It’s one thing to read a great book. It’s another thing entirely to discuss it with other similar-minded readers, and what better way to do that than with a book club? Now, you can do so easily with the brand new Amazon Book Clubs.
Amazon Book Clubs currently offers clubs spanning a wide variety of book genres. Plus, it’s currently in early access, and will likely offer even more genres and features once it’s officially released. Book clubs are also a great way to find similar recommendations for the book you’re fawning over, so this feature is a really fun addition to the book world. You can dive in and start enjoying any one of these clubs now; Amazon is also taking user-submitted feedback for the clubs now, to help improve them before the official release.
Amazon started off as a digital book store, so it makes sense that the shopping titan would eventually create some type of digital book club feature. And Amazon Book Clubs is just that—book clubs gone digital . Now, you can easily take part in discussions about a particular book with other avid readers from around the world. Plus, it’s free to join!
Once you find a club you like, click the “Join this book club” button on the club’s page. From there, it’s up to you to purchase the book (if you don’t already own it. Fortunately, Amazon sells books, as do many other online bookstores.
Everything about these clubs is digital and text-based, and each club’s page hosts a discussion forum where you can create new posts and reply to other users’ posts whenever you want. You can also like or report posts, just as you can on other social media sites, and click on other users’ profiles to see their post history. Amazon has not (yet) specified whether conversations are archived as each book is finished, or if each club will end up with an eons-long forum filled with mixed discussions for every book the group decides to read; so far it seems to be a single eternal forum.
Clubs are centered around genres like Sci-fi and Fantasy, Business and Growth, Romantic Comedies, Interactive Fiction and Gamebooks, Memorable Memoirs, Mysteries and Thrillers, and a bunch of others. Plus, you can join multiple clubs if you’re interested (and if you have the free time for all that reading)! Only once you join, however, are you able see when the last post was; if the group is inactive, you’ll have to manually leave the club.
The clubs also allow you to coordinate all of your upcoming reads, get notifications about new posts (or when someone replies to your post), and make new friends with similar interests. Once you join a club, you can suggest a book for the club to read. You can also easily view and manage which book clubs you’ve joined, at the top of the Book Clubs homepage.
Amazon Book Clubs is totally free to join, but you do need to have an Amazon.com account to do so; you don’t need to be signed up for a Prime account, just a standard Amazon account. Once your account is set up, however, you can easily peruse the available book clubs and get the ball rolling for all of your favorite genres!
Anyone can join one or more of these clubs, but Amazon is currently (randomly) limiting who can create a new club during the feature’s early access period. The company says it’ll roll out more features over the next few months and that club creation will eventually become available to all customers once early access concludes.
Keep in mind, though, that while most clubs are Public (and can be joined by anyone with an Amazon account), some are Private. For these, you’ll need to request permission from a group administrator, and there is no guarantee they’ll let you in. If you are approved, though, you will receive a notification email letting you know your membership is confirmed.
Whether a club is Public or Private, anyone can see the list of the group’s members, club name, description, photo, location, tags, and the number of members. People can also receive an invite directly from a club admin, instead of having to submit a request; anyone with an invite link can also see that group’s admins as well as past, current, and future books. Private clubs also have the option to disable and enable membership requests; these are the clubs that will send out private invites, typically, and these admins can toggle privacy settings as needed.
Remember, Amazon Book Clubs is still in early access. This means you might stumble across a bug or two if you opt to use it before it’s officially released. Alternatively, after this early access period, Amazon may decide the whole thing isn’t worth the effort and just shut it down.
If it does live to see an official release , though, it’s possible that the final product may look a little different, have new features and tweaked settings, and even offer up additional clubs and options for you to enjoy.