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Fountain Bookstore launches book club for Twitter fans.

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The world is about to get a whole lot bigger for the agoraphobic bibliophile demographic, thanks to a local independent book store, a nationally known literature blogger and the social media site Twitter.

The FountainReads book club marks what Kelly Justice, owner of the Fountain Bookstore in Shockoe Slip, believes is a first for Richmond: a Twitter book club.Aÿ

“It's one of the few in the nation — I think there's two others,” says Justice, who's working with Rebecca Joines Schinsky — better known in the blogosphere at thebookladysblog.com. This past Monday marked the club's inaugural group tweet, with an online discussion of “A Reliable Wife” by Robert Goolrick.

Expressing complex ideas about literature in 140-character bursts of typed conversation may or may not be the right format for a book club, but Justice says she's hopeful that the tool gives her independent book store a leg up against such big boxes as Barnes and Noble.

“It's matching the right person with the right book — it's called hand selling in the business,” she says. “There's more ways than ever to do that.”

Schinsky sees it as a way to broaden the conversation.

“We can now have people all over the country involved in this Twitter book club,” she says. “What's neat about this combination is the Fountain is local, but … I've got followers all over the world.”

There's no firm plan for the second club meeting — the first occurred Feb. 1 as Style Weekly was going to press — but Schinsky is thinking monthly. Justice is thinking ahead, too. “I'm looking forward to it,” she says. “I can have book club at my house and in my fat pants instead of where we usually meet, which is restaurants.” — C.D.

To Join
What
: Fountain Bookstore Twitter book club
Where: Search on Twitter.com for the hashtag #fountainreads
When: To be announced

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