Picador publishers have a really interesting piece about book clubs over on their site – and they are certainly a phenomenon that just keeps on growing. Caitriona Row from Picador writes that there are “now an estimated 20 million book club members in the USA, a number which has doubled in size in the last eight years.“
Closer to home – The Tubridy Show on Rte Radio has played a part in spreading the book club message and increasingly libraries are using book clubs with younger and older readers.
I’ve been lucky enough to meet Trim Library children’s book group over the past two months as we work on a children’s charter together- more of that to follow next month – and it is inspiring to see a group of young readers so energised by a shared reading experience that they are literally all jumping up and down to contribute an opinion. What I underestimated before I met them was how divergent their opinions would be – they rarely all like the same book and we’ve had some great discussions about the CBI Bisto Shortlist and Winners of late. They have also shown me just how aware young readers are about what persuades them to make certain reading choices – and just how gender divided much of the books for young readers are! By that I mean that the readers in Trim often struggle to find a book that works for both boys and girls.
Edited to add – if you scan the comments for Caitriona’s piece you’ll see that this gender divide is not just confined to our reading group in Trim!
anyway stay tuned to the blog to hear more about the charter development process and this very talented bunch!