Monday, December 13, 2010

More is merrier

Earlier this year I began playing around with an idea. The idea was to start a regular chat about books on Twitter. Specifically a chat focused on books by Black authors.

I loved the idea and sketched out a plan, including a list of books to feature in the first six months.

Then I sat on the idea and didn’t get started. I let myself become caught up in worrying about what if nobody showed up for the party.

A few months after I last touched the idea, Dee Stewart (@deegospel on Twitter) posted and asked if anyone would be interested in an African American book chat and what day would work for that.

I thought about that tweet and had two thoughts:

1. Dang – somebody is going to get “my” idea out before me.
2. Cool – maybe we could do the chat together. Nobody owns the idea. Sure would be easier to have a partner.

I’m so glad I went with the 2nd thought. Trust me when I say that seeing partnership first is something I’m working on.

Our partnership led to the first #blacklitchat conversation in
October (announced at Blogalicious 2010) featuring Ernessa T. Carter, author of 32 Candles.  In November we read and discussed
Substitute Me, by Lori Tharps.

What I think is wonderful is that we are not the only Twitter or social media book club game around.

I’m so pleased that we’re in conversation with Tee C. Royal of the longstanding Rawsistaz book site and #blackbookchats discussions. The three of us have been talking about how our book chats are different, how we can cross promote and put more authors and books in front of more readers.

And recently Rae Lewis Thornton, blogger, AIDS activist and Emmy award winner, announced the #RLTReads book club. She is picking books – her favorites and club members favorites – to read. It took me a long time to join the group because I am already so committed to other things. Then she announced the first book – one of my all time favorite novels, What Looks Like Crazy On An Ordinary Day, by Pearl Cleage.

I’d been foolish not to sign up earlier. She’s reading books that are classics for me.

None of our clubs are in competition. We’re all running along the same path, sharing good books with readers, giving authors a platform and doing what we love – reading and thinking about stories.

Writer, yoga teacher and social media coach Ananda Leeke writers and talks about “digital sisterhood” – the concept of women working together in social media and being cooperative rather than competitive. Learn more and celebrate Digital Sisterhood month at her blog.

That’s what is happening with our book conversations. They are part of a sisterhood of book lovers (and yes, there is a brotherhood too – come on to the convo) and there’s no reason we shouldn’t celebrate having multiple discussions and curators. The more the merrier – for readers and authors.


Christi said...

What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day...I have to read that now, for the title alone.

Dee S. said...

how sweet, bernadette. i'm excited about where all these chats are going in the future. there are so many great chats on twitter. to have chats about books that spotlight the african american experience. tee is great people and a good friend. haven't heard about rltreads until now. plan to get to know, also. thanks bernadette for being the bridge.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post. TY for the shoutout!

Jevon Oakman Bolden said...

Wonderful post! There is so much room for creativity. We all can have a spot. I love the synergy of the chats that discuss books by people of color. I am grateful for the opportunity to sit in on some and to see the artistry of these writers highlighted.