Following in the footsteps of such luminaries as Oprah Winfrey and Richard & Judy, Mark Zuckerberg has started a massive book group for his fans. In a post on his personal page over the weekend, the Facebook founder said that his ‘challenge for 2015’ is ‘to read a new book every other week’ (presumably bringing him up to 26 in total across the year), particularly focusing on ‘learning about different cultures, beliefs, histories and technologies.’
Zuckerberg chose a book-based challenge from among 50,000 proposals made by Facebook users, citing in particular suggestions that he ‘read one book a month that another person chooses’, read the Bible and ‘read and learn everything I can about a new country each week.’ He is encouraging Facebook users to read along with him and a page for the project – A Year of Books – has already been set up, with, at time of writing, over 157,000 likes since Saturday.
The first post on that page says ‘We will read a new book every two weeks and discuss it here. Our books will emphasize learning about new cultures, beliefs, histories and technologies. Suggestions for new books to read are always welcome. We ask that everyone who participates read the books and we will moderate the discussions and group membership to keep us on topic.’
Zuckerberg has chosen to kick off his efforts with Moisés Naím’s 2013 book The End of Power, which – as its title suggests – examines global redistribution of power from corporations and autocrats to startups and democracies.
The Guardian notes that as of Sunday – the day after Zuckerberg announced it would be the first book – The End of Power was out of stock on Amazon.com and was sitting at 203 in the charts. As of today (Monday), it is back in stock and has shot up to number 19 – not 19 in Economics, not 19 in History & Theory, 19 in Amazon’s site-wide top 100 bestselling books – which should answer any lingering questions about whether the Zuckerberg bump will shift units the way Oprah did.