Saturday, June 02, 2012
Oprah's Book Club 2.0
Reading my Twitter feed this morning, this was the last thing I expected. Oprah bringing back her book club? Why?
Don't get me wrong, I love everything Oprah. Her enthusiasm for books and literature is nothing short of amazing. And when she championed a poetry issue in O Magazine two years ago, I was encouraged about the effort--until I saw the spread when poetry was used as nothing more than a backdrop to a photo shoot. That was disappointing.
Nevertheless, Oprah is back promoting books. In the July issue of O Magazine, her first pick is Wild by Cheryl Strayed. It is a nonfiction recollection of Strayed's hike and spiritual journey of the Pacific Crest Trail.
During the many years Oprah ran her book club, I read maybe a handful of recommendations (mainly because I can make up my own mind about what I read). But in this book club iteration, dubbed 2.0, she's using interactivity to bring the book club together. You can buy the books or use the e-reader versions specially created for the book club. With those electronic versions, you can share your favorite passages and see Oprah's favorite passages, and readers are encouraged to interact with the author and Oprah with questions submitted through Facebook and Twitter.
I may read Wild because I'm curious about why she picked this book. Is it that good? Whatever her reason for getting the book club gang back together, I'm thrilled. Maybe a book show will become part of the OWN Network. At least books will become part of the national dialogue again. And, for a handful of authors, they will hit the publishing jackpot by being one of Oprah's chosen few.