Posted in Newsy, tagged KIRBC, MOVING, News on May 3, 2010 |
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I promised a big announcement today, and here it is! After over a year and a half as a wordpress-hosted site, I thought it was time to graduate to kirbc.com for a little more freedom and flexibility. So go check out the new KIRBC! But prepare yourself . . . it’s like one of those extreme makeover shows where there’s a whole room of people waiting and they all go nuts when their newly coiffed and polished friend/family member emerges. People cheer, the elderly swoon, and children cry because they no longer recognize their mother . . . That’s basically the effect I’m going for.
I know, it’s a lot of excitement to start the week. But collect yourselves a moment. I was planning on having wordpress redirect traffic, but that seems to require some kind of black internet magic from which my new site might never return (if you’ve successfully gone from a wordpress.com to a wordpress.org custom site with a new domain, please do get in touch!). So until I make the requisite blood sacrifices, we’ll do this the old fashioned way: please update your bookmarks!
And never fear, though we’ve got a shiny new look, the Keepin’ It Real Book Club will continue to offer the same books reviews, meeting notes, and special projects that we always have, we’re just eliminated 9 letters from the URL so you can get to the goodness even faster.
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Posted in Newsy, tagged bmbc, book clubs on March 31, 2010 |
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Obviously round these parts we’re fans of book clubs that think outside the box. So I would be remiss not to give a shout out to a new book club that almost requires less of participants than my own.
The Book Madam Book Club is an online book club that’s the brainchild of Book Madam Julie Wilson, who recognizes the limitations of a traditional book club:
We’re each of us limited by ability, availability, interest, and accountability. Because what’s the one expectation placed on you if you’re a book club member? That you’ve read the book.
Well, The Book Madam Book Club is completely online and invisible. So, how will we know?
Every six weeks there will be a live chat, which includes not only book club participants, but the author as well. I’m curious what effect this will have on the conversation. Will the author’s presence cause people to be on their A game, elevating the discussion to a new level? Will participants self-censor their critiques? In any case, it’s a fantastic opportunity to chat with an author and a lively online group, and even if you haven’t read the book, you’re welcome to lurk about (in true internet style), and see what others have to say.
The first #bmbc runs Wed. May 19th (time TBD), and the book up for discussion is Carla Gunn’s Amphibian, which has been on my To Read list for a while, so I’m going to pick up that sucker and try to attend. (I may also try and break records of how many book clubs I can be a part of. This’ll put me at 3.)
So in short, you can meet and author and attend a book club without getting out of bed. Why wouldn’t you go?
Update: Bumped up schedule! The first pick will now officially be Stacey May Fowles’ Fear of Fighting, on Wednesday, April 21st at 1 p.m. It’s a quick read (and a great one), so you have time to pick it up!
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There are many things to recommend Toronto the Good, but one that unfortunately is often overlooked is the Toronto Public Library. I’m a big fan of the TPL (online and IRL, actually). It’s been singled out as one of the best in the world, second only behind Hong Kong for per capita usage, it gets over 18 million visits a year, acquires over half a million new materials a year, runs great events (I was sorry to have to miss Ian Brown interviewing Margaret Atwood recently) . . . I could go on and on about the things the TPL does for literacy and book culture in Toronto (not to mention probably saving me from book-buying bankruptcy with their speedy hold delivery). Basically, they Keep Toronto Reading. And that’s the name of their brilliant new festival and social media campaign that admittedly I find all the more brilliant because it’s basically like a city-wide KIRBC meeting all month long.
So what’s going on?
- Starting March 22nd, some stealthy TPL staff made like Easter bunnies and hid 99 “Books We Love” journals around the city. If you find one, you’re supposed to write a review of a book you love and pass it on. I’m keeping my eyes peeled on my daily TTC travels, as the subway seems like an ideal place to drop a journal. Apparently one journal even has a reco penned by Mayor David Miller.
- Share the love at the book swap starting at 7 p.m. April 8th in the swanky Appel Salon at the Toronto Reference Library. Local authors Zoe Whittall and Pasha Malla will be on hand for swapping stories (I will be too! If we haven’t met, come introduce yourself IRL!).
- But never fear if you never find a journal, you could get a bonus review in your next library withdrawal! The library is also encouraging readers to write a review on a recommended reading bookmark and tuck it in the book when you return it. For someone who finds other people’s old withdrawal slips interesting, I’d be pretty psyched to find an impromptu review in a book I check out. Hopefully the bookmarks will stay in circulation after April is over.
- You can also tweet a 140 character book review on Twitter (tagged #ktr2010) or record a 30-second to 1-minute video of you recommending a book, and post it on YouTube tagged as Keep Toronto Reading.
It’s a delicious menu of ideas, embracing technologies both new and traditional, and I think a surefire way to get more people sharing their passion for books — something the KIRBC has been all about since day one. So I wanted to support this fabulous project in any way I could. And since I’ve been doing a bunch of one-minute videos lately, that naturally caught my attention. But since everyone’s pretty sick of me at this point, I wanted other people to do videos too — and so I came up with the idea of KIRBC Keeps Toronto Reading. Every day in April, I’ll feature a new one-minute pitch from people who keep it real near and far (it’s an especially great way for those who can’t make a meeting to still contribute their picks!).
I’ve already got a bunch of people ready to contribute, but I’d like more! So if you’d like to have your one-minute video pitch featured here at the KIRBC, drop me an email at j.k.knoch[at]gmail.com. Videos can be about any book, with NO restrictions (this is still the KIRBC, after all). So get reading, get recording, ’cause it’s a month-long book party, and everyone’s invited! Stay tuned for the first video on Thursday, April 1st!
Update: Thanks to the cooperation of the fine folks at the TPL, all KIRBC Keep Toronto Reading videos will be featured on the library’s website and their YouTube channel. If for some reason you’d like to opt out, just let me know when you submit your video.
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