10 Literary Social Media Accounts for Bookish People to Follow

Posted by Maya Merberg

Are you an avid social media user but you’re getting a little sick of seeing the same cat memes over and over in your Tumblr feed? You don't really care anymore about the politically incorrect tweets from that guy you haven’t even seen in two years?

Well you’ve come to the right place! The following is a list of 10 social media accounts to spice up your feed if you’re book-minded or just need something new.

1. PRETTY BOOKS (http://prettybooks.tumblr.com): This Tumblr account is mainly composed of pictures of books, but there are also quotes, book reviews, and recommendations. Some posts are reblogged and some are original. The photos, though, are strikingly artful and many of them are quite beautiful.

2. "William Shakespeare" on Twitter (https://twitter.com/Wwm_Shakespeare): This twitter feed is simply a collection of quotes from our old friend Billy Shakes. There is also a Facebook page, which is linked to on his profile, for those who are interested. Some of the quotes are longer, like this one:

“Here can I sit alone, unseen of any,

And to the nightingale's complaining notes

Tune my distresses and record my woes.”

But some are only a few words, like, “It is a business of some heat.” Billy was such a wordy fellow that I don’t think he would have appreciated the 140 character constraints of the medium, but there is something mysterious and a little haunting about the individual bite sized quotes when they’re so decontextualized.


3. The Art of Google Books (http://theartofgooglebooks.tumblr.com): This is a collection of photos from scanned books used for Google books, but they are all flawed in some way. Sometimes you can see a worker’s hand that accidentally got scanned and sometimes the books were left wrapped in tissue paper, leaving the images grainy and ghost-like. All the pictures are unique and intriguing, and are an interesting comment on the nature of literature in the digital age. 

4. Half Pint Ingalls (https://twitter.com/HalfPintIngalls): The “Half Pint Ingalls” twitter account is a comedic parody of Laura Ingalls Wilder, but it’s never mean and if you’re familiar with the Little House on the Prairie series, you’ll find that it’s right on point. It sort of takes the angle of guessing what Wilders would be tweeting if she were alive today / what if Little House on the Prairie was set in a time with the same values and pop culture of 2015? This is a fascinating idea that manifests itself in hilarious ways, while also providing the occasional mild social commentary.

In light of the recent Oscar nomination controversy the account recently tweeted, “When Laura looked out, all she could see was white. “"Is it a blizzard, Pa?" "No, Half-Pint," Pa said. "Just the Oscar nominations."”

Another favorite is the last in a series of several tweets about setting up IKEA furniture: “But in the morning Laura awoke to salt pork frying and the sight of the beautiful IKEA bookcase, all assembled. "Such a marvel," Ma said.”

5. Better Book Titles (http://betterbooktitles.com): This is a tumblr account that claims that it is “for people who do not have thousands of hours to read book reviews or blurbs or first sentences.” But even if you do, in fact, make time in your life to read books, it might also be worth your time to take a look at this account. Essentially, it renames famous books by summarizing all you need to know about the books and using that as their titles so—theoretically—it’s no longer necessary to read them. I guess sometimes you really can judge a book by its cover. 

6. Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows (http://www.dictionaryofobscuresorrows.com): This tumblr account—which makes up names for the strange emotions we all feel but don’t really talk about—gained popularity a while ago when one of the words, sonder, went semi-viral. “Sonder: n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines, worries and inherited craziness—an epic story that continues invisibly around you like an anthill sprawling deep underground, with elaborate passageways to thousands of other lives that you’ll never know existed, in which you might appear only once, as an extra sipping coffee in the background, as a blur of traffic passing on the highway, as a lighted window at dusk.”

You may have seen that before, but if you never took a chance to look at the rest of the posts, you should check them out. Each definition is equally packed with beautiful imagery and metaphor. They have also recently added video descriptions to some of the words, even further heightening the linguistic experience.

7. Lit Rejections (https://twitter.com/LitRejections): This Twitter account isn’t for readers as much as for writers trying to get published. It offers useful advice, quotes from famous writers, and links to agents who are accepting submissions. But perhaps most helpfully, it offers inspiration and encouragement to writers who have been rejected (read: all writers), and reminds them that they are not alone.

There is perhaps no rejection more personal than that of a novel, as a lot of writing comes straight from the heart of the writer. There is a crying need for an account like this—which attempts to mend those hearts—as is evident by their more than 9,000 followers. 

8. Small Places (https://twitter.com/smallplaces): Small Places is the self-described “first literary Twitter novel.” This is a story by Nick Belardes, told entirely through tweets. It certainly is a novel idea. The story was told over the course of two years (2008-2010), a few tweets per day. The account is still up today for anyone to read through. 

9. So Long (https://ello.co/so_long): It might be the beginning of an era marked by using social media as a medium for writing novels. Belardes is at it again with So Long, his latest project which started in October and is still going. This time he is using Ello, which is a brand new social media site that is ad-free and claims to be more simplistic and minimalist than its competitors—the perfect place to write a book. Like Small Places, So Long is written one post at a time (but these posts are longer and less frequent) and will probably take a couple of years to finish. This time, there are full color, beautiful pictures included every once in a while, illustrated by Siyi Chen.

10. The Final Sentence (http://the-final-sentence.tumblr.com): The final sentence tumblr account is pretty self-explanatory in that it seeks to find and post the last sentence of every book that has ever existed. Obviously an impossible feat, but they are trying their best. Reading just the last sentences of books is fascinating and spooky in much the same way that hearing the last words of famous people is.

In the words of the people who run the blog: “Some final sentences are challenging, … And other final sentences are neither wise nor wonderful nor true nor clever nor challenging (or are they all of the above?) because they do nothing more (or do they do the biggest job of all?) than inform the reader that life goes on in the world of the text when words run out.”