For quite some time now, I’ve been aware of the “Sunday Salon” as it exists in the book blogging world. Every Sunday, book bloggers reflect on their week of reading and reviewing, and rehash it for their readers. It’s also a chance to reflect on the week and what they’ve learned. If you’re a member of this club, you can simply go to the Sunday Salon website, and peruse posts from all of its members, keeping you up-to-date and in the know.
In the hopes of improving my blog, I thought adapting something akin to the Sunday Salon would be fruitful. It would force me to write here more regularly (instead of disappearing for lengths of time, and then overloading everyone when I’m bored), and help me reflect on my writing and reading. And hey, it might help my readers (all…four of them).
Then I thought, why not just join the Sunday Salon itself? From its description, it sounds like a blast…intellectually, that is.
Imagine some university library’s vast reading room. It’s filled with people–students and faculty and strangers who’ve wandered in. They’re seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them, and they’re all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they’ll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon’s literary intake….
Hell yeah, invite me to this party. But then, I read on and found this:
The membership of the list has just grown to over 500 participants. For some time I’ve been thinking that once we reached 500 blogs it would be wise to cease accepting new participants. This is because of problems we’ve had getting Yahoo Pipes, which aggregates all the posts, to work smoothly with such a large number of blogs to sift through. Thus, at least for now, I’m closing off the Salon to new memberships.
So OK. I guess I can understand the problem with Yahoo’s “pipes” (whatever that means). But closing off the Salon to new members? I’m sorry, but was the aforementioned library located at Cambridge during the 1800’s? Because I’m sorry, but closing off this intellectual soiree just reeks of elitism. It’s the old money club looking down their noses at the nouveau riche all over again. If I was feeling feisty, and this metaphorical library actually existed, I might have to scrawl this across the doors:
“I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you: yea, who knoweth not such things.”
OK, maybe I’m taking this a bit far, but this just doesn’t seem fair. Who’s to say that the original 500 members of the Sunday Salon are still blogging? Or if they are, are they still participating in the Sunday Salon? Considering it’s the World Wide Web, and the project was kicked off more than two years ago, I’m betting more than one blog is now inactive. The best solution to this problem would be to open the Salon up to the public, so that any book blogger is free to participate. Clearly, the image isn’t difficult to obtain (copy and paste is a beautiful thing). So OK, maybe whoever aggregates those things won’t include me in the weekly blog wrap-up (since I’m not listed as a member). Maybe no one will particularly care whether I call my weekly posts Sunday Salons or Sunday Saloons. But it matters to me, because damn it, even if I’m not invited, that library sounds like an awfully cool place to hang out.
So I guess this is a long way to tell you: I plan to host an unofficial Sunday Salon right here at Paperback Fool. Like any other active member of Sunday Salon, I plan on recapping the books I reviewed, my thoughts, the week and any other musings. If anyone else has been barred from participating in the Sunday Salon, and wishes to do so on their own terms, let me know! I’ll create…something…for all us outcasts to refer to. I know that sounds vague, but come on! Who wants to get in at the ground floor of something new? See ya on Sunday.