Many are being asked to #StayHome to help curb the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The disruption has uprooted just about every aspect of daily life, but that doesn’t mean readers have to stop being readers.
Like every corner of the world, the book industry has also been affected by the pandemic. That said, publishers, librarians, booksellers, authors and readers are coming together like never before to encourage the world to stay bookish while staying home.
We’ve put together a guide for readers, teachers, parents and writers to make them aware of the bookish resources and activities available to them while self-distancing.
- Read: It seems obvious but, hey, among the hectic news updates and all-around craziness of the situation, it’s something even us readers can overlook. Read to stay calm and level.
- Purchase an eBook: Why not help out the economy by continuing to do something you love: buying books? Stay indoors and read from your eReader.
- Support your indie bookstore through Libro.fm: You can also buy audiobooks to pass the time and help out. Your independent bookstore could especially use the help right now, which is why we recommend Libro.fm, which splits audiobook profits with the independent bookstore of your choice.
- Check out eBooks and digital audiobooks books from your library: Many libraries participate in Overdrive’s digital services, meaning you can check out eBooks and audiobooks digitally while supporting your local library. Download apps like Libby to get started. A library card is needed.
- Listen to an audiobook on Spotify: Have a Spotify subscription? There are a surprising amount of audiobooks available on Spotify, including The Hunger Games. Epic Reads has a rundown of YA audiobooks available on Spotify.
- Read something from Scribd: eBook and audiobook subscription service Scribd is giving readers free access to their reads. Scribd’s entire catalog is free for 30 days as of March 18.
- Keep meeting with your book club … over the internet: In-person interactions are best when it comes to clubs, but you can still connect and get a lot done over the internet — as many business have learned in the last week. Continue to meet with your local book club by scheduling virtual chats over platforms like Google Hangouts, Skype and Zoom.
- Access free books from Simon Teen: Riveted, from Simon Teen, is offering a nice long list of free books. The books will be available on their website through April and include selections from authors like Cassandra Clare.
For Teachers and Parents
- Kids can stream free books from Audible: Audible is making hundreds of books available for free to kids while they’re out of school. The service, called Audible Stories, includes children’s books, teen novels and literary classics.
- Read stories with celebrities: Your children and/or students can enjoy reading time via Instagram account @savewithstories. A service launched by Jennifer Garner and Amy Adams, celebrities are taking to Instagram to read children’s literature.
- Harry Potter at Home: J.K. Rowling has teamed up with her publishers to offer all sorts of Wizarding World activities and crafts to entertain young Harry Potter fans. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is also available to everyone — young and old — as an audiobook thanks to Audible Stories. Additionally, if you’re a teacher who’s looking to keep in touch with your students, J.K. Rowling has granted open licenses for teachers to post videos of themselves reading Harry Potter online through the end of the school year.
- Participate in #StayHomeWriMo: NaNoWriMo is launching an initiative for writers to connect with others and flex their creative skills while taking care of their physical and mental health. activities will be posted throughout the week but you can adapt it as needed.
- Keep meeting with your writing group (you guessed it!) online: Like book clubs, writing groups don’t have to come to a halt. Share your writing with other members of your writing group through Dropbox and Google Drive. Schedule meetings through Hangouts, Zoom and Skype.
- Everywhere Book Fest: Book festivals like YallWest and BookCon have been canceled or postponed but there’s an online book festival in the works to take their place. Everywhere Book Fest bills itself as a “virtual gathering” of book lovers, including authors. It will begin May 1.
- YALLSTAYHOME: YallWest was canceled but the festivities will continue virtually! Organizers announced YALLSTAYHOME which will be a virtual book conference with more than 70 YA authors. The festival will take place on April 25 and 26.
- Hogwarts Digital Escape Room: A librarian at the Peters Township Public Library has brought escape rooms online with this neat Harry Potter-themed escape room. Hop on Skype, Zoom or Google Hangouts to connect with friends and take on the challenge together.
How are you staying bookish while staying at home?
Let us know in the comments! And if you know of something that needs to be on this list, reach out to @SAULMARQ and we’ll add it!