THE NEW LIBRARIANS
Celebrities launch book clubs via social media
Despite a perceived decline in the medium, approximately half of youth in the U.S. and UK consider books a very important part of their life. Celebrities are proving to be passionate about them as well, and Oprah isn’t the only one with a book club anymore.
Reese Witherspoon’s book club commenced by happenstance when she posted her second ever Instagram, featuring the book she was currently reading. Since then, she shares her reading list with the #RWBookClub hash tag, sometimes including commentary on her choices or asking fellow readers questions. She also strategically shares books that are becoming movies, particularly ones she’s working on. When it comes to the book versus film adaptation debate, the majority of Trendsetters (61% in the U.S. and 54% in the UK) would rather read the book than watch the film.
The actress started a separate Instagram account for her book club and newsletter, Belletrist, which she co-founded with her writer/producer friend, Karah Peiss. In it, Roberts and Preiss share their current reading lists, book recommendations, and all things literary-inspired, from modern bookstores to classic libraries to clever quotes and memes. The pair selects a new book each month for the club to read and also creates original content, like exclusive interviews with Joan Didion and Arial Levy.
Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine didn’t actually found Between Two Books, but she’s now the figurehead. Named for Florence’s Between Two Lungs song, it started as a Twitter account created by a Florence fan. Founder Leah Moloney initially planned for the club to read books Florence mentioned in interviews, but Florence immediately responded that she’d be happy to personally recommend books—which she does every couple of months. It’s not everyday fans get to interact their idols, even though 45% of U.S. Trendsetters and 41% in the UK say celebrity culture is very important to their lives.