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Self-Publishing News: Kaia Gerber’s Library Science Book Club Provides More Evidence Gen Z Readers Love Books And Libraries

Self-Publishing News: Kaia Gerber’s Library Science Book Club Provides More Evidence Gen Z Readers Love Books and Libraries

ALLi News Editor, Dan Holloway

It feels like I have covered a version of this story a couple of times of late on ALLi's News Column. And I am delighted to do so again, and do so unapologetically. Because young people loving printed books and libraries, whatever the accompanying paraphernalia, is something to celebrate.

The thing that makes the story news this time around is that 22 year old model Kaia Gerber is launching a book club, called Library Science. In an interview she said, among other things, “reading is so sexy,” a line picked up by the Guardian to title their article.

Reading as Aesthetic

Now, I’ve come across some criticism of “reading as aesthetic.” Some people like to say Gen Z love being pictured with a book more than they love reading a book (and this is why they prefer print). As someone who dabbles in the literature, culture, and, yes, aesthetic of dark academia (tl;dr simply adored Babel; yet to make it beyond the first half hour of Saltburn; never read Secret History; take my Indiana Jones style canvas rucksack and fountain pen everywhere with me), I’m no stranger to the controversy over “reading as ‘look’.” But I’m old enough to know that older generations love nothing more than to decry the fact younger people don’t read. While being outraged at whatever and however they do read.

The Guardian’s article has some interesting commentary on the types of books GenZ are reading (and buying through BookTok and bookshops), in particular the preferences for literary fiction (Brontes yes, but no mention of The Secret History!).

AudioUK New Manifesto

Another interesting story that follows on from our earlier spotlight on Spotify is AudioUK’s announcement of a new manifesto for 2024 encompassing all kinds of media including audiobooks.

The manifesto has four key areas, from the need for skills and tax breaks to greater competition outside of and with the BBC. None of them directly relates to audiobooks, though these are clearly a key part of the industry. The fascinating point Porter Anderson makes about the manifesto is the portrait it paints of the audio industry as being chronically undersupported. It’s an interesting flip side to the rather glamorous image we may sometimes get of it as the source of perpetual growth.

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Author: Dan Holloway

Dan Holloway is a novelist, poet and spoken word artist. He is the MC of the performance arts show The New Libertines, which has appeared at festivals and fringes from Manchester to Stoke Newington. In 2010 he was the winner of the 100th episode of the international spoken prose event Literary Death Match, and earlier this year he competed at the National Poetry Slam final at the Royal Albert Hall. His latest collection, The Transparency of Sutures, is available for Kindle at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Transparency-Sutures-Dan-Holloway-ebook/dp/B01A6YAA40


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