Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made a New Year's resolution that tens of thousands of supporters have joined. The 30-year-old entrepreneur created a Facebook book club.
On Friday, Zuckerberg invited his more than 30 million followers to participate in his challenge, titled “A Year of Books," by reading a new book every two weeks and then discussing it on the social media platform. The books will emphasize learning about different cultures, beliefs, histories and technologies, according to Zuckerberg.
"I'm excited for my reading challenge. I've found reading books very intellectually fulfilling. Books allow you to fully explore a topic and immerse yourself in a deeper way than most media today. I'm looking forward to shifting more of my media diet towards reading books," he wrote in a post on Jan. 2. His new book group had more than 147,000 likes by early Monday afternoon.
His first pick, "The End of Power," already is temporarily out of stock on Amazon. It explores how the world is shifting to provide individuals more power traditionally held by large governments, the military and other similar organizations. Author Moisés Naím recently tweeted his thanks to Zuckerberg for choosing his work.
Zuckerberg asks people to participate in the conversation only if they have read the chosen books and have relevant insight. The platform, he added, will be moderated.
The entrepreneur and philanthropist, who is one of the richest men in the world, has supported academia in the past, first by helping to improve education in Newark, New Jersey, and then by pledging $120 million to help failing schools in San Francisco.
In an interview with Time magazine before the new year, Zuckerberg reiterated his plan to bring Internet access to about 4 billion people in the world, even residents living in the most remote villages.
Talk show host Oprah Winfrey began her notable book discussion club segment in 1996. Each month until May 2011, Winfrey selected a new book, usually a novel, for viewers of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" to read and discuss. She later launched a new version of her group, titled Oprah's Book Club 2.0.