7 Bookstagram Habits I’ve Broken Up With
By Jennifer Lewis (@bluestockingbookshelf)
Because I’ve been on bookstagram for a little over two years now, and I’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way. Here’s a list of my personal “bookstagram don’ts.”
***As always, keep in mind that these are just the musings of one (very opinionated) person and they are not meant to be taken as a bookstagram guide by any means.***
1. Book Haul Photos
I’m hesitant to write this one because I loooove seeing the books other people buy. But I started to feel like my monthly book hauls were looking more and more showy, and I wanted people to associate me with the books I read instead of the books I buy.
Do I still buy way more books than I can read each month? Yes. But, once I stopped sharing book haul photos, my book buying has certainly decreased.
2. Book Rants
While it’s undeniably therapeutic to write a long list of everything I hate about a particular book, I never post them on my account anymore. Some people are great at writing negative reviews and not coming off like a total jerk, but I am not one of them.
Additionally, I like that my account is made up mainly of books I enjoyed and would recommend. I simply don’t want to use up any valuable space on books I hated.
3. Obnoxious People
At the beginning, bookstagram tricked me into thinking I had to be friends with everyone (social media is funny like that). Whenever I would receive a nasty comment or DM, I would get overly defensive and obsess about that negative interaction.
Now that I’ve dealt with my fair share of trolls, cyber-bullying, and passive aggressive comments, and I’ve learned that those people aren’t worth any more time than it takes to block or un-follow. It might sound extreme, but the Internet can be a cruel place and I don’t take any chances.
4. Starred Book Reviews
I broke up with starred reviews this year as a matter of convenience because, no matter what I would write about a book, most of the people who read my review would focus solely on the star rating. Once I scrapped star ratings, I noticed that the comments under my reviews became much more discussion-based, which is way more valuable to me.
5. Using the phrase: “Everybody should read this book”
I understand that this is a popular phrase on bookstagram, but bear with me for a second: do you honestly believe there’s a single book that every single person in the world should read? I don’t think so, and to suggest otherwise sounds pretentious AF.
Now, when I especially love a book, I list my favorite things about it and let my readers decide if it sounds right for them. And I just roll my eyes whenever I see someone else claim that “everyone” needs to read a certain book.
6. Sharing quotes I haven’t researched
You know that quote by Audrey Hepburn that starts with “I believe in pink?” There is actually no evidence she said those words, but the Internet has gleefully caught hold of them regardless. I see people sharing misattributed quotes on bookstagram all the time, and it couldn’t be clearer that they’re copying and pasting them from Goodreads (where literally anyone can upload an “authentic” book quote).
I used to be so bad at this. Now, every single quote I share is copied straight from the pages of the book I’m reading and I can rest easy knowing that I am not perpetuating the tragedy of the misattributed quote.
7. Calling books “guilty pleasures.”
I hate the phrase “guilty pleasure” because I think it’s a passive aggressive way to tear down so-called “lesser” genres. I used to throw out that phrase whenever I read anything other than Literary Fiction, and it was absolutely ridiculous. Sometimes I’m simply in the mood for YA Lit, and I refuse to feel guilty about that.
In my opinion, being a well-read person means reading a variety of different genres. Additionally, as a literary community, we should be the first to embrace all kinds of readers. There should be no room for genre-bias.
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About the Author
Jennifer Lewis is an enthusiastic reader, blogger and book collector. When she's not taking photos of books, you will find her trying new restaurants, planning her next vacation, or playing with her rescue cat and dog.
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