Two weeks ago, I had the extreme pleasure of meeting Amy Meyerson, author of The Bookshop of Yesterdays. It is her debut novel and she is currently on her first book tour. It really got me thinking about where the bookish community stands today versus even five years ago.
As a child, my only access to literature was from public or school libraries. Because I read voraciously and lived in a rural community, I ripped through these collections quickly. This led to me reading books that were probably far beyond the level at which I should have been reading, and usually reading through multiple books at once. Walking around with four books in my backpack in fourth grade was not uncommon. Luckily, my parents never censored my reading and always encouraged it.
People today, especially young people, have an incredibly different world open to them. Literally any book can be acquired at the touch of a button, in a matter of seconds. Social media has been a game changer as well. With the rise of sites like Goodreads and Litsy, many readers have found a home where they can talk books and communicate with like minded individuals. The proliferation of the Bookstagram accounts on Instagram feeds our need for pretty things, books, and beauty. And it is all SO ACCESSIBLE. I pick up my phone and here it all is laid out in front of me any time of day or night. The social media movement seems counterintuitive to actual reading, but honestly, I have never read more.
It also has changed the way authors are interacting with their fans. It is discouraged from them to interact with fans through Goodreads and Amazon, so Instagram and Facebook have become more useful. I always encourage authors to get on Litsy whenever possible because it is so unknown, but also so easy for them to interact with fans. Something that Amy Meyerson and author Cynthia Swanson brought up was how easy it is to contact your favorite authors. They mentioned that authors are so much more accessible than most people realize. I encourage you all, reach out. Say hello. Tell them what you have gotten from their work. It means the world.