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Library starts reading group

An online bood club has been created to encourage busy people to read. Participants will be able to use an Internet message boa

An online bood club has been created to encourage busy people to read. Participants will be able to use an Internet message boa

August 17, 2002|by LAURA ERNDE

laurae@herald-mail.com

Think you don't have time to read a book? Ask yourself this: Do you have five minutes a day to read an e-mail?

Washington County Free Library began sponsoring an online book club this month to encourage busy people to read, library spokeswoman Marsha Fuller said.

People who sign up will receive daily e-mails containing snippets from a popular book. If you read each one, by the end of the week you will have completed two to three chapters.

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If you want to read on, you can use your computer to reserve a copy of the book at the library or purchase the book from an online bookstore.

"It's a simple concept, but with far-reaching effects," Fuller said.

Washington County library subscribes to the service, provided by a Sarasota, Fla.-based company called Chapter-a-Day.

The book club has about 100,000 readers across the country who have signed up through 3,500 participating libraries, founder Suzanne Beecher said.

In addition to the basic book club, readers can sign up for genre-specific book clubs such as romance, business and inspirational.

"Time is really one of our most precious commodities. Reading has kind of taken a back seat," Beecher said. "We're giving people a vehicle for them to get back into the habit of reading."

Avid readers can also benefit from the club because it introduces them to books they might not have chosen for themselves, Beecher said.

In addition, they can use the club's Internet message board to discuss the books they're reading with people from all over the country.

Beecher chooses the books herself based on what she thinks readers will find interesting.

Chapter-a-Day makes money through selling subscriptions to libraries and from book sales, she said.

To sign up for the club, click on the "online book club" link on the library's Web site, www.wc-link.org/wcfl.

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