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LET’S GO (BOOK) CLUBBING

Virtual book clubs proliferate

As many youth continue to eschew large, in-person gatherings in favor of virtual ones (even as some are beginning to re-engage in socially-distant hangs as states start to reopen), virtual book clubs continue to proliferate. The following book clubs are providing these youth a way to spend their time and helping foster a sense of community during this isolating time.

NERDIST BOOK CLUB

The Nerdist Book Club launched on April 8th and airs live each Wednesday at 5 PM ET on the Nerdist YouTube channel (where participants can find the episodes later, should they be unable to join the live stream). Thoughtfully, the club took a soft-launch approach to start, introducing the hosts (who discussed what they were reading during the shutdown) and going over book options for the club, emphasizing that most of the selections would be readily accessible via Project Gutenberg. The club is covering pop culturally-relevant selections too: at the beginning of May, the Nerdist Book Club read Frank Herbert’s sci-fi cult classic Dune, ahead of the already highly-anticipated Dune movie adaptation slated for release on December 18th.

QUARANTINE BOOK CLUB

Quarantine Book Club—self-described as “a book tour in cyberspace” via Twitter—was launched in light of the Covid-19 shutdown. The virtual club hosts conversations with authors via Zoom so that fans can still talk to their favorite authors in a socially-distant way. While the ticket price for each session is $5, Quarantine Book Club is ensuring that everyone, regardless of means, can join these virtual book chats by offering a code that will get users into all events for free. The club boasts an impressive number of author chats already, providing intellectually-curious consumers content to keep them engaged and entertained, even under quarantine.

THE VIRTUAL BOOK CHANNEL

To amplify the proliferation of various literary communities popping up in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, Literary Hub launched The Virtual Book Channel. This initiative aggregates and presents multiple platforms for the aforementioned communities based on the unique needs of each. The VBC features a roster of content, from original programming to contributions from bookstores and writers, and releases a schedule of the forthcoming week’s offerings each Friday, building excitement and anticipation for the various content literary fans can look forward to. One overarching goal of this initiative is to support physical bookstores, which have been further jeopardized by the loss of foot-traffic during the Covid-19 shutdown.