Yesterday, local online news source MinnPost launched its Book Club Club (BCC), a place where Minnesota book clubs of all shapes and sizes can register (for free) and be part of an online community. From the looks of it, BCC will feature different reading-related posts on which book lovers can comment. One of the first posts provides a timeline for the evolution of book clubs in the United States. It's very interesting; some of the highlights:
+ While it would be silly to believe Benjamin Franklin didn't have something to do with book clubs back in the day, I love that a majority of book-club history revolves around women.
+ I also love that in the late 1700s, Hannah Mather Crocker took the position that the study of science and literature was much more important for women than other "frivolous" activities. I can only imagine what activities she was talking about.
+ Mail-order book clubs (ex: The Literary Guild) began in the 1920s. By the 1980s, when big-box discounters really flourished, these mail-order clubs felt the hit.
+ And the best line from the timeline: "It is estimated that there are more than 5 million book club members in the United States. Most clubs have 10 or more members. 70 to 80 percent of clubs are all-female." It goes to show you that women love to learn, we love to socialize with each other, and we're all about putting those two things together.
You can also catch part I of an eight-part series on book clubs in Minnesota.