It’s Worldwide

by Ruby on May 7, 2010

Right now, 7000+ people, all over the world, are thinking about the same thing. Believe it or not, it’s a book. Not just any book. One book.

For those of you that haven’t figured it out already, I’m talking about my recent pet twitter project, One Book, One Twitter (#1b1t). Apparently the people I follow (via the vromans twitter account) are way in the know, because I managed to read the initial blog post proposing the idea when it was still just that: an idea. Over the last month and a half, I think it would be fair to say that it has exploded. New people are finding it every day, the 1B1T2010 account created to distribute news and updates has 7382 followers, and creator crowdsourcing has 8344. Six books were nominated by the Twitter masses, four more were added by lit-aware judges, and everybody voted.

They picked Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.

I am thrilled with this selection for two reasons: 1) I’ve never read it (a major consideration in my voting strategy) and 2) Neil Gaiman is both on twitter (account: neilhimself) and aware of #1b1t. Unfortunately he wishes we’d picked a different title of his, as he sees American Gods as a love-it-or-hate-it type book, but… the crowd has spoken. Honestly, I’d be especially interested if the people who don’t like it still stick with #1b1t. I’m fairly confident that I will love it, having loved all of Gaiman’s work so far, so I’d like to hear what the other side has to say!

The ‘big read’ started Wednesday, and apparently I am already behind. The most voracious readers and re-readers are already discussing chapter 3, and sharing important guides to the gods and such. So now, while I go downstairs to buy my book, take a look at my short, handy list of things you need to get started with #1b1t!

  • A twitter account. You can get one here if you don’t have one, and I promise you don’t have to use it for anything but #1b1t. But you might find that you like it. Once you’re logged in, search for #1b1t in the search bar to get the latest tweets.
  • A copy of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. You can buy yours at Vroman’s, online, or check it out from the library. Harper Collins also generously provides the first five chapters on their website, for those of you that want to try it out before you commit.
  • This reading/discussion schedule.

Once you get through the first chapter, you may also want the hashtags for the specific chapters. They are explained here in full, reasoning included. In addition, about halfway down this blog post, there is a great explanation of how to set up a twitter client to make the most of #1b1t.

I am already amazed at the variety of people who have jumped on board here. I absolutely LOVE it when I see a tweet in another language (I’ve only spotted Spanish and possibly Portuguese so far, but I’m looking!) because it reminds me just how far-flung this thing really is. If nothing else, it is incredibly heartening to see how many booklovers there still are in the world. And enthusiastic ones, at that. Why don’t you join us?

Also, would anyone be interested in a Vroman’s-only discussion of the book? I know some of you aren’t on twitter (and don’t plan to be), and even if you are, the One Book, One Twitter hashtag can be kind of overwhelming. I would be happy to set up non-twitter discussion places and times that match up with the #1b1t schedule, if anyone is interested in participating in a non-twitter format! Just let me know by posting a comment, or e-mailing me. You can find my contact on the About page.