Bookstagram: Why I Both Hate and Love It, and Why I Want to Start Again


Hi everyone! I’ve been apart of the book community for quite some time now. I’m pretty sure I started my bookstagram account in 2014 (I’m not 100% sure because I deleted all of my older posts out of embarrassment), and since then I’ve also joined book twitter, book blogging, and I even tried my hand at booktubing for a while (which was a disaster).

Bookstagram has always been the one platform I had the most trouble with and I’ve taken many breaks from it, but I’ve been wanting to start back up again so I thought it’d be a fun idea to talk about all of the reasons why I stopped bookstagramming in the first place, and why exactly I want to start again.


Why I Stopped

  • I’m not the most creative person when it comes to photography. I love sharing pictures of the books I’m reading, but I have no idea how to arrange stuff in a way that makes it look incredibly pretty, or how to not make all of my pictures look the exact same, etc. Seeing other people’s pictures often made me feel like I didn’t belong between all of these incredibly talented people.
  • I started enjoying Instagram less when I realized how elitist it sometimes felt. I’m not sure if that sentence makes a lot of sense, but what I mean is that quite a few of the most popular bookstagrammers had the best cameras, the prettiest props and the newest books. Because I wasn’t in a position to afford all that, and because I wasn’t the most creative person, I thought I would never be able to build an audience. So what would be the point?
  • Then, the algorithm hit me. The little bit of interaction that I had with people, which was my favorite part of being on bookstagram, almost completely dissapeared. People weren’t liking my posts anymore, I wasn’t having fun conversations in the comments, and I felt like I was failing.
  • On top of that, Instagram decided to randomly connect my bookstagram account to Facebook, meaning that a lot of people I know in real life started following me. The book community was supposed to be a safe space, where I could talk about the books that I love, and about being queer. I wasn’t out in real life yet, so I completely stopped talking about queer books on Instagram. Plus, people in real life often judged me for my love for books, so I felt like I couldn’t 100% be myself anymore, so I quit.


Why I Want to Start Again

  • I’m better at not caring about certain things. My experience used to be very much influenced by the numbers and by comparing myself to others, but I want to stop caring about those things and just share pictures of books with people because it’s fun.
  • Another thing that makes me want to come back to bookstagram is the stories. I still check Instagram from time to time and watching people’s stories and seeing them talk about books or do a book haul is so much fun, and I want to start doing that too. It’s still kinda scary to me because I’m very shy, but I’m very excited about the idea as well. (Update: I just tried it and I felt SO AWKWARD but I’m going to practice and someday soon I’ll have the courage to upload one! (hopefully))
  • This is quite a simple, straight-forward reason but: books are incredibly pretty and I love staring at them. Joining bookstagram would give me an excuse to stare at books more, and I’m very excited to start doing just that.

So, now that I’ve blocked all of the people I know in real life who started following me on my bookstagram account, deleted a lot of my posts, and have a few picture ideas, I’m ready to start again and I’m beyond excited! I’m planning on taking pictures tomorrow (or, today, because I’m scheduling this post for tomorrow) and then I’m going to start uploading them as well. Maybe I’ll also do a birthday book haul on Sunday! I honestly can’t wait!

If you want to follow me on bookstagram and see what I’m up to there you can follow me here, or search for my username which is @b.bliophile.

Some Thoughts on the Bookish Community and Loneliness
Twitter • Instagram • Goodreads

8 gedachtes over “Bookstagram: Why I Both Hate and Love It, and Why I Want to Start Again

  1. Danika @ The Lesbrary zegt:

    I relate to a lot of this. I love looking at Bookstagram, but I’m not a very visual person, so I find it really hard to try to compose a photo that looks good. At to that not having the best equipment and props and a cluelessness when it comes to editing Instagram photos and I feel like I’m totally lost.

    Lately, I have been enjoying the Instagram Stories feature. I feel like I don’t have to have the most brilliantly composed photos there, and instead just share what I’m excited about with some stickers and emojis.

    Geliked door 1 persoon

  2. Annemieke zegt:

    For the longest time I didn’t use stories but sometimes I use it now. And then forget about it for weeks haha.

    I used to be super active with bookstagram. But I share some of your reasons for quitting as to why I’m just not as active anymore. I am not that creative, don’t have that much time to set up a whole photo shoot (nor do I have the patience), the algorithm sucks. And I have been stuck on just not getting a 1000 followers for a while which is also kind of discouraging. Especially as other people seem to be growing so fast.

    But on the up I have realized that simple set ups and/or photos are beautiful too. Changing angles, playing with natural props is a lot of fun too. In Autumn I love taking pretty leaves from the park to use for my photos. And now when we have flowers in the house I like to use those.

    I’ve gone from posting daily to 3 times a day unless there is a special reason. I just couldn’t keep up with daily. But as long as I have fun still posting my pics than I’ll continue. I hope you will enjoy your new journey into bookstagram more.

    Geliked door 1 persoon

  3. Norrie zegt:

    I don’t use insta often, and till this day have no idea how stories work. Mind you, i haven’t even tried to find out 😂
    I like looking at pictures and sometimes get an inspiration for what to read next, but that’s about it.
    I get literally 0 traffic to my blog from insta.

    Geliked door 1 persoon

  4. Chelsea @romweasley @slytherink zegt:

    I relate to your entire post! As someone who is out online but in the closet in real life, Instagram is indeed a dangerous place. It has happened to me as well and I have no idea what I can do to stop it (besides blocking people, but on the downside they can see they’re blocked when they look at your account). I haven’t posted on my profile for a while primarily because I lack inspiration and because it’s so exhausting (I have Scoliosis and taking pics hurts).

    Geliked door 1 persoon

  5. India Kiely zegt:

    Honestly, all your thoughts are so spot on here. I’m in a similar position where I don’t have all the props, I don’t have the pretty bookish merch or fairy lights or a white bedspread even so I feel like I can’t fit in or create something pretty. But every so often I make a really good photo and then I’m so proud of myself or someone gets into a conversation about a book with me or I watch someone do a live book haul and suddenly it’s all worth it after all. Going to follow you now! (@sapphicauthor)

    Geliked door 1 persoon

  6. jasperandspice zegt:

    Oh I can totally understand why you quit! I’m feeling the pressure at the moment too and it’s so hard to keep a theme and take nice photos when Im really not the most artistic person. I only keep it to promote my blog but it’s becoming increasingly harder to be noticed.

    Geliked door 1 persoon

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