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Reading is interacting!

We have often heard that reading is a solitary act, sometimes even a way to escape the world and connect with a world of a story, a character, or a universe. Yes, that's true and has many positive aspects.

But it's not just that. Consuming stories is (a lot) about interaction. First, the most obvious one, with the story itself and everything that happens on those pages or when you put on headphones to listen to one. But from there, a world of interaction opens up, or at least should open up. I talked about communities in an article last October, but I think it's worth talking a little more about it.

Other media already do this very well: we go to the movies with a friend or our love, gather friends to listen to music around the pool, or attend the concert of our favorite artist and participate in groups to discuss an episode about work-life balance from a podcast we love.

But what about books? Well, if you (and I hope your answer is a big YES) have had the curiosity or the habit of attending the latest book fairs, you know that the book is increasingly about communities. The same happens if you open YouTube, Instagram, or TikTok on your phone and search for a hashtag related to books.

We have some good examples of the power of community and interactions, and all the social aspects within the book world (and I'll focus on the book because for other media, this is quite obvious and clear). I'll mention some of them:

  • We always talk in the Brazilian market about the Darkside case, the publisher's ability to gather around it a legion of lovers of specific genres and, with that, create a group that not only is interested but buys, reads, interacts, reads again, and shares all of this. Along with the Darkside case, there's the case of Aleph, Seguinte, Galera, Trama, Alt, and many others. All are important in this mission, I just wanted to point out some of them without belittling any other 🙂

  • Book fairs: 10 days, hundreds of thousands of people, gathered in pavilions to do what (besides buying books)? Talk about books, interact, meet, find each other, get to know and be known. We take this and multiply it by all the other fairs that happen in the country, and it's another great example of community and interaction.

  • Content creators - formerly booktubers, now tiktokers. I'll assume you know what I'm talking about, but I'll reinforce: they are content creators, focused on the literary universe, gathering tens, hundreds of thousands of people to talk about: books. Reading, recommending, reviewing, commenting, talking... again, interaction and community.

  • The phenomena we had a few years ago of "influencers' books." The sales success is in the community that already existed around them and, being fans, bought the books. Most were debut authors and still sold much more than many veteran authors. Why? Community and interaction.

These are some cases to show how much we have today a movement that brings to the book something the book never had, not in this magnitude: the movement to take reading from the individual and bring it to the collective. This is very, very positive!

I'll tell a case here from Skeelo. Last year we launched our gamification within the app, where readers can do certain activities (enter the app, read an ebook, listen to an audiobook, rate a book), and in doing so, they earn nuts, which are our virtual currency, to redeem more books. Thousands of books have already been redeemed to read because people did what: read. Last Halloween, we created our first literary marathon, Skeeloween. We invited booktokers to choose a book of that theme and promote collective readings in the app, as well as other challenges, all around reading. Result: we had a historic record of readings on the Skeelo app. Focus on the community = more readings.

All this to say that reading more and more is about interacting. About leaving a solitary activity (seen by some as boring and tedious) for a universe that involves talking, exchanging experiences, gossiping, and interacting more and more! This is good for the book, for the authors, for the publishers, for the market as a whole... this is good for our tireless mission to create readers, develop the habit, and maintain this passion.

So, if you can, focus on interaction. Because a story is meant to be spread, discussed, talked about... to generate interaction and conversation.


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