An analysis of how Oprah's Book Club has changed America's reading habits.
Oprah's Book Club sparked a revolution among readers by bringing serious contemporary novels to the attention of a wider audience. The Oprah's Book Club seal on a book led to instant fame and bestseller status for authors—but, how did Oprah change the way America reads and values books? Reading Oprah suggests that Oprah initiated an all-important mantra—trust readers. Not only did the public start reading accessible novels, but they also would snatch up formidable titles and read them with a growing confidence and skill. Then, they would talk about them, giving them a life beyond the reader and text.
Cecilia Konchar Farr is Professor of English and Women's Studies and Chair of the English Department at the College of St. Catherine.