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'Parapalooza' YouTube channel features people reading from their favorite titles

The new YouTube channel encourages readers to upload a video of themselves sharing a paragraph from a favorite book.

By Staff Writer / July 26, 2013

The 'Parapalooza' YouTube channel was launched by the Southern Independent Booksellers Association.

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Executive director of the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Wanda Jewell was so excited by Stephen King’s newest novel “Joyland” that she kept reading parts of it aloud to her husband.

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And then she was struck by an idea. “I suddenly thought it be great if readers had a way to share that impulse,” Jewell told independent bookseller newsletter Shelf Awareness. “It takes the 'You've got to read this!' feeling to the next level.”

So the SIBA has launched Parapalooza (stylized as ¶arapalooza), a YouTube channel where readers can post videos of themselves reading sections of their favorite books aloud.

The rules? Not many. “The only requirement is that selections are read aloud with meaning, enthusiasm and feeling,” Jewell said.

On the YouTube channel’s page, the SIBA suggests that a preview of a book may be a good way to appeal to readers in the age of short attention spans.

“In the time of Vine, and Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, the Paragraph may prove to be the quickest entry into a good read,” the site reads.

So far, selections read on the channel include “A Companion for Owls” by Maurice Manning, “An Armenian Sketchbook” by Vasily Grossman, and “Macbeth” by William Shakespeare.

Want to upload your own video? Check out the YouTube channel here.

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