I’m relatively new to bookstagram, and one of those regular people whose photos were terrible before and whose follower count rises only at one speed – slow and steady.
Without much banter, here are 5 random things I learned, discovered, abhor and love.
1. The stalwarts with their massive following and sharp photos oozing power can intimidate you.
As with any community, be it the army or high school there are the elite. The Cullens, with their porcelain skin and their impeccable strut that garner a million likes in two minutes and their shelves and shelves of hardbacks and merch. It can make you feel small and naked, it can on bad days, make you want to either quit bookstagram forever and/or spend all your mother’s credit on merchandise of fandoms you don’t even like.
The real fact is this, the elite are not nasty, most of them are open and willing to talk to you about almost anything, they too are fanboys and fangirls who will gush about a book as madly as you would. And therein lies your solution. Talk to them.
Engage with them. Once you paint out a personality to the queen bee, or king you will find the intimidation peeters out. Not entirely, but it’ll be more along the lines of you wanting to reach their heights, make them your benchmarks.
2. Obsessing with likes and/or follower count
The bane of all social media networks. My profile is hotter than yours!
It gets to you. You can’t truly be human and say that you have not, at one point or the other, been obsessed with how the word views your profiles. Be it Twitter or Bookstagram and especially *hiss* FB, you want the world to see you as all powerful and omnipotent with a thousand people hanging onto your every obscure status update – that you copied off of a quotes website – and that funky new eatery where the food looks good – on Instagram – but tastes like liquefied charcoal.
Bookstagram is the same. Once you start worrying about your likes, it’s a deep, dark, desolate hole. Let’s face the facts: you will always get more likes than some people and some people will always get more likes than you. It’s the way of life. Hakuna Matata.
I don’t know if I will ever be able to rid myself of this obsession, but, I find that it is significantly sweeter on the nerves to think about your shot in itself. When you are out in the wild, lugging books, getting weird looks from passers-by, don’t think, I NEED A SHOT THAT PLEASES MY FOLLOWERS!
I NEED A SHOT THAT PLEASES ME!
I need a shot that was better than the one I took before!
3. Finding books that will go on to define and shape your life
This has happened to me!
Thanks to Bookstagram, I have stumbled on many books that I otherwise wouldn’t have read.
And I’m a little more happier, better informed, stronger, wiser having read them.
When I’m having those bouts of self-doubt as to why I am carrying on with this, the answer is there:
One of the reasons why bookstagram is important to me, is that I’m always on the lookout for that next awesome book and I wouldn’t know when and from where it will hit me in the face and change me forever!
WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE!?!
4. Book Swag and Merchandise (Related to 1)
The elite of bookstagram will always be toting a watch or a Gryffindor Quidditch tee shirt, or a magnetic bookmark of Jon Snow that they received free because they are ‘reps’ – representatives for the product so they are given it free in exchange for promotion.
It is every bookstagrammer’s dream to become a rep!
It is truth.
I just finished my morning round of browsing through my feeds, signing up for three different rep openings, fingers crossed, prayers whispered, leprechaun sacrificed at the foot of an ancient oak.
This is both a blessing and a curse as in, you suddenly develop a dying, desperate need for things you previously hadn’t knew existed. And your willingness to pay a shipping fee that would amount to transferring a small family of elephants just to get your hands on it. (Mine: Literary scented candles)
You discover beautiful creations by bookstagrammers for bookstagrammers this way and you think, why not? Saving up is for losers!
But then this also means that giveaways and successfully snagged rep ops means you will soon be the proud owner of the above mentioned desirables.
I have had 50% discounts on merch, free sweepstakes thrown my way that I wouldn’t have been blessed with had I never signed up with Bookstagram.
So maybe, this is more a blessing than a curse 🙂
5. The joy of internationally delivered parcels
There’s something scintillating about coming home to find parcels waiting for you. Parcels that were shipped from outside your country, (Or not, for you lucky Americans! Pah!) packages slightly squished or weather-worn from their long journey, smelling foreign.
It has the magical ability to light up even Mondays!
And whether your bookstagram experience fares for better or worse, whether you continue to wallow in the despair that it lack of followers or rejoice in the mirth of your photographic eye improving, the sight of new mail, books or merch or books and merch; it makes it all worthwhile.