April 1, 2010

A Global Book Group?

Lately, there's been some buzz in the literary blog-o-sphere about this idea called, "One Book, One Twitter." It's sort of a global book group for the Twitter community proposed by Jeff Howe of Crowdsourcing.  Here's the plan in a nutshell: a gazillion people all read the same book simultaneously and tweet about it.  It's a lot like the one book-one city thing except on a broader scale.

I'm not sure how I feel about this, though. 

On the one hand I love books, reading and all things literature-related.  Reading is fundamental, you know.

But is Twitter the best forum for a book group?  By its very nature, Twitter restricts posts to around 140 characters.  What kind of meaningful exchange can you really have on the relevancy of 1984 or Fahrenheit 451 in only 140 characters?

And do we really need to have someone tell us what to read?  Isn't that what Oprah is for?

I suspect that the people who finally elect to participate in this literary social experiment are the same people who already belong to an online book community like Goodreads or Shelfari or Librarything, and so Jeff Howe won't really be accomplishing anything groundbreaking.  But I'm wondering what other people think about it.

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