Books are coming back to life on social media

Giving the lie to the doomsayers, reading is making a comeback in the most Gen Z way possible – through social media.

Instagram carved out a nice and cozy corner for bibliophiles and gave birth to what is now known as Bookstagram. Readers use the space to post aesthetic images of their current and favorite reads, review them, and leave recommendations for others.

This virtual book club has expanded globally to host a community of readers who discuss their shared love of reading. And the torchbearers are the Bookstagrammers, influencers who post content from their regular reads with detailed reviews and ratings.

Hari Krishnan Prasath, a Coonoor marketing manager who has a blog called @theobviousmystery, is one of many drawn to this community.

“Initially, it was a way to find like-minded people and discover the books they had to offer. Later, I decided to use the platform to give worthy books a chance. to be read but which are not very well known,” he told Deccan Herald.

Created on a whim, Prasath’s Instagram account helped him reconnect to a hobby inspired by his father and three library cards.

“Lately I’ve been pushed, mostly by this community, to read regularly,” Prasath said. “I’ve been part of several reading communities around the world, helping people find their favorite book, and getting help when I needed something beautiful to read.”

The aesthetic of a beautiful book next to a cup of coffee in a cozy reading nook is known to inspire people to pick up a book.

Publishing houses are now approaching Bookstagrammers to publish their books for publicity purposes. Authors send early drafts to them for review and grading in their account before a book launches. Often, famous Bookstagrammers host meetings and interviews with authors and are invited to talks and book signings to provide insight into the style of writing and storytelling.

The pandemic has led many more readers to join this online community.

Hari asked hundreds of people to ask him for suggestions for their first reading, and many became bibliophiles on their own.

Colin L. Johnson