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Book of the Month?

Is there something you'd like to see on this site? Let the admins know!

What Shall We Do With the Book of the Month?

Poll ended at Tue February 15th, 2011, 4:35 am

Scrap it altogether.
2
13%
Keep it as is.
10
63%
Change to a bimonthly schedule (1 book every 2 months)
3
19%
Have a different member select the book each month; no nominating/voting
1
6%
 
Total votes: 16

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 9581
Joined: August 2008
Location: Seattle, WA

Post by Misfit » Wed February 16th, 2011, 1:05 pm

[quote=""Michy""]Hee hee, I like that.

I just had this happen to me yesterday -- I was struggling with one part of the book I'm reading, so I went to Amazon to look at a few reviews to see what others thought of it. The very first review went into a lot of detail and basically spilled the entire plot. I wish, wish I hadn't read it, because I didn't have any idea what was going to happen. Now I do, and I feel the fun of reading the book has largely been spoiled. :( (But I am going to finish it, anyway). It would have been considerate of the reviewer to put SPOILER ALERT at the beginning of her review......[/quote]

You too? I hate that. Even if I'm only going to give a slight mention of what might happen towards the end of a book when I'm on a rant I tag the review with spoilers.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

Ash
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 2475
Joined: August 2008
Location: Arizona, USA

Post by Ash » Wed February 16th, 2011, 1:05 pm

[quote=""Misfit""]I love the new feature Goodreads just added. They have an HTML code for spoilers and any comments are hidden unless someone clicks on the view spoilers. That goes for comments on reviews as well as the reviews themselves.[/quote]

We have a similar feature another forum, and I really love it. You just 'white out' the post, and highlight it when you want to see it. Solves the problems with spoilers, and allows posters to ask questions in 'secret' without revealing anything of the book.

Im experimenting. I notice that we can do colors here. Im going to white out this next sentence by choosing white, then seeing if it will appear if I highlight it

this is a test

Ok, lets see if this works.

Bingo! Ok, if you have a post that you think will be a spoiler, simply type it, then click on the big A above the posting box. Highlight your post, then click on White. If anyone wants to see it, they simply highlight that 'empty' space.
Last edited by Ash on Wed February 16th, 2011, 1:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Michy
Bibliophile
Posts: 1649
Joined: May 2010
Location: California

Post by Michy » Wed February 16th, 2011, 3:23 pm

That is an excellent idea!

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Misfit
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 9581
Joined: August 2008
Location: Seattle, WA

Post by Misfit » Wed February 16th, 2011, 3:27 pm

Cool, I hadn't thought of that.

Test test test test test
Did it work?

ETA: It did!
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

User avatar
MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Posts: 3562
Joined: August 2008
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favourite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Post by MLE (Emily Cotton) » Wed February 16th, 2011, 3:33 pm

Excellent--but better include instructions for newcomers every time you do it. Otherwise, you might have a whole unexplained string of nearly empty posts.
Something like: Spoiler follows. Highlight white text to view.
and then you can post all the spoilerish stuff you want. The person answering it can quote the invisible text before they answer it.
just like that.
I used light blue instead of white.

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Ludmilla
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Location: Georgia USA

Post by Ludmilla » Wed February 16th, 2011, 3:44 pm

HTML code for spoilers has been around for years now and it's dependent on whether the individual site/software/board design supports it. There are some things to consider when using them, though. They don't work very well for those using mobile devices (can't always select to see hidden text, for example), and some devices are easier to manually code and format from than others. It might be worth polling the community to ask what type of device people normally use when coming to the board. I have several options (home desktop, work laptop and iPad) but not everyone has that.

Also, I really think it's rude for people who haven't read a book to make a big deal about spoilers within a book discussion thread when it is agreed upon UP FRONT that discussion -- including any and all spoilers -- starts by x date. That should be fair warning enough and it places too many restrictions on those who've taken the time to read the book with the intention of discussing plot details. If people have to format spoilers within a book discussion thread they are going to get lazy and just not have much to say at all. I've watched this happen at other boards as well. Spoiler tags are a great idea for general purpose threads where you do want to be considerate of readers who haven't read the book. I find them overkill in a book discussion thread.

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Misfit
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Posts: 9581
Joined: August 2008
Location: Seattle, WA

Post by Misfit » Wed February 16th, 2011, 3:54 pm

[quote=""Ludmilla""]HTML code for spoilers has been around for years now and it's dependent on whether the individual site/software/board design supports it. There are some things to consider when using them, though. They don't work very well for those using mobile devices (can't always select to see hidden text, for example), and some devices are easier to manually code and format from than others. It might be worth polling the community to ask what type of device people normally use when coming to the board. I have several options (home desktop, work laptop and iPad) but not everyone has that.

Also, I really think it's rude for people who haven't read a book to make a big deal about spoilers within a book discussion thread when it is agreed upon UP FRONT that discussion -- including any and all spoilers -- starts by x date. That should be fair warning enough and it places too many restrictions on those who've taken the time to read the book with the intention of discussing plot details. If people have to format spoilers within a book discussion thread they are going to get lazy and just not have much to say at all. I've watched this happen at other boards as well. Spoiler tags are a great idea for general purpose threads where you do want to be considerate of readers who haven't read the book. I find them overkill in a book discussion thread.[/quote]

You know, spoilers in discussions might make for an interesting debate topic. It has been rather quiet lately ;)

That was one thing I just learned at Goodreads about the mobile devices with the spoiler codes. We had a bunch of them in the comments about a book, but fortunately the person who let us know she could read them from her Iphone didn't care. I went back to the original review and posted clearly for mobile users to enter with caution.

Sometime we'll never win. There's one commenter going a bit overboard about supposed spoilers in advance reviews of a highly anticipated novel. Even reviews marked with spoilers really do not give much of anything away outside of the fact that you most likely won't get the ending you'd been promised and/or hoped for. Are we supposed to shut up and say nothing and let people live on in dreamland a bit longer, or express our honest disappointment in the ending?

I agree about discussion threads though. If a person doesn't want to know anything, it's best to stay away entirely.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

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Ludmilla
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Location: Georgia USA

Post by Ludmilla » Wed February 16th, 2011, 4:40 pm

It's difficult to anticipate the problems that will result from the plethora of devices that people could be using out there.

Using my iPad as an example, I cannot view blacked out text because I haven't figured out how to select (i.e. highlight) text to view (there may be a way, but selecting snippets of text to view or cut & paste on a touchscreen can be awkward). I suspect we are going to see more touchscreen devices out there as well, and they definitely have their own challenges.

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Michy
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Joined: May 2010
Location: California

Post by Michy » Wed February 16th, 2011, 5:02 pm

[quote=""Misfit""]Are we supposed to shut up and say nothing and let people live on in dreamland a bit longer, or express our honest disappointment in the ending?

I agree about discussion threads though. If a person doesn't want to know anything, it's best to stay away entirely.[/quote] I think it would be difficult for a reviewer to give an honest review and not even allude to the ending, since how a book ends generally has a large impact on our overall like/dislike of the book (at least, it does for me). For instance, a book I read in December was sailing towards a strong 4 stars until I got to the ending. This is just a matter of taste, but syrupy-sweet endings where the main protagonists end up as hand-holding BFFs generally kill a book for me, and this one was no exception. I was the first to post a review on Amazon -- don't know how I managed that! -- so I tried to be very vague in talking about the ending; but I couldn't totally avoid mentioning it altogether, since it had such an influence on my overall opinion of the book.

If a reviewer wishes to go into detail about some important plot elements, then I think it is only common courtesy to give a spoiler warning. On the other hand, what's a spoiler for one person might not be a spoiler for someone else. So if someone is fairly sensitive to being spoiled, then they should avoid reviews until they are finished with the book. :)

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Misfit
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Joined: August 2008
Location: Seattle, WA

Post by Misfit » Wed February 16th, 2011, 5:45 pm

[quote=""Michy""]I think it would be difficult for a reviewer to give an honest review and not even allude to the ending, since how a book ends generally has a large impact on our overall like/dislike of the book (at least, it does for me). For instance, a book I read in December was sailing towards a strong 4 stars until I got to the ending. This is just a matter of taste, but syrupy-sweet endings where the main protagonists end up as hand-holding BFFs generally kill a book for me, and this one was no exception. I was the first to post a review on Amazon -- don't know how I managed that! -- so I tried to be very vague in talking about the ending; but I couldn't totally avoid mentioning it altogether, since it had such an influence on my overall opinion of the book.

If a reviewer wishes to go into detail about some important plot elements, then I think it is only common courtesy to give a spoiler warning. On the other hand, what's a spoiler for one person might not be a spoiler for someone else. So if someone is fairly sensitive to being spoiled, then they should avoid reviews until they are finished with the book. :) [/quote]

That is the tough part at times, you can't give away the ending but if there's some serious disappointment/story/character issues they should be addressed. Honestly, if the new Auel book was supposed to be a big big surprise the publishers shouldn't have sent it out early, especially to Vine reviewers who will post on Amazon. Were they testing reader's reactions to the ending or do they really think everyone will love it? I'd rather have some preparation of what to expect, that is a huge book with a serious time investment.

Ludmilla, I really appreciate the input on the cell phone issues. Not being much of a cell person myself I was rather god-smacked to discover we could conceivably be spilling the beans at Goodreads.
At home with a good book and the cat...
...is the only place I want to be

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