Goodreads Book Club

visit-from-the-goon-squadThe Goodreads website has launched a site-sponsored online book group. While many libraries and other websites have attempted to sponsor such groups, most of the attempts I’ve heard of have been ineffective because the groups have not had a wide enough audience to get off the ground. But Goodreads has attracted plenty of devoted readers, and I suspect this attempt might be successful.

Their first selection is Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad. Reading will occur through June and July. The site includes active discussion boards for each chapter of the book, a chance to highlight favorite quotes, vote in online polls about the book, and take quizzes. Egan will lead a live chat session about the book on August 2nd at 5 p.m., and other experts will provide commentary. The site shows members who are participating, as well as several other registered book groups who are reading the book.

While an online book group is not quite the same social experience as a face-to-face group, this implementation is promising, with plenty of resources put behind the effort that should make it a rewarding experience for those who participate. As of this writing, 3100 readers had signed up to give it a try. For libraries, in particular, this might be a place to point certain readers who are looking for a new or additional book group and are willing to try online activities.



About the Author:

Neil Hollands is an Adult Services Librarian at Williamsburg Regional Library in Virginia, where he specializes in readers’ advisory and collection development. He is the author of Read On . . . Fantasy Fiction (2007) and Fellowship in a Ring: a Guide for Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Groups (2009).

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  1. On The Same Page » Online Book Club. | June 10, 2011
  1. misha says:

    The Stranger’s Questionland in Seattle is also hosting an online discussion of Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad:

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