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Widget allows book clubs to occur anywhere on the Web

The Book Oven blog has brought to our attention a unique social networking site called BookGlutton that seeks to provide users with a new way to read online. According to the website, the application allows users to “build an experience that is simultaneously a book group, a computer, and a book” by using a free, Web-based e-book reader called the Unbound Reader that features shared and private annotations and contextual instant messaging.

Of particular interest is the site’s newly released widget, officially called the “Book Launcher,” but jokingly referred to as the “Punk Rock Widget” in the BookGlutton office (due to its total hardcore awesomeness, not its resemblance to Sid Vicious). With the help of this free application, BookGlutton users can embed the book they’re reading, as well as the community of users reading along with them, directly into their own site. A recent post on the BookGlutton blog includes a YouTube video demonstrating the widget in action.

While the idea of an easily accessible, “in-the-moment” book club does seem well-suited to the immediacy of today’s online world, this Quillblogger wonders if online book clubs really are the way of the future. After all, how can you drink wine and eat cupcakes on the Internet?