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Virtual Book Events Find Permanence In Online Archives

By on Thursday, January 7th, 2021 at 12:26 pm

As book events migrate to virtual spaces, many events are becoming permanently available online. Bookstores, event spaces, and reading series are producing thousands of hours of readings and book discussions, and many of these events end up on YouTube creating a vast resource for readers and writers alike.

Stumbling across old recordings of an author reading their work has always been a magical experience, like these recordings of Walt Whitman or this one of James Joyce. In a world that is constantly recorded for TikTok and Twitter, it might seem like poets and authors reading and discussing their works would be readily available. Yet before the onset of the pandemic and prevalence of virtual events, most literary events were never recorded.

The rise of virtual events has changed how consume and preserve literary experiences, and there is now a huge body of work available to view and experience.

Over at LitHub, the Virtual Book Channel has created an extensive archive of various reading series, like one of our favorites, Antibody Reading Series created by Brian Gresko.

Institutions have created their own archives as well, like Center For Fiction, the Brooklyn-based writing center. Featuring interviews and virtual events, the Center for Fiction has an extensive collection of videos.

Our favorite bookstores have continued producing author events and book launches through out this pandemic. Many of these stores now have those events archived online at YouTube for easy viewing:

Greenlight Bookstore
Books Are Magic.
Center for Fiction
The Writers Center
McNally Jackson Books.

Finally, the pandemic has even inspired virtual literary communities. The Resort LIC launched as an in-person writing co-working space last year, but soon also launched The Cabana, a virtual writing community hosting events. Those events are available to members in an online archive.

With vaccines now being distributed, we can all have hope that the global pandemic will soon be ending and literally events will be back to in-person experiences by the end of the year. These virtual event archives however, may be available for years to come.



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