Getting the World on the Same Page

In Entertainment, Technology, Uncategorized on May 7, 2010 at 9:00 am
Cover of "American Gods: A Novel"

Cover of American Gods: A Novel

Book clubs are not new.

There’s been the Book of the Month Club, reading groups, the one city one book idea that’s been moving around the country since starting in Seattle more than ten years ago.

And while it hasn’t always gone smoothly, it has resulted in more people reading and wider discussions.

In March, Jeff Howe of Crowdsourcing fame, suggested taking the concept even further — what if everyone on Twitter all read the same book?

Howe pointed out that there have been Twitter book clubs, but none had suggested trying to take it to the level he was aiming for.

As he wrote:

“I love books. So do you. Let’s love one book together, our actual geographical location be damned.”

And, really… with e-readers constantly innovating and improving (see everything from the IPad to the Kindle; it doesn’t matter which side of the IPad vs. Kindle fight you’re on — it’s all getting easier) and every phone seeming to be hooked up to a Twitter account, it seems like a natural evolution.

On his blog, Howe solicited suggestions for a book and the contenders were eventually narrowed to six:

1) American Gods by Neil Gaiman;

2) Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury;

3) 1984 by George Orwell;

4) Brave New World by Aldous Huxley;

5) Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut


6) Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

with American Gods eventually getting picked.

On his blog, Gaiman reacted with a little bit of trepidation because, he concedes, not everyone loves his book.

Despite that, he added: “I’m kind of thrilled that I get to help kick off something this new, and I’m going to do all I can to help” including answering tweets when possible.

There was some media attention, a schedule was set and, perhaps most importantly, an official series of hashtags were agreed upon.

So, head on over to a bookstore, pick up a copy of American Gods and then head back to the computer and start tweeting.

1b1t2010 is the starting place (search #1b1t to catch up on all the related tweets) and while there’s only (only?) about 7,000 people following so far, it most definitely is a start.

I keep thinking of the old Coke commercial, only instead of “I’d like to buy the world a Coke” I’d like the world to read a book.


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