If you're anything like me, the world of internet reading can be wonderful and scary at the same time. Wonderful because you're sure to find someone who likes reading books. Scary because it takes a while to jump in and get to know people. It's a big world out there, and sometimes those of us who are used to it forget that there are newcomers in the corner wondering exactly how this thing works. Maybe you're a bookworm who would love some good community, but your Twitter is a never-ending stream of advertisements. Maybe you've been part of the book community for a long time, and you're looking for a way to refresh and revitalize your reading experience.
This post is a a run-down of my favorite platforms in the online book community, and who you might enjoy following. At the end, there's opportunity for you to chime in too, so stick around! I hope this post inspires you with ways you can incorporate your love of books on the internet, as well as giving you a few new online friends to follow who share your love of all things reading.
Blogger is one of my favorite ways to talk about books. Blog reviews have gifs, funny asides, deep thoughts, content warnings, and sometimes a long essay of careful thought on the book it's currently featuring. Book reviews help me think--sometimes agreeing, sometimes disagreeing, but always being benefited. It's wonderful to have my mind expanded by seeing a book through someone else's eyes.
Some fantastic reading-related blogs are:
Book Geeks Anonymous
Twitter is extremely limited as to word count, but I've still found an amazing amount of readers who are active on it. You can take selfies with books you're reading. You can tweet your blog reviews and tag the book's author. (You might even get them to look at it! I have.) You can post emotional feels as you read along ("ACK. I JUST COLLAPSED IN A PUDDLE OF TEARS." Ahem.) And you can find plenty of helpful suggestions when you're wondering which book to read next.
Some of my favorite Twitter accounts are:
Instagram offers a place for you to capture your reading environment with a camera. If you love photography and books, this is the place for you. Unfortunately, you have to have a smartphone, tablet, or iPod to post pictures, but you can still create an account to like and comment with a regular PC computer. I'm new to Instagram, so I'm still navigating the world of hashtags and photos, but I love seeing what other people have done. Some cool Instagram bookworms are:
I don't even have to read the books to appreciate the cover eye candy.
Goodreads is by far my favorite reading platform. Every morning I get email updates of the books my friends have shelved and reviewed. I can go on Goodreads to save books I want to read someday. I can label shelves with "didn't finish" or "summer reading list" and break up the stacks of books by category. I can also update statuses of books I'm currently reading and record my thoughts and impressions for friends to see as I go along. I'm constantly inspired by what friends are reading, and refer to reviews on Goodreads when I'm checking out new books. I like them better than Amazon in that respect. I've even found favorite books (Fierce Convictions for example) just through Goodreads friends. Goodreads is fairly safe--you'll have advertisements, but not too many, and it's not run by algorithms so you get to see everything your friends post. I had an account for a while and never used it. Now I use it almost daily.
Some of reviewers on Goodreads who I would highly recommend are:
Pro Tip: For all of these platforms, the best way to get to know people is to pick a friend you particularly appreciate and scroll through a list of people they enjoy following. That's the best way I've found for meeting new people and trying new things as safely as possible.
I've given an overview with some suggestions on how you can use these websites to enjoy the books you're reading with other people. But I would love to see this become a hub of suggestions: platforms you enjoy (anyone have suggestions on Facebook?) people you enjoy following, and your own social media accounts (please keep it primarily book related) so people reading the comments can find more new friends. Join us, and let's expand the book loving community!