Breaking Into Books is an ongoing series I post every other Sunday with tips and advice for new readers. Last time, I shared tips for establishing a reading routine and today I’ll be discussing how to find and make friends with other readers 📚
Whether it’s having a general chat about your reading habits, in-depth discussions about a book you love or even sending each other bookish memes making friends with readers and people in the bookish community makes reading so much fun. Reading can be enjoyed as a solitary activity, but it can also be very social and involving other people can massively improve your reading experience. I’d recommend all readers to find bookish friends because it’s a real game changer as a reader.
The benefits of having bookish friends in your life are huge, especially when you’re just starting out. It helps with motivation, recommendations, moral support, encouragement and so much more. Reading wouldn’t be half as much fun for me without the amazing people I have in my life that love books as much as I do. Whether you already have people in your life that read or not, there are lots of ways that you can involve friends in your reading experience to make it more fun and plenty places to find new friends that love to read, if you don’t currently have any, starting right here on this blog!
Where to find bookish friends
1. Your friends and family
The first obvious place to look for bookish friends is at the people that are already in your life. Do you have someone in your life that reads? Or perhaps someone that doesn’t read but would be up for giving it a go? Drop them a message or give them a call and ask if they want to do a buddy read with you. You might be surprised at how many people in your life will be willing to join you in a buddy read. Even if it’s only for one book, it’s a great motivator and way to get started with reading. It can also give you something new to bond over with somebody in your life that you love.
YouTube has an entire corner of it devoted to reading referred to as Booktube. There are lots of great Booktubers that post book related content and offer communities that you can join. Whether it’s participating in discussions in the comments section on videos, joining Discord servers or Patreon’s, Booktube has spaces where you can make bookish friends. I’ll be making a post soon where I share my favourite Booktubers so keep your eyes peeled for that if you’re interested. But some good places to start is to search for a book or genre you’re interested in, check out some Booktubers that discuss it and find someone that appeals to your tastes.
3. Blogging sites
Now, admittedly I’m biased here 😂 but WordPress is a fantastic place to find bookish friends. There are lots of book bloggers that are always willing to chat about books and make new friends (myself included!). In addition to WordPress there’s Wix, Blogger, Tumblr, Weebly and more! Browse online and you’ll be sure to find plenty of bloggers, both new and seasoned readers, to bond with over books.
Most libraries offer book clubs and book events that you can join or participate in. Due to COVID-19, they might not be taking place right now but it’s worth checking out when libraries re-open. It’s also possible that some libraries are holding online community events and book clubs for their local community. Even if you don’t have time to get involved with anything specific, visiting a library and striking up a conversation with others that are there can lead to a beautiful bookish friendship.
5. Other social media sites
Social media in general is a great place to find and connect with new people that share the same interests. YouTube, Instagram and blog sites are the best places in my experience, but other sites like Reddit, Linkedin, Facebook, Twitter and Discord are also worth checking out. There are multiple Subreddits that are particularly useful for readers to participate in book discussions including r/books, r/booksuggestions and r/literature.
6. The local community
Depending on where you live, your community may offer opportunites to network and meet other readers. Whether it’s literature festivals, author meet and greets, writer conferences, book readings, societies at a university (if you’re a student), there’s a variety of ways to get involved in book communities and events in real life as well as online. Once again, many of these things won’t be happening right now but it’s great to get involved in the future.
That wraps up my recommendations of where to find bookish friends. As a reader, I can’t emphasise how valuable it’s been to have friends that read. If I didn’t have my group of bookish friends I’m not sure I would’ve ever got back into reading fully. They encouraged, motivated and supported me every step of the way; shared in my excitement and enthusiasm, gave me great book recommendations and were generally a huge part of me falling in love with reading again. Even now, they pull me through slumps, let me gush about my favourite books and provide me with validation for my love of books.
I hope this helps those of you that are new to the bookish community to find new spaces to share your love of books and make friends that you can be a nerd with 🤓😂 feel free to message me anytime about book related things and I’ll always reply (maybe with too much enthusiasm)!
Stay safe, my lovelies and keep reading.