2017 is the year I fell for the Pigeonhole App. I am a voracious reader. I have all the symptoms; always
1) A book on ‘the go’
2) A book in my bag
3) A next book to read
But life gets in the way. There are bedsheets to wash, pots to scrub and partners to love. My reading fixation often takes a second seat. And then I met Pigeonhole. I’ve written all about it here but I wanted to touch on taking part in their DISAPEARING serialisation.
All classic books on Pigeonhole are free. New books are charged from £2. These live books (released daily in staves) have free spots for the 200 readers or so who sign up. I snagged one of these spots and looked forward to the first stave. The next morning my phone pipped up – “You have 24 hrs to read the first stave of ‘All the Missing Girls.’ Ignoring it I turned over and slept. But, no the nightmare was realised later when I took another look. You have 24 hours to read each stave. Then it disappears FOREVER.
Okay, that’s not strictly true. Once the live reading is over the book reappears in its entirety. But, if you miss a stave you then have to wait. Readers of a good book do not like waiting.
I wanted to share taking part in a live disappearing serialization and why you should too.
All the PROS
It made the book like a book club. At the end of stave one I disagreed on the coldness of a character with another reader. We discussed whether he was controlling or if his personality was to contrast with another. It felt exciting to have an instant reaction.
We all miss things when we read. That tiny bit of symbolism, the usage of a certain word. Being able to comment and then read these created another dimension to the book.
The author/Pigeonhole can add in titbits. A photograph that gives a visual of the scene. Or, a snippet or fact that explains a deeper meaning. It helped me to step into the book and look around. I could see the claustrophobic mountains. The decaying houses and the characters more deeply.
Finally, the book is written backwards. It begins at the end and works back. It’s very difficult to do and shows the merit of the author. Problem is that reading this in such short sections not only did you have to read it in snippets you had to remember exactly what had been written the day before. Not always easy to do. Obviously you can’t go back because it’s not there anymore. But, I did enjoy the mental gymnastics. It made me think – a lot.
Okay, there were some CONS
Spoilers. SO MANY SPOILERS. Mebbe I should have turned off the notifications but the comments were at times. Well, they ruined things. A commenter posted ‘Oh this is exciting – especially when we learn XYZ.’ XYZ wasn’t explained during that stave and it FRUSTRATED me no end. If you’ve read the book already and you’re re-reading be careful.
The staves were only 20 minutes long. It’s nit-picking but I felt that some of the staves didn’t have quite enough to go on. The stave was cut too short to really push that hungry emotion from a reader.
Technically (and this is mentioned on the app website) my app kept malfunctioning. It often refused to update meaning I couldn’t read the next stave until I was connected to a strong Wifi connection. Several days during the read I was terrified I would miss a stave!
I loved the excitement. The stress of reading it in such a short space of time and the comments from authors really R E A L L Y made it. Certain plot twists I hadn’t noticed, characters that other readers thought were fine but I thought more unsavoury. It boosted the reading experience. I’m signing up for the next one as we speak.