Hi everyone! I hope you’re all doing well and keeping entertained while the building is closed for a bit longer. As I’ve been racking my brain for topics to discuss here every week, I keep trying to come up with things that will (hopefully) broaden your horizon, which leads me to today’s topic. In our technologically advanced and social media-centered world, there are a lot of ways to consume book-related content that aren’t necessarily reading a book. Not that I want you to read fewer books – reading is awesome! – but I’ve found a lot of content related to reading that has really enhanced my reading experience. I’ve found ways to get more out of my reading, gain more reading connections, and have more fun with books through social media and the other online platforms that I’m going to share with you today. Let’s get to it.
- Goodreads: This is the online platform I’ve been using the longest and it’s a great website. On Goodreads you can find information about any book, join virtual book clubs that focus on any topic you can think of, save books to your digital shelf that you want to read, have already read or that you’re currently reading, see what your friends are reading, participate in a reading challenge and discover so many more books to read. I like to challenge myself to read a certain number of books each year (this year is 100) and Goodreads really helps me keep track. They also host occasional giveaways and have a lot of wonderful author content like interviews, essays, and more.
- Instagram: On Instagram there’s a magical, supportive and kind community called Bookstagram. I’m a part of the community and have been for nearly four years. I still love it. People take photos of books and talk about them; that’s it. Photos range from simple outdoor shots to elaborate set ups to people cosplaying a favorite character. There’s constant excitement around series like Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, The Hunger Games, and more, along with new books, classic books, horror books, all kinds of books. Being part of Bookstagram has gotten me involved in many read-a-thons, fun books photo challenges, read-alongs, and has helped me make some great friends. If you’re craving a conversation about the book you just finished, chances are you can find someone on Bookstagram who wants to talk about it too.
- Book Blogs: When I got into Bookstagram, I also got into blogging. I started running my own blog reviewing books and talking about various nerdy subjects (you can check it out here if you’d like), but I also started perusing other book blogs. Book blogs are a great resource for getting recommendations and discovering if a book will suit your needs. There are blogs that cover every genre; you just have to find one that covers where your interests lie. A few of my favorites are Grimdark Dad, The Unread Shelf, The Grimdragon and Bookish Bliss and Beauty.
- YouTube: Much like Instagram, YouTube has a strong book-loving population called BookTube. It’s similar to a blog in a sense that people are often reviewing books, but a lot of BookTubers also host reading challenges, tell stories sharing their reading experiences, and share their most recently purchased books. A lot of them are charismatic, a joy to watch, and love interacting with their viewers. Some of my favorites are Books and Lala, Chelsea Dolling Reads (she can be a little inappropriate at times, but she’s hilarious and shares a lot of LGBTQ+ books), Thoughts on Tomes and Pages and Pens.
- Podcasts: I LOVE Podcasts. I also love audiobooks, but it’s often easier for me to make time for podcasts. I usually feel like I’m getting something more out of a podcast since it’s broken into episodes and usually one topic per episode, plus if I zone out I don’t have to worry too much about having lost the thread to the larger story. In addition to that, there are a lot of podcasts that are related to books on a broad scale or within a specific genre so there’s a ton to choose from. If I read a book I love, I’ll often go in search of podcasts discussions on it to hear other people’s thoughts or to learn more about it. Westcoast Booksters is great because the hosts read the same book and have a book battle after, essentially pros and cons of the book, plus author interviews. Levar Burton Reads is perfect if you like having books read to you, and Adapt or Perish is extremely relatable for people like me who have a lot of feelings about adaptations (thanks again for that rec, Hannah).
As you can see, with only these five options I’ve shed light on a whole world of different book-related content. The story doesn’t have to end with the last page. The internet is ripe with resources to enhance your literary world, you just have to seek it out. Hopefully some of these examples will be a jumping off point for you. If you have any questions, need recommendations, have feedback or want to share some of your reading experiences with me, let me know. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from you.