Friday, May 15, 2009

Social Networking is Redefining Traditional Book Clubs

The world's largest social network is home to millions of avid readers, many of whom are discovering the advantages of online book groups. Book Clubs, a new social media application on Facebook, offers proof that the era of online reading groups has arrived.

Launched in late 2008, Book Clubs ( features more than 6,000 book lovers and several hundred online book groups, both public and private in nature. Book Clubs makes it easy for Facebook members to instantly create or join a reading group devoted to any category, region, interest or author. The application is free to any Facebook member.

"If you want to connect with people who share your passion for books, this is the place to be," said Rusty Weston, Co-founder of Book Clubs and the owner of Third Set Media ( in San Francisco. "Online book clubs aren't intended to replace face-to-face meetings, but many book lovers can't make monthly gatherings or don't want to wait that long to discuss what they're reading."

In Book Clubs you can post comments about a book or author, rate or review books, build or search a library of titles, entirely at your convenience. If you choose, you can arrange meetings in person, too, and use book clubs as a place to chat or post club news between meetings.

"What Book Clubs is for me is a place to connect with others from around the world over a book each month," says Jennifer Dodde Conner, author of the popular Literate Housewife book blog ( and leader of the Historical Fiction Lovers club on Book Clubs. "I live in a smaller, rural area of Virginia and don't have as much access to a physical book club as others do. I've tried a couple of times to create my own e-book club, but I found it was too much work for me to set it up and keep it running by myself. With Book Clubs, the structure is already there, leaving me free to focus on the conversation and enjoy myself."

Marcia Larsen, author of The Printed Page blog (, says she enjoys being a member of Book Clubs on Facebook, "Because I've made so many new friends who share my passion and who I wouldn't have met if I'd been limited to my hometown book club."

Book Clubs on Facebook succeeds because it's both fun and convenient, says Weston, adding that "Social networking helps eliminate the space and time differences that keep book lovers apart."

For more information about Book Clubs on Facebook visit: ( Facebook users can visit (

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