I'm delighted to hear that NBC's Today Show introduced a book club today. Yay! That should make the day of people in the publishing industry who fear that no one is purchasing books. We all know that Oprah Winfrey's Book Club which began in 1996 was a major hit with many viewers and consistently sent books to the top of best-seller charts based solely on Oprah's blessing.
Can the Today Show work the same magic? Somehow I feel it was because Oprah actually read the books she promoted and has a following of millions who take her word for what is smart, beautiful, and important that she was able to help books soar from obscurity to the top of the charts. Is the Today Show alone going to have that same magic? Seems to me it takes a trusted person--like Oprah--whose personal blessing makes one eager to plunk down dollars for a book. Maybe NBC will find a personality to take on that role. Until then, jury's out.
My friend Lib Gibson dropped me a note in response to my blog the other day, "Falling in Love with Words." Liz loves words too, and her affection for books follows suit. Her blog the other day, entitled "The Pope's Bookbinder," is Lib's take on the book authored by David Mason, which gives an insider's view of the world of rare and antiquarian booksellers.
Between rare books and those hot off the press--waiting to be discovered by the Today Show--lie the many many books languishing in bookstores, enticing only a few readers, despite the talent of their authors. There are just so many books to read and so many other activities screaming for our attention. Reading a book is a commitment to spend a certain amount of time focused on one activity, a far cry from reading articles on the web while multi-tasking in several other ways.
So the Today Show news gives me hope for those who know the magic of bookreading and are doing their best to make bookreading contagious. The terrific effort led by Candace Kendle called Read Aloud 15 MINUTES is a remarkable example of just how easy it can be to get kids excited about reading. Think what could happen if every adult in this country read aloud to someonoe--anyone--for 15 minutes every day.