Dallas bookstore uses 'litbait' to lure readers to literary classics

DALLAS - How do you get the social media generation to read classic novels?

A Dallas bookstore, The Wild Detectives, has hit upon the idea of generating "clickbait" articles with sensational headlines that reference literary classics.

Calling it "litbait" instead, famous titles such as Bram Stoker's Dracula, Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet and Oscar Wilde's The Picture Of Dorian Gray are given a makeover as part of the store's social media campaign to mark National Read a Book Day.

For instance, "You'll never guess what happened to this Kansas teen after a tornado destroys her home" is actually a plug for The Wizard Of Oz.

And clicking on the article, "He befriended a bear when he was a kid and fate reunites them years later," leads the reader to The Jungle Book.


The interior of The Wild Detectives. PHOTO: THEWILDDETECTIVES.COM

"You fell for the bait, now fall for the book," said the bookstore in a video it posted on YouTube.

It appears to have worked. CNN reported that The Wild Detectives saw a 14,000 per cent increase in traffic to its website for the campaign, and 150 per cent more post engagement on Facebook.

Mr Andres de la Casa Huertas, a representative for the bookstore, admitted that readers had felt "tricked" after clicking on the articles but called it a good outcome.

"It's not so much to make people read as it is to make reading culture more appealing.

"I think there's a space to make it much more approachable and funny," he added.

Check out more of the bookstore's litbait articles below and see if you can guess the real titles behind them.