Buzzfeed has launched a new Books page. You know Buzzfeed -- the site is the master of photo-heavy lists that go so viral your great-grandma sends them to you. What can we expect from their new book channel? Here are 13 predictions.
1. There will be lists. Current Buzzfeed Books stories are "21 Cozy Makeshift Reading Nooks," "6 Major Differences Between 'Orange Is the New Black' The Book and the TV Show," "11 Types of Young Adult Novels You Totally Miss," and "12 LOL Moments from Moby Dick."
2. There will be Potter. Buzzfeed was weaned on Harry Potter. Its current post in praise of Hufflepost House gets one of its "win" stickers, as does its post about J.K. Rowling having published a novel under a pseudonym. Another post is titled "22 Reasons to Worship JK Rowling."
3. It will take classic works from the public domain and post them in their entirety. Case in point: "Middlemarch" by George Eliot, brought to you by Buzzfeed.
4. Some things may sound familiar. Current post "49 Breathtaking Libraries from All Over the World" shares 24 libraries with "The 50 Most Amazing University Libraries in the World" posted at BestMastersPrograms.org, including such far-flung sites as the József Attila Study and Information Centre at the University of Szeged in Hungary and the Balme Library at the University of Ghana.
5. Put a number on it. A post telling the story of Dorothy Wilde, Oscar Wilde's niece, is framed as "9 Things You Should Know About Dorothy Wilde." Thing No. 1: She was born three months after her uncle was put on trial.
6. Expect life lessons. Buzzfeed has had big success with its heartwarming photo shows; expect more of the same in books. For example: "15 Wonderful Quotes about Life From Children's Books."
7. It'll be Pinterest-y. Two of the "15 Wonderful Quotes About Life from Children's Books" are images that include quotes that were found on Pinterest.
8. It'll be Tumblr-y. Five of its "19 Vintage Photographs of Stylin' Librarians" come from Tumblr; four of them from a single Tumblr, My Daguerrotype Librarian.
9. It may not have the most profound discussions of literature. The post "15 Books that Changed You Profoundly" begins, "The books you read in grade school were, like, WHOA."
10. It will occasionally overpromise. Its "21 Books That Will Teach You Something Important" is a list of mostly self-help books, with lessons that could be gleaned from the books' covers. To learn "what Marcel Proust can teach you about living well," read "How Proust Can Change Your Life" by Alain de Botton -- not Proust.
11. There will be better sites for book reviews. To explore summer reading, Buzzfeed Books presents "15 Acclaimed Summer Books, Judged By Their Covers." What is it? "Judging popular summer books by their cover art. My best plot guesses followed by their actual Amazon plot descriptions. Now go out and read these!"
12. It will be slightly embarrassed about its listicle-ness. When it posted the poem "Thirteen Ways of Looking at A Blackbird" by Wallace Stevens as a photo-by-photo listicle, there was ths apology. "Wallace Stevens’ classic poem as a listicle. SORRY."
13. There will be cats. Buzzfeed's as good as any at finding cute critter photos; cats are definitely coming to the books page. So far, the second-most popular books story on the site is about Neil Gaiman -- who was photographed with a cat.
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