What sort of books will we be reading?
We plan to select books from a broad spectrum, originating from around the world, and we’re starting with long-form fiction to see how it goes. If the book club proves popular, we hope to expand it in other directions later, adding (in parallel) other writing genres.
Do I have to read any particular edition?
You can read any edition you like, old or new. It can be a free version downloaded from the internet, a scholarly edition published with reams of academic endnotes, a shiny new hardback from the library, or a battered old paperback copy that you have owned forever. You can read it in translation, or in its original language, but our discussion will be in English.
Can I read an abridged version?
No, please stick to unabridged editions.
What about audiobooks?
An audio version is fine, as long as the text is unabridged. No radio dramatisations, though — just the text, as it is read from the page.
Can I watch a film/TV adaptation instead?
No! This is a book club, not a film club.
Where can I get the books?
You can get them from wherever you choose. If you are looking for free downloads, then Project Gutenberg and Standard Ebooks are good places to start, and LibriVox may offer an audio version. If you want a physical book, then your local library may have copies. Many publishers produce cheap e-book editions of public domain texts, often in “collected works” editions, so you may prefer to purchase one of these for your e-reader. Or you can buy a paper copy from an online retailer or a real flesh-and-blood bookshop.
What do you mean by “out of copyright” or “public domain”?
We will be discussing titles that we believe to be out of copyright in the UK and EU, which generally means that 70 or more years will have passed since the death of the author. But we are not copyright lawyers, and our inclusion of a particular title does not guarantee that it is necessarily in the public domain either in the UK or elsewhere. You are responsible for ensuring that you acquire titles legally, in line with the copyright laws in your country.