Third Time's a Charm

If you have been following our journey these last several years, you might feel a little lost and that’s understandable. Read Club Hub founder, Nicole Sullivan, came up with the idea of a website that connects readers to book clubs back in 2013, shortly after opening her bookstore, BookBar, in Denver Colorado. In trying to solve for what quickly became one of the most frequent requests from store customers: “Do you have any book clubs I can join?” Sullivan created the site now known as Read Club Hub. It originally launched as bookclubhub.org but had to rebrand in order to avoid market confusion when a .com by a similar URL went live a couple of years later. In an attempt to capture the feeling of community we wished to invoke, we made the regrettable mistake of choosing a name and a brand -readtribe.com- that eventually became crystal clear to us was nothing short of cultural appropriation. We would like to be able to say that we immediately recognized our hurtful appropriation and remedied the situation right away. In the interest of transparency, it took a couple of days to take a deep dive, to listen, to learn, and then to finally rectify a name and a brand that we had been promoting for a few years. Then, as now, we deeply regret and apologize for any harm our branding decisions may have caused to anyone. After all, the entire point of this website is to bring people together. Alienating anyone negates what it is we want to accomplish with this project. We quickly re-re-branded to Read Club Hub in February 2020. 

And then Covid-19… Like many start-ups, we took a deep breath, took a break, and re-evaluated. Nearly a year after putting this project on hold, a world turned upside down and much soul-searching, we realize that this platform is more important than ever. As we are just now starting to emerge from a year of disconnection from one another but hopefully much reading, people are mindfully seeking out their communities with whom to connect and talk about books. Just as importantly, indie bookstores need our help. Read Club Hub connects book clubs to the indie bookstore of their choice and directs all sales to that store. After rebranding three times and having nearly made it through a pandemic, it would be easy to give up. But we believe in this too much. Helping people find their reading community and keeping those sales in the indie channel is just the sort of challenge we’re up for in our new reality. Whatever our future may look like, it’s never been a better time to connect and to support our indie bookstores. So we’re back (again) with big ideas and opportunities for not only readers and bookstores but for libraries and authors as well. We hope you’ll join us and for those of you who have remained with us, we are grateful. Here’s to the next chapter. 

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