Emma Read-along This December: A Few Guidelines


The idea of reading Jane Austen’s Emma this December has grown from a few friends I have blogged with, to many I’ve just been introduced to for the first time. What a wonderful gathering we have for the reading of Emma‘s 200th anniversary!

I feel that I ought to set up a teensy bit of structure for us, but please know that these few guidelines are optional. You may follow along with how I envision to proceed, or you may read the book on December 30 and not write a single post. ย I am merely writing a few suggestions to satiate the teacher within me, as well as for any participants who would like a few guidelines.

Emma is divided into three volumes. I will be posting my thoughts on each volume the first three Saturdays of the month in order to give a little breathing room for Christmas. Like this:

December 5: Volume 1

December 12: Volume 2

December 19: Volume 3

I’d rather post thoughts and reflections than address specific discussion questions, so please feel free to do the same. Again, you may follow this timeline or any timeframe which works for you. The important thing is to enjoy the novel.

The 200th Annotated Anniversary Edition published by Penguin has an introduction by Juliette Wells which includes Tips for Reading Emma. She suggests that the reader:

  • paces himself/herself
  • reads passages aloud
  • tries an audiobook
  • remembers that Emma contains little plot (admitted by Austen’s own contemporaries)
  • and rereads parts of Emma that interested, or frustrated, you the first time around


Finally, if you wish to tweet about our read-along you can use #Emma200th on Twitter.

And please, if you think of something you’d like to add, or ask, write about it in the comments. I am so looking forward to reading this book with all of you and having the opportunity to share in your thoughts and insights. All are welcome!

44 thoughts on “Emma Read-along This December: A Few Guidelines

  1. I’m so excited to finally read this. I’m going to make an attempt to follow the timelines – I’m one of those people who needs structure, or I go off the rails and sometimes fall down a rabbit hole. I’m really looking forward to hearing everyone’s thoughts, and adding my own. ๐Ÿ˜„


  2. Bellezza, I like your approach very much but I ‘m not sure I can join in. I will read about the read-a-long, at least. The Tips for Reading Emma are a wonderful touch!


    • It all started with you, and Frances, Audrey! Thank you for the good idea to read it this December. I know that you and JoAnn are busy finishing the last Chronicle of Barchester, which I hope to do sometime.


  3. I would love to join! Thank you for the guidelines – I think I will find them quite useful, so I plan to follow them by all means. I am really happy to be able to participate – it is my very first readalong ever! ๐Ÿ™‚ So, thank you so much for hosting this, you’ve made one little soul happy!


    • Your first read-along: what fun! I hope that you find this experience enjoyable. It’s so much fun, in my opinion, to read a book as a group and post on it together. I always learn something from each person’s opinions or thoughts, someone always brings up an aspect of the novel I haven’t thought of before. So glad to make you happy! xo


  4. So looking forward to this! I picked up the 200th anniversary edition last night. Thanks for the guidelines – I like a little structure to help keep me on track. Thanks again for doing the read along. What fun!


    • Did you get the Penguin annotated edition? It looks really good to me, although I have other copies on my Kindle and one I picked up for $3.00 from the Used Shelf at our library. I like a little structure, too, and thank you for joining in the read-along!


  5. I re-read Pride and Prejudice for Austin in August this year and loved it again. I’m sure the reading tips and strategies are useful for many people, but I couldn’t put it down. Maybe it’s me, but I think Austin is a real page-turner.


    • I had plans to read it earlier for Roofbeam Reader’s Austen in August, but with the start of school that plan never was actualized. I hope that I find this book as much of a page turner as you find Austen’s work; I’m not sure yet that will be the case as I’ve only read Pride and Prejudice. But, I’ve read that at least twice, and I’ve liked it more each time.


  6. Thank you for the tips and guidelines. Looking forward to participating. Read the first six chapters this morning over a great cup of coffee and a chocolate scone. It’s comforting to be back in Austen land. Cheers and happy thanksgiving to all.


    • Oh, the image of you reading with coffee and scones is so delightful! I think I will have to emulate your example when I finally pick it up. So glad that you’re joining us, and Happy Thanksgiving to you, too! (Have you a blog? I couldn’t find one with your link, but I’d love to visit you if you do. If not, no worries!)


    • You need a schedule? You seem the most organized and timely of all! I’m excited about this one, too. I can’t imagine what Virginia Woolf connected to Austen you read; perhaps you’ll enlighten me in a post.

      Also, I just finished Death in Venice by Thomas Mann, so interesting. In some ways, it reminds me of Lolita (that attraction to a younger person), but the mood he set, the atmosphere, was my favorite part.


  7. Oh, I wish I could join you! December is my worst month for reading. Actually, this entire fall has been pretty dismal. I’ve only finished one book since the beginning of October. I keep picking up books, reading a few chapters, only to discard the book for something else. Nothing has grabbed my attention. And work is getting so busy and I am trying to get back to exercising afterwards, so I don’t have much time for reading other than at bedtime. Of course, that means I read for about 10 minutes. ๐Ÿ™‚ Someday, I’ll have all the free time in the world to read whenever I please. Counting the days…

    And, since I probably won’t get back online before Thursday, I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving, my dear friend.



    • It comes as no surprise that December is an awful month for reading; I’ve just finished an awful autumn, where nothing appealed to me, even if I was able to find the time! Starting school is time (and energy) consuming now. I wonder why it is that at certain times of our lives nothing grabs, or holds, our attention?!

      Bless you for exercising! I’ve heard it’s good for you. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Some day, indeed, we’ll have the free time that we crave. I only hope it doesn’t become excessive; feast or famine, you know.

      I hope you have a lovely Thanksgiving, too, dear Lesley. This is one of my favorite holidays, a low key time for reflection and thanks for every good gift in our lives.


  8. Oh, to be so diligent and industrious in my reading! Knowing myself, I’d probably cram the whole novel last-minute. I’ll do my best to pace myself though.

    Thanks for organizing this Bellezza! I look forward to my first online read-along, writing up posts, and getting to know other fellow bloggers! ๐Ÿ™‚


    • I have a tendency to cram the whole book in at one time, too. If too much time goes by, I lose the thread, and the novel becomes monotonous. But, here’s to taking the first three weeks and seeing what comes of it! So glad you’re joining in, and thanks for blogging about it on your blog! It will be nice to get to know you, and others, a little better for sure.


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