Social Reading


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore

Reading has always been a solitary pursuit – by definition – in my mind. I never sought membership of any kind of club that met to discuss books. The idea of attending a ‘festival’ to listen to an author, or ask them questions, seemed a little silly. Surely their thoughts and insights, knowledge and work was best approached by sitting, alone, with their prose.

My attitudes are changing…have changed!

Social media allows us to share our reading with ‘followers’ and friends; we can interact with authors (in lieu of attending literary events). Twitter is awash with writers willing to be social (and help students/teachers). One wonders how they get anything written in some cases ;)

The concept of ‘social reading’ was not so clear to me when it was first discussed a few years back. I did understand what Jeremy LeBard (what an excellent surname he has) was getting at with ReadCloud, especially in a school context but wondered if it would catch on or not. Now, that I am reading books almost exclusively via my iPad, social reading is becoming more clearly a concept that will develop as more people start to engage with ebooks.


cc licensed ( BY NC SD ) flickr photo shared by Darcy Moore

This is how it works. The iPad Kindle app allows you to highlight and share an interesting quote via Facebook or Twitter. This then becomes a record of highlights from the book. I am finding the process easy and enjoyable. If you are a Twitter enthusiast, it is a very natural thing to do.

I have been using Shelfari to keep a record of my reading via a ‘bookshelf’ on my blog for a while now. I enjoy seeing what other people are reading and often this kind of shelf, at blogs I frequent, provides great book tips.

Has your reading become ‘social’? Are you determined to resist this ‘fad’? Thoughts?

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6 Comments

  1. I go nuts for this kind of thing Darcy!

    You know when you borrow a book from the library, and sometimes there are notes that have been made by readers before you? Well, some people hate that…I have always loved it ;) And when I was in school, we always used to share the quotes we had found interesting, pooling our resources to study for exams especially. So for me, real-time social reading is a logical progression.

    I haven’t had much experience interacting with authors – yet. But I think this sounds like a great idea to explore further – cheers!

    • Darcy Moore:

      I have always loved the notes scribbled in the margins of books. Even the names scrawled at the front of a school textbook or novel fascinated me. They seemed like messages from an unknowable past, kinda like graffiti in Pompei. ;)

      • Sarah Walker:

        Ha! I’m wondering if any of our books from high school English classes are being passed around (still!) and a student is thinking “I wonder if this is the same Darcy Moore who writes that really cool education/technology/etc blog…?”

  2. A nice idea. I’m trying to adapt this for the ELT classroom, where students can share troublesome vocabulary or interesting phrases with their classmates. Not sure that will add much value to the ‘record of highlights’ for other readers though!!

  3. KJ:

    I’m still enjoying reading the hard copy. I discourage students writing in school texts but found some really helpful bookmarks that encourage notetaking: there is a column for the page number and space for ideas.
    I have run a ‘sentence of the week’ competition in class to encourage sharing good moments when wide reading.

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