Belonging to a book club is like belonging to a gym, once you join there is fun and personal growth but you sometimes need to push yourself.
The League of Extraordinary Dorks (LED) Book Club meets each month at the Albatross Coffee House on Second Life (http://slurl.com/secondlife/Ctrl%20Shift%20H/94/137/22). The virtual space is where a group of readers meets to discuss the book of the month, each member having an opportunity to select a monthly book.
This is my first membership in any book club, introducing me to books I may not have selected on my own. Participants attend on a given day and time each month, via avatar, having the option to come dressed as one of the characters or representing something in the book. The dress-up kind of reminds me of the book reports in grade school, it was fun then and it is fun now.
Members gather in a virtual reading room to sit and relax while discussing the book, in text chat (voice optional). The avatar poses at the Albatross are particularly fun, being somewhat fidgety I change positions throughout the hour. It’s fun to move about and get your avatar comfortable. Discussion are silly to academic; result is that we all read and have an opportunity to share our reflections.
Early readers struggle and teachers give assignments related to reading to ensure comprehension. To help instill a love of reading, whether that joy is a search for information, fun or relaxation, students must have positive experiences with reading. Celebrating the leap from the basal reader to a “chapter book” is often the milestone in the desire for reading which follows with self-selection and sharing of reading material. A Virtual World Book Club experience allows for sharing diversity of views along with social interaction, like a traditional book club, but with an ease in participation (no time and travel) and broader scope of interactions (potentially global). The fun factor, although difficult to quantify, can certainly be felt.