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Ann

How this board has changed you

Perhaps this should be in another section so moderators have my permission to move it.
How has being part of this community changed the you  and way you read?
I have loved being able to talk about reading to some others like me who find such pleasure betweent the pages of a book.
I have made some virtual friends and really met a few of you.
I have tried new authors and become aware of some different writers.
The BBC board gave me some new recipes!
It is one of the first places I go when I log on in the morning so it gives me a good start to the day.
It has helped me to take more notice of the quality of the writing of the books I read.

I don't think I shall bother to add a poll to this as I am more interested in your answers than to canvas a general opinion
Apple

What a brilliant thread! especially considering the points I raised on another post, about this board!

I look in every day, I don't always post but I always have a nosy at whats new and what others have to say, and if I do have an opinion on something thats been posted I will always share it. As I said on Himadri's what you learnt at school thread, I didn't learn much but I have learnt so much here, from simple things like different words - for example when I came to the board it was where I first saw the word erudite and I didn't have the foggiest what it meant, I had to look it up! Embarassed

I have become more aware of different books, read stuff which before I would never have read in a million years, got to know authors who I had never heard of. I would say that was the main thing, I remember my very first thread I posted on the Beeb board when I introduced myself I asked for recommendations and most of the stuff which was recommended I'd never even heard of. I have learnt to appreciate books more and what to look for in a good book rather than just something to read, and I have learnt how to express that in writing in reviews of the different books I have read.

I hope that I am more than just politely tolerated, and that I do post something of interest sometimes! I wouldn't say I have made "friends" the people who I seemed to hit it off with the most don't post any more, also, I am under no illusions that my to the point, blunt say it like it is attitude doesn't always sit well with others on the board and coupled with my quick temper, its not been pretty at times, but I have always admitted and apologised when I know that I am in the wrong and have never bore any grudges or ignored any of the people I have had past disagreements with.

So in short I would say it has changed me because I have learnt more, and learnt differing opinions on the same thing, even if I've not agreed with them, I'm not the same person I was before I joined the Beeb board and my reading tastes reflect this.
Ann

Thanks, Apple, that is a really uplifting answer. I'm hoping that some more here will tell us their opinion - even if it is to say that this board has done nothing for them  Crying or Very sad
Evie

Yes, great thread, Ann!  Here is a quick list, I am sure I will think of more.

Mostly, this board has given me a wonderful place to chat about books - all the more important now that I live somewhere where no one I know talks about books.

I have met a few of you, but not the majority of you, yet you have all become friends -  that may sound sad to people who don't use messageboards, but I do think of you as friends.  There is a real sense of community here.

I have, like most I suppose, discovered all sorts of books I would not have thought of reading otherwise.  I have even come to love science fiction, which I never thought I would - though only the good stuff, still not interested in spaceships and aliens and rayguns and all that!

The board has encouraged me to set challenges for myself, to think more about what I read, to be more aware of the range of books out there, not just the ones I am instinctively drawn towards.

Like Ann, it is, along with Facebook, the one place I go to as soon as I switch my computer on each morning.  I read all the posts, even if I don't join in every forum (though it may seem to everyone else that I do!!), and it's just a place I love being a part of.  As someone who lives alone, in a town where I am still struggling after nearly three years to meet people, this board is hugely important to me, and I love it.

We have had our ups and downs, but for those of us who have worked through them, it has made us stronger, I think, as a community.  Apple, I love the honesty in your post - I know some of the people you especially got on with have left, and that's always hard - I still miss some people a huge amount, and keep hoping they will come back one day.
Joe McWilliams

Nice idea, Ann. I can't say that my participation here has changed me, but it certainly has influenced what I read, and it continues to be an enjoyable part of my (almost) daily routine.

It fills a gap. Like Evie, I don't have many people in my social, work or family circles with whom I can talk about books. Most don't seem to read much; the ones who do don't seem to read much of what I like. That gap, interestingly, has widened as a result of the influence of Big Readers. Telling your coffee shop cronies you're reading War and Peace or Lolita is a great conversation killer.

I would like to meet other forumites 'in the flesh' one day, but by and large they don't seem to travel to northern Alberta (That's in western Canada, folks!); I can't understand why. If I ever get over to Olde Blighty I'll put out a call for a pub get-together and see who shows up. (And that reminds me, now that you know my real name, feel free to look me up on Facebook)

Anyway....happy to be here.
Evie

I would love to come to Canada - unlikely to be anytime soon though!
Apple

Evie Wrote:
Quote:
Mostly, this board has given me a wonderful place to chat about books - all the more important now that I live somewhere where no one I know talks about books.


and


Joe McWilliams Wrote:
Quote:
I don't have many people in my social, work or family circles with whom I can talk about books. Most don't seem to read much; the ones who do don't seem to read much of what I like. That gap, interestingly, has widened as a result of the influence of Big Readers. Telling your coffee shop cronies you're reading War and Peace or Lolita is a great conversation killer.


I can relate to that as well, as I've said on previous posts I'm considered a bit of an oddity at work because I sit and read, and have had the book ripped from my hands by people wanting to know what I am reading, rather than just asking me, my husband doesn't read and considers my books an irritation and something taking up space which could be better used for something else! I do have a couple of friends who I have got into reading but they don't really read what I do, one of them read Wuthering Heights (on my recommendation and loved it) but when I tried to talk to her about it and started going off in depth about it she just looked at me blankly.
TheRejectAmidHair

Interesting question, Ann: I'm not sure I have a clear answer to this, since whatever change I may have undergone as a consequence of reading & contributing to these boards, that change has been subtle and gradual rather than sudden & dramatic, and is thus quite difficult to specify precisely.

While this board has certainly led me to read a few books I might not otherwise have read, I don't think it has significantly changed my tastes or my literary values. But what it has done has been to enhance my awareness of how others think about books, of how others approach literature. And inevitably, I think, I have absorbed something of other peoples' perspectives, and now look for certain literary qualities, or read in  certain ways, that I previously had not done. But it is difficult being more precise than this, as changes in one's outlook occasioned by contact with others is genrally subtle - so much so that one may not even be consciously aware of some of the changes.
Chibiabos83

I'm away at the moment with not much posting time - someone remind me to post here next week!
Apple

TheRejectAmidHair wrote:
Interesting question, Ann: I'm not sure I have a clear answer to this, since whatever change I may have undergone as a consequence of reading & contributing to these boards, that change has been subtle and gradual rather than sudden & dramatic, and is thus quite difficult to specify precisely.

While this board has certainly led me to read a few books I might not otherwise have read, I don't think it has significantly changed my tastes or my literary values. But what it has done has been to enhance my awareness of how others think about books, of how others approach literature. And inevitably, I think, I have absorbed something of other peoples' perspectives, and now look for certain literary qualities, or read in †certain ways, that I previously had not done. But it is difficult being more precise than this, as changes in one's outlook occasioned by contact with others is genrally subtle - so much so that one may not even be consciously aware of some of the changes.
I can relate to that, as well as it is very gradual and doesn't happen over night I didn't realise I was learning and taking in stuff I was reading on here until I started talking to the people around me, and they didn't know what the hell I was going on about, and even in general conversation I often get comments like "you come out with some fancy bloody words" or "you swalllowed a sodding dictionary!" because I am unconsiously using vocabulary which I have picked up on here and in the books I read.
chris-l

I tend to look on this board as a continuation of the original BBC Big Read board. I had to look this up, but apparently that began in April 2003, so some of us have been hanging about here for the best part of a decade.

I tend to the view that, although this board may have influenced my reading and given me a place to share my reactions to what I have read, what has mostly 'changed' me over that time has been the vagaries of life, births, deaths, marriages and the unravelling of them, sickness, health, work and the absence of it, etc. etc.

Nevertheless, I do feel my life has been enriched by getting to know so many people whom I have come to look upon as friends (generally, those whom I would wish to avoid in real life have fallen away from this community quite quickly) and with whom I have shared joys and sorrows alike. While I have friends who enjoy reading and are happy to discuss books, none of them really offer the depth and range of discussion I can find here.

A case in point would be 'Moby Dick', which I am currently reading. Many people (not board members) over the years have mentioned this book, usually as a result of 'having' to read it for some course or another, and almost invariably the comment has been something along the lines of 'The most boring book I have ever read'. Given that I have no great love for 'sea stories' as a genre, I think that but for this board, I would have been content never to read that book. But favourable comments on here, from people whose judgement I trust and who share at least some of my tastes in literature, persuaded me to take the leap and try it. Far from boring, I am finding it an absolute delight, full of quirky humour and with amazing characters unlike any that I have met before in anything else I have read.

I hope that equally, over the years, I may have played some part in other people discovering and enjoying books and writers who might otherwise have remained unknown to them. It is this sharing of enthusiasm which makes this board feel like a true community to me, and a community of which I am proud to be a member.
Apple

chris-l wrote:
Quote:
I tend to look on this board as a continuation of the original BBC Big Read board. I had to look this up, but apparently that began in April 2003, so some of us have been hanging about here for the best part of a decade.
Don't forget the MSN board, when we were evicted from the Beeb.  Although to be honest I never really liked that version of the board, it never worked properly for me, I could hardly ever get on it only getting blank screens and error messages. I have to say I think the original version of the board was the best, I think someone said something similar on another thread somewhere recently, it had a different feel to it and more people posted in the old days and there was a sense of fun and silliness.
Jen M

Re: How this board has changed you

Ann wrote:
Perhaps this should be in another section so moderators have my permission to move it.
How has being part of this community changed the you †and way you read?
I have loved being able to talk about reading to some others like me who find such pleasure betweent the pages of a book.
I have made some virtual friends and really met a few of you.
I have tried new authors and become aware of some different writers.
The BBC board gave me some new recipes!
It is one of the first places I go when I log on in the morning so it gives me a good start to the day.
It has helped me to take more notice of the quality of the writing of the books I read.

I don't think I shall bother to add a poll to this as I am more interested in your answers than to canvas a general opinion


I don't think the board has changed me particularly but it has certainly broadened my reading choices - I have read a number of books as a result of discussions on here - and made me think a bit more deeply about the books I have read. †It is great to have somewhere to talk about books; I have a number of friends who read, but their tastes don't always coincide with my own.

I look in almost every non-working day and post when I have the time to do so.

The board is a great little community and I do regard most of the regulars as friends, even though I have yet to meet any of you in the flesh. †And I'm glad that the occasional departure from book talk is permitted - I had some lovely comforting messages of support when my husband had a serious motorcycle accident two years ago - these meant a lot to me at the time.

I joined the BBC Big Read board shortly after it started - I'm amazed to see that this was in 2003 - 9 years ago!
county_lady

Jen M said
Quote:
I joined the BBC Big Read board shortly after it started - I'm amazed to see that this was in 2003 - 9 years ago!


I can agree with this and the forums over that time have broadened my reading and my mind, unfortunately not my imagination or reviewing skill though.
I would certainly miss everyone here if I could no longer access our friendly forums.
MikeAlx

I think this board has made me older and grumpier. I'm sure it's this board that's to blame, it would never have happened otherwise.  Wink
Apple

MikeAlx wrote:
I think this board has made me older and grumpier. I'm sure it's this board that's to blame, it would never have happened otherwise. †Wink
Laughing
Marita

Jen M wrote:
I joined the BBC Big Read board shortly after it started - I'm amazed to see that this was in 2003 - 9 years ago!

I followed the BBC Big Read board for quite some time before I had the courage the join. Iím still not the most active of participants but whenever Iím on the computer the first and last thing I do is read any new posts on the board.
I agree with Jen M that this is a great community and that the regulars are like friends even if I havenít met any of you.
I donít know if my choice of authors has changed because of the board. It might have done so anyway. What has changed thanks to the board is the way I read and talk about books.
If for some reason it was no longer available to me I would miss it very much.

Marita
Caro

I was going to write and say how this board had changed my reading habits a bit and certainly how I read (always with a view to what I might say here later!), and that other than that it hadn't really changed me.

But then I remembered that this was the first message board I came across (when it was the BBC one in 2004) and then I found the History one and Word of Mouth, and though the BBC has closed all these now, I still belong to 4 boards, and it is really what I do, especially in the mornings.  But anytime really when I am at home, and that's mostly.  Drives my husband mad really.  But I would have been playing at something else instead otherwise, and at least I learn this way.

I have not met anyone from the Books Board, but have met a few others when we have been in England and one couple actually took us round France for a week in their car.  I certainly think of some of the people here as my friends.  And I would miss it no end - it does give some purpose to my reading, knowing that I can discuss books that, as Joe said, aren't generally read in my little community.  Having said that, I have been quite surprised at how many people have read The Moonstone, when I mention it.  People I don't associate with classic literature, really.  

Cheers, Caro.
Chibiabos83

Here I am, finally.

It's hard to say how much being a part of this board and its predecessors has changed me, because I joined the first BBC board when I was 20 (and a few months), and anyone changes quite a bit anyway between the ages of 20 and 28, hopefully by growing up.

At that time, I was a second-year music student who had given up English after GCSE (partly through choice and partly through necessity - my school's A-level timetabling made it very difficult for me to do the three subjects I was good at - French, German and Music - and so I couldn't really have done English even if I'd wanted to. I couldn't even do General Studies, lucky me). I liked reading but wasn't what you'd call a bookworm. I loved Lolita and The Go-Between and Dickens, and had a bee in my bonnet about The Catcher in the Rye (the bee in question is now dead).

I think I must have been an irritating presence on the board for some of the more high-minded participants, though with the odd exception here or there they were kind enough not to say so, because my comments tended towards flippancy (as they still do) and had no critical depth at all. I was the kind of person who said, This book is good because it's fun, and this one is bad because the main character's annoying, and that's that. One of the greatest things this board has given me, through the examples of others, is the need to look below the surface, to think to myself, Why is this book so enjoyable or so dreadful? What I write is still superficial, but at least now I'm making an effort, most of the time.

Something else that's changed is the breadth of my reading. I'm not sure I'd ever read Jane Austen when I first joined the board, and I'd certainly never read the Brontes or Trollope or Flaubert or Zola or Forster or Woolf or...well, almost anyone you'd care to name. I don't know when I realised it would be a good idea to start reading all these famous books, but it might have been the time when one obnoxious poster slated a newbie with words to the effect of 'I think you'll find everyone on this board has read Jane Eyre'. I hadn't, and I maintain, as all reasonable people would, that there is no shame whatsoever in not having read any individual book, but sooner or later I started to think I might be missing out on something. I'm much more ambitious now when it comes to reading books I'd previously have considered too difficult for me. And various Mikes have led me to writers like Philip K. Dick and John Wyndham, who would probably still be unread otherwise. Lots of you influence what I read.

Since about 2005 I have become more disciplined about noting down what I read, and I believe that is down to the invention of the monthly read threads, for some reason I can't quite work out. Whoever came up with them was a good egg. I now write about each book I read and keep a copy in a reading diary on my computer as well as posting it on the board. This is because the statistical part of my brain likes lists and order, and counting how many books I've read in a month or a year.

I have made many friends on this board, and I am so glad that a good handful of the people who were there even before me are still around. I found some old 2003-vintage threads saved in a dusty corner of my laptop recently, and was pleased to see the names of people who still post here, but I also lament some of those we see no longer - David McCabe, Frazer Caird, Effie Scott, Ruthie C, Katie Cooke, Squiggly Kate, Baron Morgan and the like. That said, how great that we are still going after all this time, and I am delighted to have got to know some of you very well, and even met up in person. I have fond memories of Haworth in September 2005. Hey, look what I found...


Caro

Who is everyone, Gareth?  I feel I might see Gino there, but not sure.
Chibiabos83

Oh dear, I was afraid you might ask that... I'll refrain from identifying non-message board people (there were a few family members and partners present), but I think the personnel is as follows. Back row, from left: Paul a.k.a. Demented Hyaena, then Karen (can't remember what she called herself, but perhaps someone else will) and partner, Gareth in the middle, Gino, E/V, and (Percy Bysshe) Shelley. Verity is on the left of the diamond of which I form the head. I believe the lady standing between Paul and Karen on the left may be one of us too, but inexcusably her identity escapes me. It isn't Village Duckpond, is it? I've forgotten exactly who was there. Perhaps someone else can help (E/V? Gino?).
Evie

That was a lovely day.  The lady between Paul and Karen (Dyson - screen name Minnah) is 'Caspian's Mum', and I am ashamed to say I can't remember her real name - Gill?  She was lovely.  I think Village Duckpond must have been taking the photo, as she is not in the picture.  There were a couple of others there earlier, who didn't stay for dinner in the evening.  That was a lovely day.  Can't believe it was nearly 7 years ago!
Chibiabos83

Minnah! I could remember it was six letters long with a double letter in the middle. The name of her cat, I believe. Yes, it all comes back to me now. Duckpond behind the camera.
Evie

It's a great photo.  And you list of those no longer posting is great too - I think about most of those people fairly regularly, and still miss their presence and input.  Russian Doll too, and Desperate Housewife (Less Well Groomed) and  Philip Tom - I am at least in touch with him still, which is lovely, but I do miss his posts.
Apple

Chibiabos wrote:
Quote:
It's hard to say how much being a part of this board and its predecessors has changed me, because I joined the first BBC board when I was 20 (and a few months), and anyone changes quite a bit anyway between the ages of 20 and 28, hopefully by growing up.
I never realised you were so young! I don't mean that in a patronising way - (because that does sound very patronising!) I always pictured you as someone in their mid 30's, nice to put a face to the name though -great pic!
TheRejectAmidHair

Evie wrote:
It's a great photo. †And you list of those no longer posting is great too - I think about most of those people fairly regularly, and still miss their presence and input. †Russian Doll too, and Desperate Housewife (Less Well Groomed) and †Philip Tom - I am at least in touch with him still, which is lovely, but I do miss his posts.


I was looking through some of the old threads recently on the now defunct BBC board. Made me feel very nostalgic. It would be lovely to meet up with that old gang again.
Apple

Himadri wrote:
Quote:
I was looking through some of the old threads recently on the now defunct BBC board.
Can the old beeb board still be accessed then? I thought it had been removed.  I know the MSN board got removed - not that it ever worked properly (for me at least) when it was there!
Castorboy

It can still be accessed via http://bigreaders.myfastforum.org/ftopic282-10.php
Apple

Thanks for that, it was nice to read through the old posts on there! It was much better in those days so many characters and diverse tastes and everyones opinion counted! A lovely place!!  Very Happy
Evie

Everyone's opinion counts here, there is just a smaller pool of people so we don't get the same level of response to our posts.  This is a relatively closed community, in the sense that loads of people found their way to the BBC board because it was the BBC, whereas here it's more a case of whether people stumble across us.  It's a different kind of board.

I'm not being defensive, I miss the BBC board hugely - it *was* better, and it is so sad that they put a stop to it.  This is more a way of everyone who wants to staying together and continuing to talk about books.  Sorry if anyone feels their opinion doesn't count - I see no evidence of that, though, even though the board is quiet.
Apple

I didn't mean it like that! But seeing as you mention it, I have to say I have seen plenty of evidence of it (and I'm not †talking about to me either) but I'm not going to get into an argument with you over it, its just not worth it. †You have your opinion and I have mine. †Smile
verityktw

The photo Gareth posted was taken on my 17th birthday (though it's a horrible photo of me!). I think I'm probably the youngest board member who has been here from the beginning and, especially through the first three years, the board has been a big part of my life. The transition's been massive, I've gone from being a GCSE student to an NHS manager in training, via two English degrees.  Even though my posts have been very intermittent since I started university, I hope to make a bit more of an effort now. Even in the patches where I haven't posted at all, I've read the board intermittently, and been pleased to read what everyone's reading and their thoughts about it. I'm always very happy to return and find out that people remember me, as I regard many of you as friends. There are also a couple of people who have been close friends to me over the years and through some very tough times either in person or through correspondence.

Reading-wise, it gave me the opportunity to talk to people on a level which stretched and challenged me, and exposed me to a repertoire of classics which I would never have just picked up in Waterstones. For the first time I developed more confidence in what I thought was good or bad about books and why. It's also somewhere where reading is fun and sociable rather than isolating, which I think it was for me at school. It's also challenged the way I think about books and my reading choices, and I hope it will continue to do so. After four years of very academic study of literature (albeit mostly poetry) it is lovely to come back and to remember that as well as appreciation and analysis, enjoyment is important.  Smile
TheRejectAmidHair

Hello Verity how very good to see you here again, and how even better to hear that you intend staying, and posting about books! The more book-talk we can get, the better.

It's incredible that you were studying for your GCSEs when you started contributing to the old BBC board. Our daughter was but a toddler back then, and she is sitting er GCSEs now. As for me, I think I just feel old...

I'm off now to read your post on Jane Gardam.

Hope to see you around more!
Evie

Verity, I was thinking back to how young you were when all of this started (14 at the very start, if I remember correctly), when I was thinking about my own feelings about the board.  And now the other side of a postgraduate degree.  It's one of the things that makes this such a great community for me - we've been through loads together!  I remember us all chatting here the day Mike A's baby was due to be born, wondering how it was going, and George is now 4, I believe.
mike js

I have only just spotted this topic, Ann. It is surprising to think how long ago the BBC big read message board started!

I can't remember exactly how early or why I joined originally, but certainly remember it all with great fondness. It is fascinating to see how a community can form by meeting in a virtual place. And this board is a fine continuation, though I have not done much to help, being very quiet.

I have certainly read a little more widely through some of the suggestions and reviews over the years. I have found a way to express truly awful puns now and then. All right, rather often in those early days.

The biggest change for me has been to sometimes write down how I felt about a book, which is something I don't think I would have tried otherwise. And, I wrote at least two poems:

Not a Verse to Chocolate
I like chocolate,
A lot.
O yes,
I like choc a lot.

Turf
Turf!
It's a few blades of grass,
and some earf.

I cannot recall why.

Happy reading.
Evie

Great to read your pomes again mike!  

And it was your influence that got me into reading Philip K. Dick, Ray Bradbury and John Wyndham - for which I am very grateful.  Never, ever thought I'd read science fiction, let alone enjoy it!

I like the fact that people come and go here, dropping in when they feel like it, staying away when they don't, lurking a bit.
MikeAlx

Evie wrote:
I remember us all chatting here the day Mike A's baby was due to be born, wondering how it was going, and George is now 4, I believe.

5 in a few weeks!
verityktw

Mike, your chocolate poem reminds me of one I wrote for my mum on mother's day when I was quite young:

I love you
And chocolate too
The chocolate's gone
But you're still my mum.
Ann

Poetry versus chocolate - one of my favourite memories
mike js

Thanks, Evie. It is great that you have enjoyed your SF adventures. I feel guilty about not finishing Middlemarch now.  Wink One book I really enjoyed after recommendation from you was Barbara Kingsolver's Prodigal Summer.

Oh yes, Ann; poetry versus chocolate! That must have been where the chocolate poem came from. I still have no idea where what possessed me to consider turf.

Verity, your poem shows both love for your mum and a sensible early interest in chocolate.  Smile
Ann

mike js have you ever read Salmon Fishing in the Yeman? I can imagine you really enjoying it. That reminds me I must look out for it in the library because it is due a re read. It is black humour about the civil service.
mike js

Hello Ann, no I hadn't heard of Salmon Fishing in the Yeman. I shall look out for it.
Ann

mike js wrote:
Hello Ann, no I hadn't heard of Salmon Fishing in the Yeman. I shall look out for it.


I didn't say it is by Paul Torday

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