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Book Salon FAQs & Ground Rules


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Ground Rules

  • Please stay on topic and introduce information relevant to the discussion (historical facts, book background, related authors/subjects, themes, characters, etc). The online discussion is a book club meeting, where everyone has shown up to talk about the book.
  • Please only reply if you have something new to add to the discussion. We all want to hear your thoughts on the readings, but empty messages like, “I agree” or “me, too” or even, “so excited to start reading!” just clog inboxes. Many alumni have shared that they really love the book discussion, but unsubscribed due to an increase in these “empty” messages. Generally, in online discussions, silence implies agreement. The corollary to the above rule, for our improv lovers, is when you are saying, “yes, I agree and… here’s some new information that furthers the point.”
  • If you have a reply specifically for the sender of the message, go ahead and reply just to that individual (you will see their name in the To: section of your email heading). Save replies to the forum for when messages are relevant to the public discussion. You are always welcome to tell the individual how much you agree with them or how brilliantly you think their comment was crafted.
  • Feel free to share your ideas and Stanford experiences and remember this is not a place for advertising, promotion, recruiting, campaigning, soliciting, etc; please use your best judgment.
  • Please remember to be respectful of the ideas and thoughts posted by others; even when they vary widely from your own. This is a place for intellectual debate of ideas about literature, not a place for personal attacks or political vitriol. We encourage all discussion participation and love nothing more than to hear from someone new. Our faculty hosts are so excited to share their favorite books with you, and this is a perfect forum to share your insight into literature.