As someone who works at a library and is attending school for Library Science, I am never without a book, whether it is a novel, short story anthology or comic book. Also, because of my field of interest, I am in a library constantly and know just how difficult it is to get a young person to read. When they have other forms of entertainment like television, movies and, of course, the internet, picking up a book seems somewhat... boring.
Has the rise of the internet brought about the end of literature? I say “nay”! Instead, I believe book publishers, marketers and independent creators have a golden opportunity. Over the past several years social media has exploded worldwide, especially among the younger generations. It is nearly impossible to count the amount of high school and college students that have Facebook and Twitter. Also, with the creation of such tools as the iPad and Kindle, books can be read digitally.
Through the use of social media, people can communicate worldwide on their favorite books. Through the use of specific websites, people can create profiles that list books they are reading and books they like. Through these websites, people can communicate with one another and recommend books hey might enjoy.
Many writers now also utilize social media. It not only provides a cheaply maintained way to promote their works but interact with their fan bases on a more intimate and informal way than at a book signing or convention. Social media also helps provide ways for writers to discuss the craft of writing itself, with fellow professionals and amateurs looking to break into the field.
Another use social media has is digital delivery service. In the comic world, DC Comics began same day digital delivery service in September 2011 (while also rebooting their entire continuity, but that’s a whole different discussion). Many a fan believed this would be the end of the comic book store. However, I feel that this kind of service, combined with other forms of social media will reach more people and introduce more people to comics worldwide. I am lucky in having my comic store only fifteen minutes from my house, but that’s not the same in other places of the world. I have a friend in Ireland that travels once a month to his comic store, roughly an hour and a half from his home. Digital delivery service can help him save massively on transportation costs.
Do I feel that with the move of literature onto digital platforms will destroy bookstores and libraries? Not really. Not only have libraries expanded on their collections in regards to type of media and expanded services over the last twenty years, but there will always be people who prefer the feel of a good book in their hands. However, I feel that through the use of social media, more people can be reached worldwide and help bring more young people into the fun world of reading. Now stop reading this article and go find a book you like!
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