When the COVID-19 pandemic forced people around the world indoors, many picked up books to pass the time. Due to the global nature of social media, readers were able to connect over titles with people they may never meet in person. Celebrities or influencers with existing social media followings have found their platforms to be an opportunity to share their interests and spark mass discussions about books via book clubs on Instagram. Here is a list of eight celebrity-run book clubs which host discussions on Instagram:
- Belletrist, founded by Emma Roberts and Karah Preiss @belletrist on Instagram
Emma and Karah, both avid readers, channeled their hobby into an online community of like-minded subscribers. Though social media and the unifying power of the internet have shaped Belletrist’s success, the project kicked off twelve years ago thanks to snail mail. Best friends Karah Preiss [living in New York] and Emma Roberts [living in LA] would always be sending each other books in the mail and writing little notes on them. It became the center of their friendship, exchanging recommendations and discussing them. They have similar tastes, but are also very different, so there was a nice blend of having so much in common yet still being able to learn from each other.
- Our Shared Shelf, founded by Emma Watson @oursharedshelf on Instagram
As part of her work with UN Women, Emma Watson decided to start a feminist book club to share what she learned and hear other thoughts on the works she engaged with via Goodreads. Watson decided to step back from the Goodreads account, but will continue sharing books on Instagram with #OurSharedShelf.
- Between Two Books, founded by Florence Welch @betweentwobooks on Instagram
Between Two Books was started in 2012, when an Irish teen tweeted Florence with the idea that she should have her own book club. It has grown into a vibrant online community, still led by original members, Kate and Leah, along with Florence, Maria, and Terri-Jane. The club regularly features guest recommendations from artists, writers, musicians, and directors.
- Reese’s Book Club, founded by Reese Witherspoon @reesesbookclub on Instagram
Each month, Reese (book-lover-in-chief) chooses a book with a woman at the center of the story. There is no formula to book selection, but the book club looks for ways to deepen connections to books, authors, and ourselves.
- Noname Book Club, founded by Noname @nonamereads on Instagram
Noname Book Club is a community dedicated to uplifting POC voices by highlighting two books each month written by authors of color. In addition to building community with folks across the country, the organization also sends the monthly book picks to incarcerated comrades through the Noname Reads Prison Program.
- Read With Jenna, founded by Jenna Bush Hager in collaboration with The Today Show @readwithjenna on Instagram
Each month Jenna picks a new book to read with viewers and discuss on The Today Show.
- Andrew Luck Book Club, founded by Andrew Luck @albookclub on Instagram
Andrew Luck uses his book club as a platform to share his love of reading with a large audience. Every month, Andrew recommends two books for readers: one for the “Rookies” (younger folks) and the other for “Veterans” (more seasoned readers). Andrew tries to interview one author each month and share that podcast on his website.
- Kaia Gerber’s Book Club, founded by Kaia Gerber @kaiagerber on Instagram
In the midst of COVID-19 lockdowns, Kaia decided to start a book club as a way to stay connected with her followers beyond the surface level uses of social media. Kaia shares book selections in her Instagram story, and the following week discusses the book on Instagram live (sometimes with a friend, writer, guest, etc.)