is a nice touch, and one we should keep in!!

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Lori said

I was quite surprised by the convenience of a book club on a discussion thread. But was the reading schedule too fast? it seems over time participation declined…..I really loved the book so am very glad for the discussions….

I had less to say by the last week because I’d finished the book several weeks before and I have almost no short term memory for things I read for pleasure. ;-)

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I thoroughly enjoyed reading the first book and participating in the discussions. I would not change a thing.
Now, I am really interested in tea related books and I will participate again:)

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…and I just wanted to let everyone know that I wrote Sarah Rose a thank you note for coming to answer our questions via her publisher Viking/Penguin. I want her to know (and her publisher to know!!) what a gem she is!!!

Rabs said

That’s so wonderful — thank you for the thoughtful thank you! :)

Cofftea said

I could e-mail Mark Ukra if we ever decide to do The Ultimate Tea Diet or Michael Harney if we decide to do his Guide To Tea.

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I really enjoyed it – life of course gets busy at various times and it might be hard for some people to keep up at certain times, but I also think we may want to pick a maximum page # per week, and some books may need to extend longer if they are longer…

to some of the earlier point perhaps for thefast readers we should post all the Q’s in advance so they can get their thoughts down as they go?

I was flying by the seat of my pants, finishing up the section pretty much the day before I was posting questions. :) :) :) I do think it would be great to make the discussion for each week active at the beginning of the month, and people who have read ahead could have a place to throw their thoughts and questions, and the post can later be edited for additional questions when the moderator has read enough. Thanks for that suggestion!! I think that will work to accommodate all styles of readers!!!

I do think that around 300 pages is as much as we should do in a month. If a book is longer we should do it over two months…

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Doulton said

I love the idea and I think it’s wonderful. I do think that for me (I don’t know about others) the first book was a superb choice but I felt as if I had too little warning. I was happy about buying the book but the window of time to read left me behind. If there were a full month between announcing a book and having time to purchase and start reading it, it would be better perhaps for some of us (or maybe only me).

My work can be very demanding at times and I cannot read as quickly as I would like outside of reading for work.

So the only change I would make is to keep us going a month in advance and to keep the genres shifting so that perhaps there would be non-fiction, new fiction, classic fiction in a bit of a rotation.

I want to thank you, JacquelineM for all the work you did and also apologize that I was not able to keep up with the wonderful “For All the Tea in China”. I would like to suggest that the July book be fairly easy to obtain and to read. “For All the Tea in China” was wonderful but the library had a big waiting list and I had to order it on-line (it was either not carried or sold out by local stores) and it took a while to arrive.

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