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A Dialectic With the Everyday: Communication & Cultural Politics on Oprah Winfrey's Book Club
Unformatted Document Text:  Oprah Winfrey’s Book Club 9 books to their responsibilities at home, equally as many women indicated never having developed an interest in books or book reading at all prior to their involvement with the Club. For example, the September 1997 Oprah’s Book Club program featured an interview with Candy Siebert, a woman who had written in to Oprah explaining her newfound interest in the Book Club. Her on air exchange with Winfrey is worth quoting at length: WINFREY: Candy Siebert wrote us to say – Candy, wrote us to say she’s never read a book in her entire life. No one? SIEBERT: Not one. WINFREY: How did that happen? You – can – you can read? SIEBERT: I can read, yeah, I can read. I just never did. WINFREY: How did you get through school without reading one book? SIEBERT: I cheated. I would do the – you know, beginning and the middle and the back cover. And I’d write my report and . . . WINFREY: So you never read a complete book? SIEBERT: I never read a complete book. WINFREY: Until? SIEBERT: Until – I kept watching the Book Club. And it was like something made me want to do this. I was, like, “I got to take part in this. It looks so wonderful.” And there was just so much excitement around. It’s like, “I have to do this.” And finally I bought my first book, and I bought it so I would have to read it. And I did it. I – She’s Come Undone – and I – I cried at the end and it was because I finished it and it was a great book. WINFREY: It was the first book you read at 40 years old? SEIBERT: Yes. WINFREY: I could weep for you. (Oprah’s book club anniversary party, 1997, p. 4)

Authors: Striphas, Theodore.
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Oprah Winfrey’s Book Club 9
books to their responsibilities at home, equally as many women indicated never having developed an
interest in books or book reading at all prior to their involvement with the Club.
For example, the September 1997 Oprah’s Book Club program featured an interview with
Candy Siebert, a woman who had written in to Oprah explaining her newfound interest in the Book
Club. Her on air exchange with Winfrey is worth quoting at length:
WINFREY: Candy Siebert wrote us to say – Candy, wrote us to say she’s never read
a book in her entire life. No one?
SIEBERT: Not one.

WINFREY: How did that happen? You – can – you can read?

SIEBERT: I can read, yeah, I can read. I just never did.

WINFREY: How did you get through school without reading one book?

SIEBERT: I cheated. I would do the – you know, beginning and the middle and the
back cover. And I’d write my report and . . .
WINFREY: So you never read a complete book?

SIEBERT: I never read a complete book.

WINFREY: Until?

SIEBERT: Until – I kept watching the Book Club. And it was like something made
me want to do this. I was, like, “I got to take part in this. It looks so wonderful.”
And there was just so much excitement around. It’s like, “I have to do this.” And
finally I bought my first book, and I bought it so I would have to read it. And I did it.
I – She’s Come Undone – and I – I cried at the end and it was because I finished it
and it was a great book.
WINFREY: It was the first book you read at 40 years old?

SEIBERT: Yes.

WINFREY: I could weep for you. (Oprah’s book club anniversary party, 1997, p. 4)


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