Friday, May 27, 2005

What happened at the Meetup on 24 May 05

Some people ask, "Why did you go to XXX for a holiday when there's nothing to see and do?". I say, "It's not where you go, but who you go with".

The same held true for the Bookcrossing Meetup Group on Tue, 24 May at TPCL.

SG Bookcrossing Meetup Group - Notice

My aim was to get 5 participants, with at least 3 staying for an hour. In the end, 14 turned up, with 12 staying all the way till 9pm. I think the boys and girls would have stayed a little longer had it not been for the library closing.

I can call them boys and girls because turned out I'm the oldster in the group. Ugh.

The average age hovered around 25, I think. I'm almost reaching mid-30s, and that made me THE old man. Preetam's almost my age, but he's way too cool to be Uncle-material. In fact, he impressed CarteNoir so much that CarteNoir calls Preetam a "demi-deity" in his blog post.

Bookcrossing Meetup
I got permission from the group (those willing to pose for it) to upload the picture, but I'm not sure if they all want to be named. Boys and girls, if you are reading this, put a comment and say who you are.

Mr. Preetam "Demi-Diety" Rai is the 3rd guy from the left (enjoying the food). I'm the tall bald one. Now you know how I look like -- harmless, stoned-looking, not too bright. And that was on a good day too. :)

Here's a snapshot of the discussion points we captured on the board:
SG Bookcrossing Meetup Group - What we discussed

There was only one real rule for the session: "You can leave anytime".

Call us a Bookcrossing group or Discussion/ Reading group... it doesn't really matter. Someone in the group said it was like playing "Calvinball" (where the rules are made up as we went along). Actually there was a system to it, i.e. the facilitation process. Very much like managing a meeting.

We started off chatting, asking about what we read. We talked about Science Fiction (which seemed to be the predominant theme), also veered to Romance, Time-travel, Death, Shakespeare... People talked about their impressions of the genre, of their favourite books, even snippets of their lives.

Selected items that participants talked about:
. Confessions of Max Tivoli (NLB item link)
. Flowers for Algernon (NLB item link)* HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by those who read it.
. The time traveler's wife (NLB item link)
. Snow crash (NLB item link)
. Cat's cradle (NLB item link)
. Shakespeare's sonnets (NLB item link)

Before we ended the session, I asked the group for suggestions on how to structure the next session. They said:
  1. Food -- deemed as important;
  2. Set a half-agenda. Half the time could be a discussion on an agreed "theme" (e.g. Love & War) while the other half could be a open-style sharing.
That could work. Thanks for the suggestions folks.

My previous post was about measuring value. In this case, I'm convinced there was value created. Some said they were encouraged to read the genres and titles discussed -- something they would otherwise not do so on their own. There were also networking going around.

I have one word to describe the session.


Meetup is confirmed on Tuesday, 24 May at Toa Payoh Community Library (posted 19 May 05)

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  1. Anonymous3:05 am

    Nice is a nice word for it...

    i'm the strange-looking one on the extreme right...

    strange-looking because i really seldom see myself in photos... i look really... strange... hahaha...

  2. Anonymous3:19 am

    Thanks for organising... by the way that panaboard is cool... hahaha... i really do wanna check out the books that i've heard you all talk about in detail... thanks for the links!!!

    until next time...

    = )

  3. And of course, you had to forget about my beloved author, Nicholas Sparks.

    I had blogged about him twice in the past. ;o)

  4. Anonymous1:33 pm

    Ivan, thanks for orgainising the meetup and it was an interesting meeting well spent with some intersting folks. Looking forward to the next meetup.

  5. Thanks for posting :) It looks like a meeting from work. Shiver ran down my spine when I saw the whiteboard :p

    Kudos btw. I love Snow Crash. Did anyone talk about The Baroque Cycle?

  6. Anonymous3:36 pm

    It was a nice meetup indeed. ;)

    i'm the third person in specs, counting from the extreme right.

    the people there had generously shared some of the nice books during the session. if i was prepared, i might be able to contribute a few great non fiction books too.. argh.

    anyway, i could see that every one had enjoyed the session.. so, if u had not been at the session, do join us at the next one! ;)

  7. Anonymous3:39 pm

    oops.. errata. im the 4th from the right, in red t-shirt :P


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