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Are You on the World’s Largest Online Ebook Club?

Saikat Basu 07-07-2017

Every bookworm should join at least one book club. What’s a book club? Think of it as a meetup for like-minded readers. Or a date with fellow bookworms. The coffee is optional, a book is compulsory, but a debate is given.


Unfortunately, a book club may not fit into your packed schedule — a shame because the intellectual stimulation from fellow bibliophiles can double as a stress-buster. Let’s compromise with a global online book club.

Find Your Reading Circle at Big Library Read

Big Library Read calls itself the first global book club. And it could very well be true because, so far, the idea of an “online book club” has been used rather loosely. Yes, there are Facebook Groups by the bucketful, and there are Goodreads book groups too, and Oprah’s book club is also insanely popular.

But Big Library Read is something different. It works like an actual book club and it sends you back to where it all started — your local library.

Big Library Read with OverDrive

It’s a reading program through your library. Armed with your local or school library card, you get to connect to readers around the world with the same ebook at the same time without any wait lists or holds. Here’s the gist of how it works:

  1. OverDrive is the big organization behind the Big Library Read program. Its catalog holds over 2 million ebooks, audiobooks, and videos. Chances are your library will be among the 30,000 libraries in 40+ countries in their network.
  2. Find if your library is among the OverDrive partners with the help of their library finder.
  3. If it is, you can borrow ebooks and audiobooks instantly, for free, with Libby (the OverDrive app for iOS, Android, and Windows Phones).
  4. Big Library Read holds its book club sessions at scheduled intervals. You can join the global reading program with your local library card or your school card.
  5. The title is automatically added to your digital collection at the start of the program. View a few past titles to get the idea.
  6. Log in to your digital collection and the ebook will be available on your OverDrive-powered website and app. The fun starts now.

Borrow the book and jump the waitlists. During the duration of the BLR program, you get to join the discussion boards and share your thoughts with other readers across the world. The author also checks in to kickstart conversations. Podcast interviews and other helpful resources are also available on the BLR site.

A Library Card Is Still Invaluable

You can buy an ebook with a click on an Amazon link, but why make reading such an isolated hobby? We can be book nerds and still make reading a social experience Can Reading Be A Social Experience? Reading has a reputation for being an isolated activity. We often think of people in their pajamas or bathrobe, sunk into a massive armchair in front of a roaring fire, with a mug of hot... Read More . Okay, it’s on the web and these are ebooks… but it’s a start, isn’t it?

What do you think about book clubs? And the Big Library Read program as an idea?

Related topics: Ebooks, Reading.

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  1. Bryony
    July 11, 2017 at 2:31 am

    Sounds great! But....how do you join? The website for Big Library Read says "join at your library" which isn't very descriptive. It would be great if more details could be provided.

    • Saikat Basu
      July 11, 2017 at 11:46 am

      Use the Library Finder (https://www.overdrive.com/libraries) to see if your library is a member of the OverDrive network. Then, you can borrow ebooks and audiobooks instantly, for free, with Libby (the OverDrive app for iOS, Android, and Windows Phones).

      • Bryony
        July 20, 2017 at 3:58 am

        No issues with borrowing books through Overdrive - I've done that for years through my library. The question is how to join the Big Library Read Book Club? Is there an option through Libby to do this or do I n Ed to visit my library in person? (Or is it different for every library?)