Fra Huffington Post:
In 1998 our nation’s most famous librarian, Nancy Pearl, posed a question to her fellow Seattleites: What if everyone in the city read the same book? The answer, she learned, was that a wildly diverse group of people would suddenly have at least one thing in common. That summer thousands came together to read The Sweet Hereafter by Russel Banks. Seattle loved it, and the «One Book, One City» phenomenon was born. Cities large and small started their own «Big Reads,» and in 2003 Pearl was credited with starting the «most significant public humanities program in the past 10 years.»
I wouldn’t dream of second-guessing anyone with her own action figure, but I think the «One Book, One City» programs make a very industrial age assumption: Namely, that most of our relationships are determined by geography. On the Internet–where affinity is more powerful than geography–that’s just not the case anymore. And so I’d like to ask a slightly more ambitious question: What if everyone in the world read the same book? We have the ideal technology at our fingertips–Twitter. All we need now is the book.
Toward that end I recently launched the world’s first global book club: One Book, One Twitter. And because it seems to me this should be democratic in every way, I asked, well, everyone to help decide which book we should all read. As you read this people around the world are voting on which book they’d like to read this summer, and gathering at the #1b1t hash on Twitter to discuss their choice. So far American Gods by Neil Gaiman has been leading the field by a healthy margin, but strong lobbies have formed behind Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ 100 Years of Solitude and Ray Bradbury’s Fahreinheit 451. By the time voting ends next week anything could happen.