Happy Thursday! Today I’m bringing you the final installment of my “Finding Good Books” series. Part one of this series was about finding good books from booksellers. Part two dealt mainly with Audible and audiobooks. For this last post, I’ll be writing about how to use social media to help you discover your next literary excursion.
It’s actually perfect timing for a post like this because my students have been researching information about social media for a classroom debate, so I’ve been thinking about these ideas for weeks now. I’ve talked about my love/hate relationship with social media before, but today I’m focusing on the positive ways social media can help you discover new books. I’ve narrowed this down into four categories based on the sites and ideas I’ve found most helpful. Up first is Twitter.
Twitter is great for book lovers because most publishing houses and authors are all about selling their content to a web-based audience. Just think about how much more they can sell by linking directly to Amazon or another online retailer. Here are my tips for using Twitter:
- Follow authors, publishers, and reviewers. It’s obvious that you’ll follow your favorite authors, but following publishing houses and reviewers (like the New York Times Book Review) can expose you to titles you might never see.
- Follow book-based organizations like SparkNotes, GoodReads, and BookRiot. All of these are great places of inspiration.
- If you’re really ready to dig in, search for reading-inspired hashtags like #amreading, #readinggoals, or #bookish. Chances are you’ll find some like-minded people with opinions to share.
Did you know that on Instagram there are different “communities” for people with different interests? No? Me neither–at least not until this time last year. Just try searching #dogsofinstagram #writersofinstagram or #teacherprobs to find a few of these little communities. Here are some tips:
- #Bookstagram is a thing. It’s a real live community with hundreds of people who love taking pictures of books, sharing their reviews, and posting about their favorite authors and quotes. If you want to see just how many beautiful editions of Pride and Prejudice there are, go check out Instagram!
- Follow, Follow, Follow. On Instagram, I’d recommend following mainly publishers, since they’ll be the ones putting out lists of new books you might be interested in. Following authors is also an option, but unless they’re very prolific, they might post more about their personal lives than their works-in-progress.
If you haven’t heard of Goodreads, it’s basically Facebook for book lovers. You can create shelves, share reviews, keep an inventory of your books, and check in to see who’s reading what. I don’t use Goodreads often, but it’s nice to have a place to keep track of my “want to read” list. The Goodreads app lets you scan book barcodes and add them to your shelves or your TBR list, which makes it an easy tool for inventorying your collection. You can also find contests, challenges, and giveaways on Goodreads! To see what it looks like, check out my Goodreads profile.
Now, this isn’t exactly social media, but I think this is also a very helpful tip when you’re looking for new books. If you have an iPhone, you can save information to a reading list and find it again later. I tend to use this tool when I’m on Twitter and see an article or a list of books I’d like to read again later. Here’s a look at my Reading List from a few weeks ago:
And, last but not least, don’t forget that there are book bloggers galore out there who would love to share their recommendations with you! Check out my friend Elizabeth over at Finding Eloquence, my friend Kelsey’s bookstagram, or just google “Book Blogs.” You never know what you’ll find!