1 Book, 1 Twitter: International Book Club, Anyone?

My choice? 1984, Orwell

I won’t bore you with why it’s been a while since my last post, instead I’ll just share my excitement with a new global book club happening right now. Jeff Howe is contributing editor to Wired Magazine, owner of Crowdsourcing.com, and author of a book on the subject. He is also a man after my own heart, literarily speaking, of course. His latest “scheme” is to get everyone on Twitter to read one book, the same book, and talk about it or tweet about it (but at this point, what’s the difference?). His idea, influenced by the one city, one book program, is not an attempt at creating a book club where everyone chooses a list of books to get through and meets at specific times to discuss. Instead he wants to create a sort of moment in time, where people across the globe are reading the same book, albeit in different languages, and talking about it all of the time. From Wired.com:

The aim with One Book, One Twitter is…to get a zillion people all reading and talking about a single book. It is not, for instance, an attempt to gather a more selective crew of book lovers to read a series of books and meet at established times to discuss. The point of this (to the extent it has a point beyond good fun with a good book) is to create community across geographical, cultural, ethnic, economic and social boundaries.

At best we start an annual summer Twitter tradition, and bring a bunch of people from all over the world to read together. At worst a handful of us pick a book in an ad hoc fashion and we’ll simply have started another Twitter book club.

If you’re a word nerd, how bad could that be?

Aside from getting to read something you’ve always wanted to but just haven’t gotten around to yet, you get to hear the insights of people you’d never get to join a book club with. The list is diverse and each book meets the requirement of being widely available and translated in many languages; these are often the books that people don’t get around to reading. Here’s our chance! So, word nerds, you in?

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5 thoughts on “1 Book, 1 Twitter: International Book Club, Anyone?

  1. jasonobryan says:

    1984 is a fantastic book and it all sounds fantastic, except for one, somewhat glaring problem:

    “…you get to hear the insights of people you’d never get to join a book club with…”

    Melanie, you need to be more of a snob. Or, rather, you need to embrace your snobbery. You don’t care about the 140 character insight of JoeBob6969. You don’t. I know you don’t. It’s going to be 1000 people saying “@BasementAnarchist… Remind you of any GOVERMENTS YOU KNOW??!!?!?! LoLZ!”

    Aside from that, it sounds great. You’ll love it. Orwell is always better than I remember, and I remember it being amazing.

  2. @jobreezy I support anything that gets people to read quality fiction. And I realize that, since I can’t pick and choose, I will have take the LolZ along with the worthwhile insights. And I really am just fascinated by the idea that people around the world would be connecting in such an immediate way, no matter the forum.

    But also, you have a knack for genius Twitter names. If JFat doesn’t pan out, start a business.

    • jasonobryan says:

      I think I will. And me @ at that first part.

      I was uncommonly bitter this morning, I think because I was awake and resenting it. Forgive me. A worldwide book club sounds like a lovely idea. Serious.

  3. Mars Dorian says:

    Awesome ridiculous project – it’s crazy flavored the way I like it,
    but do you think a tweet is strong enough to even get the lazy ones scream for that book ?

    • Mars – You’re right, and that’s the general response I’ve been getting from people I talk to about this. I guess my excitement for the project isn’t much for the genius interaction that’s going to come out of it, but the way it’s attempting to raise the bar for social platforms like Twitter. So much of the criticism is for the inanity that no doubt happens, but if we can utilize it for larger purposes and create something more important from it, why not? Also, anything that tries to get a lot of people to read good books gets my stamp of approval.

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