‘You’ve been such a lovely audience, we’d like to take you home with us…’

…and this year has forced us to do just that.

Back in March, we honestly weren’t sure whether Cardiff BookTalk would be able continue, so it’s with some pride that we take this opportunity to share some feedback from our first two digital events – Our Zoom webinars on Jane Austen and Shirley Jackson.

We’ve had responses from all over the English speaking world and beyond. Switzerland, Poland, Italy, the Netherlands, Australia and Canada, plus attendees from New Orleans, Boston and New York in the US. Interestingly there’s also been a lot of support for the online format from fellow Cardiffians who for one reason or another can’t usually attend in person. We’d like to thank everyone who came. Thanks for showing up, thanks for your eager and probing questions and thanks for any feedback you sent us. It really does help us plan our next move.

Here’s some of the highlights of what you said:

‘Intelligent presenters and delightful discussion. Loved it!’

‘Three different slants on a book I know quite well.’

‘It was wonderful to hear from so many people who appreciate Shirley Jackson, as I do not have the opportunity to speak in person to others that enjoy her works.’

‘As with all Cardiff BookTalk events, it was very well organised, with a great selection of speakers who present new ways into the material. The online format works particularly well.’

‘I was very impressed with the online set up, especially the availability of captions which I haven’t seen in any other online meetings.’

‘Superb papers, which were very engaging and great Q&A afterwards. I love the fact that this is online. Having attended a few in person when I lived in Cardiff, I have not been able to attend these in years. Now I can and I love this.’

‘I enjoyed listening to the three different viewpoints in the comfort of my home. Interesting to have lecturers from different countries too.’

‘[I liked the] Variety of speaking styles but with interlinking ideas. Points were well developed and explained (for a non-literary specialist) Enthusiasm of speakers was infectious.’

‘It was well presented, easy to follow and for me opened up a new avenue to explore. Interesting on the author’s life and their history.’

‘Please could we consider some form of online event even when lockdown is lifted? I thought the format was so inclusive.’

Thank you again to everyone who came along. Speaking for myself, it’s been immensely rewarding to help out with hosting these two events. This year has really confirmed something that I’ve long known from years of running book groups in libraries – however much a good book will get you though a period of isolation, the value of any work of literature, whether it’s the new Belinda Bauer thriller or the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, increases exponentially when you get to share it with a few like-minded souls afterwards.

On behalf of the entire team at Cardiff BookTalk we’d like to wish you all a peaceful and happy Christmas and New Year. Keep reading, stay safe and stay curious. We’re thrilled to be able to invite you along on this little adventure of ours and we’re listening.

One thought on “‘You’ve been such a lovely audience, we’d like to take you home with us…’

  1. Thank you for the work you’ve put into bringing Cardiff Book Talk to me. I’m unable to attend the usual evening meetings you’ve had in the Cardiff University, so it’s been wonderful to be involved. Thanks again

    Liked by 1 person

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