Meet the Bookstagrammers Behind the Swooniest Photos in Your Feed

Credit: eden.hammond

Do you love books? Do you also love drooling over aesthetic photos of those books? Allow me introduce you to your new favorite corner of the internet. From steampunk-inspired backdrops to rainbow stacks to elaborate literary cosplay, the bookstagram sector of Instagram was carved out by book lovers who appreciate that novels sometimes should be judged by their covers. And as stunning as the photography is, bookstagram is more than just photos—it’s a full-blown literary community. Many bookstagrammers are also bloggers, and will review their most recent reads in the descriptions of their posts. Others participate in challenges and tags as a way to interact with the bookish community online. Below, four experienced bookstagrammers share their favorite photo of the past year, and talk books, snaps, and why you should bookstagram, too.

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Alexandra, age 19, U.S., three years on bookstagram
What inspired you to create a bookstagram?
During my high school years, I was homeschooled and spent much of my time alone on the Internet. There weren’t many real-life friends for me to talk to about my love for literature, and I think I was subconsciously looking for an outlet. Then I distinctly remember seeing one book picture on my Explore page on Instagram and thinking, ‘THIS IS WHAT I’M DOING.’
How has bookstagram changed the way you interact with literature?
The more you share your passions with others, the more passionate you become on the subject. The same could be said of my relationship with reading. As I continued to be part of the bookstagram community, literature became a bigger aspect of my life. I also became more conscious of new releases and more critical of what I was reading.
What is one reason you like interacting with the reading community through Instagram as opposed to through other forms of social media?
Bookstagram is a community anyone can be a part of. You can keep a sense of anonymity while still being authentic. Also, it can get very aesthetic, which I LOVE.
Everyone knows the saying “never judge a book by its cover,” but some books are more photogenic than others.What are some of your favorite book covers to take pictures of?
There are SO many wonderful covers! Some of my favorite are the ones created for the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before series by Jenny Han. I love the style, handwriting, and everything about them!
Tell us about your favorite photo you took this year (see above).
It’s from a while ago, but I remember assembling/organizing the “throne of books” took me a few hours!
Any advice for people who are thinking of joining bookstagram?
Don’t overthink it. I created my bookstagram account on a whim, without knowing what I was doing or how. Now that the community is bigger, I think there’s a feeling of expectation or pressure on how one’s account should look, or which books they should like. This feeling stops many people from even trying! So if you’ve been thinking about starting a bookstagram, just go for it.

Credit: darkfaerietales_

darkfaerietales_
Bridget, age 31, U.S., one year on bookstagram

What inspired you to create a bookstagram?
I was at a book conference last April and some of the other bloggers were talking about bookstagram. I decided to check it out and I fell in love with the creativity of everyone’s pictures! I just knew I wanted to join the community!
How has bookstagram changed the way you interact with literature?
I care more about how pretty a cover is :). But in all seriousness, it has really made me notice the whole aesthetics of books and how much that plays into how well a book is perceived!
What is one reason you like interacting with the reading community through Instagram as opposed to through other forms of social media?
I love the community! There is very little drama and I have made so many amazing friends from bookstagram! I also love that I can be creative and unique, and that my reach and interaction is much further on Instagram then on other social media platforms.
What are some of your favorite book covers to take pictures of?
Probably the Remnant Chronicles, by Mary E. Pearson, or the Firebird Trilogy, by Claudia Gray. I love colorful covers!!!
Any advice for people who are thinking of joining bookstagram?
First and foremost, have fun with your pictures! Try not to worry about the amount of followers you get or the number of likes each post receives. If you love your pictures, others will too! But it will take time to grow, so be patient and try to enjoy the journey.

Credit: leiturasecreta

leiturasecreta
Carollina, age 27, Brazil, one year on bookstagram

What inspired you to create a bookstagram?
When I found out about bookstagram, I fell in love right away. So I decided to create an account to get in touch with people from my own country and talk to them about the books I knew of and also discover new ones. I managed to match two of my greatest passions: photography and books.
How has bookstagram changed the way you interact with literature?
Before bookstagram I was such a lonely reader. I didn’t have anyone to talk to about the books I read. Now, my followers expect me to talk about books and share my impressions, and I find this amazing! I found out a way to discover new genres and authors because of bookstagram, and I think I’m a better reader now.
What is one reason you like interacting with the reading community through Instagram as opposed to through other forms of social media?
I like interacting with people on Instagram because it’s an easier and a quicker type of social media. I can do a whole bunch of things easily on Instagram and I don’t need to spend too much time on a post to make it a good one. In addition to that, I like the way I connect with people through Instagram.
What are some of your favorite book covers to take pictures of?
I love to take pictures of The Selection series, by Kiera Cass.
Tell us about your favorite photo you took this year (see above).
My top pick from this year so far would be The Winner’s Curse, by Marie Rutkoski. I think it’s an amazing book and its trilogy makes such awesome pictures as well.
Any advice for people who are thinking of joining bookstagram?
If you’re willing to do this, do it because you love it, not because you only want the benefits out of it, such as free books or even fame. All of this must come from true passion. Reading is the best thing in the world, remember that!!

Credit: eden.hammond

eden.hammond
Eden, age 19, New Zealand, one and a half years on bookstagram

What inspired you to create a bookstagram?
I came across a monthly challenge that a couple of bookstagrammers were hosting and I thought it’d be fun to participate in.
How has bookstagram changed the way you interact with literature?
Bookstagram has definitely influenced what books I become interested in reading. There’ve been books that I’ve seen on Goodreads that I just didn’t find myself interested in, but then some accounts I really love will talk about it and next thing I know I’m buying myself a copy. It’s great because it’s really expanding my reading horizons, and I’m finding books I love that I wouldn’t have otherwise thought to try.
What is one reason you like interacting with the reading community through Instagram as opposed to through other forms of social media?
I’m just really passionate about photography, so I love seeing how other bookworms express their creativity and their love of books. I think that visual representation of how much someone loves a book definitely grabs my interest more than just a review would, and the captions open up all these points of discussion, which is amazing because there’s so many brilliant people in this community.
What are some of your favorite book covers to take pictures of?
Haha, I’m so vain, I always judge a book by its cover! One of my favorites to photograph is my Barnes & Noble Classics edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. I also think Claudia Gray’s Firebird trilogy has the most beautiful covers on the face of the earth.
Tell us about your favorite photo you took this year (see above).
I was pretty pleased with how my triple rainbow stack shot turned out, and I feel like it definitely sums up my photo style pretty well.
Any advice for people who are thinking of joining bookstagram?
If you’re thinking of joining bookstagram, you totally should! Honestly all you need is a phone and whatever books you have, even if they’re from the library or on an e-reader. I’d also recommend participating in a challenge other accounts host. It’s a great way of having your photos seen and to meet other bookstagrammers!
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