Traditionally, the words ‘book club’ bring up images of a roundtable conversation where people share their analysis and opinions. But in this digitally driven, device-toting age in which people are pressed for time, a new kind of book club has emerged. Twitter, known for its 140-character format, is now fueling a more modern forum for swapping thoughts on books.
@PenguinUsa boasts more than 400,000 followers and features monthly book selections and discussion forums. In addition to engaging users and engendering loyalty to the Penguin brand, the club is a key vehicle through which Penguin markets its books. Atlantic magazine’s Twitter club, 1book140, has 84,000 followers and features literary themes, such as poetry and short story month, as well as international reading selections. Unlike Penguin’s more structured club, 1book140 is a more chaotic mashup of largely unmoderated conversations.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of Twitter book clubs (other than brevity-backed time saving opinions) is exposure to a wider breadth of books than the user may typically read. And much like a traditional book club, it’s a place to sound off and consider other points of view. Tweeting about books may not be for everyone, but it does represent yet another way broadband is flourishing in unexpected social and intellectual spheres.