When I was about 12 years old, I spent most of my free time reading, whether it be a book from the library, fanfiction stories or free ebooks. Reading books had become one of the most important things in my life.
Reading allowed me to connect with someone else’s story and expand my universe; the opportunities of meeting new people and visiting new places were limitless.
Not everyone around me enjoyed reading as much as I did and not being able to share my favorite hobby with my friends made it a lonely experience. I wanted to talk about my favorite stories, but only a few were interested. In 2019, I found a community on social media that changed everything.
In my senior year of high school, I came across a YouTube channel, “Clau Reads Books,” which makes book-related content in Spanish, and was introduced to the book world of social media. I felt excited, I could finally hear someone else’s reaction to stories I liked.
I became obsessed with her videos because we had similar tastes in book genres. Eventually, I followed her “bookstagram” account, and I learned about the community of Instagram accounts where users blog about their favorite books.
I dwelled on the idea of creating my own bookstagram after discovering other accounts.
I was captivated by the thought of voicing my love for books through blogging and really wanted to be part of this space and seeing others be so interactive and supportive made it seem like an accepting community. However, I doubted my ability to express my thoughts cohesively because I was unfamiliar with creating content to engage other readers.
I found myself with too much time on my hands during the initial outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and finally decided to start my bookstagram account, @amelias_biblioteca. I was on social media more than ever at the time, and I thought using it to take a risk and start an account would be productive.
I started reading blogs on how to start a bookstagram account for guidance and after weeks of researching, I learned about the necessary social media skills, like understanding analytics. I had to spend time designing small sets and finding natural lighting and household items for photoshoots, and learn how to write engaging reviews while using hashtags under posts to attract other users.
My first post was a photo of my favorite book, “Hush, Hush” by Becca Fitzpatrick, with my hand’s shadow reflected on a page. I also screenshotted some of my favorite quotes from the book and included a few hashtags to increase account interaction.
I received welcoming comments from other users on my first post in no time. After years of feeling overwhelmed by social media and its randomness, bookstagram allowed me to find my niche on the internet and it’s full of love, comfort and coffee lovers.
“Welcome to bookstagram! Hope you find some new books to love!” said one of the comments from user @novels_and_collections.
The community quickly became a place for me to share my favorite books and bond with conversations about similar interests through direct messages. Bookstagram is now my main library when looking for new books to read.
All thanks to bookstagram, I’ve made online friends who I’ve traded books with and met people who share advice on how to enter the book publishing industry. I feel fortunate to have a place to express myself through books, a main component of my personality, and be able to share it with others who appreciate it.
Today, bookstagram encourages me to read more and stay up-to-date with new releases and authors. It gives me a space that feels truly intimate and enjoyable and has reassured me of what I already knew: I would not trade my love for books for anything in the world.