May 19, 2022

Full Text Article: “Women’s Groups and the Rise of the Book Club”

Here’s a recently published article from JSTOR Daily.

Title: Women’s Groups and the Rise of the Book Club

Author: Pamela Burger

From the Article:

Since 1989, leisure reading groups have become a full-fledged phenomenon and are now found everywhere from offices to religious communities to, increasingly, virtual platforms. Although exact numbers are hard to come by, the New York Times reports an estimated 5 million Americans belong to a book club. Even more belong to online reading groups like those housed on the popular site, which has 40 million members. Large-scale book clubs even have the power to influence the publishing market. When Mark Zuckerberg announced in January he was starting an online reading group humbly titled A Year of Books, his first pick shot up’s sales list, surging overnight from 45,140 to the top 10. The public, it seems, has fully embraced book club culture.

The population of in-person book clubs skews heavily toward college-educated women, and a large proportion of these groups are single-sex, either by default or design. As Audrey Zucker, a founding member of Gilbert’s group, explains, “We didn’t want men. We wanted the female voice, the female point of view.” It appears many women who like to read also like to read in book clubs. A 2014 survey of American women who read at least one book a month found that 56 percent were in book clubs, and the majority of those were clubs that met in person.

All of the JSTOR articles cited (including in-copyright items) in “Women’s Groups and the Rise of the Book Club” are available full text and at no charge. You do not need to register to access. Just click and download.

Direct to Full Text (Approx. 1850 words)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.