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How I Started a Bookstagram: Tales From a Formerly Retired Bookworm

Growing up such an avid reader, I was disappointed when I got into high school and couldn’t make time for it anymore. I always wanted to, but between classes, extracurriculars and social activities, it was hard to make time. For years, one of my top resolutions going into the new year was always “read more” or “make more time to read” or something of the sort, and I can finally say that this year I made progress on that goal.

When I was younger and had moved to a new place where I knew no one, I found great solace in reading. It became an escape for me when I felt alone. Obviously, over time I lost that, but now — thanks to the way 2020 has panned out — it’s all coming back.

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At the beginning of quarantine, I once again found myself in the same place I was in when I moved — physically and mentally alone and in need of an escape. Not only did this make me pick up a book, but it made me pick up multiple — one after another, and I actually finished reading them. It also reacquainted me with a side of social media that shares the same passion for reading that I do.

I’ve always been really into “BookTube,” which is an area of YouTube where people talk about books, what they’re reading, and more, but it wasn’t until my friend started her “bookstagram” that I decided I wanted to get more involved in that kind of community. So, I reached out to my friend and asked her for tips on how to get started. She told me about all the staples of running a bookstagram, how she uses Goodreads to keep track of the books she’s read, and how welcoming the book-loving community is. After that, all I needed was an Instagram handle and then I could get started.



A post shared by nicole ☆ bookstagram (@nic.reads)


I’ve had my bookstagram for only about three months now, and it’s just as friendly and welcoming as I was told it would be! Before, I was just getting book recommendations from people who loved books like I do. Now I’m giving recommendations, writing reviews and talking about all of my favorites with people who get it — my friends, family and roommates no longer have to hear me vent or gush about things they know nothing about. Not only do I have people to talk to, but I have something keeping me accountable! Running my bookstagram gives me that extra bit of encouragement to keep reading, and my Goodreads tracker helps a ton, too.

In terms of advice on getting started, the only part of bookstagram that’s consistent across all accounts are to-be-read lists — where you say what you plan to read that month — and wrap-up lists — what you actually read that month. After that, you can post book reviews, stack challenges and much more — it’s whatever you make of it! It doesn’t matter if you’re a fast reader or a slow reader. It doesn’t matter if you like nonfiction, fiction or graphic novels. It doesn’t matter if you read 500 books in a year or five. All that matters is that you love to read.


So, if you needed a sign to start a bookstagram of your own, this is it! And if you want to keep up with me and my reading journey, follow mine at @alinasbooked on Instagram and add me on Goodreads here.

Alina is a senior at the University of Central Florida pursuing a double-major in psychology and creative writing as well as a behavioral forensics certificate. Through her writing, she hopes to find her own voice and encourage others to find theirs. When she isn't writing or drowning in class assignments, you can find her in her room reading or binging Netflix shows with an iced coffee in hand. Be sure to keep up with her on Instagram: @alinajalvarez.
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