On Quitting Bookstagram (For Now)

If you’re a regular reader of the blog, you’d probably remember my attempts to switch to book blogging for some time and then coming back to lifestyle/personal posts because writing book reviews wasn’t actually my thing. However, I still dearly loved books and I wanted to share my passion with the world, so, last August, I opened a secondary Instagram account to dedicate solely to books.

For a while, I really enjoyed sharing my staged bookish photos, I’ve made some nice connections in the bookstagram community (that I’ve found more welcoming than the book blogging one), joined some nice challenges and had fun. But the more I explored the community, the more I realized that I wasn’t reading what everybody else was reading and I often felt the need to rush through the book I was on just to be able to share a picture of it with my comment or my feed would be empty for more than a week.

The truth is that I’m a very slow reader, mostly because I have too much to read for my thesis that I feel my head exploding by the end of the day. Also, due to lack of space and money, I’ve stopped buying physical books lately, except for some beautiful editions of my favourites. Not to mention that I love my Kindle and I will never get why so many people are against a piece of technology that allows unprivileged people to read as much as they want. I’m happy for you if you can afford to buy 20 hardcovers at a time and actually have some storage space for them in your home, I can’t and so I use my Kindle, but it doesn’t mean that I’m not a “real reader” because of that. I’m not accusing anyone in particular, I’m just thinking about all the discussions and blog posts I’ve seen online in the last few years.

That said, Bookstagram changed my reading habits. I’ve started trying to get and read what was cool and trendy rather than following my heart, literary tastes and my wallet like I used to do before. So I decided to quit.

I’m not going to say it’s a forever choice since I know myself too well and it’s possible I will change my mind again in the near future, but I’d like to keep my reading life more private for now. I will still probably share something bookish here on the blog or on my personal Instagram, but nothing crazy.

7 thoughts on “On Quitting Bookstagram (For Now)”

  1. I’m in the same boat as you with bookstagram and also decided to put my bookish account on a hiatus during the summer. My reading habits are also very different from most bookstagrammers and I rarely find accounts share my bookish passions. So despite sharing with the world my reading habits, I still feel lonely.

    As for the “e-books aren’t real books”-debate: The Hobbit stays the Hobbit, whether I read it as a printed book, e-book, or listen to it as an audiobook. It frustrates and angers me when people try to shame others for reading e-books or listening to audiobooks. If the content of the book, aka the story, stays the same, then there is no difference in how you consume the book. This whole debate shows how even books have became a materialistic and consumerism status symbol. For many booktubers and bookstagrammers (I’m not in the bookblogger community, so I don’t know how it is there) seems “need” to have several bookshels filled to the brim with books. Whether they have actually read them is not as important. Having half a dozen bookshelves filled with books doesn’t impress me if you haven’t read most of them. A minimalist booktuber once said (can’t remember her name) that the joy in books doesn’t lie in owning them.

    There is another issue that bugs me about that “e-books aren’t real books” – debate. In addition to the fact that many cannot buy tons of physical books due to money issues, others prefer or even need e-boos and audiobooks due to disabilities, but no one who claims e-books and audiobooks “aren’t real books” ever thinks of that. I’m one-handed and I find it much easier to read a 1000 page novel as an e-book rather than as a physical book. especially when I’m commuting. For visually impaired people, e-books allow them to increase the font size of any book if they still got some sight left (among other helpful ways e-books have for visually impaired) or simply listen to an audiobook if they have no sight left anymore. Yes, books written in braille exist, but this following article explains what that can still be an issue: https://www.theguardian.com/childrens-books-site/2015/nov/04/accessing-books-visually-impaired-blind

    Sorry, I could go on and on about this, because I totally get your frustration on this

    1. I completely agree with everything you say! I’m not a huge audiobook user, but they have been a life saver when I couldn’t keep my eyes open because of my allergies.

      Thank you for the link!

  2. I’m on bookstagram and although I love it, there can be a dark side to it. There’s definitely a lot of pressure to do/read/post what everyone else is doing. Sometimes I have to a admit that I do feel a bit out of place sometimes. I read a wide range of books and a lot of people don’t have the same reading taste as me. A lot of people on Bookstagram exclusively read YA, and while I do read YA too I read more than just that.

    Btw, have you tried Litsy? It’s an app that’s like Goodreads and Instagram put together but there’s not that same pressure as Bookstagram.

    1. You’re so right. They should call it YAstagram! 😀 I’ve used Litsy in the past, but I deleted it after a couple of months because I didn’t use it that much. I should give it another chance, thank you for reminding me of that!

  3. I have a bookstagram, but I haven’t posted in a few weeks. It only has about 70 followers. The books I read are interesting (in my opinion), and I think my photos are nice or at least decent, but I tend to read international and contemporary poetry, as well as a lot of nonfiction. Things that just aren’t popular in bookstagrams. What I try to do to avoid rushing through a book is take a pretty photo of it before I have started to read it. Then I don’t feel pressure. I’ve been ordering some of books through kindle and Google play books lately too, because my house is running out of room. I have been ordering a minimum of 60 books a year for a very long time now. My library now takes up two rooms in my house. I will always have to order some of my books in hard copy simply because much of what I read can’t be downloaded to a kindle or phone. But where I can, I am starting to download.

    1. Hi Marie! Yeah, I think that if you don’t read popular YA novels, it’s a bit more difficult to get some engagement in the bookstagram community. I love reading on my Kindle, it’s cheap and I can highlight passages without having to write directly on my book, a life saver for me!

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