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Help people stuck at home discover books

This week’s article was inspired by a humorous tweet that went viral.

On March 7, thriller writer Mark Edwards tweeted, “I’ve heard that coronavirus is going to cause a massive shortage of books, which will be essential when we’re all stuck at home, so it’s very important for everyone to rush out and start panic-buying novels. Thank you.

His tweet was liked 411,300 times, retweeted 67,200 times, and commented on 3,600 times. “Oh my goodness, this has gone bonkers,” he tweeted a day later. Bonkers indeed.

Forced nesting

It got me thinking, especially considering that since he tweeted that tongue-in-cheek public service announcement:

  • The world shut down.
  • The NBA suspended its season.
  • March Madness was canceled.
  • Colleges, universities, and schools closed either temporarily or for the rest of the semester.
  • Conferences, concerts, and other large gatherings were banned, cancelled, or both.
  • Broadway shut down.
  • Restaurants and bars closed and locked their doors.
  • Churches canceled services or moved them online.

The list goes on (and has changed several times since I started writing this).

We’re stuck at home, folks. We. Are. Stuck. At. Home.

But there’s good news!

On the bright side, Edwards’s tweet was wrong! There’s definitely no shortage of books. And reading a book can fill the time that people might have spent watching college basketball (that would be me . . . ) or attending events in person.

So . . . why don’t you remind people that books await them?

Face it: Books are the best escape from reality out there. They can be the antidote to fear and boredom.

No basketball? Read a book.

No concert? Read a book.

Can’t dine out? Read a book.

Authors, let’s get assertive about this. Let’s get out there and remind people of the best, most affordable entertainment option available: Reading.

Save and share these images

I’ve created the following images you can download, save, and share with your social networks.

To save an image on your computer, right click on the image and select “save image as….”

If you’re saving on a smartphone, the process varies depending on the type of phone you’re using. If you don’t know how to do it for your phone, Google will help with that.

stuck at home book

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Create your own images

You can also create and share your own images. Please do! It takes just minutes using a number of free resources. I used Canva.com and the smartphone app WordSwag for these, but there are other options to choose from, too.

Keep your audience and followers in mind as you create them. The encouraging images you create if you write children’s books won’t necessarily look the same as those designed by mystery or business book authors.

This quick and easy endeavor might give you exactly the creative break you need from this often scary and definitely unpredictable situation.

How are you doing? How are you holding up? Let us know in a comment. 

Like what you’re reading? Get it delivered to your inbox every week by subscribing to the free Build Book Buzz newsletter. You’ll also get my free “Top 5 Free Book Promotion Resources” cheat sheet immediately!


    1. Great idea, Nancy! This is a good time to focus on the greater good, and recommending books by others is a great way to do that.



  1. Great idea. With so many people being stuck indoors, it’s a great time to discover or re-discover the joy of reading.

    My wife and I have read many books this year. Got a lot of them from my cousin last October, she and her husband always read a lot and they had boxes full of used books in their garage.

    My wife and I have been reading a lot of books this Summer. It’s been fantastic to sit outside in the sun and read, but with the colder weather set in, it’s back to reading indoors unfortunately.

    We have done like a lot of neighbours and when we have finished reading books, we have placed them in a crate outside for people to help themselves to. Well, that worked in the nice summer weather, I think we are going to be stockpiling now until the Spring.

    1. Thanks, Tony. What are you doing to make sure people are discovering the books you’ve written, too?


  2. Thanks for this very helpful post. I am doing my part (and have been for fifty years or so) to spread literacy and get books into people’s hands and hearts.The saddest words of all are, “I don’t really read.”
    It makes my teacher’s heart go “Thud,” and drop into my stomach.

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