The library is (virtually) open, thanks to these Filipino Instagram book clubs.
Lockdown: year 2, has definitely given people enough time to adjust to this foreign lifestyle. One of the many coping mechanisms used to make lockdown more exciting is diving into hobbies. Whether it be discovering new passions or rediscovering past loves, hobbies can certainly get a person outside of their own head and bring a sense of freshness to lockdown.
One of the common hobbies that has been discovered and resurrected by many people is a love for reading. The thrill of opening a new or old book (and sniffing its pages) has gripped many a person. This love for reading has engrossed people so much so, that online book clubs have begun popping up all over Instagram.
Communities of people who enjoy the thrill of reading have bound together to create virtual book clubs to encourage and support their fellow readers. Born out of the pandemic, accounts such as The Book Nook, Book___ish and the Twenty-Something Book Club provide current and future book lovers the chance to meet their next favorite book, and a community of welcoming and open fellow readers to discuss these books with.
Choosing Instagram as their book club platform, each account has developed their own brand and aesthetic for their content. Katya Lichauco, of Book___ish, also explains how she sees “the limited character count on Instagram as a fun challenge […] to try to say more with less.”
The Twenty-Something Book Club pulled from their own experiences as twenty-somethings who frequently use Instagram, hoping that creating an account here would allow them to communicate to their target demographic.
The creators of The Book Nook and Katya Lichauco both started their accounts with the intention of documenting their respective reading journeys, both garnering a bigger following than expected.
The Book Nook described their account originally starting “as a journal of sorts to document the books we’ve read,” they added “but it ended up growing and reaching other people too. The IG book community is just so wonderful”
The creators of the Twenty-Something Book Club decided to bring their literature-centered Telegram discussions unto Instagram. Inspired by other Instagram book clubs such as Reese’s Book Club and Book of the Month, these twenty-somethings were hoping to open their riveting discussions to more participants.
Each account is filled with book recommendations, reviews, an open and safe environment to discuss and explore different perspectives, and much more! All of this is available to Instagram users across the country, without having to step foot outside.
Feeling stuck at home? Try reading a book. Starting to feel “pandemic fatigue” or getting tired of the monotony of your daily routine? Try reading a book. Need to distract yourself after sending that risky text? Try reading a book. As the Twenty-Something Book Club puts it, “One of the best parts about reading is that it’s a way to live in someone else’s reality or to transport to a different person’s life, even just for a moment.”
The Book Nook sees the creation of their account as a “silver lining” during the time of the pandemic. Katya Lichauco explains that she has “always been a voracious reader, but the pandemic really amplified this further- now I am also a bookseller! I have a book permanently attached to one of my hands.”
The pandemic has forced people worldwide into states of isolation, although, thanks to these book clubs, it is now possible to band together and bond with all types of people over the wonder of books. Reading provides not only magical and moving stories, but also a community of like-minded people who support and encourage one another’s (sometimes intense) reading habits.
On the days when hours feel like years, walk through worlds where COVID-19 doesn’t exist, explore the depths of other people’s imaginations, and experience the unique feeling of pain when falling in love with fictional characters. Once you’ve done all of this, let it all out on Instagram. Rant and rave with the people you love and with people you haven’t even met yet (in person).
Because reading is what? FUNDAMENTAL!
Other POP! stories you might like: