Newsletter 1

10 Great Things Happening on Litsy Right Now

A.J. O'Connell

Staff Writer

A.J. O’Connell is the author of two published novellas: Beware the Hawk and The Eagle & The Arrow. All she’s ever wanted to do in life is read and write books, and so, is constantly writing at least one novel. She holds an MFA in creative fiction, but despite the best efforts of her teachers at Fairfield University's low-residency program, remains a huge dork for sci-fi, fantasy and comic books. She is a journalist and has taught journalism to college students. She blogs about feminism, the writing life, and whatever else comes into her head at Blog: A.J. O'Connell Twitter: @ann_oconnell

First things first — are you on Litsy? (A wise woman once described Litsy as being  Goodreads’ and Instagram’s perfect baby.)

If you’re on Litsy, you may have just been using it to share your reading, review books, and post pictures of your cat with books. I mean, that’s what I use it for. But there are some pretty great things happening on Litsy right now, like book clubs, book swaps, recommendations and gift swaps.

Some of them are big, organized groups. Some are small efforts run by two or three people. Below is a list of 10 hashtags and usernames that will lead you to the awesome things happening on Litsy.

  1. #bookswap – There are several Littens running book swaps and meetups. Do a hashtag search (and be prepared to then go to Twitter and Facebook to get the details) to find those folks in your area.
  2. #giveaway – Publishers and authors and even some readers are always doing giveaways on Litsy. Search the #giveaway hashtag to find the ones happening now.
  3. #LitsyBookClub – The Litsy Book Club reads one book a month, and then holds a live discussion on a seperate app, although discussions also happen on Litsy itself; @litsybookclub posts discussion questions in its feed and anyone can follow along. If you’re interested in joining the book club, all the information you need to join is here, and be sure to pick up December’s read: Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter.
  4. @LitsyFeministBookClub: An unofficial book club that meets on Litsy. They read to enrich social awareness and build empathy. The last book they read was Octavia Butler’s Kindred — discussion questions are posted right now.litsy-feminist-book-club
  • #LitsyGoesPostal: What is LitsyGoesPostal? Well, if you’re old enough to remember actual, hard-copy chain letters, it’s kind of like that, but with books. If you’re not, here’s how it works: A postal book club is a book club that’s based around a list of addresses. Everyone on the list selects a book and a notebook and mails it out to the next address on the list. Every time a book comes to their house, they read the book, make a note, and send it to the next person on the list. Eventually their own book comes back to them — well-read — and the accompanying notebook is filled with notes and mementos. The original @LitsyGoesPostal book club is no longer taking members, but they’re offering advice to others on how to form their own postal book clubs, and some of those have already sprouted up.litsygoespostal
  • #overthis: #overthis sprang up the day after the election, when two Litsy users decided they were done with the election and done with hate. They began compiling a post-election social justice reading list, and asked their friends to contribute to it. Litsy responded with an avalanche of recommendations: books written by authors of color, books about oppression, books by Native authors, books by LGBTQIA authors, books about disability, books about feminism. There were so many books that the two organizers decided to turn it into a syllabus. I don’t think that syllabus is live yet, but if you search the #overthis hashtag, you will get enough recs to tide you over.litsy-overthis
  • #ReadHarder: Okay, so obviously we’re biased, but we like the hashtags for BookRiot’s Read Harder 2016 Challenge (#ReadHarder and #ReadHarder2016). People on Litsy are using the app to share their progress on the list of 24 reading tasks. If you’re a fast reader, you can still get in on that. If not? Well, you can join us for next year’s Read Harder.
  • #recommendsday – Need a recommendation? Every Wednesday is recommendsday.
  • #SecretSantaGoesPostal/#WinterSolsticeBookExchange: This effort, coordinated by one dedicated Litsy user, has paired up more than 100 Littens worldwide. People signed up to send books to one another in mid-November, are sending their gifts to one another now, and everyone will open their presents on Dec. 21.litsy-secret-santa
  • #WeNeedDiverseBooks and #OwnVoices – If you are looking to read books by authors of color and are looking for a place to start with recommendations, these are good hashtags to search. You can also search for events like#DiversityMonday, September’s #diverseathon or #OwnVoicesOctober. Those events might not be happening right at this moment, but all the recommendations are still there.

    And of course, if  you’re on Litsy, you should follow us. We’re @BookRiot.