Monday, February 3, 2014

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse: A Friendly Gathering

My dear friends,

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse has been up and running for nine months now.  What began as a simple idea to share my passion for books with other enthusiastic readers has become the central feature of my blog - my own monthly treat.   That it has become important to anyone besides me is extremely gratifying, far beyond my own aspirations.

My original concept was a narrow one: each participant sharing about one book each month.  Many follow that vision to the letter, though they clearly read more than I do in a given month.  Some give a rundown of all their conquests.  Some don't manage to finish a book but give a progress report.  One participant regularly includes a link for each review from the month.  Occasionally someone signs up twice entirely by accident.  While not everyone follows my concept exactly, I feel everyone is participating respectfully and with best intentions.  Okay, I did delete one obvious spam link a few months ago but I think all has worked pretty well thus far.  We all love books and enjoy sharing our thoughts about them with other interesting, articulate people.  The "rules," such as they are, don't matter so much.

I promote the Coffeehouse as "A Friendly Gathering," the friendly part being the most important.  Obviously, we all come to books with differing perspectives and predilections.  I'd certainly hope that we can be respectful of one another's opinions.  Just as importantly, I would hope if anyone takes issue with the organization of the enterprise - either on my part or anyone else's - that we might address the matter together calmly and politely.  I want everyone to feel welcome.  Anything I can do to foster that environment going forward is all to the good.

Happy Reading!

A Squid


  1. I love the Friendly Gathering...though I haven't managed to finish a book since October, I really enjoy reading everyone else's reviews and getting some recommendations. You know, for when I can finish a book again... :)

  2. I maybe net month I will join.

    cheers, parsnip

  3. If that was a reference to something I posted in someone's comments section (that was apparently subsequently deleted), I'm afraid I find it hard to apologize. If you sign up, let alone sign up repeatedly with direct links to posts, and then don't actually post a book review, I consider it spamming, no matter how respected that individual happens to be in this community.

    Yes, I happen to do that alienating-with-a-negative-comment thing periodically. It probably helps explain why I don't have more readers. But darn it, I can't just be positive about everything. And sometimes I feel I must voice the negative comment. People like positive more than they like negative. I get that. Especially bloggers. Not Internet people in general, but certainly bloggers. But that doesn't mean something that certainly appears to fit the definition of "egregious" should just continue to happen over and over again, no matter how friendly we are. I'm perfectly willing to step away from the Coffeehouse to maintain the intended atmosphere.

  4. Sounds like a really good community to be part of.