Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Cluba Libre

Guess who is reading? Mark Zuckerberg! Mister Facebook has invited his legions of followers to read along with him. He did this after he asked his followers to suggest a New Year's Goal for him. Some of Mark's previous challenges were to learn to speak Mandarin, wear a tie every day, and write a daily thank you note, Pretty hefty challenges for a billionaire CEO, why not take on something truly outrageous like reading a book? How about setting some extreme goal like reading a book a day? That would be ridiculous, right? Three hundred and sixty-five books would be impossible. Depending on the book. Instead, Mister Zuckerberg has chosen to read a book every other week, a more manageable twenty-six books in 2015. Additionally, he expects to read books that  will focus on"different cultures, beliefs, histories, and technologies."
What sort of list are you currently generating for this challenge? If you knew that the first book on the list is "The End of Power" by Moises Naim. Currently, this title is out of stock at, which might make sense since Mark invited thirty million faces to read along with him. Currently, more than eighty thousand of those invited faces have given him their thumbs up, which means that sales for Mister Naim's book are likely to experience a very steep spike. The subtitle, "From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being In Charge Isn't What It Used to Be," does give me pause, considering the massive influence Mister Zuckerberg's invention seems to have. Being in charge might not be what it used to be, since once upon a time being a leader took place in a world without the Book of Face. Now, leadership starts with a web address. This is the bully pulpit of our generation. Not too long ago, all you really needed was your own television show.
Now, we have the CEO of Facebook reminding us that "books allow you to fully explore a topic and immerse yourself in a deeper way than most media today." Most media? I can remember a time when I laughingly suggested that I would only see movies that had their own web site. If I were to reverse that stand, that would put me back in that media void. Now I live in a world where cultural trends are determined via thumbs up or thumbs down, clicking on "like." I know that I shouldn't complain, since anything that gets books in readers' hands is a good thing. Isn't it?

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