Today, I have a shocking confession to make.
I am a bookstagrammer.
What does that mean? I have an Instagram devoted entirely and completely to books. I post pictures of books almost every day, in all sorts of different arrangements and with a number of merchandise surrounding it. As I wake up every morning, the first thing I do is take my mobile phone, arrange my books in beautiful patterns, and upload the photos I take for thousands of people to see.
Let me tell you why you should too.
Until recently, I was not the biggest fan of social media. What should I be posting about?, I asked myself. Surely people will be bored if I just tell them about my life. So I didn’t take care of my Twitter, my Goodreads page is updated only whenever I finish a book, and my LinkedIn is only up as a kind of digital CV. Nothing fascinating.
Then I discovered the magic of Instagram. Or, should I say, my housemate discovered it. He showed me one day that he had downloaded the app and that he already had something like 20 followers. I took this as a challenge. “I’ll get more followers than you!”, I said. Of course, I had no idea whatsoever how Instagram worked or what kind of pictures people liked to see. We both laughed, and went on with our lives.
I now have 2,900 followers.
So how did I go from nothing to so many followers in just 4 months? Am I some kind of digital guru who knows how to exploit the Instagram algorithm? Maybe I know everything there is to know about SEO applied to social media? Or perhaps I am some kind of viral entity that generates views from scratch?
The answer is simple: I just did what I liked. And what I like is books.
I didn’t know what to photograph, so I started with some monuments and landscapes. It was not long, however, before I discovered #bookstagram, a tag that unites all the people who loves books. I took a look at the kind of pictures they were posting, and thought, hey! I could be doing that too! So I did. In fact, I took all the pictures in this post myself!
There is something oddly comforting, oddly beautiful about arranging books by colour, or by adding bits of merchandise here and there to spice up your shelves. Despite how much time I have already spent on Instagram, I keep coming up with new photo ideas, and post them almost daily. My average picture scores anywhere between 250 and 500 likes, though my most popular one so far got 810 likes.
This is not a lot, mind you—the real instastars get thousands of likes in their photos in a matter of hours. But that’s fine with me. What I like from Instagram is that people who love the same books as you do will comment on their favourite bits, or will share some special merchandise they have, or will let you know about an upcoming book launch. It is the spirit of community that makes me feel so welcome in Instagram.
All in all, I am a bookstagrammer, and very proud of the fact. I would recommend creating an account to everyone who is passionate about books and would like to share the love. And if you’re already in, we could follow each other! Find me at @miguel_morell.
See you soon, lovely bookaholics!