Real Life Long Distance Book Club?

GaryYudmanGaryYudman New YorkPosts: 738 ✭✭✭
edited November 2012 in Gatherings and Events
So I was watching an old Vlogbrothers video, To Be Anything At All: Thought from Places, and at the start, John talks about a copy of Looking for Alaska that hundreds of Nerdfighters read and annotated. And all I could think of for the rest of the video was "I wanna do something like that."

So I got an idea. We could start a one book Book Club, in which we all choose a book, then we all pitch in for someone to buy that book, then we mail the book back to forth to everybody. I'm not sure if we would read it one chapter at a time, or how time would work (like how long they get to keep it for) but I'm sure we could work that out. We could discuss the book here, once we've all read the same amount. Or maybe we could just write questions on the pages (or preferably on other sheets of paper, folded up and put into the book [writing in books is naughty]) and have them be answered by the people reading the book at the time.

If anyone is interested in this idea, please let me know. Also, unrelated, but this is my twenty-seventh post. Don't ask why, but that's a special number to me. I feel all fuzzy now.


  • MishiewishieMishiewishie Posts: 82 ✭✭
    Sounds interesting. I think it would be nice for everyone to read the book (their own copy or the book that will be passed around) but important to use The Book as the place for annotations, highlights, comments, etc. It will look pretty beat up when the pass around is done, but it will be meaningful. 

    I mean, imagine the people of the next hundred years coming across that book and finding it's to-be history. It'll be museum material. :)
    Always the tone of surprise.

  • KelliKelli TexasPosts: 2,716 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I'm totally interested in this! I think that it would be really fun and interesting to see the book at the end of all the passing around and annotations. (:
    I make videos 
    "Nerd like us are allowed to be unironically enthusiastic about stuff."
    I live in the land of the Last Ones

  • I think it's a great idea!
    some things you do for money, and some you do for fun, but the things you do for love are gonna come back to you one by one.
  • JustinSwanJustinSwan Posts: 165 ✭✭✭
    A wonderful idea!
    “But I will say this: When the scientists of the future show up at my house with robot eyes and they tell me to try them on, I will tell the scientists to screw off, because I do not want to see a world without him.” 
    ― John GreenThe Fault in Our Stars
  • This would be really cool.
  • GaryYudmanGaryYudman New YorkPosts: 738 ✭✭✭
    I'm glad to hear that you're interested. But first, I wanna know how many of you are actually in for this, like putting up with chipping in for the book, then mailing it all over the place, and giving your address to us (we gotta send the book somehow!). To those who really wanna do this, first, we gotta pick a book. Throw suggestions down!
  • It sounds like a pretty cool idea. I think it would be awesome if we actually wrote in the book, so it will end up looking like the book from the half-blood prince! I would definitely be willing to chip in and such, but I'm not sure about giving my adres. Maybe there's a way to send it to a postoffice nearby or something? On the other hand, since I'm from Holland, it might get seriously expensive for the person who has to send it to me. So, in that case, I totally understand if I can't participate.
    As to which book should be purchased for the club, I think something we wouldn't neccessarily read otherwise. Also, John's books and things like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games have been discussed a million times already. But that book by Hayley G. Hoover, Kristina Horner and Rosianna is coming out pretty soon right? That might be an idea?

    Best wishes!

    'That's why Gryffindors all sing, Weasley is our king!'
    Even though I am a Hufflepuff. Whatever.


  • LauraCwritesLauraCwrites Posts: 32
    This sounds like a great idea, but I'm wondering who would get the book in the end? It seems kinda unfair for us all to chip in and pay for it, spend a lot sending it around and then only one person to get the book. Just a thought. 
    "NO EEEEDGE" - Hank Green.

  • sarahpsarahp Posts: 15
    That's a great idea! 
    Have you considered e-books? I know that apple has a "gift this book" feature but I'm wondering if it would be easier for everyone to use Google Books or a similar application to annotate and pass without the mailing and such.
  • GaryYudmanGaryYudman New YorkPosts: 738 ✭✭✭
    E-books would make the annotating and commenting in the book impossible, and that's one of the parts that would make it cool.
  • amandafinlawamandafinlaw Posts: 49
    I really like this idea, and I would love to see a book with everyone's thoughts in it. The biggest difficulty is definitely shipping cost, because actual books aren't too expensive. So I think we would have to keep in within the US or something. But I'm in as long as shipping isn't insanely expensive. 
  • carbarecarloscarbarecarlos Posts: 110 ✭✭
    fantastic idea! and it makes sense to keep it with in the USA so shipping isn't crazy expensive for the award people who have to ship it internationally 
    you can comment on thinks like a nook book (maybe kindel) and share it back and forth maybe...

    | Tumblr | Other Tumblr |

    | Caroline | USA | Slytherin | Whovian | Sherlockian | Band kid |
    message me any time, seriously, that would be awesome
  • MishiewishieMishiewishie Posts: 82 ✭✭
    I really like this idea, and I would love to see a book with everyone's thoughts in it. The biggest difficulty is definitely shipping cost, because actual books aren't too expensive. So I think we would have to keep in within the US or something. But I'm in as long as shipping isn't insanely expensive. 
    On this note, it might be wise to do a trial run for this first. Like, have one book circulating in just the East Coast of the US, and one in the West Coast. Then another book could be in the UK or something. If those books are successful then we try bigger. :)
    Always the tone of surprise.

  • MabelPinesMabelPines Posts: 90
    I definitely think we should keep it small. I think we would only need like 5 people participating to make it special! Maybe have groups of 5 in their respective areas reading the same book as all the others, so we can still all feel connected? And we can send the finished books to Hank and John? Or maybe decide among ourselves, i don't know.
  • GaryYudmanGaryYudman New YorkPosts: 738 ✭✭✭
    edited December 2012
    I also think that it should be small. But enough of that, I think I've found a book! I was looking around in my dads office, and I found an old copy of Of Mice and Men that my brother stole from school a few years ago. So now, no one has to buy anything, and I think oMaM is an alright book to start with. Although, I wonder what everyone is currently reading, and if any of us want to read that instead. That way, that person doesn't have to abandon a book, because trust me, reading a few books at once is hard, and you enjoy the books less. Right now I'm reading Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (that name is incredible Russian)

    Oh yeah, did I mention? I don't want this to be a one time thing. Once we finish the first one, hopefully everyone will want to do another.

    EDIT : I just thought of something that's really important. What would be better, paperback or hardcover?
  • amandafinlawamandafinlaw Posts: 49
    I just finished The Casual Vacancy. That could be interesting for this, especially because it's told from the perspective of so many characters. But I like the idea of Of Mice and Men because that's a pretty short book, although I wasn't fond of it when I read it in high school, but that doesn't matter so much. 
    Should we pick a book with a max amount of pages?

  • johnlantonjohnlanton Posts: 129 ✭✭
    It should be paperback.
    I suggest "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."
  • GigiGigi Posts: 58
    If we do small groups I think choosing a book would be easier as well. I think 5 is a good sized group, and with small groups we could even have each person choose a book and try to eventually do all of them. It could even turn into like a book-recommendation-thing...

  • RoxieFlashRoxieFlash Dalton, GAPosts: 207 ✭✭✭
    I'd be up for it. Anybody in the Southeast US wanna get together a small group and pick a book? 
    Things Em Says - Blog - Youtube Channel
  • beccalynn311beccalynn311 Posts: 104 ✭✭
    I live in the north west and I love this idea. If there is still room open I'd like to take part in it. I'm not sure if this has been said, but we can have our own copy and then mail around a discussion book. 
  • RoxieFlashRoxieFlash Dalton, GAPosts: 207 ✭✭✭
    @beccalyn311 I'd be willing to work it out with people across the US; shipping isn't that much in the country anyway. Any idea what book you'd wanna read?
    Things Em Says - Blog - Youtube Channel
  • natbookworm97natbookworm97 Posts: 8
    edited January 2017
  • isabelraeisabelrae Posts: 67
    I love this idea!
    "When I look at my room, I see a girl who loves books"
  • RoxieFlashRoxieFlash Dalton, GAPosts: 207 ✭✭✭
    Nerdfighters, if you live in the U.S. and would like to start a Long-Distance Book Club starting with The Count of Monte Cristo, send me a message and I'll see if I can arrange something. 
    Things Em Says - Blog - Youtube Channel
  • HelenaInABasketHelenaInABasket Posts: 77 ✭✭
    I would really love to do this.  

    I don't know about other people, but how about picking up a book already in your present collection and sending that around? This eliminates the cost and time of finding a new book and adds an element of randomness to it. You get to learn something about the other person's tastes- or lack thereof if the book was a joke or the original sender writes all kinds of comments about the book being rubbish in the pages- and interests to begin with AND it's not bound by the "classics" notion. Like only reading books you might have already read in school.

    Keeping it small sounds good too, but I don't think it should be bound by the geographical area in the US. [Like only southern states communicate or the west coast]  Sending across the US isn't too hard and last I checked, not insanely expensive.  Ground rules would need to be set- like how long you have to read the book, shipping method, how annotations need to actually be legible and done in PEN, etc. 
    My soul has been so fearful, so violent: forgive its brutality.
  • GaryYudmanGaryYudman New YorkPosts: 738 ✭✭✭
    I'm really glad so many people like this idea, so I think we better get it underway. First off, we gotta pick a book. I'm not a fan of the oMaM idea anymore, so I think we should go with something else. I like the idea of The Casual Vacancy someone mentioned about a week ago, though if anyone else has ideas, please suggest. If you already have the book, you'll have to be okay with it getting written in and more than likely pretty beat up by the end of it. If not, we'll all pitch in somehow so someone can buy it.

    Once we get a book picked, we're gonna have to send it around. If you're not comfortable giving out your real address, then you can use a postbox. I think one week of having the book at a time is a good amount of time.

    I think maybe 5 to 8 people would be a good amount of people to start out with. If this idea works, and people like it, I'm sure we can do more. If you actually want to be part of this, message me. If I end up getting a ton of people wanting to be in, I'm sure we can think of something. Maybe drawing names outta a hat?

    Also, paperback and pen. Very much yes pen. Although, I'm not sure if Casual Vacancy is in paperback yet.
  • HelenaInABasketHelenaInABasket Posts: 77 ✭✭
    This is NOTHING against people who are under 18.  Please, please understand that and I do not mean to offend anyone.

    I don't want to come off as ageist, but I am kinda concerned about underage folks.  A lot of parents might frown on their kids getting mail from people on the internet or underage individuals who may or may not be honest with their parents in regards to getting mail.
    My soul has been so fearful, so violent: forgive its brutality.
  • GaryYudmanGaryYudman New YorkPosts: 738 ✭✭✭
    As someone under 18 myself, I see what you're saying.
  • HelenaInABasketHelenaInABasket Posts: 77 ✭✭
    I don't really care about communication with minors- because really it's the internet and there is all kinds of communication going on and thoughtfulness doesn't have an assigned number.  It's more angry/upset parents intercepting the book [and potential punishment for minor nerdfighters- revoking internet, grounding, etc] or angry mail.

    Opening mail is better than Christmas for me, so angry mail is pretty high on the do not want list. =[
    My soul has been so fearful, so violent: forgive its brutality.
  • KetieSanerKetieSaner Posts: 2
    I'd be in as well. I live in Germany so if someone wants to start something in Europe just message me. But even so I think international shipping doesn't cost that much, for books it shouldn't be more than 5€/$.
    For books suggest: I was thinking about 1984, Brave New World or maybe An Imperial Affliction? I'd be also willing to buy a book or just start by sending a book out of my collection. :)

    So yeah I'm in for just Germany/Europe or worldwide as well. :)
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