The digital book community and those in it have changed my life for the better. I never realized that talking about my love for books on WordPress, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and Youtube would have such a big impact on my life, but it completely transformed me as a person. The online book community has given me solace and a world of friendships I never thought I could make through social media.
In high school, I was out of place. Yes, I know I’m a walking cliché when I say that, but I didn’t have people around me who shared the same interests as me. No one wanted to talk about the last book I bought, or the next book-to-movie adaptation I was looking forward to. I had no outlet to talk about the stories and fictional characters I loved. That is, until I found a small community on the internet.
Discover the world of BookTube
BookTube is a community of YouTubers who have channels primarily centered around their love for books. Once I discovered this community on YouTube, I started seriously watching BookTubers like Katytastic and PolandBananasBOOKS carry the novels they bought, review the books they recently read, and talk about the books they hope to read each month. BookTube opened a door for me that could never be closed. I finally found my niche, a little corner on the Internet where I felt like I belonged.
And I couldn’t get enough.
How BookTube inspired me to become a book blogger
After discovering BookTube, I started thinking, “I would love to review books to share my thoughts about them with the world!” So I did. I created a WordPress with my best friend called “Stories For Coffee”, which was originally created to share our news but quickly became a home for our amateur book reviews.
Soon I created a Tumblr, Instagram, and YouTube centered around my love for all things fiction, not knowing how many friendships I would make on this wonderful journey.
Make friends in the book community
As I built up my followers on my book-related social networks, I started making friendships with bloggers all over the world. I made friends in my state, across the country and even on other continents. We first started talking about our favorite books and characters to break the ice, but we quickly formed friendships that were much deeper than just discussions about what we read.
The book community is filled with an endless number of wonderful, supportive people who are ready to praise you for a series they love, but also open to hearing about your day-to-day life. They are like your typical friend who shares the same interests, except they live in a different state or even country than you.
I slowly learned that a friendship doesn’t necessarily have to be made “in real life” for it to be considered “real”. Friendships made online are just as valid and valuable as those made through traditional face-to-face communication.
Through the online book community, I not only found an outlet to express my passion, but I also made lifelong friends along the way.
We helped each other through thick and thin, we listened to each other’s issues and spoke to each other day to day via social media. It always warms my heart every time I can finally meet a friend online in real life to spend a day together gushing over our favorite books, movies, and TV shows.
How the book community changed my life
The book community brought me out of my shell and gave me opportunities I could only dream of. Over the years, I have been able to attend YALLFest, a book convention in South Carolina, with friends I made online who welcomed me with open arms and spoke to me as if we knew each other. For years. I also got to meet other bloggers in my area to explore bookstores in New York, where we wander the streets for hours and stumble into easy conversation that I never want to end.
Blogging has not only allowed me to attend wonderful book events like YALLFest, Book Expo, and BookCon, but it has also reminded me that friends can be made in even the most unlikely places.
I never imagined having friends all over the world, but I’m thrilled. Every time we talk online, we feel like we’re all in one room, chatting for hours as if we’ve been friends for most of our lives. The book community has changed me forever, and I’m grateful for the friends I’ve made along the way and those who will stick by my side for years to come, even though we live miles and miles away. one of the other.