Monday, March 10, 2008

Oprah's Book Club: Good or Bad?

People feel strongly about Oprah and her book club. One blogger wants to start an "I Hate Oprah" book club. One of my friends agrees with this sentiment and has said, "There's no better way to ensure I won't buy a book than by putting an 'Oprah's Book Club' sticker on the cover." Really? I heartily disagree, and I'm happy to report that plenty of high-brow book lovers are with me on this one.

Here's what Powell's Books has to say on the subject, and I think it's exactly right:

Oprah's book club, since its inception in 1996, has done more to put books — good books — into the hands of adult readers than any marketing or educational campaign could even aspire to. Through her book club, Oprah has not only brought recognized masters to a wider audience (who else could put Nobel laureate Toni Morrison on national bestseller lists — three times), she has also turned under-appreciated literary writers into nationally recognized figures. Perhaps the success of Oprah's book club can be attributed to her uncanny knack for choosing the right books: books that deal intelligently and compassionately with the complex life situations her audience deals with on a daily basis — and that provide a good story to boot.

1 comment:

Susan Senator said...

For what it's worth, I agree with you and Powell. Because of her reach, I would LOVE my book to be picked by Oprah, but it has not been (yet!)... Maybe she'll like my novel when it comes out, and then I'll have to take down the blog post! :-)