Book lovers, unite — on Bookstagram

Sunday , February 04, 2018 - 12:00 AM

By BAILEY O'LEARY
TX. Correspondent

You’ve heard of Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram, but have you heard of Bookstagram?

It’s not a new social media platform — rather, it’s a group of people within the already existing Instagram app. If you love books, reading, writing or even journaling, then you’ll want to check out this large community. 

Here are some of the basics of Bookstagramming:

Finding Bookstagram is pretty easy; all you have to do is open up the Instagram app, search for the hashtag “bookstagram” (or any other word to do with books, for that matter), and voila! Millions upon millions of photos will come up featuring novels, series, writing and reviews.

Currently, there are 17.2 million photos and counting under the Bookstagram hashtag.

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Bookstagram photography is an art. Many, if not all of the bloggers on Bookstagram put a lot of time and effort into the photos they post. It’s not just head-on shots of books; some pictures have props in them, others have people, and some accounts use Photoshop to add a creative touch.

A common element among book accounts on Instagram is also to have a theme. If you go to Bookstagrammer Michelle’s account (@berrybookpages), for instance, and scroll down, all of her pictures are taken in the same area and have a lovely, warm coffee hue.

Other accounts have white, minimalistic feeds, some have darker tones, some are colorful.

Between taking the photos and editing them, it is clear to see that Bookstagramming is not a quick five-second task of clicking “share.”

But it’s not just pictures of books. The Bookstagram community is much more than a collection of photos of pretty novels, however aesthetically pleasing they may be. It’s a place to show the world who you are.

A book blogger named Stephanie says, “Bookstagram for me has been a huge confidence booster. It’s a way for me to express myself, practice photography, share my thoughts on books and find new books to read.” (You can find Stephanie on Instagram as @stephanie_journals.)

Not only is Bookstagram personally developing and fun, it’s also a way to connect with others who share the same love of reading, writing and discovering new worlds. It’s a surprisingly tight-knit community, despite its large size. Circles of book friends will share accounts with one another that they love, talk excitedly about new books coming out soon, and discuss books they’ve already read. Bookstagram forms new friendships among people all around the world.

There is much more to the Bookstagram community than could ever be put into words. I myself have become friends with so many amazing people and have adored getting to know them and seeing their thoughts and creativity. I would highly recommend joining Bookstagram, or even just taking a look at all it has to offer.

Bailey Shae O’Leary is a senior at Northridge High School. She loves writing, reading, photography and art of all kinds. Email her at baileyshae2000@gmail.com.

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