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The Status of book Clubs

Reading is a very challenging exercise that we may not see as a constant culture. It is naïve to assume that one may read every day for guaranteed, once someone is labeled as a voracious reader, ‘critical thinker’. Well! One thing that we don’t have to miss is the fact that someone who is a reader tend to be a moody and unstable reader. That is why society has to institute norms and mores to revitalize and motivate a reading culture. On this regard, we have to see the role of book club.
Book clubs helped to ignite discussion on published materials may be through public or clandestine debate. Critiques and counter critiques are provoked in this endeavor, the published book will not remain to be unpopular. Moreover, the more book clubs engage on appraisal of a published product, the better likelihood will be re-publication. Above all, the reader will be stimulated to be updated and sometimes for better re-reading.
Indeed, some established book clubs play the role for the literary market as like what interest groups do for politics. They have the capability to determine which books should be read for different age set and social category. It is quite critical as now a day’s we are nationally grappling with books and production chant for unity and Ethiopiannity.  In her study published in 2008 dubbed as “The Representation of Authors and Illustrators of Color in School-Based Book Clubs”, Jonda Mcnair identified that the remarkable role of student based book clubs helped to filter books whose characters may portray racist and scaremongering among kids.
To her credit, Oprah founded the Oprah Book Club, which is often credited with reviving Americans’ interest in reading. Her generosity and philanthropic spirit are legendary. Her fan base couldn’t leap a page of a recommended book unread once she recommended the book in her show. Ideally, what the celebrities has to determine is a grandiose custom to the best of societal advancement, perhaps as an iconic model. In contrast what the celebrities is lessoning the generation for undesirable habits and the lousiness. Against this backdrop, what Oprah used to do is a template among the celebrities. It is sacred to try to inflame reading habits of the generation.
Arguably, the 60’s  and 70’s generation of Ethiopian revolution started as a book club. Perhaps, the books they discussed were not entirely to go to the appraisals of those political books. Instead the discussions of those days were more or less aimed at to see the congruence between the empirical conditions in the then Ethiopia and requirement for Marxist oriented ‘social revolution’. Latently, Ethiopian revolution was the high time for flourishing of the reading culture.
Coming to the recent experience, to their credit one can’t miss the role of ‘Music Mayday’ to inflame a dried reading culture in our fair society. Several books got the attention of the public once ‘Muzic Mayday’ conducts discussion on books. Popularly, their engagement got the front pages of newspapers in the fair capital.
In a similar vein, in August 2017, HoHe awards recognized the role of Shenkute where his career of teaching and radio journalism mixed with a pragmatic visionary. To our surprise, he had a mobile library utilizing mule and cart in very deep remote areas. If truth be told, his self made effort made him  an icon for the flourishing of reading culture  in Ethiopia. It is mesmerizing how bold enough and courageous to act where Shenkute harbors his vision in such society amid of lot of societal inertia. One can imagine how far it would be difficult to embrace such selfless moral responsibility with all the requisite price to pay.
Conclusively, it is timely to prescribe nationally we need to have several town-based , region based and national book clubs so as to create the necessary platforms ensuring  the reader may have informed selection of books.


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