Chicago Public Library Launches One Book, One Chicago Online

Chicago Public Library Launches One Book, One Chicago Online

One Book, One Chicago (OBOC), the Chicago Public Library (CPL) program launched in 2001, is a popular citywide reading initiative that unites the city in the exploration of a common book through reading, lectures, panel discussions, events and more.

The highly-anticipated yearly event has brought authors including Toni Morrison (A Mercy); Tom Wolfe (The Right Stuff) and Elie Wiesel (Night) to the Windy City for book-related appearances.

Today’s announcement that the CPL’s OBOC initiative is offering online access to this year’s selection “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay” for all Chicago residents with a library card–making it the first public library in the nation to offer this–is a welcome one.

Chicagoans only need a library card, available in one of 80 branches across the city or online.  The book can also be accessed online for Chicago residents with an Ecard.   (Register for it by clicking here.)

It is the hope and intent of this virtual book club that Chicagoans can have a social experience while reading the OBOC selection on a desktop, tablet or phone without downloading an app or getting out of their pajamas if they’d rather not.

Starting today cardholders will find the first installment of “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay” online.  Five more serialized installments will appear online every two weeks (with the first installment remaining online throughout).

In addition, the online experience will be enhanced for users by allowing them to highlight passages, post their favorite quotes directly to Twitter and invite friends to read with them.

To encourage people to read together and finish the book, the online experience is offering “reading sprints” that designate times for people to read online and then tweet their opinions, favorite quotes and reactions to the narrative–not unlike a very big book club meeting (with or without the wine, your choice).

The release schedule is as follows:

Part 1: Monday, February 2 – Sunday, May 3

Part 2: Monday, February 23 – Sunday, March 8

Part 3: Monday, March 9 – Sunday, March 22

Part 4: Monday, March 23 – Sunday, April 5

Part 5: Monday, April 6 – Sunday, April 19

Part 6: Monday, April 20 – Sunday, May 3

Although the book is available in paperback on Amazon from $0.01– it is the reading together, reading sprints, events and discussions that make the online experience unique.

Hopefully Chicago suburban libraries along with libraries everywhere will follow Chicago’s lead and provide similar online reading experiences.

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