How to Make Friends in the Bookish Community: A Guide by a Card-Carrying Extrovert

Hey friends! Today, I’m bringing to you a how-to post that I’m actually super proud of (and that a lot of people were excited for, if my Twitter polls were anything to judge by, lol).

Even before the COVID-19 lockdown, the nature of an online community such as ours can lead to us feeling like we exist in a bubble of solitude. For some people, that’s not so bad! But others create book blogs, bookstagrams, booktubes, or join book Twitter because they went to make friends with other bookish people.

If you find yourself scrolling through your feed wishing you had more people to talk to about your favorite reads, this post is for you!

Comment on people’s blog posts, videos, Instagram posts, or reply to tweets.

This is one of the easiest ways to make friends in the bookish community! People like it when their work is appreciated, and the best way to do that is by leaving a comment. Even if it’s something as simple as “I loved this!” on a video or post or replying “I totally agree!” to a tweet, trust me when I say that we bookish content creators love this shit. People tend to notice those who consistently comment on their stuff and often return the favor by commenting as well – that sounds like the great foundation of an online friendship to me!

Join book clubs, buddy reads, and readathons.

One of the best ways to make friends in the bookish community is to bond over the books you love. After all, that’s why we’re all here, aren’t we? Find people with similar tastes in books as you by joining book clubs, signing up for readathons, or simply buddy reading a book with someone!

Need some ideas for book clubs or readathons to follow? Here are some of my favorites!

  • Wikathon, dedicated to Filipino authors
  • Bitch Readathon, dedicated to The Wolf of Oren-Yaro by K.S. Villoso
  • Indian Lit Readathon, dedicated to Indian authors
  • Black Hotties Book Club, Black reviewers reading Black authors
  • The Poppy Warathon (Discord server coming soon, in the meantime follow hosts Krisha and Nandini), dedicated to The Poppy War, The Dragon Republic, and The Burning God by R.F. Kuang
  • The Trihoes, three Filipino booktubers reading fantasy and sci-fi written by authors of color
  • Daevabaddies, a Discord server dedicated to City of Brass, Kingdom of Copper, and Empire of Gold by S.A. Chakraborty
  • Asian SFF, a Discord server dedicated to fantasy and sci-fi written by Asian authors
  • Sapphicathon, dedicated to reading books featuring sapphic romance
  • Latinx-a-thon, dedicated to reading books by Latinx authors
  • Ramadan Readathon, dedicated to celebrating Muslim authors throughout the month of Ramadan
  • Disability Readathon, a readathon focused on promoting and celebrating disabled authors

Join book tours.

Book tours are great. If accepted (stick around for a post on how to get chosen for a book tour, coming soon!) not only do you get to read an ARC, you’ll probably find yourself amongst people who likely have the same taste in books you do (after all, you signed up for the same tour!) who will also boost and comment on your review! The tour hosts will also boost and comment on your review, and, best of all, you might even get to chat with the author through interviews hosted on your blog or end-of-tour/beginning-of-tour Twitter chats!

Just remember to make sure that you’re following all tour protocol, such as refraining from posting negative reviews until after the tour and not tagging authors in less-than-stellar reviews.

Here are some book tour companies and individual hosts that I’ve enjoyed working with

And some book tour companies I personally haven’t worked with yet I’ve heard nothing but good things about!

Take advantage of geographic similarities.

This is especially effective for non-US/non-UK folks! There’s a whole lot of nuance, current events, cultural quirks, in jokes, and even challenges unique to the international bookish community, which itself also varies depending on what country you’re from. It’s tons of fun to be able to talk about stuff you know no one else in the bookish community will understand unless they grew up or currently live in your city!

Let your friends introduce you to their friends.

To be honest, a lot of my closest friends in the bookish community became my friends in the first place because I was introduced to them by someone else! Let yourself be added to DM groups and Discord servers and just let the conversation flow naturally. Before long, your friend’s friends could be your friends as well!

Talk about non-bookish stuff too.

The great thing about the bookish community is that we’re all often very passionate about things other than books – and that just might be the thing that gets you your newest best friend! I’ve seen people bond over things like plants, cats, travel, Avatar: The Last Airbender (hmu if you ship Zukka, Sukka, Tyzula, or Zutara), K-Pop, Animal Crossing, The Old Guard (if you love this really cool movie, please hmu), politics/current events, Taylor Swift (also hmu), and so much more!

BE YOURSELF.

This adage is an oldie but a goodie. Don’t ever fake anything just to be accepted by others. Be true to who you are! Unless who are is a racist, a queerphobe, or ableist. In which case maybe yeah, do be someone else.

Let’s chat!

☕ What do you think of these tips?
☕. Have you tried any of these tips? Did they work for you?
☕ Do you have any tips for making friends in the bookish community?

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Lastly, a horrific explosion rocked the city of Beirut in Lebanon yesterday, injuring and killing thousands of people. Please check out this carrd and donate to the Lebanese Red Cross if you can

34 thoughts on “How to Make Friends in the Bookish Community: A Guide by a Card-Carrying Extrovert

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  10. I have been wanting to meet more people through the book blog and Bookstagram community, but I always feel awkward reaching out to people. This post helped me see that other bloggers are looking for the same thing I am. I feel more confident in reaching out to people I feel a connection with now. Thank you for your great post!

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  12. I love this post SO much and will repeat it here even if I already linked back to it and will again at the end of the month. It’s such a great resource. 🥰 I found the best of bookish friends through comments on blogs, I find it easier to be myself and feel less anxious about talking on blogs than on social media, but social media are a great way to start conversations and friendships, too! 🥰 The one thing I’m not too… familiar with, on your list, is the book club and readathon one. I need to try it out sometimes!! 🥰

    Like

  13. As an introvert, I find making friends to be a daunting task but I’m definitely going to use your tips and make try and put myself out there and make more friends!
    Thanks for the tips!

    Like

  14. This is such a helpful post, Kate! Miraculously enough, my awkward af, introvert self has already made some friends in this community so I really appreciate and endorse your post all the more, because these guidelines work. period.

    Like

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  16. This is a great list of helpful tips! As someone who is super introverted, commenting and engaging always seemed so scary and I spent the first 4-5 years on the bookternet just hanging with myself but stepping out of my comfort zone has opened up so many amazing people and it’s truly a highlight of the bookish community! ❤️

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  17. I love this post so much! I’m way too intimidated to do some of these, haha, but I met with most of my bookish friends by commenting on their blog and then doing some buddy reads with them. Or we started to talk about books, and then the conversation naturally progressed to other things. I love seeing bloggers’ interests outside of blogging, and I also enjoy sharing mine. Ahh, I love Taylor Swift! Folklore is such a fantastic album, I’ve had it on repeat since it came out. I’m going to watch The Old Guard with one of my friends tonight, and I’m SO EXCITED. Great post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. These are all such lovely tips! I especially love the one about joining readathons and reading groups because that’s how I met most of my friends. And through discord servers 🙂
    Also, thanks for mentioning Indian Lit Readathon ❤

    Like

  19. As a card carrying introvert I also endorse this advice 😉 if I were to add anything it would be – building up friendships online works the same way as face to face & that means it can take time. Also, just because we may have a thing in common (books baby books!) doesn’t mean that you will ‘click’ with everyone and if you don’t, that’s ok too!

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  20. i love this post so much, and i completely agree with all of your advice! when i first started, i found it so hard to make friends, but as i continued interacting with others’ posts, tweets, etc., friendships just started developing naturally. though i regret being super persistent and commenting on every post and tweet, i probably weirded so many people out 😭

    Like

  21. i love this post and i love you 🥺 i’ve truly become friends with people by talking to them in the comments or replying to tweets, and everyone is so welcoming here!! (and while i found you a bit intimidating at first i know you’re just the friendliest person ever) also the list of ships for atla made me SCREAM ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I love this post! I agree about everything, especially about the people in the bookish community being passionate human beings. I love that I can also talk about politics, K-pop and animals with the friends I’ve made and I love seeing others talk about other things too. And thank you for including me! I enjoy working with you too, tita! 💖

    Liked by 1 person

  23. this is one of the things i struggle with on twitter (since i just joined) and this is super helpful!! internet friends have been such a huge help during this pandemic/lock down, and it makes me feel a lot less lonely! everyday, i can meet new people with the same interests and make connections that make my day.

    Liked by 1 person

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