The Thoughts Of A Bookstagrammer

When I started my bookstagram account, I had no clue what I was getting myself into. It’s simultaneously exciting, motivating, stressful and intimidating – I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve scrolled through my feed and thought ‘Why can’t I take photos like that?’ or ‘Wow, this person just reached 5643789 followers. My account is moving so slooowly.’ And I know from conversations and many Insta captions that I’m not alone here.

So, I’ve compiled a list of things I, a bookstagrammer, typically think in a day in the hopes of finding more people that share the same thoughts. And I’ve only included 10, but I’m pretty sure I could write about a lot more

That book sounds incredible…

*adds to the many other books in my online shopping book*

It also looks stunning. Perfect for my feed.

We are all guilty of simply ordering a book for the ‘gram.

I have an idea for a photo but it’s going to take so.much.time.

#bedofooks photos anyone?

WHY CAN I NOT TAKE GOOD PHOTOS?

Fairy lights won’t twist the way I want. The colours don’t match. The arrangement looks off. My cup of tea is an awful colour. *574833 shots later* Great. It’s been hours, still not great and now the lighting is gone.

Finally! The perfect shot. Do I reaaaly need to put all of these books away now?

And the lights, leaves, bedding, teddies, and whatever else I’ve brought from downstairs.

Why does it always rain when I need to take an outdoor photo?

My theme is suffering for it.

This setting is not the setting that I need.

It’s Autumn – where are all the brightly coloured leaves?

People are coming. Be cool. It’s only a photo.

But they don’t stop staring!

THEY WON’T LEAVE.

How dare they use a public space and interrupt my photo session?

You know what, just do it. You’ll never see them again.

Could be worse – I could be doing drugs right now.

Right, done. GO GO GO

Never do I pack anything as quickly as my books and props.

Now, let’s check the photos…

I’ve done it again. My finger is covering the title.

ffs.

Not even worth it. My photos are terrible.

WHY CAN’T I TAKE GOOD PHOTOS

Wonder if editing will make a difference…

This needs to be darker, this bit needs to be lighter, this needs to be straighter, and my entire face needs improvements.

Omg. It actually looks good!

Maybe I’m better at this than I thought.

HOW DO I WRITE GOOD CAPTIONS???

Seriously, how do people do this?

Ok all done. Now let’s see what everyone else is posting….

Like…like…like…like….WHY CAN’T I TAKE GOOD PHOTOS LIKE THAT???

*450 hours later* Time for some reading now I think.

I think I’ll read that book that everyone is talking about on Instagram.

So the last five books have been featured on my grid, and I’ve read two of them.

I have a LONG TBR. It’s cool though, I’ll read them eventually.

Wow. This book is insane. I can see the hype.

Thank you to the person who recommended this to me.

Oh.My.God. I can’t believe he’s been killed off.

I wonder what *insert bookstagrammer’s name* thought of this?

Finished. Wow. Insane.

And so begins the stage where I mourn every character in the book.

I should totally review this for my blog.

Because everyone needs to know about every book I ever read.

I also need to take a photo of it for the ‘gram…

Way too dark now. I’ll do it tomorrow.

*wakes up* *takes photos*

WHY CAN’T I TAKE GOOD PHOTOS?!??!

Book blogs that I love

Just in case you haven’t already caught on, my favourite thing to do in this world is read. But, there are times when I fancy nothing more than lying in bed with a cup of tea and seeing what my favourite book bloggers have been posting.

Most of my favourite book bloggers, I have found through Instagram. Before I even realised bookstagramming was a thing, I was following book accounts simply because I loved their photos, and then I slowly started reading a few of their blog posts. Now, there is a handful whom I follow religiously; I will read any post that they have published and like every single one of their photos. They were the first accounts I followed when I started my bookstagram and the inspiration behind my blog.

I’ve compiled this list for anyone wanting to up their TBR list, are looking for ideas for their blogs, or are wanting to be blown away by more beautiful book accounts. I’ve only written about five, but there are so many more out there that I love.

Books and Quills

 Image by  booksandquills
Image by booksandquills

This is one of the first book blogs I followed. Books and Quills moved from the Netherlands years ago, and now she shares her adventures on her blog. Books aren’t the only thing that she focuses on; you can also find food and travel bits as well. She also has a YouTube, which is where I often turn to if I’m in need of career motivation or reading inspiration (she used to work in publishing), and her posts range from reviews to reading lists to travel diaries – she covers pretty much everything you need.

Simone and her books

 Image by  Simone and Her Books
Image by Simone and Her Books

Simone is another blogger whose posts I have spent hours reading. I’m pretty sure she has read every book imaginable, and if not then she certainly has them all ready to go in her TBR pile. I like how varied her reads are; they’re not all just bestsellers or classics that everyone already knows and love. Her reviews are insightful, and her bookstagram photos will undoubtedly leave you craving a cup of tea.

Wandering Bibliophile

 Image by  Wandering Bibliophile
Image by Wandering Bibliophile

Another blogger who I have been following for a while. Her photos are so cute and creative, and some of her recent ones are incredible; they feature floating Owlcrates and literary clouds! Her blog, Paperback Passport, focuses on not just books, but travel and lifestyle as well, plus she has her book club and newsletter. I love the names of her accounts, ‘Wandering Bibliophile’ and ‘Paperback Passport,’ as they represent the many magical worlds one experiences when they open a book.

The Aze Reads

 Image by  The Aze Reads
Image by The Aze Reads

Above is one of the photos that I’ve encountered on Instagram which inspired my account. Any blog that is run by a uni student automatically appeals to me, because their content can sometimes relate to the books their studying, or what they’ve learned, and I love hearing about what people discover. What is particularly relatable, is that Erika also wants to work in publishing and loves writing as much as reading, so her account is right up my street!

Whatshotblog

 Image by  Whatshotblog
Image by Whatshotblog

This is one blog whose posts I never miss. I love her content, my recent favourite being The Ultimate Guide to Alice in Wonderland in Oxford. While this blog is more of a travel blog, it is filled with book content also, featuring reviews, bookish guides and lists, and book locations. She’s also a massive Harry Potter fan and creates stunning flatlays, the perfect blogging combination.

#bedofbooks: That Annoying Instagram Trend

bed of books

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.