Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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New online Book Clubs Hub undertakes national survey

The organisers of Clunes Booktown Festival have established a free online platform for book clubs to connect and share information, and are undertaking a national survey of Australian book clubs.

Book Clubs Hub is a website for users to ‘share knowledge and lists, recruit new members, tell their own stories, discover new ways to meet virtually and connect with authors who are prepared to meet with clubs online or in person’, according to a statement.

Its survey of book club members is part of research to understand ‘why book clubs are formed, how and where they operate, the value they provide, and how Book Clubs Hub can best support them. The work will also help to identify specific groups that may benefit from new book clubs’.

Book Clubs Hub chair Leslie Falkiner-Rose said, ‘We know how important book clubs are. Their role in connecting people with ideas and communities has become even clearer during the COVID-19 global pandemic as many clubs have moved to meet online and new clubs have formed.

‘The variety of book clubs in Australia is enormous with genres ranging from cooking, history, biographies, crime and fantasy, literary fiction, queer literature, through to groups that focus on specific authors.

‘There’s even the Tough Guy Book Club, which aims to boost blokes’ conversations in pubs, and the Australian Parliamentary Book Club that asks the public for book suggestions.’

The inaugural Australian Parliamentary Book Club meeting took place in February and discussed Bruce Pascoe’s Dark Emu (Magabala Books).

‘Club members, who can be any age, know what a vital role their book clubs play in creating and strengthening friendships, broadening minds, amicably challenging members’ views on issues, promoting reading and supporting the book industry.’

To undertake the survey, visit the Book Club Hub website here.


Category: Local news