Bookstagramming Provides Online Voice for Book Lovers

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Media by Maria Afghanzada

Senior Maria Afghanzada showcases her favorite books using Instagram. “I truly do enjoy [bookstagramming], especially when I get texts from my non-reader friends saying they’ve just finished a book I raved about and enjoyed it immensely,” she said.

Instagram is now featuring a rising star: books.

Bookstagramming, or having an Instagram account centered around books and book reviews, gained popularity during the last decade.

Maria Afghanzada, senior, has a bookstagram account that features pictures of colorful covers and captions that summarize plots. 

As bookstagramming becomes more popular, bookstagram accounts also have gained stardom. Since the beginning COVID-19, access to bookstores has become limited, and more and more people have resorted to looking online for their next read. These accounts provide simple solutions to the search for a new read.

#bookstagram has 57 million posts on Instagram and is one of the trendiest hashtags currently on Instagram. There are about 2,001 posts every hour that use this hashtag, according to the besthashtags.com tracker.

Afghanzada entered into the bookstgramming world by accident.

“I’ve always been super into reading,” she said. “I was getting frustrated because most of the people around me didn’t enjoy reading as much as I did.”

Now I do it [bookstagramming] because I’ve connected with a whole community of book lovers from all over the world, and I get to fangirl as much as I like.”

— Maria Afghanzada, senior

This frustration prompted her to start an Instagram page to share her favorite books to her friends, family and classmates. Her account has grown more popular in the time since, and she currently has 138 followers.

“Now I do it because I’ve connected with a whole community of book lovers from all over the world, and I get to fangirl as much as I like,” she said.

Bookstagramming is an online community. Numerous Instagram accounts centered around books interact and users comment on each other’s posts.

Saint Louis County Library (SLCL), one of the biggest library chains in the area, is taking advantage of this trend. SLCL’s Instagram account has almost 6,000 followers. 

Kara Smith, graphic designer, works at the SLCL headquarters. She is all for bookstagramming because it spreads the word about library events and love for reading.

Free publicity is a win, and it can be a mutually beneficial relationship,” Smith said. 

Along with publicity, featuring interesting books on the library’s social media page helps patrons discover what books are available, Smith said. 

Media by Brittany Sharitz

Brittany Sharitz, librarian, started bookstagramming last year. She said part of the reason she started was to connect with virtual students. 

“My Instagram isn’t really meant to be about me,” she said. “Yes, my interests come through, but it’s more about the events and books our library can offer.”

She shares books she is currently reading almost every week, trying to incorporate nature and color in each post. The majority of her followers are students and other bookstagramming accounts.

Another aspect of bookstagramming is to remind others that reading can be fun, Sharitz said. This social media trend can help people find exactly what book will make reading enjoyable for them. 

“There are so many wonderful books out there; there is truly something for everyone,” Sharitz said.