Instagram is my favorite form of social media. Twitter to me is like an endless autobahn. I use Facebook the most, but I really enjoy Instagram and I’ll tell you why. Facebook, loaded with political memes, angry judgements, and a sense of divisiveness, makes me feel angry or frustrated or judged or a number of other negative feelings. Mostly, I’m reminded of that old Monty Python skit where the guy wants to have an argument and he keeps running into rooms like Abuse and Hitting You Over the Head (love that skit).
But Instagram is nice. And inspiring. I generally feel good when I visit. On any given day, I walk away with fantastic ideas and sometimes offers. I also happen to be a big believer in supporting local bookshops. So when I saw a post on Instagram from the English Bookshop near me to join a book club, I followed the link back to their home page, browsed through the categories and signed up for the science fiction book club.
It works like this: Every month they send me a random book in the category of my choice, in my case sci-fi, and then they send me an invoice for three months at a time. The quarterly invoices are manageable and I get a new book handpicked for sci-fi fans. The other categories include: general fiction, British crime, tough crime, paranormal, fantasy, science fiction, teen fiction, classics, and history/biography. Romance is the glaring absentee. Which begs the question, Is Romance dead in Sweden?
More and more bookshops are adding personal touches like this to their business model and I love it because not only do these programs support the local efforts and the community, they give me opportunities to read authors I may not have read before. July’s selection was Ninefox Gambit, by Yoon Ha Lee and despite what appear to be space opera elements (typically not my first choice in sci-fi), I’m excited to dig into it. That the first selection I received is from a diverse author is a great sign, the cover is fantastic, and the blurb on the back promises a strong female protagonist, an undead tactician and a little madness along the way. My kind of story =).
Check out your local bookshop and see if they have a similar program. You might be surprised by the books you end up discovering.