February 14, 2013

Once Again, the Internet Causes the Inadvertent Death of Something


The Internet doesn’t mean to kill the things we love – it just kind of happens.

Sometimes, the Internet provides us with a technological way of doing something that we never knew we’d find easier, more convenient and overall more enjoyable. For instance, writing an E-mail and getting a response within hours instead of hand writing letters and waiting for days. Now, the Internet encompasses nearly everything one can think of – shopping with the click of a mouse instead of heading into the store, dating by browsing pictures and profiles instead of meeting up for a movie, and getting answers to even the most random, bizarre questions instantaneously.

Now, the Internet has swiped something away from book lovers everywhere – something that has been a tradition for decades…book clubs.

I’m sure there have been tons of viable Internet alternatives out there, but it seemed to finally sink in with a New York Times report this week of a woman who discovered one website that changed her book club experience completely. It’s one thing if you live in a metropolitan area, but it’s another thing entirely if you live in the distance, where finding a book club may not be so easy. This was the case for one woman, who was driving 40 minutes out of her way to a Pennsylvania suburb just to find her favorite books for discussion.

Image via Shutterstock

Enter Goodreads.com, or what will inevitably serve as every book lovers one-stop social media shop for just that – good reading material. So far, the site boasts 15 million members and is even rivaling Amazon.com, according to the Times, continuing:

The site allows passionate readers to share what they are reading, rate books they have already read and list what they are considering next. They can do this publicly or among only a self-selected network of online friends. The site is also host to roughly 20,000 organically occurring online book clubs for every preference — from people interested in only Proust to those who prefer history and Tudor-period fiction. There are 314 clubs for paranormal romance fans alone.

“Books are one of the strongest social objects that exist,” explained founder Otis Chandler in an interview, “so lots of people are innately willing to talk about and share them.” Take that concept and digitalize it and you’ve got this brilliant website.

Okay, so maybe this isn’t such a bad thing. Maybe we might just fall in love with it the moment we log in (and by maybe, we mean most likely definitely). Perhaps this isn’t the death of book clubs, but the evolvement of them.




Edited by Ashley Caputo



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