Do I have to read the book to join in the discussion?

Absolutely not!    While some faimliarity with the book will be helpful in discussing some books, I try to have questions that will spark discussion with the book as a starting off point.  For instance, anyone who has a mom could answer the question “What is your favorite mom-ism”, but it relates to May’s book selection, The Handbook for Catholic Moms by Lisa Hendey.  And if you haven’t answered that question, head on over to the link and leave a comment!

I’ve been in a lot of book groups over the years, and my biggest single gripe is when people are made to feel bad for not having “read the book.”  This drives me crazy, which is why when I moderate a book group, either online or in person, I make a point of saying, “Just come and enjoy the discussion.”   Often this will spark an interest in reading the book (or seeing the movie, in some cases!).

How do I post a comment?

At the bottom of each post there is a hyperlink that says “_ Comments.”  with the number of comments listed–if there are no comments yet on a post, it will say “0 comments;” if there are 6, it will say “6 comments.”

Click on that “comments” link, and all the current comments, as well as a box for your comment, will appear.  You can start typing in the box.  When you are satisfied with your comment, you need to choose what “identity” you want to use.   Let’s say you are not a blogger, or do not already have an account set up at one of the drop-down menu choices.  There are two easy options:  Anonymous or Name/URL.

I recommend Name/URL (URL just means a website, but you can leave that blank).  So for instance, if your name is Jennifer Smith and you want to post a comment, you would select “Name/URL” and type in the box either “Jennifer Smith” or “Jennifer,” or “Jenny”; your choice!  Leave the URL blank.

If you want to check your work, hit the “preview” button, and you’ll see that your comment appears as “Jennifer says, …..”  If you like the way it looks, hit the “Post” button, and you’ll see a message saying either “your comment has been published” or “your comment will appear when it is moderated.”  I have comment moderation “on,” which means I approve all of the.

You could also choose “Anonymous,” but that’s kind of anonymous, don’t you think?  It’s a quick step to put in your name.  You can even name yourself something else, like “CityMom” or “Postfan”.  Just try to remember that name when you come back to post again, so we get a sense of continuity in the discussion.

That’s the simplest way to comment.  You can also set up a Google account and post comments as that identity, or one of the other IDs, such as WordPress or OpenID.  It’s entirely up to you.  I hope you join in the discussion!

Why doesn’t my comment post right away?

Comment moderation is “enabled,” meaning that I have to approve the comments that you make, so your comment may not show up right away.  I have comment moderation “on” for several reasons, among them: 1. every so often on people’s blogs,  strange comment-bots leave Viagra or Chinese character comments, so those do not need to be part of the discussion.  I delete them right away. 2. if we do get into a heated discussion about a topic or a book, sometimes people can violate a comment code.

What is your comment code of conduct?

Anyone planning to join the discussion here is expected to follow these guidelines when commenting:

  • I will express myself with civility, courtesy, and respect, especially toward those with whom I disagree—even if I feel disrespected by them. (Romans 12:17-21)
  • I will express my disagreements with the ideas of others without insulting, mocking, or slandering them personally. (Matthew 5:22)
  • I will not exaggerate others’ beliefs nor make unfounded prejudicial assumptions based on labels, categories, or stereotypes. I will always extend the benefit of the doubt. (Ephesians 4:29)
  • I understand that comments are moderated and will not be published if they are do not meet the guidelines. Repeat offenders will be blocked from making further comments. (Proverbs 18:7)

In searching around for a comment code, I found lots of great ones, and adapted this from Sojourners, because it is short & to the point.

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