book club


book club
1. a company or other organization that sells books to its subscribers, often at a discount and usually through the mail.
2. a club organized for the discussion and reviewing of books. Also called, esp. Brit., book society.
[1785-95]

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Marketing service that offers books to subscribers through the mail, often at reduced prices.

The first U.S. book club, the Book-of-the-Month Club, was founded in 1926; the rival Literary Guild appeared a year later. By the 1980s nearly 100 book clubs existed in the U.S., most of them specialized (e.g., for history books, mysteries, etc.). A common incentive for attracting new members is the offer of several free or heavily discounted books; long-standing members often receive bonuses.

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      marketing service whereby potential book buyers subscribe to free periodicals describing available books, which are sold by order or by “negative option” (see below) and then distributed by mail.

      The first book club, established in Germany (1919), reprinted and distributed classics. In the United States the Book-of-the-Month Club (1926) and the Literary Guild (1927) were the first such enterprises, the former distributing more than 200,000,000 new copies of fiction and nonfiction in its first 40 years, especially to areas where there were few bookstores. Book clubs—and similar marketing ventures patterned after them—usually use a technique called negative option, whereby the subscriber must exercise his right to refuse the offered special of the month by returning a refusal notice by mail; otherwise, the book is shipped and the subscriber billed automatically.

      By the 1980s nearly 100 book clubs existed in the United States, most of them specialized. The larger general clubs select books judiciously, encouraging business by offering premiums to faithful subscribers, and reducing costs and prices both by marketing large editions and by printing their own editions from publishers' plates. Specialty book clubs cater to particular interests, e.g., psychology, law, religion, mystery stories, history, politics, gardening, and books for younger readers. A common incentive for attracting new members is the offer of several free or heavily discounted books; long-standing members often receive bonuses of books.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Book club — may refer to:* Book discussion club, a group of people who meet to discuss a book or books that they have read * Book sales club, a subscription based method of selling and purchasing booksBook club may also refer to: * Bookclub (radio), a BBC… …   Wikipedia

  • book club — UK US noun [C] COMMERCE ► a company that sells books to its members in the mail, often at lower prices than in a store: »Have you fallen behind on your book club payments? …   Financial and business terms

  • book club — n 1.) a club that offers books cheaply to its members 2.) a group of people who meet regularly to discuss a particular book they have all read …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • book club — book clubs N COUNT A book club is an organization that offers books at reduced prices to its members …   English dictionary

  • book club — book ,club noun count 1. ) a group of people who meet regularly to discuss books they have read 2. ) an organization that sells books at low prices to its members, usually by MAIL ORDER …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • book club — book′ club n. an organization that sells books to its subscribers, usu. through the mail and often at a discount • Etymology: 1785–95 …   From formal English to slang

  • book club — ► NOUN ▪ an organization which sells its subscribers selected books by mail order at reduced prices …   English terms dictionary

  • book club — ☆ book club n. a business that sends books, usually at reduced prices, to persons who agree to buy a minimum number of them annually …   English World dictionary

  • book club — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms book club : singular book club plural book clubs 1) an organization that sells books at low prices to its members, usually by mail order 2) a group of people who meet regularly to discuss books they have read …   English dictionary

  • book club — club which sells books at a discount to its members; club which meets to discuss and review books …   English contemporary dictionary


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