Book Riot’s “Start Here”


Kickstarter has become quite the fundraising platform for everyone from established professionals to aspiring amateurs.

It has successfully helped fund 24,000 projects and ensure that the musicians, artists, writers, and those of their ilk retain both commercial and creative control. With that being said, a specific project has caught my eye: Book Riot’s Start Here.

Book Riot is a website dedicated to “the idea that writing about books and reading should be just as diverse as books and readers are.” There are numerous articles, resources, tips, reviews, and every sort of literature paraphernalia located within its domain – they are, for all intents and purposes, a much more refined and classier version of Werewolves & Shotglasses. They even have a proper literary name.

Their project is Start Here.

What is “Start Here”?

There are so many fantastic authors and great books out there that sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin.

Say you’ve always wanted to read something by William Faulkner. You probably know a bunch of his books: The Sound and the FuryAs I Lay DyingLight in AugustAbsalom, Absalom! Maybe you’ve even come close to buying one. But every time you think about it, there’s that big question:

Which should you read first?

Start Here solves that problem; it tells you how to read your way into 25 amazing authors from a wide range of genres–children’s books to classics, contemporary fiction to graphic novels.

Each chapter presents an author, explains why you might want to try them, and lays out a 3-4 book reading sequence designed to help you experience fully what they have to offer. It’s a fun, accessible, informative way to enrich your reading life.

Start Here will be available both as an ebook (compatible with Kindles, iPads, Nooks, and a variety of other devices) and as a printed edition.

For those allergic to reading summaries, Start Here aims to provide a roadmap for traveling literary routes – a starter kit for those who may be intimidated by the prose, voice, characters, or otherwise of authors. They mention Faulkner, which is like stapling your hand to a hornet’s nest, so there is definitely a need for some sort of beginner’s guide to his canon.

Start Here is a tremendous concept that would enlighten and reveal, allowing readers to experience snippets of authors whom they may have never attempted. With such a wide scope, it could be utilized for first-time readers, children, someone who has “read it all”, or perhaps even a piece of prose that you missed regarding your favorite author.

For those who donate – if the project doesn’t reach it’s goal, you get back your money – there are several levels of gifts and goodies from which to choose for your charity.

Currently, the project has $15,000 of its $25,000 goal with 10 days remaining. That is a daunting task at this juncture, which may or may not reach fruition, but I wouldn’t be surprised to witness a revival of this concept in the coming weeks or months. It is definitely worth keeping an eye out for the project and any future efforts should the first attempt be stymied.

You don’t need a penny just to hang around, but if you got a nickel won’t you lay your money down.

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