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Editorial: Reading is trending on social media

While there has always been and always will be people who love to read, social media has influenced the sale of books and reading in the past few years.

During the peak of the pandemic, people stuck at home picked up reading as a way to pass the time, driving sales and kickstarting a rise in popularity of books across social media.

Although videos revolving around books have been available since the start of YouTube, BookTube really got underway in 2010.  With BookTok’s increase in popularity within the past few years, reading has taken off and made the book community even more prevalent.

These social media platforms have given new and independent authors a way to advertise their books and get a steady following, helping authors in a time where self-publishing is becoming more popular.

Readers also have access to more stories. This trend is allowing people who love to read or are learning to love to read to come together and share in their favorite books and genres, and book recommendations are now easier to come by.

However, with the rise of reading, there comes the good and the bad. While there are amazing books coming out of the woodworks, some books are thought to be way overhyped.

Influencers are advertising books they are being paid to read, and authors with large followings are taking over the internet.

Colleen Hoover, one of the most popular authors of social media, has even sold more copies than the Bible this year, according to NPD BookScan, and has four books in the top 10 of The New York Times Best-Seller list.

While everyone has different preferences, romance has become one of the top-selling genres due to the hype across the different platforms.

Social media isn’t the cause of book trends. Book-to-film adaptations also increase the sales of popular books, which has been notable throughout the decades with books like “Twilight,” “The Hunger Games” and, more recently, “Dune.”

Fanfictions like “After” by Anna Todd are also becoming more widely read.

Avid readers used to be the object of bullying, thought of as boring or nerdy for loving to read. Reading as a trend allows people to relish in their love of reading, and younger generations won’t have to be ashamed.

Book sales skyrocketed in 2020 and increased even more in 2021; however, book sales are starting to decline again even though BookTok is still in full swing.

All trends fluctuate and go away, but reading is a wonderful thing for people to be excited about. This trend is definitely not harming anyone, and we hope it is here to stay.

This editorial reflects the general opinion of The Spectator.

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