Oprah's bookclub: a new direction?

I sat down to write about the fiasco which occurred a handful of years ago between Oprah Winfrey and Jonathan Franzen, a fiasco in which the author wasn't as over the moon as Oprah would have liked about her endorsement of his book, and was dis-invited from appearing on her show. (To be fair, the particularly cringe-worthy comment often cited against him is commonly not recited in full. He wasn't wild with excitement over her endorsement, but he did complement her very well in the continuation of his remark. I'm just saying.)

I thought to write that because with Oprah taping her season premier on the front doorstep of my workplace on Tuesday of this approaching week, and with literature almost constantly on my mind while at said workplace, well, you can follow the train of thought.

But, while sifting through old articles to try to find an interesting new angle on the story, I found instead, an article from SmartPlanet about the marketability, and subsequent e-reader cost reduction, of book clubs going digital, particularly mega-booksclubs, like Oprah's.

"How Oprah could make e-book readers a mass market" on SmartPlanet. Thoughts, readers dear?

Filed under: new v. old media

Tags: book discussion, oprah

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  • I like the ebook club idea but I think when I did have a book club membership it made me think more of the club than about buying the books. I found the more books I bought at one time the longer it took me to read them. So for me the idea of buying a book as I go along tends to make it more like crossing off a to do list, if that makes sense. I think as far as getting a deal on the books it would mean I would have to stick to my ereader and that wouldn't fit with the moods I have at times when I just want to read a hardbook.

    So for someone who sticks with the ereader and who can read many books at one time and who already have a list of books they want to go through the idea would be great. But for me who can change in an instance because of a recommendation from someone and who needs a hardback here and there, getting a great deal on the ebook and book upfront would be better me.

    Also I suspect they would probably have it as they did with book clubs where you have to write in to cancel the membership and/or respond to not recieving the book of the month. That aspect of the old book club absolutely sucked.

  • Don't get me wrong, I love being able to read books on my iPod thanks to the free Kindle application, but I don't think ebooks are good for book clubs. If you're going to have an actual club meeting, you'll need to reference pages in your ebook. Maybe that's possible with the Kindle, but I have no idea how to do it with the Kindle app. You also can't take your ebook to a book signing!

  • In reply to denasaper:

    Dena, you bring up a really interesting point: How do you suppose author readings and signings will evolve in the future, as people begin to vary the ways in which they take delivery of the story (book, mobile app, e-reader, etc.)? Very interesting thought....

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