How the book community can stay connected without leaving the house – some advice and ideas from Penguin Random House!

During these deeply challenging times, books can be a source of comfort and escape. Crucially, they are also a way for us to remain connected even while we’re physically apart.

Bookshops are being forced to close. Book fairs and other literary events have been cancelled. And author’s public readings, tours and signings have been put on hold.

So what can we do to remain united?

You can share your reading recommendations online using #BooksConnectUs, start following your favourite author on social media, and even make use of your local library without leaving the house.

Here are some suggestions:

Supporting your local library online
This is free and oh so simple. Most libraries employ easy-to-use app services such as Libby by Overdrive. All you do is download the app onto your device, select your library service, activate your library membership and borrow to your heart’s content.

Leave an online review of a book you’ve read
When it comes to supporting the authors you love, your words can be as important to them as their words are to you. A review on a site like Amazon, Goodreads or a local online retailer’s site can be crucial to the success of a great book – now as much as ever.

Follow an author on social media
Twitter, Instagram and Facebook are not just the perfect way to peer into a writer’s life through the anecdotes they post, but also to engage directly with them on everything from book recommendations to musings on writing and world events.

Subscribe to an author’s newsletter
One step up from following an author on social media is to subscribe to their newsletter. Many authors use newsletters, not just as an overflow pipe through which to pump out the ideas that didn’t make it into their books, but also to offer writing tips and reading advice and to sell their books directly to their fans. Plus, many of them will be writing more now than ever, given all that spare time. It’s the perfect way to better get to know your favourite wordsmith.

Start a virtual book club
Just because we can’t be together, doesn’t mean we can’t read together. So as more of us hunker down to a life of solitude, we need to find ways of being together, apart. So why not embrace this period of remote work, and livestream a bookclub through Zoom, Skype or Google Hangouts?

Let social media be your book klaxon
If social media is not for sharing love in hard times, then really, what is it for? If you’re housebound, can’t go to your book club or meet friends to talk about books, then let Twitter, Instagram or Facebook be your klaxon. In other words, shout with your fingers, using one of the many hashtags already in use across social media. As we as #booksconnectus, #amreading is one of the most popular, but there are many others, like #booklovers, #bibliophile, #bookaddict and more.

Happy reading!

Penguin Random House SA/Penguin Random House UK

Categories Fiction Non-fiction South Africa

Tags Penguin Random House SA Umuzi

1 Votes


You must log in to post a comment