Like many other trends, I joined Instagram for books and reading a bit later than everyone else. I genuinely thought it was another platform that bookworms, among other people, use to procrastinate while the books in their TBR shelves collected dusts. (Am I wrong or am I wrong?)
I joined the bandwagon with much innate skepticism, thanks to the peer pressure and the allure of getting more free books to review from the publishers. Let us face it, we bookworms are all greedy for free books!
And boy, am I a convert! From someone who didn’t even have the Instagram app on her phone, I have become a person I hardly recognize – especially when I took 25 minutes to buy a coffee mug, which is now visible on every alternate photo I post on Instagram. It just not that.
Bookstagram has changed so many things for me including my reading habits. Oh let me tell you how!
Positive Changes – Instagram for books
Finding book clubs and more discussions
Thanks to Bookstagram, I met some amazing people online and one thing lead to another. And BAM! I am now a member of four book clubs in Instagram that are actually active.
We have book of the month, and most of us religiously read and DISCUSS them, which is what I was craving for like any book worm would.
Keeping up with the challenges
I have always been meaning to read more classics and revisit the novels of the queen of mystery Dame Agatha Christie. And while on Instagram I found the book clubs that have members who want to do that as well, and that has helped me keep up my resolution.
I have read seven Agatha Christie books and six classics since joining the group in 2019, which is quite a feat for me. But all thanks to reading Instagram and the book clubs that keep me on my toes.
Understanding the importance of representation
I cannot stress enough how much I depend on social networks on keeping me updated with the current state of affairs and issues. As someone who is living out here in the deserts of Dubai, I need all the help I can get.
Bookstagram and Twitter are the sole reasons that I have been finding out diverse representation in books. Without them I would not have known what to look for and mainly why they matter. I am still learning y’all!
Reading more regularly and rigorously
I am generally a mood reader which means I either read ten books a month or read nothing for the next two months. And choosing which book to read next usually took a lot of time in general. It still does. But joining bookstagram helped me keeping track of what I read and updating my reading progress regularly has made me more accountable.
Having to talk about books on a schedule has made me read more rigorously and regularly. I think the pressure(?) that the bookstagram schedules has been putting on me and it works well on me.
Falling for the book covers
I think I was one of those rare bookworms that never gave a second thought about the book covers. Especially since I have a weird habit of not reading the synopsis (or blurb) before reading the book, I didn’t really take much time to appreciate the beautiful cover of the book.
Then bookstagram happened. Now the first thing I see about a book is the cover. I appreciate the designs, fonts and colors of the cover lot more and I am enjoy doing that.
Reading more Young Adult books
Bookstagram plays a huge role in the books I read and since the young adult books are the most popular ones I have been picking a lot of them recently.
It is a good thing because I don’t usually reach out for them and they are a great alternative to the classics and mystery novels that I read for the book clubs. Also because YA is where most representations and current issues are being addressed currently.
Negative Changes – Instagram for books
Looking out for popular book
Let’s face it. At the end of the day it is the numbers that matter, even in Bookstagram. And it may not come as surprise that posting about popular books is inevitable to gain popularity and engagement.
So I have been reading so many popular books of late, many that I wouldn’t have if it hadn’t been for Bookstagram. Not that I haven’t enjoyed them nor all of them were bad, but I am sure I could have spent the time better, knocking off some book of my TBR list.
I hope sincerely that more Bookstagrammers started posting about books from Own voices, POC authors and independent publishers as well, which is becoming rare due to all the number games.
The feeling of being left out
Continuing the above theme, I have come to realize that ‘doing our own thing’ is more difficult with Instagram than book blogging.
I generally do not read much of fantasy and SciFi genres and they constitute almost half the new releases these days. So it is kinda inevitable but to feel left out seeing all these beautiful books that I might never read.
It is really a short ride from the fear of missing out to feeling guilty about the reading choices.
Giving in to the schedule pressure
I am trying so hard not to do this and I hope the day never comes, that my Instagram feed will consist of so many books that I never have read before.
The pressure of having a schedule and the need to talk about new books shouldn’t end up in just adding a picture and not forget the existence of the book.
Yes I know I have a lot of them currently on my shelf but I hope Bookstagram doesn’t add more to that bunch.
Giving up lesser known books
We book bloggers want it all. We want to read so many books in so little time. The cost of reading the most popular books comes at missing out the other great ones.
I sometimes miss giving in to the mood and picking a random book off the shelf. And the pleasure of buying never heard of books based on the quirky title off a second hand books shop.
Are you on Instagram for books and reading and more importantly, are you following me? And has it affected your reading habits at all, or is it just me? I would love to hear from you, in the comment section. Let us talk.