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!
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.
☕ 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?
Also, don’t forget to check out this carrd for information on various causes like #BlackLivesMatter, #JunkTerrorLawNow, and #FreePalestine.
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