Sony Pixel Power calrec Sony

Lilly Singh Talks Audiobooks, Favorite Reads, and Lilly's Library


From viral sketch videos to late-night television, Lilly Singh is used to making people laugh. The Canadian entertainer, writer, and advocate has made her mark in the entertainment world. And while she's still busy creating content and working on a number of projects, she's also bringing a new focus to a different, more personal format: books.

Lilly is no stranger to the written word-she's the New York Times Best-Selling author of How to Be a Bawse and Be a Triangle. But over the past few years, her love for reading has grown as she's immersed herself in valuable self-help books, powerful intergenerational dramas, and lighthearted romantic comedies. I used to read a lot when I was younger, and then there was a period of my life where I stopped reading because I convinced myself that it was too time-consuming and that I could watch things, said Lilly. And then I started my own book club called Lilly's Library in an effort to not only highlight South Asian authors, but also to help get myself back into reading.

Lilly's Library, which started in 2021, is genre-diverse and aims to provide readers with new stories they can relate to or learn from.

In honor of our Audiobooks offering for Spotify Premium users debuting in the U.S. today, we spoke to Lilly about the medium, its capacity for representation, and why she's so excited for more listeners to join in on the audiobooks journey.

What prompted you to start Lilly's Library? One reason was to shine a light on South Asian authors because I feel like they don't get the spotlight they deserve. But also, so much of my life is about representation and I've mostly focused on the screen for that. I've always been an advocate of seeing characters and stories that are diverse onscreen. And sometimes I get frustrated at the lack of that.

I came across this book Tell Me How to Be and it became the first Lilly's Library book. It's a queer story, and the perspective is from a mother and a son. And me being a queer brown person, I'm always like, Where are the queer brown people? When I read that book, I was like, Oh my God, this is so in-depth. And the thoughts of these characters and the struggles that this family is going through, I've never seen on the screen. It was so real and it was so honest. And I realized that maybe the South Asian community, like me, don't realize that their experiences-and what we've been waiting to see onscreen-are captured in books.

But another big part of it is I think there's this misconception that people have to be South Asian in order to enjoy South Asian stories, and that is just not true. I grew up watching a whole bunch of content that didn't have South Asians. I was still able to relate to it, or at the very least, learn something new. One in four people on this planet are South Asian, and I want to normalize that our stories can be relatable for you. And if they're not, they will teach you something new. Either way, that's a win-win situation.

With so much social, video, and audio content out there to consume, when do you instead turn to books? I have been so pleasantly surprised-and punched by the reality-that books actually have phenomenal representation. Things I'm always wishing I saw onscreen, on social media, and other places, I'm finding in books. And that's been really refreshing. The types of stories, characters, and problems that Lilly's Library features are all so much more advanced than the ones I see onscreen.

And so I pick up a book when I want to relate to something. I want to be seen. I want to kind of escape into a story that feels safe. It's also when I'm stressed, lonely, or feeling like my real life is a little too overwhelming and I want to dive into a different story.

You're a published author. What made you want to write? I got to a place where I wanted to tell a deeper story that was very detailed, and literature-for me-feels like a safer space to share some of those stories. I can talk about things in as much detail as I want. And I'll just be completely honest: Some stories feel safer writing it. When your face is in a video, it can be tough to talk about things, but sometimes when you're using words, you can hide in the beauty and safety of the pages. I feel writing allows you to go a little bit more vulnerable and deeper than you otherwise might.

You also narrated both audiobooks. What was it like to read your stories aloud? I won't lie, recording both of my audiobooks was one of the tougher experiences of my life because you are forced to read your writing out loud-and multiple times-when you're recording. I was like, Who wrote this? Who wrote it like this?

But. . . it was also very therapeutic to actually hear my thoughts out loud and be forced to read it when I wasn't in the editing process anymore. You can kind of get to relive your own story as an audience member when you're doing that, and can disconnect in a way that lets you be more forgiving. I feel like, for the most part, I was able to have a level of compassion when listening to my story out loud that I probably didn't have while I was writing and editing it.

Is there a book that's had a big impact on you? A book that really resonated with me is The Four Agreements. I love this book. It's a very, very simple and practical guide to personal freedom. And it's just well written and easy to understand. It was actually the inspiration for my second book, Be a Triangle. Anytime I'm struggling, I open that book and read a section of it. It's been like a life resource for me.

What are some elements about audiobooks that you especially enjoy? I really love holding a physical book, but I realized that I wasn't always able to read as much as I wa
See more stories from spotify

More from Spotify


7 Great Audiobooks That Inspired 2024's Most Nominated Films

Sometimes a story is too good to only exist as a book, which has inspired countless directors to turn must-read novels into feature-length films. And quite ofte...


Introducing AUX, Spotify's First-of-Its-Kind Music Consultancy for Brands

With a music editorial team and recommendations that have created the most vibrant streaming ecosystem in the industry, Spotify is where more than 600 million f...


Start a Jam With an Assist From Your Favorite FC Barcelona Player

In September we unveiled Jam, giving music fans a new, personalized way to listen with friends and family. This collaborative experience lets Premium subscriber...


Reggaetn Mexa, the Homegrown Genre Taking Over Mexico

Reggaet n music has already captivated listeners around the world, but in Mexico the genre reigns supreme. In fact, on Spotify, Mexico listens to reggaet n more...


Spotify CLASSICS: 30 Classic Hip-Hop and R&B Albums From the Streaming Era

Streaming has transformed not only the way fans listen to music, but also the way artists release music to the world. And while music has become a more song-dri...


Reggaetn Mexa, el gnero que est arrasando en Mxico

El reggaet n ha conquistado a oyentes de todo el mundo, pero en M xico el g nero reina. De hecho, M xico escucha reggaet n m s que cualquier otro pa s en Spotif...


Nick Viall Dishes on Relationships, His Podcast, and How He Discovers New Music on Spotify

We love helping listeners discover new music on Spotify, and when it comes to fe...


RADAR US Is Back With the Raw and Unfiltered Raps of Sexyy Red

RADAR was launched in 2020 to support artists and creators as they chart their paths to superstardom, and it has since become the global home for what's nex...


Writer Diablo Cody and Filmmaker Zelda Williams Talk the Tunes That Help Score Lisa Frankenstein'

The '80s. A teenage crush. High school drama. And, of course, a corpse. Mayb...


7 Colombian Podcasters Breaking Through in 2024

Spotify is home to more than 5 million podcasts. From impactful life stories to tips for conquering the world, the medium gives fans countless hours of content ...


Siete podcasters colombianos que la van a romper en 2024

Spotify es el hogar de m s de 5 millones de p dcast. Desde historias de vida impactantes hasta consejos para conquistar el mundo, el medio ofrece a los fans inc...


Celebrate a Decade of Our K-Pop ON! () Playlist With a Special Series of Spotify Singles

The global success of K-Pop has opened the eyes and ears of music fans around th...


Spotify Reports Fourth Quarter 2023 Earnings

Today, we announced our fourth quarter 2023 performance. The business delivered strong results in Q4, as all of our KPIs met or exceeded guidance. With revenue ...


Spotify rapporterar intkter fr fjrde kvartalet 2023

Idag publicerar Spotify sina finansiella resultat f r fj rde kvartalet 2023. Verksamheten levererade starka resultat under det fj rde kvartalet, och samtliga a...


Watch ELLE Magazine's Exclusive Livestream of the 2024 Spotify Best New Artist Party Here

Our eighth annual celebration of the year's Best New Artist nominees has arr...


The Art of Podcasting with Joe Rogan and His New Multiyear Spotify Partnership

The Joe Rogan Experience debuted in 2009, has been a Spotify exclusive since 2020, and we're just getting started. Today we announced our new multiyear part...


Raise Your Snapchat Game With Spotify's New Snapchat Sharing Lens

Whether it's your signature song or a new single you can't stop playing on repeat, the music you love to listen to is a part of who you are. And we know...


Actor Noah LaLonde Talks Top Books and Bringing My Life with the Walter Boys' from Page to Screen

You may recognize Noah LaLonde from his role as Cole Walter in Netflix's new...


Best New Artist 2024: Everything You Need To Know About This Year's Nominees

Over the last eight years, Spotify has honored the top rising stars in the music world with an annual celebration recognizing their accomplishments in landing a...


Apple's Proposed Changes Reject the Goals of the DMA

For almost five years - 1,782 days - we have been asking the European Commission to take action against Apple. In a world that values competition and innovation...


The DMA Means a Better Spotify for Artists, Creators, and You

What's one of the top complaints about Spotify? It's actually something that until now has been outside of our control: the ability to seamlessly subscr...


Spotify Helps Kick Off the Americas Kings League Santander as the Official Audio Partner

Spotify is ready to amp up the fun on and off the pitch as the official audio pa...


Spotify se suma a la inauguracin de la Amricas Kings League Santander como partner de audio oficial

Spotify est listo para aumentar la diversi n dentro y fuera de la cancha como p...


New Year, New You: Audiobook Picks To Help You Start 2024 on the Right Foot

Whether it's New Year's resolutions or a post-holiday reset, there's always extra motivation to adopt a few healthy habits each January. But sometim...


Beauty and Fashion Creator Meredith Duxbury Dishes On the Music That's Been Dominating Her Playlists

Photo credit: Jared Kocka We love helping listeners discover new music on Spotif...


Spotlighting the Artists To Watch in 2024

It's a new year, and that means it's time to predict which artists will make their mark in 2024. Continuing our annual Artists To Watch campaign, we'...


Spotify and Delta Travel Across Cultures and Continents in the Passport Sessions Series

Frequent flyers already know some of the melodic perks that come with Spotify...


It's Time To Unlock Your Playlist In a Bottle From 2023 (and Make a New One for Next Year)

Quick pulse check: What's your mood, your inspiration, and your mindset as y...


10 Great Audiobooks for Fans of Jane Austen

One of literature's most beloved authors, Jane Austen has mesmerized generations of readers with romantic tales like Pride and Prejudice that are set within...


Content Creator Irfan Junejo Shares His Favorite Restaurants, Artists, and Spotify Playlists

We love helping listeners discover new music on Spotify, and when it comes to fe...


Spotify's KALYE X Campaign Illuminates Pinoy Hip-Hop

Pinoy hip-hop is overtaking the music scene in the Philippines, and the lively beats of Filipino artists are finding their way to listeners far beyond the geogr...


9 Audiobooks for Travelers This Holiday Season

Audiobooks can be the perfect entertainment while traveling this holiday season. However, if you're planning for every mile ahead of you or simply want to s...


Los 10 aos de Spotify elevando a los creadores latinos

En 2013, Spotify comenz un viaje transformador en la mayor a de los pa ses de habla hispana de Am rica Latina, un viaje que, desde entonces, ha redefinido el r...


Spotify's 10-Year Journey Elevating Latin Creators

In 2013, Spotify embarked on a transformative journey in most of Latin America's Spanish-speaking countries, a journey that has since reshaped the rhythm of...


Celebrate the Holidays With Festive Playlists From TODAY Anchors

It's the most wonderful time of the year, and Spotify listeners, as well as our favorite anchors from NBC's TODAY, are getting into the spirit by stream...


Talk That Talk Winners Koku and Mariah Dish on Their New Podcast, Pitching at CultureCon, and the Hottest African Music Trends

In October, Spotify was front and center at CultureCon New York, a weekend-long ...


Spotify continuar su servicio en Uruguay

Nos complace compartir que Spotify seguir disponible en Uruguay y podr seguir brindando a los artistas la oportunidad de vivir de su arte y a miles de millone...


Spotify To Continue Its Service in Uruguay

We're pleased to share that Spotify will remain available in Uruguay and will continue to give artists the opportunity to live off their art. Meanwhile mill...


Content Creator Serena Kelly Explains Why It's OK To Just Have Fun With Audiobooks

A self-described girl who reads books and does makeup, content creator Serena ...


I'm Glad My Mom Died' Bestselling Author Jennette McCurdy Talks Inspiration and Audiobooks

As a teen actor, Jennette McCurdy found success when she landed a breakout role ...


An Update on December 2023 Organizational Changes

Earlier today, CEO Daniel Ek shared the following note about the company's organizational changes with all Spotify employees. Team, Over the last two yea...


Spotify Wrapped Sound Town: All You Need To Know

As you may have seen across the internet, we matched listeners to a Sound Town based on their own listening and artist affinity as part of our 2023 Spotify Wrap...


Spotify est siendo forzado a salir de Uruguay

ACTUALIZACI N 12/12/2023: Spotify seguir disponible en Uruguay y continuar brindando a los artistas la oportunidad de vivir de su arte y a que millones de fan...


Spotify Is Being Pushed Out of Uruguay

UPDATE 12/12/2023: Spotify will remain available in Uruguay and will continue to give artists the opportunity to live off their art. Meanwhile millions of fans ...


EQUAL Ambassador Bellakath Shows How To Get the World Dancing

Since kicking off her music career in 2020, Mexican reggaeton artist Bellakath has emerged as one of the genre's most exciting new talents. Reaching hundred...


Spotify's Holistic Approach to Contributions to the Canadian Broadcasting System

Spotify's Presentation at the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunicatio...


L'approche globale de Spotify contribuant au systme de radiodiffusion canadien

Pr sentation au Conseil de la radiodiffusion et des t l communications canadienn...


Spotify's Head of Global Marketing Experience Explains Why This Year's Wrapped Is the Realest Yet

Today, the biggest Wrapped we've ever created debuted on Spotify. Not only i...


Top EQUAL Artist INNA Reflects On a Standout Year

Today we kicked off 2023 Spotify Wrapped, our annual campaign that celebrates fans and creators worldwide. And as the good vibes keep coming, we look back on a ...


How Spotify Made Wrapped More Valuable Than Ever for Artists

When 2023 Spotify Wrapped rolls around each year, it's as much of an event for artists as it is for fans. With Artist Wrapped, musicians can check out a per...