Confessions Of A Bookstagrammer
I post my Reading Lifestyle on Instagram. I usually post daily. I follow like minded fellows who post their #shelfies #CurrentlyReading and their occasional #foodporn. I have gained online friends from around the globe who enjoys the same books as I do, and I occasionally feel a pang of envy when they post their latest book haul and sometimes just curse fate who made certain titles unavailable to my immediate geographic location.
Yes, that’s me. But please excuse This Reader for detailing some sobering truths I realized recently. To be honest, it gets tiresome sometimes. I started #IGBLOGGING last year. I didn’t know that I could find an avenue where I can show off another side of me, the quiet and unassuming side of me who just enjoys reading good books. I guess I was one of those introverts who assume an extrovert persona online that is otherwise impossible to do in conventional social situations. In a way, it was a revelation to many of my “real life” acquaintances and I enjoyed a reputation as “that girl who reads a lot”. It gave me confidence, the culmination of that after all is this blog. Sometimes, a negative side on #Bookstagramming rears its ugly head. And I think most of us #IGReaders would relate to some issues I’ll point below.
- Peer Pressure. There are days when I subconsciously try to cater my posts to what I think peers in my feed would like or expect from me. There’s nothing wrong with that. But there are times I prevent myself posting more controversial or unpopular books because I’d like my feed to be friendly or whatever you call that warm feeling of conformity.
2. JUDGING BOOKS BY ITS COVER. Or sometimes, you just don’t like a book but you try to put it in front of everyone because the cover looks nice. Actually, that’s one of the things I hate about this whole #bookstagramming thing. There are of course crappy book covers of otherwise good books. You can look no further than the US covers of Terry Pratchett’s books. Unfortunately for This Reader, our book stores get books mostly from US publishers. I am not immune to this of course, and the whole debate on
3. Judging Books By Its Cover is deeper than what I can summarize in this post. It gets worse when you go into a book store and you start being conscious of choosing edition that would look good on an Instagram post! I have become shallow.
4. Followers and the Likes. If you are on Instagram, you’ll sometimes get this, annoying follow requests. #F4F or Follow for Follow. Sometimes I oblige because why not, but when your feed is crowded by posts from your real life friends, virtual friends and some other online entities, you sometimes want to choose what you allow to enter in your virtual life. So you feel bad for turning someone down.
Sometimes, you also get obsessed with the likes on your post. You develop a neurotic desire for attention. You refresh your feed. You flick through your phone constantly checking how many likes you got on your newest post. It is nice of course to be liked by many people but if it affects your enjoyment of reading I guess it’s time to rethink the reason why you share your reading experience at all. If my complaints above painted the platform as shallow I’d be giving everyone in it a disservice. Despite everything else, Instagram proved to be a very good place for a photojournal. And as I slide through my account, I see a reflection of myself and I like it, because I seem to be having fun most of the time. Plus I get to document my reading progress. And I’ve discovered a whole community of enthusiastic readers who recommends books that I won’t otherwise be aware. You won’t find a more passionate group of bookworms than in Instagram. You’ll see shelf after shelf of books in different rooms. In a way, you see the person hiding behind every shelf more than the much maligned #SELFIE, because you see their minds, dreams and character in every book they read. So any #Bookstagrammers around here? I go by the name @kokay.m on Instagram. J