I have been a member of a very unique free online book club called "Dear Reader" for many years.
Suzanne Beecher, whose pictures is on the right, is the host, but she is more than that to me, she has become as close as a dear friend who sends me an e-mail every weekday that makes me smile. She has included me in her daily trials and triumphs, and all the celebrations and sorrows (luckily few!) of her life. She has given me some very good recipes, and she has sent me some wonderful prizes, although I haven't been lucky enough to win her famous chocolate chip cookies as yet! ( Hint hint, Suzanne!)
Suzanne's book club started in 1999, because Suzanne, who was a lifelong book lover, realized how many of the women who worked part-time for her software development company didn't have time in their busy lives to read. She decided to type in part of a chapter of a book, and send it to her employees through e-mail. The next day she typed a little more, and continued to send literary installments each day. After a few days most were hooked on the book and wanted to read more! Suzanne realized her book sample was a great idea and "Dear Reader" was formed! Today it has over 350,000 members!
How does it work? You enter your email address at her web site, and sign up for a "book club" -- such as non fiction, fiction, mystery, classics, business, teen selections, good news, romance, horror, science fiction, audio book, and even a pre-publication selection for preview! You can sign up for one, or all of them, if you so desire. Then, each morning for a week, you receive a sample of the latest book selection, which takes no more than five minutes to read. By Friday you will probably have read enough to know whether you like the book and want to read more, and then it is up to you to buy it, or borrow it from your local library.
There is even a free Book Club Forum you can also join to keep track of the books you have read, and to leave comments about them if you wish, and read other readers opinions. about the same or other books.
She also hosts Author Buzz where, as Suzanne says:
"... you can meet 3 to 6 authors a week who each have written special notes exclusively for you. It’s a way to get to know them and their novels in a very personal way. "
If you have a particularly busy week ahead of you you can just delete her "Dear Reader" e-mails, or leave them for a more opportune time to read. But, truthfully, I almost always read my e-mails from Suzanne every day as she is a gifted writer herself, and she always preludes her daily book selection with an interesting daily tidbit about herself, or shares a thought provoking comment, or sponsors a contest to enter to win a dozen of her home baked cookies or a free author autographed book! She has even given away bubbles and "fun" things to help us celebrate our inner child. There is always a pleasant surprise from Suzanne awaiting all her book club readers every day.
If you'd like to sample Suzanne's personal daily e-mail "Dear Reader" comments you can read them all in her blog archives, but I hope you take a chance and join one of her book club selections and get get hooked on reading again, or find new books through her clubs.
Who knows? Maybe you'll be a lucky recipient of her chocolate chip cookies one day!
Picture source: DearReader.com