I was speaking with a publisher yesterday who is all excited about plans to include book club guides in many of their forthcoming books. Yes, book club guides sound like a nice idea, but the excitement she was expressing over the prospect kind of threw me for a loop. Reading guides? Surely this is not something to get excited about.
A little more discussion proved that I am wrong. Reading guides are hot – largely because book clubs are very hot, and publishers are excited about any way they can think of to make a title a more likely prospect for a book club pick.
Further proof of the book club renaissance — I only recently noticed libraries stocking “Book Club Kits” — multiple copies of a book which can be checked out by a single member for an entire book club, along with discussion questions and background information on the author. Apparently, libraries have been making such kits available for a while now, but lately — libraries who have these kits can’t keep up with the demand.
Another indication? I recently got an email from Peter, a fellow who runs Flashlight Worthy Book Recommendations. Apparently he’s looking to expand his offerings of book club books. Why? Well, the book club community has recently discovered FlashLight Worthy’s book club lists, love them – and are clamoring for more.
What’s the reason for this renewed interest in, and popularity of book clubs ? Perhaps it’s because there seems to be a book club for everyone, and they are taking place in all kinds of forms. Some book club members are finding one another, and conducting discussions online. Others are holding on-site book club meetings during lunch breaks at work. There are Twitter book clubs (e.g.:TwitterBookClub; Picador Book Club, JBC Twitter Book Club); book clubs for mothers and daughters; and even Twitter Book Clubs just for Moms.
Will the increasing prevalence of e-reading devices and social software make book clubs even more popular? Lots of e-book book clubs are already in existence, and with online book and reading communities like BookGlutton, book club members don’t even need to meet at the same time, much less the same place.
We’d love to hear from you — are you in a book club? Is it an “In Real Life” book club, or a virtual one? How did your book club form? What unites the members of your club – genre, relationships, geography? What do you love most about your book club? Why do you think book clubs are enjoying new found popularity?
Let us know in the comments below, and who knows? We just might be doing a #FollowReader discussion on the book club renaissance in the near future.
Oh, and if you have any suggestions for new book club lists for Flashlight Worthy, please contact Peter: firstname.lastname@example.org.