Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Bookstagramming- A Discussion

As some of you may or may not be aware, I decided to start a Bookstagram account a little while ago.  If you don't know, bookstagram is essentially Instagram's bookish community.  Bookstagrammers take pictures of... wait for it... books!  So, after a month or so of posting to this community, I thought I'd discuss my overall impression of Bookstagram.  Stick around and tell me what you think at the end!

 I'm primarily a book blogger.  The whole reason I started a Bookstagram account was to gain another branch of social media associated with my blog.  But, that aside,  anyone who follows my personal Instagram knows I love photography.  Photography and books seemed like the perfect pair, right? Well, it's a little more complicated than that.

Being a book blogger, I like to put time and effort into all my posts.  I try to alternate between reviews and other posts, and I'm always thinking up new ideas.  Blogging takes up a lot of time.  With Bookstagram, each picture usually took me an hour.  First you have to figure out what you're going to photograph, then you have to position it, set the lighting, and take pictures from a billion different angles.  After that, the picture must be edited, and a caption must be written.  So, in the end, I can spend up to an hour completing the entire process.  That's a whole hour I could've spent reading or blogging.  Or maybe an hour I could've spent studying for a test or doing some homework. I quickly realized that it would be difficult to be both a serious blogger and a serious Bookstagrammer.

But the time commitment isn't the only thing I dislike about curating a Bookstagram.  Instagram is an app for pictures, so of course the whole purpose of Bookstagram would be to post pictures of books.  It's not a community you go on to read something. So, on Bookstagram, you go on to look at the physical books.  This makes the Bookstagram community very materialistic.  With a Bookstagram, you become concerned with the actual, physical book, where as on a book blog, all that matters is what the book was about and what you thought of it.  I think I prefer to read and write about the inside of a book, not its exterior.  I'm definitely not saying that Bookstagrammers only care about the cover of books.  I love looking at the pictures people come up with, and I think what they're doing is great!  What I'm saying is that I personally prefer to put my time into blogging about the book rather than photographing the physical book.

The last thing I dislike about Bookstagramming was how many people were practically begging for followers.  It's a very competitive community, because everyone can see the exact amount of followers each person has, and people tend to judge each other based on how high their follower count is.  I've already gotten so many "f4f?"s on my pictures, and it's driving me crazy!  If you post quality pictures, you'll eventually be rewarded with more followers.  Begging for one extra follower is not the way to gain a good reputation.  I guess I just wish that people weren't so obsessed with how many followers they have.

This all being said, I do love Bookstagram.  I love looking at other people's pictures and accounts, and I enjoy seeing what people come up with.  My overall impression of the community and my experience contributing to it is simply that I would need to chose between primarily book blogging and primarily Bookstagramming.  I prefer to book blog.  It's a simple as that.  If you're a Bookstagrammer, I'm certainly not saying that what you do is below blogging.  Keep doing what you do!  I know first hand it's hard and time consuming to come up with quality content.  If you're a book blogger who also Bookstagrams, I wish I had whatever super power it is you have that allows you to juggle the two so effectively.

In the end, I'll certainly keep my Bookstagram, and I'll continue to post on it.  However, I won't be posting nearly as frequently as I have been. Every one-two days is just too much of my life put towards something I'm not truly passionate about!

So if you're a Bookstagrammer, what's your opinion on the community?  And if you blog and Bookstagram, how do you balance the two, and which do you consider your primary?


  1. I use bookstagram as an addition to my blog/booktube. I don't really worry about followers and I tend to use it just to update what I was reading at the moment or book hauls. So I really don't have a issue with balancing them.

    1. Yeah, that's sort of what I'm doing now. In the beginning, though, when I was trying to update everyday (like a lot of serious Bookstagrammers do), it became extremely challenging to keep up with everything.


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