This Literary Startup Just Launched Celebrity Book Club Boxes for Adults

Ellen Glover
August 20, 2020
Austin-based Literati is starting a new line of book clubs featuring selections from top luminaries
Image: Literati

Literati, a literary startup based in Austin, announced Thursday that it is launching a line of celebrity book clubs, featuring curated selections from an impressive quintet of influential thought leaders. The new platform will be released October 1.

The platform will feature must-reads selected by Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai, philanthropist Richard Branson, two-time NBA MVP Stephen Curry, New York Times bestselling author Susan Orlean and late American mythologist Joseph Campbell, whose work has been selected by his foundation.

Books will be mailed to subscribers monthly, at $24.95 a pop. Members will receive a print copy of their celebrity’s book selection along with a note and special packaging. They will also be the first in line to access Literati’s new app, which will allow the celebrities and members to connect and chat about the books. The app is in beta right now and will be in limited release when the clubs launch in October.

Each club has a theme that coincides with the star who curated it. For example, Curry’s is called Underrated, and it explores what it means to break barriers with books about defying the odds in everything from sports to social justice. Meanwhile, Yousafzai’s club, Fearless, amplifies voices that otherwise may not have been heard and stories that haven’t been told before.

“I think the advantages of being part of a group book club are many,” Yousafzai told Forbes of the new platform. “I think learning in general is an important part of life. And right now we need to acknowledge that we do not know everything.... There are so many things I do not know about. But what I know is that I can read and have the capacity to learn.”

Founded in 2016, Literati’s roots are in children’s books. The company provides monthly boxes with five age-appropriate books for kids aged zero to 12, with the goal of providing a “fun, analog experience where people can discover books and reading and kind of get off their devices,” CEO Jessica Ewing told Built In last year.

Now, Literati will aim to do the same for adults.

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