New book club allows readers to connect online—March 27, 2009
There’s a new book club in town that takes reading to another level.
Hastings Public Library is introducing a service for its readers who have Internet access. . .an online book club. Just like a living room book club, the online version provides an opportunity to sample a variety of books, connect with other readers and authors and engage in spirited discussions. . .all with one convenient difference - participants can link to the club, 24/7, from their own computer.
Thanks to funding from the Friends of Hastings Public Library, dearReader.com is offered free to HPL users who choose to subscribe to it.
Subscribers receive in their email, Monday through Friday, a book excerpt that takes about five minutes to read. By the end of the week, they’ve read the first two or three chapters, enough to know if they’d like to check out the book at HPL and read more. A library link is given to reserve a copy of the featured book or contact staff. The next Monday the whole process starts over with a new book.
Subscribers will choose to join one or more of 10 club categories: fiction, nonfiction, teen, business, romance, good news, science fiction, mystery, thriller and audio. Excerpts are offered according the categories chosen.
“Sharp, creepy, suspenseful and gripping” are words used by readers to describe this week’s mystery club selection, “The Calling” by Inger Ash Wolfe.
A reader of the current classics selection, "The American" by Henry James, shared his comments in the club’s forum: “The plot development inches along in a way that most would not tolerate in this day and age but provides the persistent reader with a richness of description with which to savor the reading experience.” Other readers in the classics club may respond to this comment or add their own observations.
The week's other club selections include: non-fiction - a memoir, “Thin is the New Happy” by Valerie Frankel; business - "Instant Appeal: The 8 Primal Factors that Create Blockbuster Success“ by Vicki Kunkel; Good News - Christian fiction, "Unbridled Dreams" by Stephanie Grace Whitson. The thriller club currently includes a link to an international website which features author forums and other just-released thrillers.
It’s easy to subscribe from the library’s website, www.hastings.lib.ne.us. Click on “Reader’s Corner” and simply follow the link to the online book club, submit an email address, choose categories and enjoy the opportunity to discover a whole new realm of reading!
Subscribers start receiving excerpts and a link to the book’s synopsis in their email the next business day and always have the option to change, add or stop any club, anytime.
I’ve enjoyed my experience with the club. It’s a relaxing break in my day to read the five-minute selection. And I’ve found it to be a friendly, no-pressure opportunity to read something that I might not have chosen by myself. I appreciate the latitude to give as little or as much time as I can, which for me varies from week to week.
Our Friends organization is funding HPL’s participation with dearReader.com on a one-year trial basis - try it and please let library staff know what you think!