One of the things I am doing for this presentation is to streamline my go-to book discussion resources. In general I have been trying to streamline all my first line resources for each general RA area of inquiry. Time is short, and quite honestly, the number of quality of resources for each topic or genre is limited. Seriously, there are days I feel like the ratio of useful information to junk out on the web is 1 to 1 billion.
What is my definition of streamlined? I am going to go with 5. 5 resources to answer most questions. Of course sometimes there are unique patrons with obscure questions that will require more, but I think 5 is a solid representation.
So, here is my streamlined list of go-to free book discussion resources with a few comments on each:
- Lit Lovers is my first stop these days for book discussion ideas and information. They have everything from reviews, to lists of popular book club picks, to articles on running your book club. You can also find publisher questions and interviews with authors as well as lists of questions when you don't have questions [so vital]. There are also social networking options for people who want to connect over books online. I really have made this resource my first stop for all book discussion planning.
- Reading Group Guides is the gold standard in book discussion resources, although to be frank, it does not feel as responsive and dynamic as Lit Lovers to me anymore. Besides their extensive database of questions, interviews and their blog, I also like how there is a way to search lists of possible books by genre.
- Booklist Reader puts all of it's book group posts under one tag which you can access here. What I like about this content is that it covers all library related book discussion information for all age levels. There is also a lot of sharing by book discussion leaders as to things that worked and didn't work for their groups.
- Reading Group Choices is the site I often lose in the shuffle of having too much information. In fact, this site is why I am streamlining my resources. I always forget about it, and when I finally do remember it is either too late or I spend too much time getting mad at myself for forgetting about it. They have been around since 1994. They first started in print. There is a lot of information here, including a monthly email newsletter that is worth the space it takes up in your inbox. The backlist is its biggest gem though. Oh, just go and poke around; you won't be sorry.
- BookMovement is a resource that is geared toward book club members. They encourage you to join and share your group's experiences with them. With the information from about 32,000 groups, they are able to crowdsource information for lists like a national bestseller list for book discussion groups. That list is what I most use this resource for. FYI, they make it seem like you have to sign up for a free account to access the content. If that happens, simply check your url and make sure it is only "http://www.bookmovement.com/" with nothing after the / and you should be fine.
If there is interest in this streamlining, I can do it for other areas/genres. Just let me know.