I set up an experiment to try playing A Penny for My Thoughts without any preparations, not even reading the book beforehand. The main point about this was to see if it would be possible to learn the rules of the game while playing.
I have the full report of our experiment, along with comments from three players (including myself) in our blog
. I'll include a brief overview here too.
In short: It worked really well.
We did not have any difficulties to learn the rules while playing. And we had fun, too.
Truth be told I did make some preparations. I had read the book a bit so I knew what handouts and so on we would need. I had copied all the handouts and forms and I also had brought enough paper, pens and pennies with me.
We only faced two challenges worth mentioning. First, reading aloud the passages of text and simultaneously translating them to Finnish was cumbersome. If the text would have been in Finnish things would have of course run much smoother. Anyway the consistent terminology used in the text lessened this problem somewhat. Second, we had difficulties in interpreting one particular passage of the rule text. But all in all these were minor hiccups and didn't affect our enjoyment of the game much.
All in all A Penny for My Thoughts was a really great acquaintance. I would love to play it again. I don't doubt for a moment that anyone (with some English reading comprehension skill
could take the game and play without any preparations. I consider this a major accomplishment by the game's designer.