“Jack Lewis at The Writers’ Workshoppe.” by Litsam – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –
“Jack Lewis at The Writers’ Workshoppe.” by Litsam – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –

There seems to be something a bit more intellectual trending on social media these days, and it's actually exciting. More and more celebrity and social media gurus are posting their top literary picks to Instagram and encouraging their followers to check them out. One example being Emma Roberts, who recently posted a picture of M Train by Patti Smith, then a few posts later, she posed in a bookstore and asked, "What's everyone reading?"

With all of the digital outlets and distractions, it's hard to remember that reading is such a good hobby to take up. Literary prowess can prove beneficial not only to your brain, but also can reduce stress and improve your memory. Celebs who share what's on their reading list are setting a good example, and encouraging the next generation to leave their social media shell and experience other forms of entertainment. Another famous Emma, Emma Watson, seems to be following suit. In fact, she took it one step further and created a digital book club on Goodreads, posting on Twitter, "Who has their book? #OurSharedShelf #BookClub #MyLifeOnTheRoad."

“SanDiegoCityCollegeLearningResource – bookshelf” by Joe Crawford from Moorpark, California, USA – Flickr. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
“SanDiegoCityCollegeLearningResource – bookshelf” by Joe Crawford from Moorpark, California, USA – Flickr. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

If you check out that first hashtag, you will find hundreds and hundreds of pictures showing fans holding up the same book pictured on Emma's profile. Apparently, "Our Shared Shelf" has become a reading promotion started by Miss Watson, and has gained amazing popularity. In fact, Watson says that she started the group as a way of promoting equality, and its main focus has been on Feminism. "I have started reading as many books and essays about equality as I can get my hands on," Watson writes in a letter addressed to the group, "I've felt like my head was about to explode…"

Emma Watson has been a shiny beacon of feminine hope for all of the young and old women facing prejudice and struggle. She has openly given her opinions on a multitude of political topics, and now she has her sights set on getting everyone to pick up a book and start a conversation. It's an amazing movement and we could not be more proud of Hermione…er…I mean Emma. Oh, come on. Book Club? That's totally a Hermione thing.

“Emma Watson” by Sergiy Galonkin from Kyiv, Ukraine – Cropped from Emma Watson signing. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons
“Emma Watson” by Sergiy Galonkin from Kyiv, Ukraine – Cropped from Emma Watson signing. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

It isn't just the big name actresses that are hitting the stacks. In an age when teens and millennials alike are glued to their smartphones, they are increasingly using those handheld devices to advocate reading a real, physical book. There is a blending of the generations going on, and the social media-savvy are empowered to further their literacy and education and spread the word about what they're reading.

Social media might save the book industry, or give recognition to authors who would otherwise go unnoticed. A single mention of a book on Instagram or Twitter can reach hundreds or thousands of people immediately, and this can send book sales through the roof. It's a win-win for everyone involved.

This coming year, check out hashtags such as #bookclub, #TheTravelingLibrary, and #OurSharedShelf to see what people are reading and get in on the fun.

Reach Contributor Amanda Suarez here.