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Join the SomeWhatVirtualBookClub on Twitter (#SWVBC)

It’s time for the voice of student readers to be heard on Twitter!

After our first few synchronous SomeWhatVirtualBookClub meetings, it occurred to us that we could expand our discussion to include more clubs and more kids if we moved some of our discussion to Twitter.  We hope your clubs will join us!

After a bit of chatting and scheming, our club leaders developed a rationale for expanding to Twitter.  Here are some excerpts for our Google Doc:

Everyone has been that kid, the wide eyed one at the local bookstore. The one clutching a brand new book in their clammy hands as they wait in line. The one stuttering out vague praises to the author signing their title page.  We’ve all been that star-struck in the presence of brilliance.  Imagine a world where that kid can suddenly talk to their favorite author at the drop of a hat. The SomewhatVirtualBookClub did.  We hope our #SWVBC will not only discuss books with student readers from all over, but also with YA authors!

Authors have gone from being pictures on the back of a book to something like faraway friends telling us about their lives and communicating with fans about their books. Twitter has the advantage of being both a platform for communication and a somewhat of a mini-blog for many people. This means that we have the ability to both talk to authors and better understand the choices made in their books.

#SWVBC also allows for a more open and varied discussion on books than could have even been possible before. It allows for everyone to have a say in the discussions without people screaming over one another to be heard. This also comes with the advantage of giving us all a more diverse perspective on the books that we’re reading due to the increased number of people discussing the book (or topic) and the farther away geographically some of the other clubs are.

Why the hashtag?
It allows us to connect with other clubs in between meetings. We could discuss books that may not necessarily be our current book club read and it would give everyone a voice in book discussions. Also we would have the opportunity to share what we’re saying about books directly with the authors that wrote them.

Purpose of chat:

We want to use our hashtag to share our favorites, to discover great titles, to make contact with other readers and other bookclubs, to make contact with authors and publishers, to promote the titles we love, to offer authentic teen advice.  The more people talking about books, the better!

Tweeting protocol

  • Avoid negative tweeting.
  • Avoid language you wouldn’t use in school.
  • Do not share personal information.
  • Be positive and respectful and kind, but be honest about your feelings about books.


Possible week-long discussion about topics like: genre discussions, top ten lists, what makes a book great, can you tell a book by its cover?  Has reading changed in any way because of social networking?  Please suggest other ideas!

If you are a reader and lover of YA lit, or an author, or a publisher, or a teacher, or a librarian, use #SWVBC when you tweet about books.

Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza

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