Book Clubs Go Virtual

eBooks spawn new software, new ways to connect

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    Getty Images
    NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 09: A reporter holds the new Amazon Kindle 2.0 at an unveiling event at the Morgan Library & Museum February 9, 2009 in New York City. The updated electronic reading device is slimmer with new syncing technology and longer battery life and will begin shipping February 24th. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

    When Amazon.com announced, not too long ago, that sales of digital books had passed sales of physical books, you knew technology had once again taken over. 

    So, now that we're reading books online, new questions emerge:  What will happen to the library?  Will we ever loan out "real" books to our friends again?  And, what about the good old-fashioned book club?

    A software company called Copia is taking on that final question.  It's offering software downloads and apps that bring the book club virtually- to your e-reader or desktop. 

    Copia lets you make notations and comments inside the e-books as you read them, and those comments can be seen by others who join you.  The company calls it "social reading."

    Now, you may be thinking, this is just silly.  But we used to have to be near someone to share photos, or discuss movies.  Now, it's all done online.  Copia may actually be onto something here. 

    It wasn't that long ago that people scoffed at the Amazon Kindle.  Now, it's how a ton of people find, buy and read books and magazines.  Toss in the iPad, Galaxy, your laptop and phone -- that's a lot of e-reading going on -- and we know how popular social networking is.

    Is a virtual book club something you'd take part in?  Sure, it would probably take longer to actually have a meeting, because it depends on people checking in to their e-devices. 

    But, you could have a book club meeting where people actually read the book, and you can "meet" as you read.  Big benefit?  A club you take with you where you go.  Big drawback?  You probably shouldn't have wine at these particular book club meetings.

    Scott likes eBooks, but has yet to make a note in the margin.  He's on Twitter@scottbudman