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Why this forum is still important
#1
I'm speaking only as a member here, but I hope these thoughts are welcome.

Despite the decline in activity over the last couple of years, I believe that this forum is still important and relevant to those of us who enjoy this genre of reading.  I'm not sure what's caused this decline -- it's probably a complex matter, but my hunch is that a combination of factors (e.g., the rise of social media and amalgamated book sites like Goodreads) has siphoned off a lot of potential members who would otherwise be posting more regularly.

Yet this forum provides a much more specific place for sharing and discussion our favorite Gothics and related topics.  I admit that I'm partial to the forum environment.  It's easy to navigate, browse, post, and moderate within it.  I find Goodreads, frankly, to be a chaotic and overwhelming environment which seems, recently, to have been invaded by bands of vicious trolls who have nothing better to do than to try to destroy authors with blitzes of one-star ratings and nasty, unproductive reviews (often even before the book in question is released!).  Personally I find the site stressful and unpleasant, whereas this forum has always seemed friendly, positive, and accessible.  There is, of course, a place for negative reviews in any discussion of books, but I see no point in making a fad of eviscerating writers who are simply trying to put their work into the marketplace.  It's distressing to watch this phenomenon develop.  It brings down the tone of discussion and creates a sordid atmosphere.  Reading and sharing one's enthusiasm for books shouldn't be some kind of bloodsport! Goodreads is, of course, owned by Amazon and is a for-profit enterprise.  It is not your neighborhood book club, and exists mainly for the purpose of being mined for data about reading trends so that Amazon can micro-target market niches for its products.  But enough about Goodreads.

These "old-fashioned" forums are another story, and I happen to believe that they're a better place for readers to congregate and communicate.  On this forum is archived a vast repository of reviews and threads that should be of great interest to any reader who enjoys this genre.  I hope that any members who still check in here once in a while will be encouraged to share any thoughts or recommendations about what they're reading, what they'd like to read, or anything generally related to the genre of gothic romance/suspense.

I don't believe that this genre is dead! To the contrary, new authors make inroads into it all the time, and it continues to be a persistent, if specialized, field of interest.  Not only are new books appearing in both the classic historical gothic and contemporary gothic sub-genres, but I've seen some of the vintage authors from the '40s–'70s begin to appear in ebook form.  There is definitely a thriving readership for this stuff out there!

All the best wishes to the members and moderators of this forum -- may it live long.

Penfeather
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#2
Very nicely put.

I admit I have not been very active recently, mostly related to "real life". However, I have managed to read a few Gothics and have been wanting to post some reviews; but I like to collect my thoughts before writing them as I want to give what I consider a fair assessment. I like the older Gothic romances or romantic suspense novels. I had an older book that detailed these titles but cannot find it.

In thinking of how to revive this forum, I considered having some "contests". For example, I saw something that I wanted to take a picture of and post on here for a caption contest. Have not done so and wasn't sure if people visit often enough to make it work. Similarly, it would be great if someone posted a gothic picture and asked for some opening lines of a book using such a picture.

Anyone with any ideas?
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