Bookish Thoughts #009: Bad Book Bingo
Welcome to Book-ish thoughts! A feature here on Her Book Thoughts where we ask for a little of your time to share a thought about useless and nonsense things. YAY! Don’t worry, it will ALWAYS have something to do with a book or anything bookish!
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Bad Book Bingo
Bingo has often been thought of as a game played only by little old ladies in retirement homes, but these past few years have seen the game be remade and reimagined as operators take it online. According to the BBC, while there were less than 20 bingo portals in the UK in 2004, there are now over 300, with many of them offering promotions that appeal to people from various walks of life. The game’s versatility has allowed it to be adapted countless times, and those who enjoy reading and reviewing books can use a version of the game called Bad Book Bingo to make reviewing books easier.
Every novel has its own appeal, and there’s no real formula to follow when reviewing books. Still, there are some elements that can spell a bad book, and a game of Bad Book Bingo can help you get some of these elements out of the way. The game is very similar to Hollywood Theatre’s B Movie Bingo, which sees audiences watching out for bad movie cliches in films and marking off these items on a bingo card. It simply adds to the excitement of watching a film, and in the case of Bad Book Bingo, it actually makes you pay more attention to the book you’re reading.
To play, first make a list of 25 things you think you see too often in poorly written books, such as Mary Sues, flat characters, unrealistic dialogue and poor descriptions of actions. Go ahead and add more specific elements as well, such as examples of bad dialogue you’ve encountered, or “using the same adjective five times in a single page.” Once you have your list, go to a website like osric.com to generate your bingo card. As you read through your next novel, begin marking off the items on the card as you encounter them. Once you’ve crossed off enough boxes to call out “BINGO!”, you’ll know that you have a bad book on your hands.
Bad Book Bingo isn’t the first time bingo and books have come together. Gala Bingo has an ongoing promotion called the “Book Club Bingo Room,” where players not only play bingo, but discuss a chosen book for the month, with initial discussions slowly leading up to a 10-item quiz on the book. Players stand the chance to win a Kindle Fire simply from enjoying a few games of bingo and reading a book recommended by the operator. The Seattle Public Library has also recently launched Summer Book Bingo to encourage kids to read more books over the summer to earn the chance to win a whole library of books.
Think you’re going to try Bad Book Bingo? Share some of your ideas for your Bad Book Bingo card with us!