I love books.
I love reading books. I love looking at books (as well as book blogs). I love just having them in the house. And I love taking pictures of books. Even if that means opening them up and placing them on the floor while I lie on top of them. I might even add a cup of tea as well.
That’s fine because they are my books. I’ll do what I want with them. I purchased them; therefore I can choose what happens to them.
However, according to Hillary Kelly at Vulture, this is nothing more than an annoying trend that is ‘anti-intellectual’ and ‘shorn of meaning.’
I am new to the Bookstagram community, but I was not aware that there are apparently rules to follow. I did not realise that I must only take photos that invite my followers to ‘enjoy or critique or loathe or interrogate the books’ (even though I have had many discussions in the comments of my photos, as well as the accounts that I follow). I certainly had no idea that there are guidelines when it comes to book art and photography. Forgive me for not thinking that creativity is locked in a prison where there is nothing but rules and restrictions. I thought that creativity is simultaneously fun and beautiful.
Usually, I’m not bothered by what people think about my photos. I post pictures that I like and about books that I want to talk about. And as far as I know, pretty much every bookstagrammer feels this way. So the fact someone can be so vexed over a photo of books is just completely beyond me.
Instagram is nothing more than a bit of fun, an outlet. For many, it is how they make their living. For others, it’s what helps keep them reading. But no matter why we do it, bookstagrammers have one thing in common: we love books. And we want to share that.
I haven’t been part of the bookstagram community for very long, but I can already say that every bookstagrammer that I have spoken to has been lovely, engaging and supportive.
So the fact that there are people out there who feel the need to tear us down does offend me, especially when they insult our intelligence.
I like books, others like books, and we want to take photos with them. Whether we have read them or not. And I don’t see anything wrong with that.