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.