Are Online Book Clubs as Satisfying as Real Life?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka

at the computer

In today’s lead story Kathy L. Patrick, founder of the Pulpwood Queens Book Club, discusses how she expanded her small town book club into an international juggernaut. It is likely the single biggest “meet and discuss” book club in the world. Of course, there are online book sites, such as, LibraryThing, and others that foster discussion about books — and are certainly bigger. But can an online book club replace a real life discussion? Are they as satisfying or enriching?

For starters, people tend to be more polite when they are speaking face to face (no so online), but also there’s the congeniality of the club — an excuse to have a drink and an conversation and step out of the day-to-day. Online, it’s easy to get lost, but hard to escape…

On the other hand, online clubs offer the opportunity to talk to a much wider variety of people — from a different place, socioeconomic background, and even country — about a given book.

Tell us if you have a favorite online book discussion site, and let us know your thoughts about the real life vs. online debate in the comments below or via Twitter using hashtag #ppdiscuss.

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.