Could Mark Zuckerberg influence your reading habits?

27 Jan

This post started off very differently from this. Mari (a friend of the blog and friend in real life) sent me an email to let me know she’d found an Facebook-based discussion group around on of her favorite novels, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I went looking to see if I could find discussion groups for some books I’ve enjoyed in the last year and I had intermittent success. I couldn’t find anything for Rainbow Rowell and a search for Gone Girl turned up a lot more movie discussions than book discussions.

So I turned to Google and searched ‘Facebook book discussion’ and found (what I think is) a very interesting article from The Atlantic. Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has a New Year’s Resolution to read a new book every two weeks. And of course, because he’s Mark Zuckerberg, he’s inviting the world to join him.

A Year of Books is a moderated page where participants are invited to discuss the current book and add their own comments and thoughts on what they’re reading. The business major in me freaked out when I read this. Zuckerberg is hand picking best sellers and making Amazon run out of copies of his choices. His books aren’t exactly up my ally (“cultures, beliefs, histories and technologies” here sounds very non-fiction-eque) but I have to wonder if I would read something because Zuckerberg picked it.

Now yes, I’m sure there are other people helping pick these books. As the first book discussion included a live chat with the author, I’m sure there are other considerations besides Zuckerberg’s personal preference. But still, it seems like he’s been given a lot of power to decide what will sell.

Reader, I’m curious what you think. Will you choose to read a Zuckerberg pick? Did you like the page? I did already. This has the potential to be the world’s largest book club. I only wish they handed out copies for free like the Ford Audiobook Club did.

Leave your thoughts in a comment below, I’d love to hear more from you all.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

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3 Responses to “Could Mark Zuckerberg influence your reading habits?”

  1. suddenlysonder January 27, 2015 at 1:43 PM #

    I think it’s a good idea for people who are big fans of Zuckerberg and are influenced by “celebrity” choices to read books that he (or someone working with him) recommend. I guess it’s a big push when you think that your idol is holding the same book in his/her hands and that there’s thousands of others doing the same thing. It’s a motivation technique, and from the perspective of the authors of the chosen books, a marketing technique too. I’ll definitely like the page to see if any of the books is interesting.

    Like

    • Sam January 27, 2015 at 2:11 PM #

      I saw this compared to Oprah’s book club, in that those who are a fan of Oprah would want to read her choices. The saw can be said of any celebrity endorsement. I don’t know if I personally associate Zuckerberg and books so much that I would let him influence what I read. Maybe the social media I use, but not my books. If any of the choices look interesting, I might bite, but I wouldn’t let this dictate what I read.

      Like

      • suddenlysonder January 27, 2015 at 2:32 PM #

        I agree with you that I wouldn’t let him dictate what I read either, but since he I’m guessing he has a team of people telling him what to recommend, the books are probably not that bad.

        Like

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