Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) Announces Parapalooza

A new movement is afoot.  Now that sentence should be read aloud.  And Parapalooza is just the place to do it.  When was the last time you read something so good you wanted to read it aloud to the person sitting next to you just to share it? The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) wants to encourage that impulse, because they think that in a world of Vine, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, a great paragraph may be the quickest entry into a good book.


SIBA has created “Parapalooza!” (a YouTube channel devoted to people reading favorite selections from favorite books) as a way to foster avid readers’ enthusiasm for great writing. People are invited to submit their own short videos to the channel by sending them to

SIBA Executive Director Wanda Jewell first conceived of the idea for Parapalooza! when she was reading the new Stephen King novel, Joyland, and liked it so much she had to interrupt her husband to read him different parts. “I suddenly thought  it be great if readers had a way to share that impulse,” Jewell said. “It takes the ‘You’ve got to read this!’ feeling to the next level.”

With the advent of easy distribution via social media sites like Vine and Youtube,  and the fact that anyone with a smart phone can record a video and share it with the touch of a button, sharing brief moments of readerly enthusiasm seems like a natural way to bring readers together around their favorite books. “The only requirement,” Jewell stated, “is that selections are read aloud with meaning, enthusiasm, and feeling.”

Parapalooza! – the thrill of hearing the creator share their absolute favorite paragraph from among the thousands they’ve created. Just for us. The beauty of the words spoken with the passion and intention of the writer. The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Trade Show will be emceed by Tim Federle, author of Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist (Running Press) and everyone will enjoy a literary cocktail while they listen to the likes of Jeffrey Stepakoff and Robin Wasserman, Jesmyn Ward and Mary Kay Andrews, and others read aloud from their own books their most compelling paragraph.  “I’m so excited about this new event and the virtual community we are creating with paragraphs worth spreading through Parapalooza!” says Wanda Jewell.  People who would like to submit their own read-aloud selections can send them to

About Allen Mendenhall

Allen Mendenhall is publisher and editor-in-chief of Southern Literary Review. Visit his website at

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