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Social Reading: Bookstagram, Booktube and More

Linda Stevens
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Social reading

Linda Stevens from Harris County Public Library talks about #bookstagram and #booktube as a way to find great book recommendations and discussions online. 

Book Buzz is a blog produced in collaboration with neighborhood librarians from Houston Public Library, Harris County Public Library and the Bellaire Library.

Back in the prehistoric era, if you wanted reading recommendations, you compared clay tablets with your neighbor or met at someone’s cave for a lively discussion. All joking aside, we still get great book ideas from conversing with our friends and book groups are more popular than ever. But intriguing avenues for sharing the best reads have opened up online. Of course, you can head to Goodreads to share your latest book review and evaluate other reader’s favorites, but what about reading nooks in your other social media channels?

If you are an Instagram user and a reader, you need to know about #bookstagram. Basically, this hashtag developed as a book-related picture that also offers favorite reads. It can cover anything from a picture of someone reading or their favorite reading corner to works of art created through using books. As a nosy librarian, I’m looking for the ones that tell me what people are reading!

Some great starter accounts:

  • Poppy Loves Bookclub is a great combination of beautiful book-themed compositions and interesting reads.
  • The Artful Elle adds another favorite of mine to the mix, a themed cup of latte.
  • Subway Book Review is the awesome sharing of what people are reading on the subway.
  • lastnightsreading uses drawings and quotes from author reading events to inspire you to branch out to new authors.
  • catbookclub because librarians love pets almost as much as books, but this hangout is cats only.

YouTube has exciting areas for readers, led by BookTubers. BookTubers offer video book reviews, often complete with comedy routines, over-the-top personalities and author guest stars. Your favorites among BookTubers will depend heavily on the personality match for you of the people creating the videos, since it is much more about them compared to looking at #bookstagram posts. Here are a few to glance through to see if you’ve found your new reading BFF:

  • PolandBananasBOOKS is very popular, heavy on young adult books and comedy fun.
  • ThePoptimist focuses on more literary fiction, but with a grown-up sense of style.
  • SavidgeReads is fun and very English, cozy as having a cuppa with our host Simon.
  • mynameismarines takes on book topics, like books worth a reread, and speaks about them in an honest and interesting way.

Where do you get your social media reading recommendations? Am I missing out on a great source?

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