Facebook’s Zuckerberg Debuts Online Book Club

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Mark Zuckerberg has announced his goal for 2015: to read a new book every other week, and then to discuss that book with others who have read it on his “A Year of Books” Facebook page.

Within 24 hours of announcing this year’s resolution, the book club’s Facebook page already had over 62,000 likes.

“I’ve found reading books very intellectually fulfilling,” Zuckerberg wrote. “Books allow you to fully explore a topic and immerse yourself in a deeper way than most media today. I’m looking forward to shifting more of my media diet towards reading books.”

The challenge was chosen after Zuckerberg used his Facebook page to crowdsource for ideas in a December 30th post.  Around 50,000 people suggested ideas, many of which had to do in some way with reading.

For his first book, Zuckerberg chose “The End of Power” by Moisés Naím, a former Foreign Policy editor.  Published in March 2013, the 300-page book explores how the role of leadership is changing today.  “It’s a book that explores how the world is shifting to give individual people more power that was traditionally only held by large governments, militaries and other organizations,” Zuckerberg wrote.

Only three days after announcing his choice, the paperback version of the book was listed as “temporarily out of stock” on Amazon, suggesting that Zuckerberg holds the same kind of power as Oprah in terms of book clubs.  Oprah’s book club ran for 15 years, boasting millions of members and causing the sales of every book on her list to skyrocket.  The phenomenon quickly became known as “the Oprah Effect.”

The book is still available at Barnes and Noble’s, writes Heather Long for CNN Money.

Zuckerberg will choose 26 books to read over the course of the year, focusing on “learning about new cultures, beliefs, histories and technologies,” according to his page.  Hundreds of titles have already been suggested.  The most popular suggestions include the Bible and Quran.

“Please only participate in the discussions if you’ve actually read the books and have relevant points to add. The group will be moderated to keep it focused,” he stressed in his status update.

The posts for the book club’s page have yet to be written by Zuckerberg, so it is unknown how involved he will be in the club, writes Todd Olmstead for The Wall Street Journal.

The Facebook creator challenges himself with something new every year for his New Year’s resolution, ranging from learning Mandarin to not eating any meat that he did not kill himself.  Last year he announced he would write a thank you note every day.