Over the last couple of years, there has been a massive sprout in the number of people who have picked up their books and got lost in an abundance of fascinating stories. So, it is safe to say reading is in its renaissance. However, as there becomes a higher demand for authors to release books, there is a growing concern that the quality of books being produced has declined - as publishing houses attempt to push out narratives to consumers, rather than taking the time to develop and perfect stories. Not only has this made an enormous difference to the way readers indulge into their books, but also the writing process in which authors use to publish their books.

Authors now being able to market on social media apps such as TikTok (or shall I say Booktok), is both a blessing and a curse. Although the attention and engagement of social media is more likely to propel authors to success, the fickle nature of likes and reposts may not support them in building fans on a long-term basis. Due to constantly fluctuating trends on apps such as TikTok, authors may gain popularity with certain books that can stick with them forever. Whilst that is not an inherent issue, it may restrict the areas in which authors can explore - in terms of things such as book tropes and audiences their books are directed towards.

A large reason for this, is because of covid (shocker). Carrying out mundane tasks around the house and getting sick and tired of binge watching on the TV, urged people to find other sources of entertainment where they could immerse themselves into other worlds. Initially, I was overjoyed to see the number of people picking up their old hobby again, and reliving through that indescribable rollercoaster of emotions which reading inspires. However, as time has progressed, people do not appear to enjoy the reading experience as much anymore, because it’s turned into a hoarding competition - where readers hurriedly finish book after book in order to have the highest reading scores. Or even worse picking up a book for the sake of “aesthetics”, rather than wanting to develop a deep connection with the stories!

I have read quite a few books in 2023 but compared to last year, only a few have really stuck out to me (which is saying something as I can be easily amused). This year I have not even handed out a single five-star review, which yes, is exceedingly abnormal. Reading is in its renaissance, so let’s keep up the standards we expect from publishing houses, authors and us, the readers itself.