Book clubs normally have good book lovers behind them. They wouldn’t be of anything important if they didn’t. It’s the lovers who make them what they are today. Their membership runs in the thousands, and in some of the more outstanding ones like Oprah’s Book Club, Doubleday, The Literary Guild, Smart Reader Rewards, BOMC2, Harlequin Reader’s Ring, Mystery Guild, Book of the Month, Rhapsody, and Children’s Book of the Month Club, even in the millions. It’s the people behind the club who really make it function which was the traditional idea of a book club, or reading group as they were generally referred to then, to gather a collection of readers who would participate in the regular discussion of a book they chose to read. And they can choose to read a mystery, a biography, an epic love story, a terrifying thriller, a magical children’s book or whatever they feel like reading. It's all up them to decide.

Some book clubs also market books, and at a very good discount price, too, so that they can offer their readers good deals especially if they purchase a series of books. These discount book clubs became the pioneers of what we now know as online book clubs because they began to give the reader the facility to choose from the club’s website, create web forums and make use of the benefits of e-mailing. This, over the years, has given rise to more and more online book clubs as they began to reap the benefits of the Internet and offer more and more advantages to their readers over traditional book clubs.

Traditional Book Clubs and the Web

Traditional book clubs, in spite of their size and the control they have in selecting their choice of book, began to dwindle as it became more and more difficult to recruit quality members and organize regular meetings because of the busy schedules that most people had. The small size of these book clubs has also played an important role in limiting their members’ views and perspectives in a discussion, causing them to turn to the Internet to look for a more ideal club, one that will satisfy their needs.

The vastness of the web, the wide selection of clubs, and the fact that readers can choose a specialized interest or genre, gave online book clubs the edge over the traditional ones. In addition, they are more convenient due to the fact that they offer their readers the availability of time. You can work and carry out all your other activities and still find time to sit back, relax and virtually enjoy a good book in the company of friends, although the intimacy of having a personal discussion together with that aspect of social interaction might be lost.

Even so, this did not stop online clubs from growing, opening up into a whole new world. They kept on increasing in size and popularity and practically reached their climax when the famous talk show host, Oprah Winfrey, decided to create yet another category of book clubs. She recommends people to read certain books on a regular basis at Oprah’s Book Club, and although no discussion is involved, the power of her show, along with her personality, has contributed to getting more people not only to enjoy the benefits of reading but to join this new kind of club. We have to lift our hats to her because she brought about a new concept in helping people read online. Her idea has triggered off a new book club which seems to have everything to benefit from as social networking and e-readers make it easier for book lovers and potential readers to fall for clubs like these. This trend will continue to get better for online book clubs.

The Habit of Reading on the Screen

It is this point, getting into the habit of reading, that we at Wade Hilton from Jamaica are going out of our way to promote because we are convinced that the world would be a better place if more people read. Reading is a gift that each and every one of us should enjoy because it helps you build your vocabulary, learn punctuation and speak right, use your imagination, and bring you closer to understanding the emotions. We are even trying to help more people organize and run a successful book club so that we can spread the habit of reading all around the globe. We really want more people to read, therefore, we are going to do everything to help not only traditional book clubs but the online ones as well to carry out this habit, the habit of reading.

Reading means a lot to us at Wade Hilton from Jamaica and we think that if more people exercised the habit, many more around the world would not only begin to understand each other but accept their different ways of living and thinking. This wonderful habit has the power to give us the ways and means we need to change what we don't like in our old ways of thinking and discover new ones to make the world a better place for all of us. Reading is a gift from God and each of us should go out of way to promote it, to help others reap its benefits. It's unbelievable that there are still many people who do not enjoy reading. We're going to do whatever we can to entice them to take up the habit.


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