As more than one billion people have been asked to self-isolate in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, word lovers are turning to social media and video conferencing to continue their book clubs.
In an effort to encourage fans to join in book discussions, "Euphoria" actress Sydney Sweeney is collaborating with Bustle to launch her own virtual book club.
For the first installment of "Sydney Sweet Reads," the 22-year-old actress will read and discuss the first three chapters of Amy Spalding's latest YA novel, "We Used to be Friends."
The book is notably told in dual timelines that jump through James and Kat's senior year, as they experience the decline of their years-long friendship. James is preparing to leave for college, while Kat is exploring her sexuality with her first girlfriend.
The first meeting of "Sydney Sweet Reads" will be livestreamed on Sweeney's Instagram account on Thursday, March 26 at 4:00 pm (EST), with the virtual book club being held over the next four weeks.
With bookstores closing and book fairs being canceled in reaction to the ongoing pandemic, authors and publishers are increasingly launching virtual clubs as a way of connecting the community during the health crisis.
While Margaret Atwood is sharing her latest book recommendations on Twitter, publisher Sharmaine Lovegrove will be in conversation every week with an author from Hachette's imprint Dialogue Books.
"I have been running book events for over a decade and with millions of people at home wanting something else to think about this feels like the right time to reach out and invite people to join in the dialogue and enjoy our eclectic range of stories from the comfort of your sofa," Lovegrove said of the project in a statement.
You are cordially invited to the #DialogueBookLounge— Dialogue Books (@dialoguebooks) March 23, 2020
Here is publisher @SharLovegrove to introduce our brand new virtual event series taking place 8pm GMT every Thursday live on Instagram with our authors. We can't wait to meet you! pic.twitter.com/RjNTgwEdXl
The Dialogue Virtual Book Lounge will launch on Instagram on Thursday, March 26 at 8:00 pm (GMT) with American novelist Yvonne Battle Felton, whose debut "Remembered" was longlisted for the 2019 Women's Prize for Fiction.
The book club will also welcome over the next ten weeks Saskia Vogel, Niven Govinden, Angela Chadwick, Paul Mendez, Ben Halls, Season Butler, Mitchell S. Jackson, Irenosen Okojie and Lauren Wilkinson.
Each author will start the virtual meet-up by reading an extract of the book of the week, after which there will be a wide-ranging discussion about the story, editing, characters and publishing.
Questions will be answered in real time in order to make Dialogue Virtual Book Lounge "as interactive as possible in a bid to support people through this tricky time and allow them to connect with readers over their love of and interest in [Dialogue's] stories."