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Early warning of Humiliation

Six whole months have passed since I ran my first-and-only game of Humiliation on LiveJournal. It's about time we had another round of it!

Last time, a few people requested that I give earlier notice that the game was going to be happening, so here you are. I'll put up a post to accept entries for the game this coming Monday, September 5th, in the morning. You'll have until Wednesday, September 7th to enter the game. Voting, via LJ poll, will run from Wednesday afternoon to Friday, September 9th. If you're a weekend-only LJer, well, should I ever run a third game, I promise it'll overlap with a weekend.

If you're unfamiliar with the game, here's how it works. Each participant submits the name of one book they have never read. To be competitive, choose a book which you suspect everyone else on the planet, except for you, has already read. The competitive part works like this: everyone places a vote for each and every one of the books in competition which they have read. Thus, the winner - the humiliated one - is whoever entered the book which the most other people have previously read. (Credit: the original version of this game was invented by David Lodge in the book Small World.)

What counts as having read a book is ultimately up to you, but here are some guidelines: A few chapters doesn't count. Skipping just the epilogue does. I am counting on all of you being honest in playing this game. You can see how it worked last time by reading over the entries post, seeing the results in the voting post, and seeing the aftermath here. Read the rest of this post for the house rules for this round.

For those of you who already know the rules, here is everything else you might want to know about this edition of it - the house rules:
  • This will be a themed game. The theme is "Children's and Young Adult Literature".
  • If you think someone else's entry doesn't count in this category, comment in response to it and explain why. You can defend your choice if you think it needs doing. If I allow it into the poll, then it counts for the purposes of this game.
  • The top three books from the last time I hosted will not be allowed in competition. These are The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and Hamlet.
  • There will be a prize! The winner will receive a copy of the book they entered with. (But only if they send me an address to send it to. Also, I don't promise it'll be a new copy of the book. The important thing is the content, after all. The winner is welcome to decline the prize. He or she may already own a copy of the book, or have very good reasons for having avoided reading the book in question.)

Have more people who happen to run across this poll read Swallows and Amazons or the The Sword in the Stone? Pat the Bunny or Make Way for Ducklings? Charlotte's Web or Babe? Stay tuned, and you may find out!

Two last pieces of advice: Firstly, it's counterproductive to compete with the same book as someone else, but I'll allow it. It'll be more fun and more competitive if we all have different entries. Secondly, keep in mind that children's literature varies a fair amount from country to country. Most of the voters are likely to be from Canada, the UK, or the US. Their country of origin will affect what books they grew up reading.


( 29 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 2nd, 2005 11:13 am (UTC)
Children's and YA lit is much less stable over time than "classic" literature. That may pose a problem.
Sep. 2nd, 2005 11:19 am (UTC)
I'm hoping it just adds to the challenge of picking a winning book.
Sep. 2nd, 2005 11:24 am (UTC)
P.S. A disproportionate percentage of the likely voters are in their twenties and thirties. The voters are also generally well-read in the classics; this ought to include the classics of childrens' and young adult lit, I would expect. This information might also be helpful in picking competitive entries.
Sep. 2nd, 2005 12:36 pm (UTC)
You do realise that while Canada and the UK have shared a book market for 100 yrs, only recently has the US been part of that?
Sep. 2nd, 2005 12:44 pm (UTC)
I hadn't realized that the US was part of the Canada-UK market at all yet, based on my experience with book-finding in all three countries. How recently is recent? Also, what was the situation in Canada and the UK a hundred years ago and earlier? And what helped coordinate the markets?

I suspect classic literature - however that's defined for Children's/Young Adult lit - will still be the best way to play this game even with this theme, in large part because of the way international publishing works.
Sep. 2nd, 2005 12:54 pm (UTC)
The market is shared with the US until the end of the nineteenth century when a strong "Commonwealth" market appears-- Aussies, Hong Kong children, New Zealanders, Canadians, Brits, all shared more or less the same books. Not until the late 1990s and a certain famous author do you start to see automatic US and UK editions.

I used to use Diana Wynne Jones as currency in book trades across the Atlantic.
Sep. 3rd, 2005 01:15 pm (UTC)
Yes, but most of the kids' books I read as a child were British--DWJ was easily found in the public libraries then. And the classics seem to be well shared, with a few exceptions.
Sep. 2nd, 2005 11:41 am (UTC)
Thank you for the advanced warning, but I doubt I'll be able to play -- I don't think I'll be able to get internet access on the Scillies.
Sep. 2nd, 2005 12:44 pm (UTC)
But... you'll be in the Scillies!
Sep. 2nd, 2005 12:47 pm (UTC)
Sep. 2nd, 2005 12:52 pm (UTC)
It's exotic to me. Travelling to interesting places is surely far more exciting than participating in a game of Humiliation. Not that you won't be participating.
Sep. 2nd, 2005 01:39 pm (UTC)
Ah, now I see...
Sep. 2nd, 2005 12:49 pm (UTC)
I'm in! But please don't put up the entry-accepting post too early in the morning, or your UK readers will have an unfair advantage over morning-challenged North Americans like me.

Sep. 2nd, 2005 12:54 pm (UTC)
Just for you, I'll resist until noonish or so. Everyone will still have two days to get their entries in, so there's not too much of a rush.
Sep. 2nd, 2005 02:10 pm (UTC)
I'll play!
Sep. 2nd, 2005 04:21 pm (UTC)
i'm in!
Sep. 2nd, 2005 08:26 pm (UTC)
i'll give it a whirl
Sep. 2nd, 2005 08:48 pm (UTC)
I'm in, too, but </a></b></a> point is a good one -- I'm old enough that this will be especially true. It's not just people like DWJ, but even really obvious UK writers like Enid Blyton were never popular in the US. I am also guessing that UK readers were never great Carolyn Keane fans, either?

*prepares for humiliation*
Sep. 2nd, 2005 09:52 pm (UTC)
I just hope nobody says Harry Potter...
Sep. 2nd, 2005 11:53 pm (UTC)
Sep. 3rd, 2005 05:19 am (UTC)
Count me in, too! :-D
Sep. 3rd, 2005 01:16 pm (UTC)
Sure, why not?
Sep. 3rd, 2005 09:38 pm (UTC)
Me too!

Does a series count or is it individual books only?
Sep. 4th, 2005 10:01 pm (UTC)
You're more likely to be competitive by working with single books. It's really a waste of your time to compete with entire series, because the only people who could vote for your book are those who have read the entire series, not just a given book within it. The only time I've seen a series make sense so far has been with Lord of the Rings, where it might as well be a single book, split across multiple volumes.
Sep. 5th, 2005 01:39 am (UTC)
I'd argue to treat the Narnia books and the The Dark is Rising sequence as singles. And Pullman's His Dark Materials, although whether it qualifies as classic at this point is debatable. By the same token, is it fair to ask about how classic is defined? Because HP, although extraordinarily popular, is also probably not classic at this point. It's only multi-generational in the sense that people of different generations read it, not in the sense of having been passed on from one to the next.
Sep. 5th, 2005 12:10 pm (UTC)
I was using "classic" in a sloppy sense. I was thinking of books which are at least fifty years old and which I know are published on both sides of the Atlantic, including Treasure Island, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and The Sword in the Stone. As a category, I suspect they are most likely to have been widely read on both sides of the ocean. But obviously there are exceptions, such as the HP books.
Sep. 5th, 2005 01:41 am (UTC)
Er ... by the way, that was by way of being one of those people who cringe whenever a brand-new film or book is touted (usually at Christmas) as being "the new classic" or "an instant classic." Grrrr. Like using "reference" as a verb.
Sep. 5th, 2005 12:12 pm (UTC)
Instant classic: just add water.

The OED tells me that the verb "reference" was used at least as early as 1891 in the sense I suspect you mean it.
Sep. 5th, 2005 04:07 pm (UTC)
Really? But it sounds so ... wrong! "refer to" sounds so much better to my Germanophone ears ;-)
( 29 comments — Leave a comment )