Monday, November 29, 2010

Future Read-a-Longs.

I am looking for some input and feedback, so please comment and give me your opinions.

I have hosted a number of read-a-longs in the past (Gulliver's Travels, One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Tempest, and Cranford). Personally, I really enjoy read-a-longs. I find that they are great motivators to read books that are fun and challenging. The company is great and I love the community aspect of it.

I have been taking a break from hosting read-a-longs in recent months. Mainly because as a host, they are time consuming to coordinate (at least I find it to be so). I also had some mixed results from hosting. Cranford was a big success, where One Hundred Years of Solitude was kind of a dud. That happens when interest is not high, so I was to be assured of having some successful read-a-longs in the future.

I would love to reinstate read-a-longs hosted here at A Literary Odyssey, but I am looking for some feedback. If you would be so kind, please give me some feedback about the following:
  • What are your favorite parts about read-a-longs?
  • Least favorite?
  • What classics would you like to read as a part of a read-a-long?
  • How do you feel about multiple posts for read-a-long books? Do you prefer one post at the end of the slotted time?
  • If I host more, would you participate (obviously if the book interested you)?
  • Anything else?
I haven't made my decision yet, but I would love your input. I appreciate it!


  1. I never got to participate either because they were titles I'd already read, titles I wasn't interested in, or titles that simply came at the wrong time for me (I'm way too moody of a reader). After doing my one readalong with Bleak House, though, i realized I don't think readalongs work for me. I prefer the type of readalong where you all report back at the end on a certain date. That's how I'm setting up my online componant of my classics book club next year, and people can participate as they see fit (the books are set for the IRL portion of the club anyway). I'm not really sure I can participate in any readalongs. I do like reading other peoples' thoughts, though, as long as there aren't TOO many posts. The 10 weeks of Bleak House was far too excessive. We should have split the book into quarters and reported back every 3 weeks or so...

  2. I just finished my first read-a-long and I loved it! My favorite part is that it pushes me to not put off a book that isn't as engaging but that I really want to read. It helps me to keep on schedule and finish it within a reasonable period of time.

    I would love to read The Iliad as a read-a-long or Atlas Shrugged. Really, any of the longer classics would be great.

    I like having the multiple posts. A weekly target for reading and a check-in help me from getting too far behind.

    If you hosted, I would definitely participate if it is a book I am interested in. Hopefully you will. I'm looking for some read-a-longs to join!

  3. I've never done a read along before but I really want to read some classics in 2011, as I have basically ignored them in 2010 (bad, I know). My major criteria is usually my own personal accessibility to the book, as well as the time frame since I am student, neither of which the host can control. however I enjoy your blog and would definitely consider participating if you hosted a readalong.

  4. I would love to participate in your next readalong if it is a book I'm interested in.

  5. I've never participated in a RAL because it never suited me time wise. But this coming year I'm making a commitment to classics, so I would love to discuss them with other individuals who are reading at the same time. I'm a big fan of the Victorian Era, have never read any Russian Lit (although I need to correct this), and will probably skip over the Greeks. :)

  6. I participated in two of your read alongs this year. I had never done any before. I have to say that it was very educational for me. I read books that I probably never would have before, so for me, I say go for it. I would put up 3 books that you think you might want to do and see what the response would be. In the end, you do need to get through your list, so what do you think you would like to participate in, then those would be choices to put up.

    Love, Mom

  7. I've only participated in one readalong: for Bleak House and I really enjoyed it. It was serialized and it worked well spread out over a long period of time. I know you hate Dickens but I would definitely be more willing to participate in a Dickens readalong because I own several of his books. Other Victorian or Russian literature would also be great.

    I like multiple posts for the book whether it's split in to quarters, eighths, or just half so that I have a goal to shoot for.

    I would definitely love to participate in a readalong hosted by you provided I had an interest in the book.

  8. I do like multiple posts for a readalong because that makes it feel like an actual readalong and not just simultaneous reviewing. A post a week worked really well for The Odyssey, four weeks total.

  9. I've never partcipated in a readalong, but -

    -What are your favorite parts about read-a-longs?

    The depth of questions. I like the lit hop because it gives me a specific topic to address. I'd love that, in a readalong.

    -Least favorite?

    The schedule. (I hate schedules and prefer absolute flexibility/voluntary discussion.)

    Also, with school, I'd be disinclined to take part in anything that demanded much time. (Obviously, I'd participate, but not to the exclusion of homework.) :-)

    -What classics would you like to read as a part of a read-a-long?

    Ha! I'd LOVE LOVE LOVE it if you hosted a War and Peace read-a-long for 2011 -- say, check in once a month, or once every two months, throughout the year?

    Otherwise, maybe something off my Victorian Lit Challenge List. :-)

    - How do you feel about multiple posts for read-a-long books?

    I wouldn't mind a few, but too many would be oppressive, unless it's voluntary. Maybe one every couple weeks?

    -Do you prefer one post at the end of the slotted time?

    At the end of the whole book? No, that doesn't seem much like a readalong...

    - If I host more, would you participate (obviously if the book interested you)?

    Given a lot of flexibility and time, yes.

    - Anything else?

    War and Peace! :P

  10. Oh, I forgot to say that I dislike the 'commitment' part of a readalong.

    Every time I post, I have to comment on everyone else -- not that I don't want to, but I realy, really lack time some weeks. That's why sometimes I don't take part in the lit hop. If I can't take it all on in a given week, I'd want to not participate, rather than have to comb through 30 posts and comment on all, when I have stacks of homework.

    I wouldn't like the idea that, because I joined, I'm now committed every week to take on ALL of that. It can become too much, quickly, when I'm busy with other things.

    That's why I need flexibility.

  11. There are some classics waiting in my TBR that I wouldn’t mind reading in a group (I actually think I need it, for some of them…): The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers, The Wings of the Dove, Our Mutual Friend, Mary Barton, Doctor Zhivago, Lady Chatterley’s Lover. If you host any of these, count me in!

    I participated in Cranford’s read-along but cannot really say why it was so much fun. Maybe because the book was relatively easy to read and it was well spread out? Maybe because the chapters were almost stand-alone? Or because there was a lot of buzz around Gaskell going about the book blogosphere at the time?

    I’m looking forward to seeing what you decide

  12. I like the interaction with fellow bloggers and sharing thoughts. However, I seem to be fairly bad at keeping up with a reading schedule once I agree to a readalong. So I would certainly join, have every intention to, but I'm unsure if I'll ever really make it.

  13. Wish I had been able to participate in Cranford, but the timing didn't work for me. I enjoyed 3 read-alongs this year, but had less success with each one. We posted weekly on Wuthering Heights. I enjoyed it, got to know some great bloggers, but with the posting frequency, felt burned out at the end. Madame Bovary had 3 posts over 6 weeks - that worked well, but I missed the final one. Then came Bleak House - so looong and I fell behind almost immediately. My posts were monthly, and I still need to write a wrap-up.

    So... basically I enjoy the interaction, prefer multiple posts (but not weekly), and would join in for a book that interests me.

  14. Your Cranford read-along was my first, but I did three others this year after that. Some were good and others weren't.

    I really enjoy the discussion and comments. The best part is hearing what other people have gotten from the book. It definitely adds to my reading experience. I like when the host lists all the participants posts so you can click through and read everyone's thoughts, (the Cranford read-along was perfect for this).

    I don't like having to post 10 times on the same book. I prefer 2 or maybe 4 (if it's a long book) posts to discuss various aspects. Otherwise it becomes a really big time committment.

    I would love to participate in a read-along hosted here again. I'm with Alexandra, I think The Count of Monte Cristo, The Wings of the Dove or Lady Chatterley’s Lover would be great. Looking at others on your list, I'd also be up for Cold Sassy Tree, David Copperfield, Absalom, Absalom!, Vanity Fair and The House of Mirth and others I'm sure, but those stand out.