Online book clubs

Info Guru, Catalogs.com

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What do Internet book clubs ofer the reader and should you join one?

Online book clubs are websites or online communities where, you guessed it, books are the primary focus of discussion. Many online book clubs have specific themes or target groups, while others do not. Special interest online book clubs are geared to particular niches such as women’s issues, children’s books or literary genres such as mystery and science fiction. General interest online book clubs, however, do not target any specific theme or audience.

The main advantages of joining an online book club are the convenient shipping and discount rates usually associated with membership. Whether you are interested in mysteries, how-to books or action adventure paperbacks, all online book clubs offer specific membership plans and programs.

Where did online book clubs come from?

Oprah Winfrey began the trend for online book clubs when she started her own back in the 1990s and invited her viewing audience of millions to read along with her. Online book clubs and online book discussions soared in popularity as they coincided with the surge of interest and use in the Internet.

What are some online book clubs that are currently available?

There are almost as many online book clubs as there are different likes and dislikes concerning them! Here are a few that tell their own particular tale:

1- Senior Net
This online book club has the distinction of being the oldest continuing books discussion site. It features a wide range of discussions and some include the participation of notable authors as well.

2- Salon.com Table Talk
A popular online magazine in its own right, Salon.com charges a monthly fee for participation in its books discussion section, but reading the posts are free.

3- Utne Reader
This bi-monthly magazine requires membership but registration is free. Here a reader will find compilations from the “alternative press” and message board discussions about books.

4- BookWire Discussion Forum
Primarily a resource for the book industry, this website features a forum section that includes a place for general book discussions.

5- Readers Paradise Forum
Eclectic and charming, this forum is general in character and open to all topics related to reading and literature.

6- Shakespeare High Cafeteria
Part of a site called “Surfing with the Bard, this forum is dedicated to the understanding and appreciation of the works of William Shakespeare.

7- Bookworms
One of many groups available on Yahoo, this forum discusses one book per month using the Yahoo Club page.

8- The Bookies
This book club is e-mail-based and its members read two books every month and rate them for other users. (No betting is allowed.)

9- Usenet Online Book Clubs
These book clubs can be accessed by subscribing to their email lists or by browsing Google’s newsgroups site

10-Girl Zone
Two book chats a month followed by suggestions for further reading are offered at this web site dedicated to teen reading (girls, aged 11-16). Sometimes authors participate in the discussions.

These online clubs are just the tip of the iceberg. Whatever be your reading pleasure, you can find an online book club to nurture and foster it. (And if not, why not start one?)

Check out some of these online book clubs today and become a member tomorrow!

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