Tuesday, May 4, 2010

One book, one world?

The "one book, one city" movement as taken off in the UK over the last few years. The idea is that an entire city simultaneously reads one book, usually a classic written by one of their countrymen and/or set in their city. It's like Canada Reads, but with a bit more follow-through.

Now though, the idea has been taken a bit further. Neil Gaiman's novel American Gods has been chosen as the first installment of "one book, one Twitter." The idea is that everyone who uses Twitter will read the same book at the same time and Tweet about it, effectively creating the largest book club in the world. The idea came from Jeff Howe, a contributing editor to Wired magazine, whose website hosted the voting for which book the world should read.

It's an interesting idea. On the one hand, I am happy to support initiatives that encourage reading and literacy and exposure to important books (full disclosure: I have not read American Gods, so I am basing its relative importance against its competitors). On the other hand, like many readers I know, I am wary of book trends. As much as I want to encourage excitement about reading, I don't think books need to be dumbed down for them to have wide appeal. That doesn't seem to be happening here, though.

Whether I decide to read American Gods at all (with the Twitter book club or on my own, later), I certainly will follow the success of the one "one book, one Twitter" movement. If you want to get in on the Tweeting (no spoilers, please), it all gets started tomorrow; send your Tweets to @1B1T or tag them with #1b1t.

Image shown is a screen-grab of one of Jeff Howe's Tweets about "one book, one Twitter" (or #1b1t).

No comments:

Post a Comment

Real Time Web Analytics
Powered By Ringsurf