Dashboard? More Like Bookshelf: Your Guide to Literary Tumblrs

February 3, 2012 | 1 book mentioned 100 4 min read

[Ed Note: Don’t miss Part Two and Part Three!]

About two months ago, The Millions joined the Tumblr community. So far, the going has been great. The platform is perfectly suited for dynamic storytelling, and as a direct result, it is home to some of the friendliest book lovers around. However, the site’s SEO (or lack thereof) is regrettably unkind to Tumblr outsiders, and this leads to two things. On the one hand, the insularity stokes the kind of kinship that makes its community so tightknit. On the other, the lack of easy searching reduces each blog’s chance of attracting new (or outside) viewers. I’d like to change that. By creating this list of my favorite “literary Tumblrs,” I hope to turn you on to some of the sites that make The Millions’ dashboard that much brighter.

For convenience, I’ve broken this list up among several categories, but I haven’t put these in any preferential order. “Single-Servings” are the most quintessentially Tumblr-like Tumblrs: blogs that fill one particular, ultra-specific niche. “Reviewers,” “Publishers,” “Magazines,” and “Booksellers/Libraries/Foundations” are exactly what they sound like. Sites classified as “Marginalia” are streams of miscellaneous book factoids, images, and, well, marginalia. I’ve tried to avoid listing personal Tumblrs except for a few here and there. Finally, I’ve included a “Wish List” of entities I’d like to see enter the world of likes and reblogs.

1.      Single-Servings

2.     Reviewers

3.     Booksellers/Libraries/Foundations

4.     Marginalia

5.     Publishers (Big Six)Bear in mind: most of these lean pretty heavily
towards being just marketing tools.

6.     Publishers (Littler Guys)

7.     Magazines

8.    Wish List

This list, of course, is by nature incomplete. I am sure I’ve missed a ton of standouts. Please feel free to let me know which ones I’ve overlooked in the comments!

[Ed Note: Don’t miss Part Two and Part Three!]

works on special projects for The Millions. He lives in Baltimore and he frequents dive bars. His interests can be followed on his Tumblr, Nick Recommends and Twitter, @nemoran3.


  1. Thank you for this. I only recenly discovered The Millions (two months ago) and am continually impressed by the writing, intelligence, book suggestions and general good-natured enthusiasm for literature, art, etc. It has quickly become one of the first sites I visit each morning. (I do plan to ‘support’ you guys, but being a state employee my pockets are quite thin at the moment). Thank you and all the other amazing writers at this site. Book lovers and struggling writers are not alone!

  2. Great list! On my literary journal I’m two away from having reviewed all of Shakespeare, and my next project is French lit. Essays, fiction, music, film :)

  3. Give Me Something to Read (givemesomethingtoread.com) has been sharing long reads on Tumblr much longer than Longreads has.

  4. Thanks for all the submissions, everyone. I knew I was leaving some deserving accounts out, so I apologize for any oversight. Also, a scheduling note, the majority of this piece was assembled about a month ago, so anything we’ve only recently discovered was left off the cut — all told, perhaps a Part 2 is in order in the near future.

  5. Wishlist: Book Mooch and Good Reads, maybe e-reader sellers can tell me what’s cheaper than paperback or what out of print editions are available digitally and one day i’ll finally be convinced to buy one

    and something i started recently:

    http://www.pagetwentyseven.tumblr.com … eventually it’ll have the text from the 27th page of every book i own.

  6. It’s fantastic that Tumblr book blogs are getting some recognition! Although it’s a shame that you don’t consider any of the photography blogs (well, with the exception of one!) as “literary Tumblrs”. We do love to read and talk about books as well as post pretty photos of them ;)

  7. Thank you for the acknowledgement, Nick. We’re in the middle of redesigning our website. Once that’s finished (spring), we’ll have even more time to invest in the Tumblr.

    Best wishes,

    Web editor
    Boston Review

  8. Great list! I’m off to follow most!

    I am an author using tumblr for two blogs, because I *love* tumblr. I do wish it were more google-friendly, but whatever.

    Mine are RedTash.com & LesleaTash.com. My husband’s tumblr is TimTash.com, and he writes fantasy. Long live tumblr!

  9. I can tell this is a very helpful list, and for the first time I went to Tumbler, but…I can’t tell what it is (??) If I “sign up,” will they be sending me emails? Is there a place to post comments on what other people put up?

    Confused, so confused….

  10. Great list… and funny timing.

    We actually just launched a Strand Tumblr a couple of weeks ago! (We were still in testing mode when you were compiling this list.)

    So check it out:

    We’ve got staff reads, general book-related musings, and fun scans of the random objects we find embedded in the pages of used books.

  11. Literary radio program and Web site. Accepts submissions for Poem of the Week. Interviews with poets and writers. Music and interviews from up-and-coming musicians. Other original content.

  12. Hi, my blog is also on literature (with film on the side!) Please follow it on tumblr! :D



  13. Pingback: shifting the mood
  14. As a tumblr lover-user, I appreciated this list and subscribed to all your recs–thank you–didn’t realize so much talent was at my fingertips and in my dash. May I also recommend WhiteElephantInTheRoom.tumblr.com?

    Not my site–have never even met the writer. Quite literary. Great voice.

Add Your Comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.