One Book, One Twitter: Take Two (A List!)

A couple weeks ago I mentioned One Book, One Twitter: an online, worldwide summer reading event organized by Wired magazine’s Jeff Howe and everyone else on Twitter. An interview about the project is supposed to air today on NPR’s All Things Considered, though I don’t see it on the rundown. A few of my thoughts on the project since its conception or rather, my knowledge of it:


  • It supports reading fiction. I can get behind something that tries to get people to read good fiction.
  • It promotes interaction and personalization of new media. I support trying to figure out new media, to mold social platforms in a way that makes them serve our best purposes. The criticism against social media claims to be a resistance against the inanity of it. What’s the harm in trying to turn something possibly stupid into something ingenious? It’s what we make of it.
  • I like to read. I’ve been interested in reading American Gods, having heard positive reviews, and it’s been chosen as the book. The author, Neil Gaiman, is on Twitter as well, offering a unique chance to interact with the author as you read the book.
  • It can’t be that bad, can it? The chances of every single person involved in this experiment being an idiot can’t be too high, can they? That’s a pro, isn’t it?


  • It could go horribly awry. A good friend of mine predicted the worst, saying if we read 1984 as I voted, I’d be subject to tweets such as this hypothetical one from “@BasementAnarchist… Remind you of any GOVERMENTS YOU KNOW??!!?!?! LoLZ!”
  • There’s no plan. That’s part of what makes it exciting and part of what may keep people from taking it seriously. Howe has joked that we can do whatever we want since we’re sort of playing it by ear anyway. Something that could’ve just been a passing, “Hm, that might be interesting” moment has gained momentum because of how well known Howe and Wired are. In the end, it’s just some guy who had an idea and had the resources to spread it around.
  • Who cares what other people take from the book? It could end up being a platform for heated, ignorant debate on a great work of literature. It could make me want to rip my hair out.

Though my skepticism of the project has grown somewhat since I initially heard about it, I still support it if it gets one person to read a book just to be a part of the moment. Thoughts? Do you plan on getting involved?

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5 thoughts on “One Book, One Twitter: Take Two (A List!)

  1. Jeff Howe says:

    Good points all. I especially like the hypothetical tweet from @BasementAnarchist… “Remind you of any GOVERMENTS YOU KNOW??!!?!?! LoLZ”

    Hilarious. Let’s be honest. We’re gonna get trolls and dunderheads and conspiracy theorists and script kiddies. It is, after all, the Internet.

    I can’t promise this is going to work. Just that it’ll be fun trying. Thanks for your continued support, and your critical engagement, which is at least as valuable.


    • I agree, in the end if all 1B1T does is adjust the way people think about new media or read a good book, it’s a positive thing. At the very least, it’ll challenge people to interact on different and more meaningful levels. I’ll definitely be participating, and I’m excited to see where it goes!

      Also, yes, Jason is very funny. Thanks for stopping by, Jeff!


      • jasonobryan says:

        “Just that it’ll be fun trying.”

        Couldn’t agree more. Plus, not reading 1984 will be a strength. Not taking something that iconic. This way, the trolls will have to actually read the book to be even half-successful at their ridiculous, self-imposed charge, at which point they will have been tricked into learning something.


  2. SET says:

    That was the first book my book club read! I was all on board for 1984 but I’ll interject SERIOUS SPOILERS for American Gods…great book for a book club but the opportunities to reveal plot twists are abundant.

    • Ooh, I didn’t even think about that. I’ll just have to read far ahead to avoid that. I’m pretty excited about this, and only realized yesterday that Jeff Howe is actually in Cambridge! So. Cool. Also, it’s a great opportunity to read something I might not have picked up on my own. I also bought Coraline; Neil Gaiman Fest.

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