Since 1989, leisure reading groups have become a full-fledged phenomenon and are now found everywhere from offices to religious communities to, increasingly, virtual platforms. Although exact numbers are hard to come by, the New York Times reports an estimated 5 million Americans belong to a book club. Even more belong to online reading groups like those housed on the popular site goodreads.com, which has 40 million members. Large-scale book clubs even have the power to influence the publishing market. When Mark Zuckerberg announced in January he was starting an online reading group humbly titled A Year of Books, his first pick shot up amazon.com’s sales list, surging overnight from 45,140 to the top 10. The public, it seems, has fully embraced book club culture.
Or, at least, a certain demographic has. The population of in-person book clubs skews heavily toward college-educated women, and a large proportion of these groups are single-sex, either by default or design. READ MORE: Women’s Groups and the Rise of the Book Club | JSTOR Daily.