14 July 08 | Chad W. Post

Over at The Valve there’s an interesting reading event taking place that could be a really cool model for future online book clubs.

The book at the center of this event is Douglas Wolk’s very interesting Reading Comics. But it’s the structure of this “event” that got me intrigued.

Basically, over the next month or so, 10+ bloggers/writers will be posting their reactions to Douglas’s book on their various websites. The Valve will aggregate links to the various posts, which could be short visceral reactions, longer essays about a particular topic from the book, a review of the book, a piece inspired by the book, etc.

What interests me is how this is a really dispersed event rather than a centralized book group. There are a number of advantages to this approach that jump to mind. Because these posts are going up on such a variety of websites, the audience reached by the event will be much larger than if a single site hosted everything, and presumably, this will draw more people into the event. And the fact that the different “moderator/participants” are allowed to do whatever they want, in whatever format they want, there’s a sort of freedom to the posts that should help open up a number of discussions.

This is by no means a revolutionary idea. In fact, it’s almost identical to what the Lit Blog Co-op did with its Read This! selections. Still, I think this is a very viable structure for generating a discussion about a particular book.

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