At the beginning of 2015 Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced (on Facebook, how else?) that his new year’s resolution was to read one new book every other week, and in doing so he began an online book club aimed at getting more of his social network users to read for a hobby.
The public Facebook Page, “A Year of Books” has more than 450,000 members all of whom are informed of the books which are being read and invited to discuss it, as long as the conversation stays relevant. Readers are invited, also, to make suggestions about books that Zuckerberg should read and let him know of any further developments surrounding them.
The question is, just what will Zuckerberg’s challenge do for the industry of reading? Albeit Mr Zuckerberg is not exactly a celebrity that everybody dreams to follow in the footsteps of such as Brad Pitt or Taylor Swift, but he is successful and with it he is also persuasive. Those that are following his challenge and even joining him in it are likely to be fans of Facebook, of course, but they are also more likely to already be avid readers.
That being said, in the last year or so there have been many more book clubs pop up in my local community, and I’m sure in your community as well. The opportunity to read, share and discuss a book with like-minded people is an unmissable opportunity for anybody who enjoys reading, and anybody who just doesn’t have time to do it. The pressure (for lack of a better word) of having to read a book for a book club is surely enough persuasion for somebody who has little time on their hands to make some space, sit down, read and enjoy.
Zuckerberg also uses his book club to invite authors into the discussion, something that most of us would not be able to do with our community book clubs. Authors are invited to hold a question and answer session with other members of the book club to allow them to delve deeper into the meaning behind the book and the motivation behind the writing of it. How much Zuckerberg himself has to do with the actual book club remains to be seen, as all posts on the Facebook page are done under the alias of the book club itself, although as somebody who has publicly completed several New year’s challenges in the past, we have no reason not to believe that he is reading the books along with everybody else.
Here’s hoping that Zuckerberg’s profile and well publicised book club has invited many more readers into the folds of reading for pleasure.