Intermediate Japanese Book Club // Now Reading: セーラー服と機関銃 // Next: 変な家

I guess I just disagree. Sure it’s more clear, but still should specify “the book” or “the part for the week”. Edit: As it is, both are kind of implied :woman_shrugging:

That particular poll is definitely clear.


I agree with @Sasabonsam that both phrasings seem to carry the same meaning. Up until you mentioned it, I never even noticed there were two different versions of this point. Both versions always felt a little confusing to me and I think I’ve used them in inconsistent ways.


The way I interpret it is whether I’m reading the current section before, during or after the club week and nothing else.


I was referring to this one actually, but that Natively one is similar.

I guess I don’t really see a difference. What matters is the reading assignment for that week of the book club.

Basically this ^

Though personally I’ve only used it for times I’ve already read the whole book or series (since I don’t normally read ahead in book clubs).


This is still not absolutely clear to me though, as you can see from this example.
Both me and another club member have finished the book, but I answered “I’m following the discussion” and the other person answered “I’m reading, but not at the same pace as the club”. Which one should we have chosen? If I finished the book I’m not reading any more, but I definitely didn’t follow the same pace as the club as I was reading either. :thinking:
Also the fact that the poll closes after the week is over doesn’t allow late joiners to vote that they’re reading but at a different pace/time.

All this to say that I find all these polls confusing, but I’m not sure how to make them better. The question of course is, what kind of information is really relevant in the first place.

I like this.


Functionally either works. As far as I’m concerned the poll is to give an idea of who might participate in discussion / a basic pulse check that people are still engaged during the listed timeline. Also because people like clicking polls.

I also intentionally keep the Mystery BC as low fuss and process as possible so it may be a bad example to compare to. If the poll were to really confuse people I’d probably just replace it with “I am reading, plan to read, or have read this section” and “I just want to click a poll”. :joy:


This works well for me, actually :joy:

Or we could just have a very simple roll call: “Present this week” /“I just want to click a poll”.

Something as simple as that is great for seeing who is likely to participate in the discussion and how many people are still interested in the club, whether they’ve read the book already or are reading along.

If the idea is to see if people are struggling to keep up though, maybe an “I’ll catch up later” option would make sense. Not sure it’s important to know if people read ahead or not, as long as they stick to the rules and don’t discuss future developments.


I’ve never even heard of weekly book club polls automatically closing after the week is done :exploding_head:

1 Like

It’s the Mystery Club on Natively specifically that does it. Not sure if any other club closes their participation polls to be honest.



¿Do you book?

  • Book
  • Book?
  • No book
0 voters

Gotcha! Thanks for the clarification.

now if I wanted to focus on “The more overlap the better”, an ideal solution would be to start all the books at the same time, right? :crazy_face:

It’s not clear to me either. I would not necessarily expect people who answer “I’m following the discussion” to have read the book at all :rofl:

Incidentally that’s basically the type of questions I use for my book clubs.
The first week reads

  • I’m reading along
  • I have finished this part
  • I’m planning to catch up later
  • I’m skipping this book
0 voters

and the subsequent weeks read

  • I’m reading along
  • I have finished this part
  • I’m still reading the book but I haven’t reached this part yet
  • I am no longer reading the book
0 voters

and to me it’s not important at all whether somebody just finished the part or read it ages ago.

Dunno if this is helpful now for y’all or not :sweat_smile:


“I have finished this part” is a little problematic because some people update the moment they finished that week’s reading, and others take it to mean that they’ve read it before the week started. Which is totally fine if each one uses the poll for their own tracking purposes, but not very useful when you’re using the poll for general club statistics.

Similarly, unfortunately I doubt that many of the people who fall behind, and especially of the people who stop reading, bother updating the polls. Even though it would be a very useful statistic to have.


To add to the complexity, when I drop out of a book club (which has happened once because I didn’t like the pick and once because life got in the way), I usually just remove my vote that says I’m joining :see_no_evil: and sometimes I forget to vote anyway, so some weeks I have no vote because I forgot. (I don’t like clicking on polls :laughing:)
But if I knew that the polls were used to analyse whether the book clubs “work” (in the sense of how steep the drop out is), I would be more careful with my voting. So far I have treated it as a way for those who are actively reading to see how many others are reading with them, which is why I remove my “I’m joining” option when I drop out.


We could also change “I’m reading along” to “I’m currently reading this part” to make the difference more clear.

I have never changed my vote of these polls - even if I managed to catch up I left it as “haven’t reached this part yet”. Idk changing it every time seems like a hassle, but I wouldn’t mind doing it if that is the intended purpose.



Why not just make it two polls?

Poll 1: I have read this section/I have not read this section
Poll 2: I’m reading at the same time as the club/I’m behind the club/I’m ahead of the club/I’m reading after the club already ended.

For simplicity’s sake, poll 1 could be a yes/no question.


Just wanted to say that I liked your idea a lot, and decided to experimentally implement it in this German-language book club on Natively. There’s not many book club members, but I’m curious if people will find it useful, confusing, or irrelevant. :slight_smile:


Volume 1 of the manga adaptation of the upcoming club pick 変な家 is currently free to read until the 29th, and the full version is on 50% sale and can be combined with the 50% coinback campaign on Bookwalker. Might be interesting to people who want to take a look at the story before the club starts to decide if they want to join or who think the book might be more fun to read with illustrations:

(my first try using an affiliate link, hope it works)