A Book Lover's Niche

In the fall of 2015, when I was working at a local bookstore in my hometown, I found myself having many conversations about my love for books. I quickly learned that you can’t talk about books without giving insight on how reading fits into your life. Books have always been the vehicles to lifestyles. Exchanging comments and critiques with customers, I would always mention that I ran a bookstagram account. They would look up, their eyes furrowed, and ask, “What’s that?” Even though I was often disheartened that the customer didn’t know about the extensive community of bookworms on Instagram, I never hesitated to explain.

“It’s an Instagram account… but for books. So I post pictures about the books I’m currently reading, and ones that I’ve loved in the past. Some people write reviews of books, and I always find a good recommendation when I scroll through.”

Their look of confusion turns into one of thoughtfulness as they remark, “Oh! I’ll have to check it out then!”

The concept of an Instagram devoted solely to books exploded a few years ago. People who post every day gain millions of followers, and some even make it their full-time job. Social media can be filled with FOMO (fear of missing out) and comparisons to Photoshop, but bookstagram is simply about sharing a common love. It’s a very welcoming environment, and the account can become a “safe haven” of sorts. You find comfort in other people liking the same author as you. It’s a place of genuinely nice people who don’t care about what you look like, but rather what you read.

There are bookworms who take their Instagram very seriously and are donned with expensive cameras and Photoshop skills to add depth to the photos posted. But for starters, myself included, all you need is a love for books and a smartphone. I’ll buy cheap miscellaneous items to pair with different books and am always scouting out new places to use as the backdrop. What matters is not the quality of the picture, but what you have to say about the book (even though better-quality pictures sometimes get more likes).

The bookstagram community is filled with people from all over the world, and literature lets us congregate to find common ground.