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.
When most people think of book clubs, they picture intimate gatherings in living rooms or libraries. People rarely imagine a book club as a collection of GIFs, memes, fan fiction and cosplay, all of which are staples of how readers respond to media in the Internet era. But a new Tumblr blog, Reblog Book Club, wants to give the traditional book club a digital update.
While bloggers have previously hosted book clubs on Tumblr, Reblog Book Club is the first book club that’s founded and moderated by Tumblr itself. Rachel Fershleiser, the microblogging platform’s director of literary outreach, launched the club in September as a way to engage a passionate and diverse online community, but faced challenges in organizing a discussion group.
Do you want to show off your bookshelf online without typing up a list of your books on Goodreads? Well, you strange exhibitionist, you can do that now with Bookshelfies, a Tumblr featuring pictures of people standing in front of — well, you know.
Giving young girls an education has such a huge impact in developing countries that you need to see it to believe it. A new film called Girl Rising shows how education affects nine girls from nine countries–with some help from Meryl Streep.