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How the Online Book Community Helped Me Make Friends Across the World

Olivia Páez

Staff Writer

Olivia Páez is a Cuban-American journalism major. When she’s not writing articles for her classes, you can probably find her devouring a novel or watching a classic film. Along with reading and watching films, she has a hodgepodge of interests. Some of them include writing, sketching, traveling, dressing up as some of her favorite characters, and caring for the environment.

The digital book community and those who are a part of it have changed my life for the better. I never realized that speaking about my love for books on WordPress, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, and Youtube would make such a big impact on my life, but it’s completely transformed me as a person. The online book community has provided me with solace and a world of friendships that I never knew could be made through social media.

Back in high school, I didn’t fit in. Yes, I know I’m a walking cliche when I say that, but I didn’t have people around me who shared the same interests as me. No one wanted to talk about the latest book I’ve bought, nor did they care about the upcoming book-to-movie adaptation that I was eagerly waiting to see. I didn’t have an outlet to speak about stories and the fictional characters I loved. That is, until I found a tiny community on the internet.

Connecting book worms, the online bookish and reading communities have the power to develop and cultivate powerful friendships. book life | reading life | online book community | how to make friends

Discovering The World of BookTube

BookTube is a community of YouTubers who have channels centered primarily around their love for books. Once I discovered this community on YouTube, I began to earnestly watch BookTubers like Katytastic and PolandBananasBOOKS haul novels that they’ve bought, review books that they’ve recently read, and talk about the books that they’re hoping to read each month. BookTube opened a door for me that could never be closed. I finally found my niche, a tiny corner on the internet where I felt as though I belonged.

And I couldn’t get enough of it.

How BookTube Inspired Me to Become a Book Blogger

After discovering BookTube, I began to think, “I would love to review books to share my thoughts about them with the world!” So I did. I created a WordPress with my best friend called “Stories For Coffee,” which originally was created to share our short stories but quickly became a home for our amateur book reviews.

Soon enough, I created a Tumblr, Instagram, and YouTube centered around my love for all things fictional, not knowing how many friendships I would make along the way on this wonderful journey.

Making Friends in the Book Community

As I slowly built up my following across my book-related social media channels, I began to form friendships with bloggers across the globe. I made friends within my state, across the nation, and even on other continents. We first began talking about our favorite books and characters to break the ice, but we quickly formed friendships that ran so much deeper than just discussions about what we’re reading.

The book community is filled with an endless amount of wonderful and supportive people who are willing to rave to you about a series they love, but also open to hearing about your day-to-day life. They are like your typical friend who shares the same interests, except they live in another state or even country as you.

I slowly learned that a friendship doesn’t necessarily need to be made “in real life” in order for it to be seen as “real.” Friendships made online are just as valid and valuable as those made through traditional face-to-face communication.

Thanks to the online book community, I not only found an outlet to express a passion of mine, but I also made lifelong friends along the way.

We have helped each other through thick and thin, listened to each others problems, and talked to each other on a day-to-day basis through social media. It still warms my heart whenever I’m finally able to meet an online friend in real life to spend a day together gushing over our favorite books, movies, and television shows.

How the Book Community Has Changed My Life

The book community has brought me out of my shell and gave me opportunities that I could only have dreamed of coming my way. Throughout the years, I’ve been able to attend YALLFest, a book convention in South Carolina, with friends that I made online who welcomed me with open arms and spoke to me as if we’ve known each other for years. I’ve also been able to meet up with other bloggers in my area to explore bookstores in New York City, where we wander streets for hours and fall into an easy conversation that I never want to end.

Blogging has not only allowed me to attend wonderful bookish events like YALLFest, Book Expo, and BookCon, but it’s also reminded me that one can make friends even in the most unlikely of places.

I never imagined having friends all around the world, but I’m so glad I do. Whenever we talk online, it feels as though we are all in a room together, chatting for hours on hand as if we’ve been friends for a majority of our life. The book community has changed me forever, and I’m grateful for the friends I’ve made along the way and the ones who will stick by my side for years to come, even if we live miles and miles away from one another.