book clubs


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book clubs.

As a phenomenon in American cultural life, book clubs have made an impact in two periods of history. During the 18th and 19th cent. book clubs were formed for the purposes of discussion and debate. Foremost among these was the Junto, a literary society formed by Benjamin Franklin in 1726; more representative was the Cadmus Club of Galesburg, Ill., founded in 1895 for the promotion of good fellowship, good reading, and literary works of local interest. The late 20th cent. saw a revival of such book clubs, with the notable addition of on-line clubs and Oprah Winfrey's televised club.

The common 20th cent. understanding of "book club" is not a club at all but an organization that promotes the mail-order sale of books. Among the best known are the Book-of-the-Month Club, with its offshoot paperback book club, Quality Paperback Books, and the Literary Guild. There are also clubs devoted to more specialized interests and forms, such as cooking, gardening, science fiction, computers, and books in recorded audio formats. Mail-order clubs—set up as they are to ensure that the tastes and choices of their readership will be met—are models of mass production and distribution methods aimed to supply individual consumers. Although various book clubs apply different methods, the Book-of-the-Month Club licenses publishers' printing plates in order to print its selections cheaply and bind them sturdily for mailing. Members order negatively; that is, they let the club know which books they do not want by returning an order card. Although mail-order book clubs enjoy large memberships, they lost some ground to the rise of discount chain bookstores in the 1980s and on-line booksellers in the late 1990s.

References in periodicals archive ?
We are confident in our ability to revitalize School Book Clubs, and believe that Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix, to be released on June 21, will be a major revenue and profit contributor in Trade.
We thank Scholastic Book Clubs and we salute the volunteer readers in 3,500 Michigan classrooms for their spirit of service and sharing.
operates over 30 book clubs, including Book-of-the-Month Club, the Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club and the Quality Paperback Book Club as well as niche clubs, including Mosaico, the Mystery Guild, Good Cook and Black Expressions.
To date, the NBCC has established 15 youth book clubs, most of them in Georgia.
But through public and private partnerships such as those with Mott's, IKEA and Scholastic Book Clubs, we can develop more programs such as Energy for Living and Reading Comes First and provide more options to these children," said Charles MacCormack, president and CEO of Save the Children.
Other book clubs driving sales in the marketplace include the USA Today Book Club and "Reading with Ripa" Book Club (airing on "Live with Regis and Kelly").
com) announced today the launch of its Book Clubs center, a feature on its Web site that offers the expanding book club community new ideas for what to read next.
The winners receive: a live phone chat (by conference call) for their book club with the author, Kalisha Buckhanon; a gift basket containing books from St.
Doubleday Book Club serves an audience seeking escape and entertainment through the best in fictional thrillers, romance, how-to guides, cooking, celebrity biographies and more.
Next came the blossoming of book clubs, formed around friendship, church or workplace groups, where readers meet in homes, restaurants and bookstores to discuss one book.