IS YOUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION TO READ MORE? HERE ARE BOOKISH PLATFORMS TO GET YOU STARTED
Reading is one of those hobbies that could easily be lost in time if you're not picking up the right books for you, or taking note of the stories you like as a reader. Thankfully, there are platforms online that could help you get right on track.
One of the most common New Year’s resolutions that people throw around every January 1st is the promise to “read more.” And like any resolution that we have failed at time and time again, the first week of the year usually fills us with the energized determination to do just that. But as the months fly by, and reality starts to catch up to us again with responsibilities for both work and school piling up, that promise is yet again lost to the wind—only to be revisited the next time we have to make a sparkly new resolution.
The key to keeping up with reading goals, though, is not so much reliant on the disciplined practice and determination to read, but more on the titles you choose to add to your TBR, or your “To Be Read” pile. After all, you could have all the time and dedication in the world to finish that one book you’ve always wanted to read, but if it’s simply not something that sparks your interest at the time, you’re never going to get over that reading slump. Best come back to that when you’re well on your reading marathon.
Some fun ways to spark your interest back to reading could include checking out platforms that offer tracking, recommendations, and challenges that you could join. These are groups, apps and websites online that are specifically designed to give readers the most accurate set of books for their taste, mood, and more.
Here are a few platforms for your reading pleasure:
Probably the biggest and most popular book platform is Goodreads, standing as a major authority for book awards, ratings, and community reviews. A big part of the platform revolves around community engagement, and how other readers rate the books. There are also user-generated lists for the broadest themes (“Most Notable Books of 2020,” “Holiday Romance Stories,” etc.) to the most specific (“Books with Cafes, Inns, and Restaurants in the Title,” “Lockdown Titles,” “YA Books with POC Leads,” etc.)
“Life’s too short for a book you’re not in the mood for.” Storygraph‘s whole algorithm revolves around moods, which means that you can get recommendations based on what you’re in the mood for, and you can also track what type of books you generally gravitate towards in your statistics. What makes this platform different as well is that, upon clicking on a title, it lets the book speak itself with reviews and ratings at the very bottom. This way, readers can check out what the book is all about without ratings clouding their judgment beforehand. The platform also hosts challenges, reading goals, and tracking systems.
Here’s one platform that mixes social media with the book community with an emphasis on connecting with other readers all around the world. Users can organize their bookshelves, rate books with badges (points for “World building”, “Story”, “Characters”, etc.), and manage their profiles with all their favorite books and most recommended ones. BookSloth users are also highly encouraged to open up discussions with one another with their in-app messaging feature.
Book Instagram houses a thriving community on the platform that’s all about books. Thousands of creators with Bookstagram accounts post reviews, recommendations, and other bookish discussions using the hashtag, and engaging with other book lovers on the app. This is a much less tailored approach to getting reviews and recommendations, but it’s a fast way to check out the most talked-about books online. Plus, you can follow your favorite creator accounts to get a regular stream of book recommendations while you’re scrolling on social media.
For something more local, there’s a wide array of groups on Facebook that are full of thousands of members that will readily reply to recommendation requests, or any bookish questions. You’d need to join these groups online to access their discussions first. But once you’re in, it’s a sea of fellow book lovers keen to help each other out find the best titles for each other. There are the occasional review posts and conversation starters, but even if you just want to blend in with the crowd and be a silent member, you’ll surely find something perfect for you. Here are a few to check out: book recs for bookworms, book recs with a bit of context, and ANYTHING BOOKISH PH.