I've spent all afternoon compiling your recommendations alongside my own into a list of short stories. This page is going to be useful to me I know, and hopefully it will be to you. I love how it has become a sort of virtual anthology, and I've tried to make it something that (like the best anthologies) can be dipped into when you feel like reading something new. To that end I've added as many links as I could find to online texts and audio files, but I'd love your help with finding more. This isn't really surprising, but I've already found myself missing one aspect of uni - talking about books. It seems like this project could become a great replacement for that. So I've been thinking about ways of extending this project into more of an ongoing discussion and I love the idea of a readalong. So far I have two ideas of how to go about this and which I choose really depends on how much you want to participate. I think I'd like to make it weekly thing, to keep things fairly relaxed and manageable. By weekly I mean reading a story a week. So I could post here (maybe at the weekend) what that week's story would be, and then at the end of the week post my thoughts on the story, and (hopefully!) spark a discussion in the comments. Ideally I'd like to use stories that are available to read (or listen to - great for crafting) online, and it seems like that would still give me a pretty huge range of material. It would be simple to group all the posts related to the readalong together using categories.
The second option, and the one I think would be more interesting, would be to set up a separate blog for the project. I'd like to keep the weekly readalong, but this would give the option of allowing anyone who is interested in writing a post (either related to that weeks reading, or to something else to do with short stories) to register and do so and would still allow people who don't have quite so much to write to discuss the reading in the comments. This is definitely the format I'm veering towards but I'd like your input on whether you would be interested in participating (in whatever way) before I bother setting it up. In this case the project would also need a name - so maybe we could have a little naming contest, that could be a fun way to start things off. The main reasons I like the idea of a group blog is because I think the whole project would be more interesting if it wasn't so centred around my own voice and it gives more scope for it to grow into a larger project, maybe with invited guest bloggers.
One other thing I'd like to know your thoughts on is affiliate programs - I know that Amazon has one, and I'm sure various other places do. It seems a bit sleazy, but I could certainly use any pennies generated and I'm sure I could rationalize it by including links to authors' own sites, book swapping sites, and the reasoning that if people are going to buy the books anyway they might as well be making me something (or more realistically helping to support the costs of running my site). But what do you think? Let me know what you think about all of this, whether you would be interested in participating in a group blog, and if you have any ideas about this project.
Now I'm going to go to the library I think, or maybe I should do some of the things I was supposed to do today until I got sidetracked by this. (But seeing as one of those 'things I need to do' was return my shockingly overdue books to the library I guess I can combine the two).