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Booklisters Reading Community

Website:
Membership:
Open
Posting Access:
All Members , Moderated

Application:
Give us your name and make a list of your 15 favorite books (both titles and authors please). For series, please list single volumes instead of an entire series. (The Lord of the Rings counts as a single volume, The Harry Potter Series does not.) Post your list to the community immediately after joining and wait for it to be released from the queue when members will begin voting. Members may ask you questions about your application, so be prepared to explain your choices.

A few helpful tips:
  • We are looking for a diverse group of members, not simply people who are reading the "right" books, so please be honest. You won't be mocked for your choices, we're just looking for evidence that you enjoy reading and discussion.
  • Don't just try to put together an "impressive" sounding list, especially if they're not even books you've read. You may be questioned on your choices, so be sure you pick works you can defend if asked.
  • You're certainly not limited to fiction. Non-fiction, poetry, drama and graphic novels are all allowed. If it's been published, you can list it.
  • Try to avoid listing multiple works by the same author. A little duplication is certainly fine, but if six of your fifteen slots are taken up with the collective works of J.K. Rowling, you'll certainly be questioned on that choice.
  • Diversity in your selections is certainly encouraged, but we value honesty more. If your fifteen favorite novels of all time are all sci-fi adventures, then you should tell us as much. Again, you'll likely be questioned on your choice, but as long as you're able to defend it, you're good to go.
  • One or more members will likely ask you questions about your list. This doesn't mean that they don't like your list, they could just be curious about one of the works you selected. Becoming argumentative and hostile is the quickest way to rejection. We ask that both members and applicants behave with decorum.
  • During the course of answering questions, you may have to reveal a spoiler about a particular work. If it is something that would be considered a major spoiler (i.e. character deaths, major plot points) please use a <font color="white"> tag for the spoiler content. If it is a potential spoiler, or a minor spoiler, just put "Possible Spoilers Ahead" in the subject of your comment.
  • It is perfectly acceptable to tell a member you don't know the answer to their question. We certainly don't expect you to have read every book every written, we just want you to be able to discuss the books you have read. However, ignoring a member's question is strongly discouraged.
  • You must answer at least half of the questions you receive from members during your application period, or you will be auto-rejected. (Note: The mods will use their discretion in cases where an applicant receives a particularly high number of questions, particularly at the last minute, but please make every effort to answer as many questions as possible.)
  • During your application period you are welcome to ask questions of other applicants if you are curious about a particular work on their list but you must put "Unstamped" in the subject line of your comment. Your questions should not be challenges designed to stump another applicant and applicants are not obligated to answer these questions.
  • If, during the application period, you are going to be away from your computer for an extended period of time, please let us know. Otherwise, we will assume that you have either lost interest, or don't really care to join the community.

After one week of voting you will be officially stamped by one of the moderators. If you are rejected you may reapply after six months but your list must be substantively different from your initial application. After three attempts you will be permanently rejected from the community. You are also welcome to watch the community if you do not wish to join. You won't be allowed to participate in discussions, but it's a good way to pick up recommendations.

Voting Procedure:
Once an application is posted, members can vote on it with either an outright 'yes' vote, or by questioning the applicant on their choices.
  • If there is something about an applicant's list that is making you think they would not be a good addition to the community, we ask that you at least give them the chance to defend their choices before giving a no vote.
  • Your "challenge" can take any form you want. A few examples of common challenges include, asking an applicant to list their "top five books of a particular genre/time period," to specifically defend a particular work, to compare a particular work with another by the same author or genre.
  • Keep the applicant's tastes in mind when forming your challenge and remember that the idea is to foster discussion, not stump the applicant with the most obscure challenges you can imagine. Remember that the applicant is allowed to say that they can't answer your question because they don't read much of a particular genre, or aren't familiar with a particular work.
  • Even if you're planning on giving a 'yes' vote to an applicant, you're welcome to ask questions. If you're curious about a particular work on their list, ask them about it. The idea is to foster as much discussion as possible.
  • Once an applicant has responded to your challenge, give them either a 'yes' or 'no' vote. 'No' votes should include at least a brief explanation of your reasoning.
  • Do not attack an applicant for their choices. There is no reason to belittle them because you disagree with their taste in books.
  • Your vote should be based on the strength or weakness of the application as a whole, not simply because you like or dislike a particular work on their list.

Activities:
Once you are stamped as accepted by one of the moderators you will be given unmoderated posting access to the community. You are welcome to post anything you like as long as it's in some way related to literary discussion.

Some examples of typical posts:
Top fives: At least once a week one of the moderators will post a challenge in the form of "Top five works about XXX." All stamped members are welcome to respond to the challenge and discuss both their own choices as well as the selections of others. And even if you can't come up with five works in a particular genre, you're welcome to join in. The idea is just to share recommendations and get people reading genres they might not normally explore. And of course, members are also welcome to post their own top five challenges about anything that interests them.

Reviews: Review posts are your opportunity to tell us about the latest book you read, whether you loved or hated it. Tell us a little about the book and why you think everyone should either run out to read it or burn all of its copies into a fiery oblivion. Of course reviews are not limited to new works and we encourage you to share old favorites and classics as well.

Looking for Recs: We've all had those moments where we were desperate for something new to read and just couldn't find anything to catch our interest. While the applications and "top five" activities will probably keep your "to read" list quite full, you're also welcome to post specific requests for recommendations.

News: Did you find an interesting book-related news item? Feel free to post it in the community for discussion! The only rule on news posts is that you must link back to the original source.

General Discussion: We're really pretty flexible here in terms of what we allow. As long as it's about books, discussion is encouraged. Tell us about your latest trip to Barnes and Noble, or a great independent bookstore in your city. Talk about your favorite genres or books you're looking forward to reading.

Book Swap: TBD

The community posts will all be organized with tags. Anyone can tag a post in the community using one of the following tags:
Applications
Top five
Reviews
Looking for recs
News
General Discussion
Book Swap

There is also a Mod Post tag for the use of official announcements by the moderators, ariesathena, fallsintoplace, and pinktreesloth. Please use tags appropriately

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