For us avid readers its no surprise we have countless avenues of which to discover new books and connect with like-minded people:
Bookstagram, Book Blogging, Booktube, and Book Twitter, to name a few!
The internet is not only changing how we’re reading, but also what we’re reading!
From book recommendation threads on twitter, bookish articles listing the newest books of the season, to a new haul on booktube, the latest book on your to-read shelf is never far behind.
According to the Publishers Weekly article titled How Has the Internet Changed Book Culture, a PubTechConnect panel was recapped where the panelists, consisting of online book editors, a bookstore owner, and author, discussed the internet’s effect on literary culture.
“…what the internet allows us to do in changing the way we interact with books is see what people connect with…[,]how people form identity communities, and how those communities affect what they read and how they read it…”
These spaces create and build connections to share our love of books whether it’s a review talking about our favorite characters and plot points or through another form of creative book content. We find ourselves seemingly unable to stop refreshing our feeds because the newest post may introduce us to our next favorite book or a new bookish friend!
Even Vox shared an article in December of 2018 showcasing the influence Instagram (or Bookstagram) has in helping independent bookstores and getting people to buy more physical books. The platform is encouraging readers to not only support their local communities, but also build one online through a love of reading.
With all of this in mind, its not all that surprising then that print sales of books have been on the rise compared to the drop in sales for ebooks and audiobooks.
Good E-Reader, an online news agency which focuses on audiobooks, e-readers, digital publishing and ebooks, shared that in January 2019 the revenue for ebooks had declined 4.9% since last year.
Similarly with audiobooks, Publishers Weekly stated that those sales had the steepest drop in unit sales at 28.9%.
Now back to focusing on “what” we’re reading, it’s clear that depending on who’s in your feed, that will absolutely influence the books you notice and will want to pick up!
Personally, I’ve made so many wonderful friends and seen my TBR grow continuously by following readers and other bookish accounts on Twitter that align with my love of Young Adult, Latinx Books, SFF, etc. & have introduced me to more romance and indie published recommendations that I may not have considered before!
To look at this topic from another perspective, take manga for instance! A recent article from Bound Into Comics shared that manga has found more success in overseas markets and has seen its popularity increase.
Though there are many factors involved, from a book community standpoint, one can’t ignore the increase of manga on Booktube!
Booktubers who mainly read YA are now reading and hauling manga titles! I can only theorize its due to the lasting wave of YA Contemporary in 2015 & 2016 that many began to pick up more manga. It was mainly through Ichigo Takano’s Orange, which falls into the genre of contemporary, realistic fiction (mental health), and merges with a bit of sci-fi, that this newly released manga was put onto many people’s radars, which opened the doors for more booktubers/viewers to discover manga.
This, in my opinion, set the stage for more manga to weave its way into YA Booktubers TBRs!
Now if you scroll through the feed of predominately YA booktubers, many of them are not only starting to pick up more manga, but also encourage other viewers and fellow booktube friends to do the same. This has also led to more manga bookclubs or read-a-thons online.
From my perspective, as a long-time watcher of booktube, being a book blogger for over 3 years, and keeping updated on the newest buzzed books, it’s not surprising that the impact of the internet is allowing for more conversation, especially influencing and inspiring readers to pick up more diverse and inclusive titles!
It’s amazing to see how influential the internet is in the the direction of the book market, what stories we’re seeing next, allowing us readers to curate our TBRs, find new recommendations, and open our eyes to new stories that we may not have known about otherwise!
Its also important to note, the impact word-of-mouth and recommendations from online friends or influencers is continuing to have on the books people decide to add to their To-Read lists, or pick up themselves!
While there’s a variety of factors involved into what gets readers to pick up certain books, one can’t ignore all the good it’s doing to bring people together, introducing them to new fictional worlds, and inspiring them to keep on reading!
There’s many pockets of the internet where one can find new bookish content and discover their next great read and that is something that I don’t see stopping anytime soon!
Thank you so much for checking out this discussion! Feel free to share your own personal experiences on how the internet or the online book community has influenced how/what your reading! 😍📚🍃
Which online bookish communities do you go to for your next read? 📚✨💖
Hey 24hr.YABookBlog here (~˘▾˘)~💞📚✨ I wanted to share a little bit about the inspiration behind this blog discussion! It was mainly influenced by the PW article listed above titled “How Has the Internet Changed Book Culture.” I felt inspired by what the article mentioned about building community and how it impacts what we read! I felt as a book blogger + someone who keeps up to date on the newest book news/trends, etc., I had a lot to say on the subject!
This discussion also would not have been possible without the other fantastic resources I linked above like Vox, Good E-Reader and Publishers Weekly! Close to 3-4 hours of work went into this article, but it was such a fun one to create!
If you can, I would really appreciate if you could check out/donate to my Ko-Fi or share this article with fellow bookish people! As a university student studying journalism, if you could support the work I shared today, it would mean a lot! Thank you!! 📚💖✨📰