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 ?
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.
Apprising details of these schemes, he said, under this scheme NBF has established books clubs at Villages and Cities, Children's Book Clubs, Prisoners' Free Minds Book Clubs, Senior Citizens Book Clubs, Travellers' Book Clubs (Books on Wheels), Flying Book Clubs and Hospital Book Clubs.
The goal of these book clubs was to identify and pilot some successful strategies for working with Clinton Public Schools' English Language Learners.
"Book clubs have always been popular, but never to the extent they have been since Oprah Winfrey started her on-air book club," says Hester Jeswald, senior bookseller at Sarasota News and Books.
To acquire new members, book clubs pilfer from one another; for example, the Book-of-the-Month includes an insert for its sister book club, the Quality Paperback Book Club, in its monthly mailing.
From Portland, Ore., to Washington, D.C., book clubs sponsored by newspapers have become more popular than ever in recent years, with many launched in just the last few months.
NORDIC BUSINESS REPORT-4 July 2002-Swedish book clubs have not reduced prices as much after VAT reduction - report (C)1994-2002 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD http://www.m2.com
Target created its book club to complement its "Ready.
Another example of the book club trend: Woodbridge Township (N.J.) School District has instituted a club through which adults and high school students will meet to discuss their readings.
"Book clubs, large or small, can actively participate in this conference because each book is presented by a different dub as if the meeting was held in their own meeting venue," says McGregor.
Book clubs can be a great way to integrate multiple areas of the curriculum.
Barnes & Noble.com, a wholly owned subsidiary of bookseller Barnes & Noble Inc, has announced the launch of Barnes & Noble Book Clubs.