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 ?
The latest American Library Association (ALA) Book Club Central SJP pick, chosen by Honorary Book Club Central Chair Sarah Jessica Parker, is Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo, published by Knopf, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
More than 100 years before Oprah, however, book clubs were important sites of socializing and engagement with literature for women.
TV celebrities Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan have entered into a contract to extend the Richard & Judy Book Club until 2019, in association with retailer W H Smith, online book news company The Bookseller revealed on Tuesday.
Many critics, myself included, have argued that it is possible to merge skilled academic practices with middlebrow reading conventions successfully in the contexts of women's book clubs.
Siddiqui has been trying to initiate book clubs at her school and wants to provide a platform for children who do like to read.
The Windang Book Clubs were created in 2010 while she was working at Windang Public School as a teacher mentor.
Cindy Hudson, author of Book by Book: The Complete Guide to Creating Mother-Daughter Book Clubs, lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and two daughters.
The Next Chapter Book Club (NCBC) is a nationwide network of over 130 book clubs to help adolescents and adults with disabilities (and all levels of reading abilities) read, discuss books, and socialize.
A free, upcoming audioconference sponsored by NLC's Institute for Youth, Education, and Families (YEF Institute) will highlight Mayors' Book Clubs that support early literacy by encouraging children and families to read together.
TELECOMWORLDWIRE-31 October 2006-Online book clubs launched by Barnes & Noble.
This conference will bring together more book clubs in the Texas area.