How many of your everyday book clubs have the author just pop in to answer your questions? Aside from maybe those who follow Oprah, I’d wager not that many. Unless you’re, at the moment, on Twitter. Reading American Gods. Like right now. What happened to my postliterate society?
Neil Gaiman, as a part of the ongoing One Book, One Twitter event, went down into the trenches for an hour Q&A session this morning with the masses reading and tweeting about his novel, answering questions about characters, his writing process, future plans, and whether or not he’d like to be deified.
In case you didn’t know, One Book, One Twitter was dreamt up as an attempt to form one massive international book club online. The effort of Jeff Howe, author of Crowdsourcing and a veritable geek in his own right, it is not, however, a book club in the tradition sense. That is, not one where the adult clubmembers meet and discuss their thoughts over coffee and scones. As the Christian Science Monitor reports:
…One Book, One Twitter isn’t meant to act anything like a book club, in which people who know each other offer lengthy, personal exegetics about a book, becoming closer to people they already know.”Instead, [Howe] says, “thousands of people who’ve never met will gather to dish out insights, questions, and commentary in the machine gun bursts that are Twitter’s native form.”
Gaiman himself was pleased, if surprised, by the choice of his novel when the event kicked off earlier this month. American Gods happens to be about an ex-con by the name of Shadow and his adventures with gods and spirits as they trek across America. He called the project, according to the Guardian, a “great idea” though he voiced some concern about the love-it-or-hate-it nature of the book itself.
“But it’s happened, I’m kind of thrilled that I get to help kick off something this new, and I’m going to do all I can to help,” he told the Guardian.
Already an avid Twitter user and presence in the event, Gaiman can be expected to contribute further to the ongoing discussion as the event closes out its 2nd week. So follow the hashtags, check out the schedule, and start reading, as there is really no reason to get in on this.