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Topic: Advice for HF forum newbies: Quit now!

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Subject: Advice for HF forum newbies: Quit now!
Date Posted: 11/13/2009 1:03 AM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2009
Posts: 2,617
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Yes -- I kid you not. Get out of this forum while you can.  Learn from my experience.  This is an evil, evil place.

Oh, I know what it's like. You sign up for PBS and are excited to post your first 10 books and get your 2 freebies. Oh, the joy when those books come. And then you receive requests for your posted books -- and you eagerly print out the labels and wrap the books -- and in little time, figure out how to print electronic postage and DC, not to save a trip to the post office, but really to get your credits even more quickly, in fact, instantly.  Yaayyy -- now you can order more books! And you skip to your mailbox each day, hoping to see the PBS logo on a book-size envelope or package. This is just too good to be true! And then...

...you discover the forums and think to yourself, "I like historical fiction; I'll wander over there." And so you start lurking.  As you read the posts, you are so grateful, so excited to find new authors, new series, new books -- all of which you apparently HAVE to read. And your Reminder list grows and grows and grows.  And your WL grows and grows and grows. And your stack of TBR books grows and grows and grows. And as you continue to read the posts, you think, "what a tight-knit circle -- they all seem to know each other -- they tease and joke with each other -- they even know when a member has been absent." And so you're a little intimidated -- after all, you're a newbie, you're hesitant to intrude in their circle. But you finally brace yourself and post your first message. Do they shun you as the outsider you are? Do they resent your intrusion? Do they ignore or dismiss you? Oh, no, they don't. In fact, they send you welcoming, friendly messages, lulling you into their circle.  They seek to normalize their behavior -- their strength is in numbers.  Oh, yes -- they're a friendly bunch. They don't even mind if you (gasp!) don't like a Cornwell book. They just good-naturedly give you the wet noodle treatment, but it's all in good fun. (Now, MAYBE, if you professed a dislike of Penman, you might get the boot -- but honestly, if you don't like SKP, you deserve it.)

And so you find yourself rushing to the computer as soon as you enter the house. Of course, you want to check to see if you have a PM or book request or WL offer, but you also want to delve right into the HF forum because there are always new postings, new recommendations, new reviews. This is not only a friendly group but a chatty group. And soon after you've posted a couple times, you get your first buddy request -- oh, the joy, the rapture!  You have a PBS buddy! Your family is clamoring for dinner -- but not yet, you need to PM your buddy, you need to finish reading the thread, you need to post your 2 cents.

Eventually you find yourself going back to previous HF postings -- and lo and behold, after many, many, many hours, you have actually read through 17 pages of threads dating back to 2007 -- as if you have the time!  And your Reminder list grows and grows and grows -- and your WL grows and grows and grows -- and your stack of TBR books grows and grows and grows. Don't these people do anything but read??!! And pretending to be helpful, they refer you to historical fiction sites -- as if you need more book recommendations! And they even have the chutzpa to suggest other venues, such as Book Depository or Book Closeouts,  where you can buy those books that never seem to get posted, sites that you were blissfully unaware of before entering this forum. Oh, even more insidious, they tell you where to find used book sales! And they lull you further and further into their bibliomanic clutches with games and fun challenges and a Secret Santa holiday exchange (and you don't even believe in Santa!).

The irony is that your account page lists how much money you've saved since joining PBS. Yeah, right!  In what universe have you saved money?? No -- you've instead started scrounging around every local UBS -- not just to find books on your WL, but to buy books that others have Wish Listed so you can post them and get more credits. Oh, yes, you've learned to check out the list of most requested books -- just to buy and post them. And sending books is not free. So you add more and more money to your PBS account to pay for electronic postage and DC (isn't it all so convenient??). You go to office supply stores to find deals on envelopes and packing tape. And of course, the chances of some of your WL books actually being offered to you are negligible -- so off to Amazon or Book Depository -- or if desperate (or lucky enough to have coupons) to Barnes and Noble or Borders.  Oh, yes -- this is supposedly a place to "swap" books -- but you don't, can't swap your favorites -- nope, those you keep -- and other members keep theirs (admittedly and surprisingly, there are a few who post everything -- so maybe you'll get lucky).

And remember how excited you initially were to find new authors and books and series to read -- and your Reminder list grew and grew and grew and your WL grew and grew and grew and the stacks of TBR books next to your bed or crammed into your clearly inadequate book shelves grew and grew and grew. Now, you've reached the point where you're almost grateful when a forum member doesn't like a book. In fact, you kind of, secretly hope that members post negative reviews. Yyaayyy -- fewer books to read!  As it is, it would take years, decades even, to read all the books that are on your Reminder list and your WL and in your TBR stacks.

So, get out now, I say, while you still have a chance. Heed my warning -- you'll thank me. You'll save time and money and your sanity. For if you linger here, you'll be trapped -- because these are people who know how to sneak books past their spouses, who know that when packing for a trip, books take precedence over clothes, who wouldn't dream of reading a series out of order. In short, they're your people.

Last Edited on: 8/15/11 12:50 PM ET - Total times edited: 4
Date Posted: 11/13/2009 6:04 AM ET
Member Since: 2/27/2008
Posts: 1,157
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Are you watching me somehow?!?!?! Debbie

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 11/13/2009 7:05 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 43,192
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Yes I know the problem. My husband growls at me to get off this site. Its not just forum I like mysteries (historical of course) and paranormal too. Who couldn't love a good werewolf. So I have way too many books, but I have learned it is okay to stop reading a really bad book.

You are not alone.

Date Posted: 11/13/2009 7:38 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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Well, now you've gone and done it... You have given away our secrets!!! Oh, you are going to get much, much more than the wet noodle treatment, missy.


Bwahahahaha....that was great! Seriously, great. I've been swapping books here since 2005 and most of that still describes me, so now you know, it never ends. Hahaha!!!

Kat (polbio) -
Date Posted: 11/13/2009 7:41 AM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
Posts: 3,067
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Date Posted: 11/13/2009 7:50 AM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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but honestly, if you don't like SKP, you deserve it.


Valli, Where's the wet noodle? Somebody's telling our secrets!

Date Posted: 11/13/2009 8:11 AM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,835
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Boy oh boy, Deb, have you ever pegged us right! You have described the PBS/HF mania to a tee.

Date Posted: 11/13/2009 8:43 AM ET
Member Since: 5/18/2009
Posts: 388
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Omg, I truly did LOL...you know how we all say "LOL", but don't really LOL every time? Well, this time I did, esp. at the parts about SKP (whom, HELLO, everyone must love to be a card-carrying member of this forum!) and "in what universe am I saving money?" Hilarious!

And b/c I wasn't one of the ones who said so before, welcome to the forum!  :)

Date Posted: 11/13/2009 9:39 AM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2007
Posts: 482
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Hahahahaha that is awesome.  I am definitely a relative newbie to HF forum (though not to PBS itself) and you are SO RIGHT!

Date Posted: 11/13/2009 10:27 AM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 1,588
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Too funny, and waaaaay too true!

I'm a newbie -- only joined PBS about 2.5 months ago.  And my TBR pile is about 25, and I have never, ever had more than half a dozen at one time before.  And I'm chomping on the bit to order more, because many of my reminder books really ARE available.

Saving money?  No, not really.  I'm spending twice as much, but getting about 5-6 times the number of books.  And it's darn hard just to keep it in rein to that degree. 

Last Edited on: 11/13/09 12:52 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 11/13/2009 11:20 AM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,757
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Deb - You so (hilariously) hit the nail on the head!  Your post describes me exactly.  Thank you for the insight and the laugh! 

I just finished my first Penman, When Christ and His Saints Slept, and I can now say that yes, I am a SKP lover, so I do not need to live in fear of a wet noodle or Valli's wrath (and possible shunning). 

Date Posted: 11/13/2009 11:29 AM ET
Member Since: 6/1/2007
Posts: 1,899
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Aw crap!  She's onto us!  We must contain the breach before this post gets out to a wider audience!  Which one of us lives closest to MD???  Whoever it is jump in  your car and take care of this at once!  We cannot have others know how we operate!

Seriously that was great :) 

My bookshelf has grown from about 30 books to close to 500 in the past year and a half.  Just give it time ladies, the books will soon be taking over your entire house, (and garage, and basement,  and that storage unit down the road you rented that your hubby doesn't know about yet....)

Date Posted: 11/13/2009 11:33 AM ET
Member Since: 8/31/2007
Posts: 482
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I live in DC... Rockville is about 20 minutes away hahahaha.

Date Posted: 11/13/2009 11:40 AM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 849
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Very funny (and so true)!  Welcome to our insanity!

Date Posted: 11/13/2009 12:36 PM ET
Member Since: 12/22/2008
Posts: 533
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Yup.  That's how it works.  I am also a newbie and am beyond being hooked into this group.

Date Posted: 11/13/2009 12:38 PM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2009
Posts: 2,617
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Well, you won't be able to find me just yet -- I am fleeing town (at least for the weekend) -- though in reality just trading one insanity for another (I'm going to a Mah Jongg tournament). Of course, I packed my (HF) books first. But I am staying away from computers, or so I keep telling myself, at least until I return Sunday evening!

Happy weekend to all...

Date Posted: 11/13/2009 1:05 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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Oh, cool, Deb. Have fun!

I've only ever played the game on the PC (or my DS). But a live tournament? I didn't even know there was such a thing.

See what else you can learn hanging around here?!

Date Posted: 11/13/2009 1:15 PM ET
Member Since: 1/12/2008
Posts: 1,356
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Deb--hysterical. In a Victorian, I'm-swooning-get-me-the-salts kind of way!  But, I detect one small problem with your assessment: though we all publicly acknowledge you are correct, we are........happy!


I wouldn't change a thing, Mt. TBR (HF division) notwithstanding!

Date Posted: 11/13/2009 2:49 PM ET
Member Since: 2/27/2008
Posts: 1,157
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A storage unit!!! I had not thought of that...

Date Posted: 11/13/2009 2:55 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,757
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I just re-read it, and I just love your post, Deb.  I'm printing it out and putting it into my reading journal.  My children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and on and on will be able to understand me just a little bit more by your post!  Thanks again!

Date Posted: 11/13/2009 3:48 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,178
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I couldn't have said it better you have us pegged,  isn't  it delicious?   Love it!!!

Last Edited on: 1/24/11 12:59 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 11/13/2009 5:11 PM ET
Member Since: 5/27/2005
Posts: 2,438
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What a witty and well-written post !! You are a very talented writer, Deb - quite a way with the written word.

While I loved it all, the line that had me nearly screaming was ... They seek to normalize their behavior -- their strength is in numbers. What a hoot!! Also ... bibliomanic clutches ... Too funny!

Thanks for putting such a bright spot in my day,


Date Posted: 11/13/2009 6:59 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2008
Posts: 1,976
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You certainly have me pegged.  I've done everything you mentioned in your post.  See great minds think alike.  My TBR pile has gone from 17 to over 250.  At least I always have something to read.  Very funny - really brightened my afternoon,  I look forward to your future posts; you've set the bar very high.

Date Posted: 11/13/2009 8:22 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,513
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me too. If I didn't know any better, I'd say you were spying on me ;)

Bonnie (LoveNE) - ,
Date Posted: 11/13/2009 10:48 PM ET
Member Since: 2/17/2007
Posts: 5,982
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Priceless...hey someone should get one of those red horns and put it on this post! It's a keeper!



ps it's too late for me but the rest of you...save yourselves!!!

Last Edited on: 12/3/11 5:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 1