Oprah’s effect on book clubs

oprahsbookclublogo.jpgWith “The Oprah Winfrey Show” signing off today after 25 years, many are stepping back to see what kind of effect Oprah has had on American culture over the years — more specifically, on books and book clubs.
Oprah began her book club in 1996, and, according to this Christian Science Monitor article, of the 70 books she’s selected over the years, 59 made the top 10 on USA Today’s bestseller list. When your viewership is in the millions, I suppose you have that kind of persuasive power.
But what surprised me more was this tidbit:

Toni Morrison, whose books were chosen four times for Oprah’s Book Club (“Song of Solomon,” “Paradise,” “The Bluest Eye,” and “Sula” were all picked), got a bigger sales boost from Oprah than from winning the Nobel Prize for Literature.

Wait. What?! Now that’s interesting.
I’ve been known to pick up a few of Oprah’s picks — but that’s probably because I generally enjoy the type of books she recommends. What about you — have you chosen to read something based on her recommendations?
For more Oprah coverage:
— Read about locals with connections to her show on the Flipside blog.
— See YDR columnist Mike Argento’s take on how Oprah booked her last show.
— Learn how Oprah affected York County residents (and learn some Oprah trivia too!).
— Check out one woman’s call for Oprah to end her book club.
— Join the conversation on FlipSide’s Facebook page as to whether you’ll watch the final show.

About Sarah Chain

I'm an avid reader and book lover living and working in downtown York. Follow me on Twitter at @sarahEchain.
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