I think we all know this fact: social media is a big part of our lives, whether we even have a social media account or not. And I think we all know another: that social media has impacted the way we read books. But of course, here are the articles and studies, which all say the same thing with understandable alarm. Reading has gone down, they say. The youth aren’t reading like they used to, they say again. And while this is all may be true, I want to highlight the people who have taken to social media to spread the love of the written word—of both contemporary and classic works—in utterly unique and refreshing ways.
While I don’t think these accounts attempt to be substitutes for actual reading, they might inspire someone to pick up a book (or poetry collection or play), might speak to someone on a particularly bad (or even a particularly great!) day, might even make someone feel less alone. All the accounts follow the unspoken ethos that literature is important, that it has the power and potential to transform our lives.
Below you’ll find a list of social media accounts from Twitter and Instagram (Facebook isn’t doing so hot in this department) of the literary accounts you should consider following. This list is by no means comprehensive; it’s more like a foot through the door. And none of the accounts are of literary magazines or journals; most are unverified (quite a few are bots, I know, I know): but it’s just ordinary people like you and me running these accounts! Enjoy, and happy reading, in whatever form and context!
The Toni Morrison Project – @toni_project
Posts a quote of Toni Morrison almost every day. Anyone can submit quotes to this account with an optional brief statement on why her work is meaningful to you. This page also has a sister account on Instagram (see more below!)
queer lit bot – @queerlitbot
Tweets poetry, prose, and plays about and for LGBTQIA+ folks. Also has a sister account for art!
William Shakespeare – @Wwm_Shakespeare
Posts tweets of Shakespeare that speak to current events and the “human condition” (for example, “—my lord, a fly”)
Willy Shakes – @IAM_SHAKESPEARE
Every ten minutes, this account posts exactly one line, in order, of a Shakespearean play until its completion. When the account goes through all his plays, it starts over.
Out of Context Louise Glück – @glucknocontext
Celebrates the Nobel Prize winner Louise Glück’s poems and essays. The account had been inactive since 2018 but since Glück’s recent honor, it’s been revived.
Virginia Woolf – @botvirginia
Features daily tweets from the work of Virginia Woolf
Poetry Daily – @Poetry_Daily
Features a new poem each day from a new book or journal, along with news in poetry
Sappho – @sapphobot
Posts fragments of Sappho, primarily from Anne Carson’s If Not Winter and more
anne Carson bot – @carsonbot
Posts a tweet from the work of Anne Carson every two hours
Moby Dick – @MobyDickatSea
“Over 2,500 lines handpicked from Moby Dick, one at a time in random order.”
Sylvia Plath – @SylviaPlathBot
Posts fragments of Sylvia Plath’s poetry every hour
Oscar Wilde – @Wit_of_Wilde
“The most quoted and wittiest writer of all time.”
Daily Kerouac – @DailyKerouac
Features daily tweets from the work of Jack Kerouac
F. Scott Fitzgerald – @F_ScottFitz
Celebrates the work of F. Scott Fitzgerald
Daily Hemingway – @DailyHemingway
“Ernest Hemingway in 270 characters.”
TS Eliot – @TSElibot
“It is impossible to say just what I mean!” So let’s just tweet!
Poetry News – @poetrynews
Posts daily poetry-related news
Kurt Vonnegut – @Kurt_Vonnegut
No twitter bio, just tweets of Kurt Vonnegut. Nuff said.
Nymphs & Thugs – @nymphsandthugs
The UK’s leading spoken word record. This account keeps you up-to-date with virtual poetry readings and other literary events in the UK
Reading Women – @thereadingwomen
Features pictures of fiction written by women (its motto is “reclaim half the bookshelf”)! Also has a podcast on books by or about women.
The Free Black Women’s Library – @thefreeblackwomenslibrary
Posts on its “mobile library dedicated to centering & celebrating the art, writing & lives of Black women.”
The Toni Morrison Project – @thetonimorrisonproject
This is the sister account of the Twitter page I mentioned earlier. This account posts all the same content. Don’t forget you can submit quotes too!
Hooplaback.girl – @hooplaback.girl
More on aesthetics and less on literary content. Anuradha Bhaumick is an embroider and posts art of women reading books.
Suzy Reads Books – @suzyreadsbooks
Queer books galore!
Book Bento Box – @bookbento
“Book recommendations with a side of stuff.”
Read it Forward – @readitforward
Features pictures of books on the latest books out now
Elizabeth Sagan – @elizabeth_sagan
A page for aesthetics and aesthetics only. Books make pretty frequent cameos though.
Books and Boobs Podcast – @booksandboobspod
Features posts on its podcast for “best friends and book nerds.” The page is primarily for queer folks!
Folded Pages Distillery – @foldedpagesdistillery
Posts beautiful pictures of books. Who doesn’t love a beautiful picture of a book?
Kelly – @kellysbookcase
“A book filled getaway.”
Rae – @a.rae.of.books
A queer children’s librarian runs this account and makes posts on the latest books out now
Franklin Park Reading Series – @franklinparkreadingseries
Currently posts of virtual literary events
For Colored Girls Book Club – @forcoloredgirlsbookclub
“For colored girls who have considered not reading anymore b/c all the books were written by straight white men & you’ve had enuf.”
the womanist reader – @thewomanistreader
Features the words, works, and manuscripts of women of color writers
Book Riot – @bookriot
Has surprisingly remained unverified but is the largest independent literary site in North America. Features “news, bookish commentary, and recs for readers of all stripes.”
Subway Book Review – @subwaybookreview
It’s a bunch of posts of people holding books in NYC subways. What’s not to love?
Katharine – @readwithkat
Just a reader who has a lot of books to read and recommend
Edna – @readwithedna
And here’s another reader who has a lot of books to read and wants you to read too
Poetry Exclusively – @poetryexclusively
Leonard Zawadski posts only of poets and poems. You can DM for recommendations and “poetry-centric dialogues.”
Laney Loves Books – @laneylovesbooks
Pictures of stacks of books abound
Never Without a Book – @never_withouta_book
“Highlighting underrepresented voices in literature.”
Harriett’s Bookshop – @harietts_bookshop
This account is named in honor of Harriet Tubman, run by a Black woman, and celebrates women authors, women artists, and women activists.
Team Books – @teamsbooks
Posts mostly of non-fiction and historical fiction books. For those who want a page with a focus on politics.
Notes on Bookmarks – @notesonbookmarks
“I read a LOT of books (like, more than 200 a year). Let’s chat about them.” This page also has a podcast.
A Cosy Reader – @acosyreader
“books + tea + cosy vibes”
Hot Dudes Reading – @hotdudesreading
Yes, this page exists.