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I love books and I love the internet, which means I’m always looking for great sites about books. If you’re reading this, you’re probably the same way. The great news is that there’s also a huge online literary community to explore. Every site has its own flavor and its own pizzaz. There’s plenty of fun, diverse ways that you can engage with writing and reading. Whether you like reading about writing, reading about reading, or you just want something new to read, there’s plenty of options for you out there.
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What’s really special about the online literary world is that with all of this free content, it’s really easy to be a reader without emptying your bank account. What this accessibility means is that reading (an already extremely democratic activity) is something that people from all economic backgrounds can do. Can we just take a moment to geek out about how cool that is?
It also means that it’s super easy to interact with your favorite authors. So many authors are also contributors at these websites. So while you’re waiting for their next book, you can soak up as much of their lovely brain as you can.
As someone who spends literally all day on the literary web, here are my top recommendations for sites that readers and writers will adore.
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This literary hub is every book-lover’s dream. Featuring free short stories and poems, literary criticism, interviews, fun infographics, book lists and more, Electric Literature is always publishing innovative new content. Plus, Electric Literature is a nonprofit that pays all its writers, so they’re a great organization to support!
If you haven’t joined the Goodreads revolution yet, get on it! Social media meets books, making it a staple for every reader. You can organize your read/to-be-read shelves, get recommendations, see what your friends are reading, vote in contests, set goals and more.
From its articles to its podcasts, Book Riot is a great resource for the adventurous reader. Whether you’re into literary fiction or genre, you’ll find a home here. They have great essays on the reading life, and it’s a great resource for discovering new reads. Plus, you can sign up for a subscription box service where you’ll get books and cool lit merchandise in the mail.
This relatively new site from the small press of the same name is a great spot for readers and writers alike. Featuring essays and short stories alike, their daily content is always supremely fresh. (Their recent adoption series is gold.) Plus, Catapult offers some amazing writing workshops, all taught by well-known authors.
Pop culture meets literature in this popular Tumblr. Pairing literary quotes with images from pop culture, Slaughterhouse 90210 makes some beautiful connections between the art forms. (There’s also a Slaughterhouse 90210 book that would make the perfect addition to your bookshelf. )
Book reviews, interviews, essays, and more, The Rumpus is a must when browsing the literary web. With regular contributors that include Roxane Gay and Cheryl Strayed (see her advice column, Dear Sugar), the content on this site is top-notch.
With daily literary news, weekly stories, and plenty of essays, Vol. 1 Brooklyn is a great stop when you want the scoop on the literary world. Plus, if you’re in NYC, they have phenomenal storytelling events.
If you’re like me, you judge people by their books. This Tumblr takes it one step further, with spies in urban areas keeping tabs on what people are reading on public transportation. This is a fun way to discover new reads, and get the low-down on what books are really popular.