Ramblings | Why I’m thinking of quitting Bookstagram

I’ve been debating this topic for quite some time now and I’m pretty sure it’s going to be pretty controversial. I’m sure some of you are going to think that I’m completely daft, but I’m also positive that some of you will be in total agreement with me. So here goes nothing 


Firstly, for those of you who are unaware of what Bookstagram is, it’s the part of Instagram that is completely dominated by bookish related photo’s.

IMG_20160619_114240One of my Bookstagram photo’s I’m the most proud of.

Photo’s like these don’t just happen – it takes loads of time, precarious placement, good lighting and editing to make your pictures look like this. So, some of you might have noticed that I have been absent from Bookstagram over the past few months, some of it was due to time constraints and the rest was just a lack of wanting to post due to a couple of things I came to realise during my absence.

 Lately, Bookstagram feels too much like a competition to me.

I’ve come to realise that the bookish community of Bookstagram are possibly obsessed with likes. Now I’m not saying that every single person with a Bookstagram account is just looking for likes, but a vast majority unfortunately are. There are numerous accounts who were complaining that they’re not receiving as many likes as they did before Instagram changed their whole algorithm system, but there’s also accounts that are just complaining in general about not receiving enough likes.

Also, in order to achieve these hundreds of likes, your books needs to be perfect, you need to have perfect lighting and the perfect props to go with your book. Also it needs to be a popular book, like a new release or a book that no one will ever get enough of. To achieve likes I don’t want to be subject to all these “rules” I just want to take photos for fun, but I’m constantly worried that my photo’s are not good enough for Bookstagram.

 Most people are just out to get followers.

I honestly feel that Bookstagram is more about getting followers and likes than sharing book reviews or recommendations with fellow book bloggers. I’ll admit that at the beginning I was also very self conscious about the number of followers I had, because I though that the success of my account was directly linked to my follower count. In a sense that can also determine success, but once again I want to place photo’s of books for fun, not to be successful. Yes, it’s great when people notice your account and like your picture, but are they actually interacting with you? Are you actually talking about books?

The amount of Shoutout and Follow for Follow posts that makes the rounds in Bookstagram just shows that most people are just worried about gaining more followers instead of making friends and discussing their true love – books.

♡ Everyone is obsessed with their feed.

I get it. You want your feed to be pretty and neat and have a specific look and feel to it. Once again, in the beginning I was also very attentive to the fact that all my photo’s had to match in order for my feed to match. But if I want to post a photo and it doesn’t match my “feed” then I think I can do so without having to be worried.

I’ve seen Bookstagram accounts starting over because they didn’t like their feeds anymore. Maybe this is going a bit far, surely you should post what you want to post, when you want to post it, regardless if it will fit your feed or not.

This post is in no way an attack on people who love to post photo’s on Bookstagram, I too love to post creative pictures on Bookstagram. But I want it to become about more than just the likes and the follows, I want Bookstagram to become more like the book blogging community where people actually interact and talk to one another about books and their love for books. I really want to remain a part of the Bookstagram community as I follow loads of you on Bookstagram and I love looking at all your wonderful picture. Maybe I’ll just unfollow the accounts that are only out to get more followers and maybe I’ll just try and interact more with fellow Bookstagrammers.

What do you think? Do you think Bookstagram is just about the likes and follows? Do you just post pictures without caring how many people like them? Would you like Bookstagram to become more “interactive”? Share your thoughts with me down in the comments!

michelle-2 Bookstagram  Goodreads  Twitter


47 thoughts on “Ramblings | Why I’m thinking of quitting Bookstagram

  1. I am also on instagram , and I agree with you when you mention the popular books. I can’t always get the most recent books, so it leaves me felling like I’m not as good as the other bookstagrammers purely because I don’t have the latest rave. Recently, I’ve given up reading the popular books, and read the books that I want to read, even if they are or aren’t the latest great thing.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Totally agree! You should read what you want to read, whether it’s popular or not. I also struggle to sometimes get some of the newer books and I know how frustrating that can be and how left out you can sometimes feel. But just read, photograph and talk about books that make you happy 😊

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Great post! I agree that Bookstagram is a bit competitive, and it seems like a lot of people take and post pictures just to get likes and followers. There’s a lot of pressure to have a good “aesthetic”. I adopted the mentality that I’m not a bookstagrammer, I’m a blogger who posts on Instagram. It’s less pressure, and while I like posting beautiful pictures, it’s more about sharing what I’m reading than having to have great (and matching) shots all the time. Sometimes I still feel like I should put more effort into it, but, in the end, I’d rather write good blog posts.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you 😊 I’m in total agreement with you, I think that is what Bookstagram should be about! I’m definitely going to try and adopt your mentality and continue to share the photos I want to share without feeling pressured to be the best Bookstagrammer with the perfect shot 😊

      Liked by 2 people

  3. This is such a refreshing post, I tried Bookstagram for a bit, too, and I honestly couldn’t take the vanity. It is hard to be able to buy all of the newest books and the competition is just off the wall sometimes lol I really love how thoughtful your comments here are- I definitely think the hype is blown up too much when a new book is released instead of people just reading for the sake of reading, however, the one really good side of Bookstagram is how it really has elevated the popularity of reading. It’s getting to be so much more popular and authors have a much more visible presence with their readers. That’s the part of Bookstagram that appealed to me in the first place 🙂 And I’m sure that’s what you felt too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much 😊 Totally agree, the competition on Bookstagram is sometimes just a little bit too much & even when I do receive ARC’s they’re mostly digital and no one on Bookstagram likes photos of your Kindle – so totally agree with the vanity comment. But I do agree that reading is becoming vastly popular and people are sharing their love for reading and just their love for books in general more and more, and that makes me really happy 😊

      Liked by 2 people

  4. This is a really interesting topic for discussion and I completely know what you mean with the drawbacks of bookstagram. Admittedly, I’ve never been much of a bookstagrammer myself – I occasionally do use Instagram as a quick way of posting my TBR for a readathon I’m participating in or something, but other than that I find myself forgetting to post on it most of the time.

    I think the reason is that I know it takes a lot of time to get the right lighting, props etc. and, truth be told, I’ve never really understood the “point” of posting a random photo of a book every day to make sure your Instagram is “active”. I think it could well be a matter of perspective – for me personally, Instagram is about documenting moments, so if I’m reading a book and really loving it, yes, I may take a photo and post it, because it’s relevant to me at that moment. This is probably why I don’t really understand the point of posting random photos of random books, even if those photos are really beautiful and full of props and have lovely lighting. I don’t know, maybe I’ve missed the point of Bookstagram/Instagram??

    I know a lot of bookstagrammers feel so much pressure to upload regularly that their photos end up not really matching their captions, you know? Because they’ve took a huge batch of shots to use in the future and want to use them all, so they post a random photo and then in the caption is where they say what they’re doing that day or that they’ve uploaded a new video/blog.

    Like I said, maybe I’m missing the point of Instagram entirely but that’s always been my sticking point with bookstagram! 😛

    (PS- Sorry for the long comment – I took “rambling” to a whole new level!)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Haha no problem, that is what rambling posts are all about! Firstly, thank you 😊 Like I mentioned I did think about this topic for a really long time as I was scared it was going to be controversial. I totally agree with Instagram being like I thing where you need to share spur of the moment things and that is how my personal Instagram is. Also with the fact that most Bookstagrammers are under pressure to produce and then their captions are just silly – this brings me back to Bookstagram just being there for people to gain some sort of a popularity status and not doing it to actually talk about books! Thank you for your comment, and no I don’t think you’ve missed the point of Bookstagram, I think like me you just want to be free to share your bookish photo how you want, when you want 😊

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I agree with you, I did start a bookstagram and I would post questions on my posts asking people about their favourite reads or what their currently reading but I rarely get a response. I think some side of it has become like a competition for likes and followers, I wish it was like this book community where we could all talk again. I haven’t posted in a while on mine, their is definitely this air of perfection attached to it as you say the books have to be perfect, with perfect lighting. I find you almost need to be a professional photographer to get the right shot, it’s also hard to find when some people like the book or not in relation to like when a book is gifted to them.
    Of course I don’t mean the whole community as a whole because bookstagram can have his fantastic moments and I do love the pictures but i’m sure you know what I mean 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Same. I’ve also tried interacting with my fellow followers, but I’ve rarely received an answer back. Which is sad, because I do want the Bookstagram community to be more like the bookish community. Absolutely, I know it’s not the entire community, but it is a vast majority 😊


  6. I agree! Bookstagram is really competitive! There have been a few times where I thoughts mine wasn’t good enough but soon I got over that and I love being apart of the community! A lot of people do you want follows and likes and it upsets me becuase that should not be what the community is about!

    Loved this post!🙃

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much 😊 I’m sure all your pictures are beautiful, but I get what you’re saying, it becomes really competitive and you do feel like your pictures aren’t good enough. But the community should just be about sharing our love for books 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Great discussion post! I joined bookstagram to help interact with other book bloggers and as an extension of my book blog. I completely agree that its become less about book interactions and more about stylized photos, which is really a shame. I also felt really pressured in the beginning to keep a cohesive aesthetic for my photos, but now I’ve just decided to say screw it and do what I want. I’m not a professional photographer and I still just use my phone to take pictures lol! I also am starting to get extremely annoyed by people who’s captions have nothing to do with their photo or don’t even mention anything about books. Um, then what was even the point of this picture?! Yes, its great and all to post a beautiful photo of books but what’s the point if not to spread the word about the books that you’re reading or to mention a new blog post?

    However, I do completely understand the frustration with Instagram’s new algorithm – but less about gaining likes, and more because less people are getting a chance to spread the word about their blogs. I like to see variation in my feed, not the same people over and over again just because they’re already extremely popular. I may be missing out on being introduced to an incredible new book blogger because they aren’t popular enough to show up and that is my main issue with it. How can we interact with each other if we aren’t even able to see everyone? I think a big problem with all of this too, is that its become less about the joy of reading and more about making money and getting sponsored. And that, is ruining what bookstagram is all about.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much 😊 Wow! We’re definitely on the same page. I also started Bookstagram as an extention of my blog, thinking that I could make more bookish friends via Bookstagram but that didn’t happen. I’m no professional photographer either and I also just use my phone, I don’t see the need for a fancy camera for photo’s your just gonna view on a phone in any case. Also the whole caption thing, why?? And I have no problem with the new algorithm, I also love getting to know new accounts 😊 The problem is defintely the fact that it is taking the joy out of reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I think there is a lot of truth to your post and it is a great post! I have thought to myself often, maybe just nix the Bookstagram. I am not a professional and it would be one less social media to have to keep up with. But there are still a few fantastic individuals on their that keep me engaged, and while my pics are not “great” I have fun with them.. so I am still hanging on haha. I am just not one to have a theme and suck with props. I have never deleted anything and usually lose followers daily 😉 But as long as I continue to receive great interactions from those that I really enjoy, I will hang in there. It is two sided I suppose. I see all of what you discuss on a daily basis though. I am just learning to tune some things out. But if it doesn’t work for you anymore, I say meh. Leave it. Do what you like!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you 😊 I am by no means a professional photographer and I’m also just there to keep into contact with some of my favourite accounts. I think I just have to change my mindset and use Bookstagram for fun and post the photos I want to post!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m late to the Bookstagram crowd, but one of the very first things I noticed was the amount of time and effort many put into their pictures. It must cost a lot of money and a lot of time! And if that’s a hobby you enjoy, then great! I know there’s no way my feed will ever be like that, and that’s ok with me. ^_^ Just like you pointed out, all the attention tends to focus on certain books. Part of why I chose to start Bookstagramming was because I felt like I could add my own flare and unique taste in books. There are lots of accounts posting about lesser-known books, and I’ve already found a lot of titles I would never have heard of otherwise! It’s just not super easy to find those feeds. But they are out there and I want my feed to be one of them! (Also I feel no remorse for posting off-topic about Sumo or whatever else I feel like lol)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If it’s really a hobby you enjoy and it’s something you want to spend loads of time and money on, then I won’t take that away from you. I’d love to discover some of those lesser accounts and I want to be able to post other things in between 😊 That was why I thought of maybe just keeping my personal account and sharing whatever I want.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. What pisses me off is when you try to start a conversation or ask a question and you get nothing in reply. What’s the point of being on social media if all you want from me is likes and follows? Don’t you want, like, SOCIALIZE? It’s not limited to Instagram, but I’ve seen same behavior on Youtube and Goodreads as well. I don’t even bother to comment on such profiles. Great post, Michelle.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I actually agree with you 100%. I just opened my bookstagram account, and you’re so right… I had no idea how much time and care it took to make your photos so gorgeous. I get aggravated when I can’t get the right lighting or get things lined up exactly how I want, so I’ve just stopped trying so hard. If people don’t like my photos, then so be it. I have learned to do it for me and only me. I enjoy taking bookish photos, and I also enjoy looking at the pretty bookish photos, but I do agree that sometimes it seems like it’s just a huge competition. A competition that I really don’t care to be a part of… Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much 😊 I think that’s totally the mind set that we all should adapt – that you should just post the pictures your most proud of regardless if they fulfil some kind of “standard” 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I agree with you about people just wanting likes and follows. The other day I followed heaps of accounts and then heaps of other accounts followed me…some of them I followed back and some I didn’t – I checked later on and they had then all unfollowed me. I guess people want it to look like they have heaps of followers without following many people? I just found that really annoying!

    I think if you aren’t enjoying the competitiveness or the process so much anymore, then I can completely understand why you would want to give it up. To me, yes bookstagram should be lovely photos but at the end of the day it should be about your passion for books and wanting to talk about them with people. P.S – That photo is really awesome! Is that tattoo real? If so…love it!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you & Yes it is 😊 I’m a true potterhead now 😉 I’ve also come to realise that! People want to have tons of followers without actually having to follow any one back. I agree that it should be about the books and your passion for talking about and sharing them 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m not a part of the Bookstagram community but I love browsing different accounts whenever I have the time. The main reason why I don’t want to join is because it feels like a competition? From a non-bookstagrammer I agree with almost all of your points, it just feels like it’s more about gaining likes and followers. The community is pretty big and intimidating plus taking artsy and aesthetic pictures is pretty hard so joining it requires a lot of dedication. But on the another hand, you can totally ignore the competition or the pressure of maintaining your feed and just post whatever you feel like! Because in the end it’s all about expressing our love for books right? I wish Bookstagram was more interactive for you guys, but nonetheless you have this wonderful community here that’s really interactive and fun. 😍💙

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really love browsing everyones beautiful photo’s too and that is why I initially joined Bookstagram, but like you said it is more of a competition now. I definitely think I’m just going to try and ignore all that and post the photos I like and interact with all the awesome accounts whose blogs I follow in any case 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I know some bloggers who take Bookstagram type photos and only use them on their blogs and Tumblr. I bought a good camera a couple of months ago and still have not had time to set up nice shoots for books, so I know what you are saying about the time restraints. I don’t think I am going to do Bookstagram, but only use them oin my blog, Tumblr, and Twitter. Great post. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Totally agree with this!! When I first started with Bookstagram, I got sucked into the likes & followers, and then realized that’s what I was doing and stopped using it for a bit to re-focus. Now, I hardly ever go on anymore, even though I do love it, but it just got to be too many shoutouts and f4f and the same books over and over again. And I’ve also taken pics and not posted because I don’t think they are as good as other photos. Which isn’t the point.
    I’d love for my feed to be uniform, and for people to recognize my photos as mine, but at the same time, I think it lacks spontaneity, and can feel forced sometimes. Another reason why I took a step back – I was trying to force pictures just to post a picture, and I didn’t like that. So now I post when I have time and don’t worry about it otherwise!
    Thanks for posting this – I thought I was the only person who felt like this! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The same also happened to me in the beginning, because you want to do good and be popular. I was also trying too hard with photos and trying to make sure that I had a photo so I could post every single day 🙈 I think you’re right and that it needs to be about spontaneity, so from now on I’m posting photos I’d like to post at times I’d like to post them 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, I tried posting every day too, and then was trying to like or comment on all the people’s photos that I followed, and it was taking way too much time!
        I like your thought of only posting pics you want to post when you want to post them 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  16. this post really does open up my mind and set my priorities right. Honestly i like it better when someone comments on my post about books. I don’t have a theme on my account, so i mainly post what ever i take. But it does take a lot of time. I really do like looking at books but I guess now that I have an account its getting competitive but thanks to this post it really does set my priorities straight.

    Liked by 1 person

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