Oprah's Book Club - Influence

Influence

In Reading with Oprah: The Book Club That Changed America, Kathleen Rooney describes Winfrey as "a serious American intellectual who pioneered the use of electronic media, specifically television and the Internet, to take reading—a decidedly non-technological and highly individual act—and highlight its social elements and uses in such a way to motivate millions of erstwhile non-readers to pick up books."

Business Week stated:

Perhaps the most astonishing aspect of the Oprah phenomenon is how outsized her power is compared with that of other market movers. Some observers suggest that Jon Stewart of Comedy Central's The Daily Show could be No. 2. Other proven arm-twisters include Fox News's Sean Hannity, National Public Radio's Terry Gross, radio personality Don Imus, and CBS' 60 Minutes. But no one comes close to Oprah's clout: Publishers estimate that her power to sell a book is anywhere from 20 to 100 times that of any other media personality.

In 2009 it was reported that the influence of Winfrey's book club had even spread to Brazil with picks like A New Earth dominating Brazil's best-seller list.

The club generated so much success for some books that they went on to be adapted into films. This subset includes The Deep End of the Ocean and The Reader.

At the shows conclusion in May 2011, Nielsen BookScan created a list of the top-10 bestsellers from the Clubs final 10 years (prior data was unavailable). The top four with sales figures as of May 2011:

  1. Eckhart Tolle, A New Earth (2005), 3,370,000 copies
  2. James Frey, A Million Little Pieces, 2,695,500 copies
  3. Elie Wiesel, Night, 2,021,000 copies
  4. Cormac McCarthy, The Road, 1,385,000 copies

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