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When I was searching the web for information about book clubs, it became apparent that the Internet, ereaders such as Kindle and Nooks, ebooks and the social network concept have created another type of book discussion club—–the online book club.

Benefits of Online Book Clubs

Online book clubs are ideal for people, who are not able to get out, don’t have the time or live a distance away from a book group they would like.  This type of club not only has the benefit of reading and discussing books but also can help develop friendships through social networking.

How do Online Book Clubs Work?

Of course, there is the obvious question, if you are not face-to-face as in regular book groups, how do online book clubs work?

The answer in most cases is finger-to-finger.

Although I read that some online clubs use emails and other variations, I understand that  groups most use chat rooms and message boards.

What!!

Chat rooms. You may have seen the word “chat room”.  I find the word “room” to be very confusing because there is no room the way we think of it.  What chat room refers to is the ability to type a text (word) message in real-time (occurring as in real-life) and sent it over the Internet to another person or a group of people.  Just like a text message on your cell phone or using GoogleTalk on your computer.

In most cases, a chat room conversation cannot be saved for a longer time period.

A few chat rooms have the capability for you to both see and hear each other through the use of webcams, special cameras that enable you to send real-time videos over the Internet.  You may be familiar with this if you have such a camera and use Skype.com.

Message Boards.  A message board is an IInternet forum in which a group member writes a question or statement on the website to start a single conversation (called a thread). Then, members write their responses as in a real face-to-face discussion.  An advantage is that these conversations can at least be saved (archived)  temporally.  Also, the members do not need to be at their computers at the same time as is required of a chat room.  It seems to me that many more online discussion groups use this message board format.

This may represent more than you ever wanted to know about how online forums work.  However, not only will you be able to understand some of the terminology but also just think how you can impress your kids and your grands as well as other people’s .

Example of an Online Book Club

The (Not-So) Austen Book Club is an example of a message board online book group.

Remember to open the site, move your cursor over the red, right click and open link in another tab.  (Tabs are located at the top of your screen.  They look like tabs on a file folder.)

Let’s take a look  to understand how message boards work.

Go down to the Discussion Board.  

        • Find  Welcome/Salutations! and click on Introduce Yourself.
        • Now find  Getting Started:  and click on Latest Newsletter/Notices for the  Club 

Now go up (scroll up) to the book “Divergent”. Click on  view

I’m on the waiting list at my library for this book for my Kindle.

 Now you can see what some members thought about the book.

Hundreds of Online Book Clubs

There are hundreds of online book clubs.  Take a look at these sites.

http://iumbc.com/book-club/

http://www.bibliochat.com/

http://www.bookgrouponline.com/forum

http://www.goodreads.com/group

http://www.ccel.org/groups

http://www.booktalk.org/

http://www.bookmovement.com/

Blogs.   Many online book clubs take the form of a blog.  Their format and quality vary greatly. Search in your browser and click on blogs:  online book discussion book clubs

A note about searching.  Don’t give up if you don’t find what you are looking for on the first pages.  Keep on going.  Some of the less popular sites, which are listed later on, may be just what you are looking for.

Newspapers.  Many newspapers  have online book clubs.  Here are a few examples.  You might check your own favorite online newspapers and magazines.

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/category/big-city-book-club/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books

http://live.theglobeandmail.com/Event/Whats_your_top_choice_for_The_Globe?Page=0

Commercial Book Clubs Online.  Several sellers of books, especially ebooks, also have online discussion groups.  Two most popular sites are, of course,

http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/

http://www.amazon.com/Book-Clubs-Books/b?ie=UTF8&node=292203

Oprah Book Club 2.0

Oprah Winfrey, among other things, is famous for her book club.  On May 30th, 2012, she  launched a new club, which she calls  Oprah Book Club 2.0 because this new club incorporates all the elements needed for an online book club.  

Listen to Oprah introducing her state of the art club. 

Oprah-Announces-Oprahs-Book-Club-20-Video

  • Move your cursor over the red, right click and open link in another tab. 
  • Don’t forget to click on: “Learn how you can participate in Oprah’s Book Club 2.0”

What is your best source for online book clubs?

You guessed it!

Check with your local library.  At least in the USA, many local libraries have online book clubs.  Several of their websites indicate that they will help you set up your own online group.

There is a wide variety of online clubs offered through libraries.

The American Library Association has their own website which includes an online book club blog.  (Click on the red.)

Before I sign off, I have to tell you about a site that I accidentally found—-doesn’t it often happen that way.

http://www.bookspot.com/

“BookSpot.com is a free resource center that simplifies the search for the best book-related content on the Web. Featured sites are hand-selected by BookSpot.com editors and organized into intuitive categories, such as bestseller lists, genres, book reviews, electronic texts, book news and more.”  They also have “spots” for interests such as gourmet, cinema and trips.

Next Posting:  Have you heard of Men’s Fashion Week, when men strut the latest fashion down the runway, and  another royal as a fashion icon?  Prince Charles, yes, you are reading it right!

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