Blogging should be fun. There are no right way or wrong way to blog about books. Whether your avenue is WordPress, Youtube, Instagram, or even Twitter, your platform is yours. With bookstagram there have been recent opinions about the presentation of books. Or rather, the lack of book related content bookstagrammers have become accustomed to. I thought this was an interesting thought and while I did nod my heads at certain parts of the original message, I do believe everyone has a right to conduct their accounts however they choose.
WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?
Weeks ago I came across a comment which voiced its disappointment in the bookstagram community for the lack of “book talk.” By this the OP meant that bookstagrams have now become more focused on the aesthetics of their feed and post captions which provide no opinions or views on the books they photograph. The OP also further states that bookstagrams these days are only interested in promoting book related merchandises, or only talk about hyped up books.
UNDERSTANDING THE IG ROUTE
Instagram is, first of all, a photo-sharing application. It’s bound to be all about the aesthetics! From experience, you know that aesthetically pleasing accounts are more likely to gain massive followings than those that aren’t.
Many instagrammers have to be able to sell themselves within a 1×1 photo. When scrolling through the explore tab, no one is going to read the caption for each thumbail. On IG you are more likely to have people stop at your account if your photos catch their eyes. Because Instagram is all about photography, people will pay put more effort in their photos than the captions.
Is this behavior shallow?
To an extent, sure!
But is it fair to disprove someone as a legitimate bookworm for this?
The OP was concerned that people were not having genuine conversations about books on instagram which is understandable, but if this is what you’re truly looking for then Goodreads and book review blogs are there for you! The Instagram community has and will always be about photo-sharing, so it’s silly to consider these bookstagrams “superficial”.
Secondly, people do worry about publishers choosing popular bookstagrams over genuine reviewers. Bookstagram tours were given as an example where accounts would simply post a blurb of the book and that’s it. So with this one, I fell it is a legitimate concern. With book tours I do expect there to be a discussion around the book rather than simply posting pictures. However, at the same time, publishers do look for accounts with a wide audience because at the end of the day, it’s about promotion.
Finally, one’s Instagram account is a personal curation. Whether they choose to talk about the book or the weather is their choice. Nobody needs to write long reviews or even medium length reviews if they don’t want to! Look, photography is a skill. People put in just as much hard work in to setting up, photographing, and editing their bookstagram pictures as we do with our reviews.
SO WHAT DO YOU DO?
We don’t have to follow any account, if it isn’t our type. If people want their bookstagram to be a place of fun, then let it be. If it’s just about creativity and no reviews, then let it be.
I do understand the concern. It’s not easy when one works hard at writing reviews and trying to facilitate discussions but having no reply. It’s disheartening wanting to join a book tour for an author you love but then end up not getting it; when popular accounts get a chance with an author you love but don’t give the book a proper discussion as you see fit. I relate to the envy and the frustration. But rather than quitting, find your community. Or better yet, create it! People are willing to interact and discuss if you talk to them!
While opinions are allowed to be voiced, attacking people over their choices is immature.
Don’t be a dementor.
What’s you experience with bookstagram? Do you look for book reviews or prefer creative photos? What are some concerns you have about bookstagram?