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What’s the deal with this celebrity book club company?

Jessie Gaynor

August 19, 2020, 10:44am

Harnessing the power of extremely famous people to sell books is nothing new, but what about combining the influence of multiple famous people—from billionaire “philanthropist” Richard Branson to beloved journalist/Twitter lush Susan Orlean—to sell books combined with the vaporous concept of “access” to the minds of the luminaries?

This is the elevator pitch for Literati, a subscription service that bills itself as “the world’s most influential book club.” For $24.95 a month, you’ll receive a book selected by your chosen luminary—in addition to Branson and Orlean, your options are Malala Yousafzai, Steph Curry, and (the late) Joseph Campbell—as well as access to an app through which you can apparently interact with your chosen fame-o, and a note from said fame-o. In the case of Joseph Campbell, the note and the “interaction” will not come from his ghost, but from the Joseph Campbell Foundation. Boo.

Ghosts and billionaires aside, this seems fine and fun, though to misquote Thoreau: Beware of all enterprises that require new apps.

[h/t Publishers Weekly]

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