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50 Book Challenge

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"Those who do not read good books have no advantage over those who cannot read them." -- Mark Twain

Courtesy of cartography, the winner of our 2008 Banner Art Contest, I give you the following:

To insert the banner in your own blog or webspace, you can grab the following code:

<a href="http://community.livejournal.com/50bookchallenge/"><img src="http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3179/2386572440_79d8651e97.jpg?v=0"></a>

New members, BEFORE POSTING FOR THE FIRST TIME, I encourage you to review the administrative/info posts, as well as the FAQ and general posting guidelines listed below. Feel free to let me know if you have any questions.

We were featured in the 1/4/07 LiveJournal Spotlight.

Looking for some suggestions on what to read? I'm a sucker for lists, so here are some popular ones:

General Information:

This community is for people who have joined me (jadis) in my challenge to read 50 books each year. It is a place to discuss progress, get ideas for further reading, chat about books you've completed, etc. If you feel up to the task, please join us! I ask only that you please read the FAQ and notes below before posting.

I've enabled LJ Seek on this community. For the uninitiated, LJ Seek allows you to search for words or phrases in entries posted to a journal or community. Check it out when you have a chance!



1. I just discovered this community today, is it too late to join? There are no set parameters for "joining" this challenge. This community was born from my own personal goal of trying to read 50 books each year (a goal I've yet to reach, for the record). It's intended solely to be a motivational tool to help people set reading goals for themselves. Want to make your goal to read 50 books between when you join the community and the end of this year? Fine. Want to read 50 books in the next 12 months starting right now? Golden. Want to read 100 books by next week? Go for it! Just read.

2. What kinds of books count for the challenge? Variations on this theme include "Can I count textbooks?" and "Do graphic novels count?" and "What if I read the back of the toothpaste tube while I'm on the can, can I mark that down?" The answer to all of these should be obvious from the answer to the first FAQ above, which is "Count whatever makes you happy." Once again, the 50 books figure is totally abitrary. There's nothing magic about the number, it's just a nice, happy, round number that was a stretch goal for me, so I went with it. Everyone's situation is different, so assess your own habits and goals and count what's significant to *you*.

General Posting Guidelines - Effective 7/26/07:

  1. Before you post, ask yourself this question: Is what I'm about to post potentially useful/interesting to a good portion of 6,000 people?

  2. All members will be on moderated status until they've submitted at least one post that demonstrates an understanding of the guidelines below. Once I release an approved entry to the community, I will also change your status to unrestricted posting for future entries.

  3. You are welcome to post updated lists of your progress to date, but I ask that you place lists of books you're not discussing in the current entry behind a cut.

  4. For the benefit of the community readership, please include some detail on the current books that you're posting about. As I said above, I don't expect a full dissertation in every entry, but at minimum, the following would be helpful:
    • The book's genre. I still encourage tag usage, but if you review 5 books in an entry and have 5 tags, it can be difficult for anyone unfamiliar with your books to know which tag goes with which book.

    • A brief description of the subject matter, preferably in your own words, but you may link to someplace like amazon.com or C&P an outline from another site as long as it's credited as such.

    • Whether you enjoyed it and/or recommend the book to others.

  5. Entries consisting of lists only with no other discussion/content should be posted to your personal journal.

  6. Updated 2/5/08!! You may post cover pics of the books you're reviewing in your post, but you should place any image larger than 150x200 pixels behind a cut tag. For frame of reference, the maximum size of an LJ user icon is 100x100. If a moderator asks you to resize or cut an image and you fail to respond in a timely manner, the post will be deleted and you will be returned to moderated posting until you demonstrate that you've read the updated guidelines.

  7. Plot spoilers must still be posted behind a cut, regardless of the age of the book.

  8. While plot spoilers must be cut, try to avoid cutting the entire review of your book simply because it contains a spoiler. Doing so prevents people who might have otherwise been interested in the book from benefitting from your review. Do your best to put only the specific spoiler details behind the cut.

  9. Tag usage isn't required, but it is appreciated, as it increases the utility of the community for other members. Please note that if you do elect to use tags, only include tags that are relevant to the current books that you're reviewing, not tags that relate to prior books in your list (provided you're including that sort of list behind a cut in your entry). Tag links only pull the last 100 entries that used that tag, so using it on an entry where there's no discussion of a book in that genre decreases the usefulness of that tag for people looking for book suggestions.

  10. No spoiler revealing icons, ever.

  11. Don't be a jerk.

That last rule is yoinked from one of my favorite BBs, and it's intended to cover all of those situations that are impossible to codify, lest overly pedantic and whiny people start saying "But you didn't specifically say I couldn't do X!" Be polite. Don't ruin things for other people. If I think your post was jerkish, I'll delete it. What constitutes being a jerk is up entirely to my discretion.

To sum up, I just want to be clear...the above guidelines are what I would *like* to see in your day to day posts. I will not, however, be moderating every single entry in perpetuity. Once a member has submitted an entry that demonstrates to me that they understand what an appropriate community post is, they'll be released to unmoderated status and all of their future posts will post directly to the community, bypassing the moderator queue. What this means to you is that I'm trusting you to make *future* posts in the same manner. I don't want this to turn into an overly regimented "So and so didn't include the genre on his 25th book!" sort of environment. I don't have 12 hours a day to spend here watching every single word that gets posted, and I don't think YOU guys want that sort of oversight. This community has always been relatively drama-free, and I hope it stays that way.

Once again...try to keep "Don't be a jerk" somewhere near the top of your consciousness level when you post and I think we can all get along.

Related communities you may want to check out:

50libros - Another 50 book challenge community for Spanish-speaking readers, maintained by tasqueta
15000pages - If you prefer to challege yourself with number of pages read rather than a set number of books (or both!), maintained by pretty_fish

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