No time for a flesh-and-blood book club? Try the Twitter variety
More book clubs go global with Twitter.
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Is 1book140 the beginning of more Twitter book clubs? What does that bode for books and reading?
Well, it’s certainly not the first. Among the other Twitter book clubs out there is TwitBookClub. Launched in December 2009, it has more than 700 followers worldwide. One difference? Members meet in Dubai every month for quick discussions.
There’s also the Book Club, an international book club for Twitterers where more than 6,000 followers discuss books in general, rather than specific titles.
And then there’s the Norm MacDonald Book Club. “Yes, Norm has taken to Twitter to begin an ongoing discussion of literature with his nearly 4,000 followers,” reported Cinema Blend. “First up: Robert Penn Warren's 'All the King's Men.' I know, this is where I was expecting the punchline, too. But so far, at least, MacDonald seems to be playing this straight.”
What does this mean for reading? Are Twitter book clubs a social media gimmick that will reduce reading and appreciating books to superficial 140-character analyses?
Certainly, Twitter book clubs like 1book140 won't plumb the depths of an author’s work or facilitate the deepest, most constructive interpretation of any literary work.
But it will get thousands of people around the globe excited about reading, sharing their unique interpretations, and interacting about one of our favorite subjects: books.
“The point isn't to perform magisterial feats of exegesis single-handed, but rather suss out new and interesting interpretations with lots of other people," 1book140 organizers said in a statement.
That, we think, can only be good.
Husna Haq is a Monitor correspondent.