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No time for a flesh-and-blood book club? Try the Twitter variety

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The global Twitter book club was inspired by the “One City, One Book” group read concept Seattle librarian Nancy Pearl pioneered in 1998. Professor Howe launched “One Book, One Twitter” last summer, which drew thousands of tweets about Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods.” But, as he wrote in The Atlantic, “The only problem? It disappeared, like barbeques and seersucker suits, when summer came to a close. Now it’s back…. It has a new name – 1book140 – but what hasn’t changed is the global, participatory nature of the affair.”

More than 5,000 readers have already joined the @1book140 club, with general discussions taking place under #1book140 from, and more focused exchanges of each of the novel's chapters under the dedicated hashtags #1b140_1, #1b140_2, etc.

“Being amazed by Atwood at every turn,” tweeted one reader in London, reported the Guardian. “Probably my first book written from a senior person's perspective. Never expected it to be so lovely.”

Is 1book140 the beginning of more Twitter book clubs? What does that bode for books and reading?

Well, it’s certainly not the first. Among the other Twitter book clubs out there is TwitBookClub. Launched in December 2009, it has more than 700 followers worldwide. One difference? Members meet in Dubai every month for quick discussions.

There’s also the Book Club, an international book club for Twitterers where more than 6,000 followers discuss books in general, rather than specific titles.

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