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With the wealth of book reviews and information online, and the massive discounts offered by places like Amazon.com, book clubs are being given a run for their money. How can online book clubs still thrive? The Progressive Book Club (PBC) has set out to revive them by providing a central place for title recommendations, and promotion of books by smaller publishers that might have difficulty receiving attention elsewhere.
Started by Elizabeth Wagley, a liberal-minded former fund-raiser and communications adviser for nonprofit groups, this online book club is meant to push back against conservative ideology. The Progressive Book Club will be a place for meeting new friends, forum for learning, joining online and off-line discussions, and all while helping to build a movement by underwriting progressive organizations and media with the money you spend on their books. When you join, you can buy 3 books at $1 apiece in exchange for the obligation to buy 4 books over the next 2 years.
This online book club seeks to improve on the old model by getting rid of paper catalogs and offering a social networking component. Filling a void for progressively minded readers just might be the way to revive the ever less popular book club structure. Cutting through the clutter of all the titles out there is still a valuable service, especially for like-minded readers.