What is a group read and how does it work?|
Previous group reads Current schedule
Group read guidelines Group Read Board
Our next group read is Mansfield Parkby Jane Austen
on the Group Read Board beginning October 6.
Week Dates Chapters 1 October 6-12 Chapters 1-8 2 October 13-19 Chapters 9-16 3 October 20-26 Chapters 17-24 4 October 27-November 2 Chapters 25-32 5 November 3-9 Chapters 33-40 6 November 10-16 Chapters 41-48
A group read is not as elaborate as it might sound. It is merely what we call it when we determine on reading and discussing a book as a group. The Pemberley-wide group reads take place on the Group Read board, where a Reading Schedule is linked at the top of the board when a read is either in progress or planned. You do not need to sign up. To participate, simply read the assigned or suggested chapters before the date posted for discussion of that section, and start talking.
We read Jane Austen's six novels in regular rotation, chronologically by the dates they were written: Northanger Abbey, Sense & Sensibility, Pride & Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma and Persuasion. In between the novel reads, we read Austen's minor works and other books that usually are related to Austen's writing in some way. Here is a table of the novel rotation through 2015.
Year Spring Autumn 2013 Pride & Prejudice Mansfield Park 2014 Emma Persuasion 2015 Northanger Abbey Sense & Sensibility
General Group Read Guidelines
The following guidelines are always true of group reads. We often have additional guidelines for specific group reads, because each time we try to improve the process for everyone.
The first line in each point in the list is a guideline. If you want to know more details or the rationale behind a guideline, read the text beneath it.
- Avoid all spoilers (that is, don't talk about what happens later than the chapters for that week).
Please feel free to make references back to chapters we have already read. If you want to discuss something that happens later in a book, do so at the regular boards. With some group reads, we have people who have never read the book before. Reading smaller chunks lets us be focused. Moderators delete spoilers and their responses without comment. If a post of yours gets deleted and you don't know why, it's probably a spoiler or a response to one.
- Quote directly from the text to support your opinions instead of making a general allusion or summarizing.
Because we have a whole week to talk about a few chapters, and everyone is asked to post only a few times a day, we can take the time to be clear.
Please quote just enough that we can pinpoint the text. You need not quote whole paragraphs, but a short quote like, "Mr. Woodhouse is 'an affectionate, indulgent father,'" helps everyone know exactly what part of the text you are talking about, and it's clearer to everyone than saying, "Austen says Mr. Woodhouse is a good father.
For group reads of Jane Austen's work, please note that there is a pop-up text of the novel available on the group read board and linked inside each message page that maybe used for quoting purposes. Electronic versions of Jane Austen's novels are also available at our On-line Texts page. But please refrain from quoting too much material, as we all do have it at hand.
- If you have a historical (Life & Times) topic to discuss, please remember that these types of posts require some support or reference source and not just speculation.
Simply follow the normal Life & Times board guidelines and you'll be fine.
- Sometimes we need to agree to disagree and move on with our discussion.
While moderators want to encourage discussion and airing of various viewpoints, they also don't want to get bogged down with lots of restatements. Let's talk about lots of things instead of debating a few.
- It is fine in an Austen read to make the occasional reference to other novels, but in-depth discussion is redirected to the Austenuations board.
Please keep other-novel references short and strictly on-point to compare with the book being read.
- Read an entire thread before you post.
If you take the time to read the entire thread, you can avoid restating something someone may already have brought up and started to discuss. Repeating what others have already said adds unnecessarily to the volume of posts and generally detracts from everyone's enjoyment.