The world’s most powerful book club?
I always make a New Year’s resolution; I find it helpful to take stock of the year that’s past and aim to improve on at least one thing over the coming year. From health related vows to ditching bad habits or learning new skills, the start of a new year has long been associated with an opportunity for self-improvement.
Each year the Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg makes a pretty epic New Year’s resolution; one year he vowed to meet a new person each day who doesn’t work for Facebook, another to only eat meat he killed himself, and let’s not forget the year he resolved to learn Mandarin.
When asked what his resolution would be for 2015, the social media mogul decided to crowdsource ideas. After several suggestions, 50,000 in fact, he decided to read a new book every other week, with an emphasis on learning about different cultures, beliefs and histories.
He’ll share his reading list with his 30 million followers in a sort of virtual book club, via a new Facebook page nattily entitled ‘A year of books’ – which already has 163,000 likes. And since this announcement over the weekend, sales of the first book on his list have soared.
The End of Power, a 320-page non-fiction book by Moisés Naím, the former editor of Foreign Policy magazine, explores the global shift in influence “from West to East and North to South, from presidential palaces to public squares, from once formidable corporate behemoths to nimble start-ups and, slowly but surely, from men to women”. Good luck in trying to get a copy however, it’s now sold out on Amazon.
For today’s social media generation for whom information is consumed in bite-sized chunks via condensed news apps, 120 character tweets and status updates, this may come as something of a revolutionary gesture, but it’s a great one nonetheless.