my bookstagram thoughts (aka strugglz)

I’ve talked a little on the blog about my bookstagram attempts. I started a bookstagram a while ago here  because I wanted to experiment with a new hobby, and I thought photography might be something fun. I love all the bookstagrams I follow and thought that doing one would be feasible, since I am passionate about books and therefore would enjoy photographing them.

However, starting a bookstagram has not been as easy or rewarding or enjoyable as I thought it would be. Here are some of the reasons I’ve been struggling with it:

  • Lack of a good camera. I only have a phone camera to work with, which apparently people can do, but I can’t take a variety of types of photos with it like I would want to. I also have limited editing capabilities because of this. I’d really like a DSLR camera, but those are expensive and I’m worried about spending a ton of money on something that I’m just starting out doing. I have a couple lower-end digital cameras on my wishlist, but the one I most want is upwards of $400 because it comes with a bunch of other stuff like cool lenses and different memory cards and a tripod, which I really want so I can take better photos of myself or of other things at better angles. But again, it’s a lot of money and I’m worried about spending so much on something I might not end up liking. But without it, I also don’t have much of a chance of experimenting because all I have is my phone. It is dillematic.
  • Not enough physical copies. Most of the ARCs I read are eARCs, and I had to leave half of my physical collection of books at home when I moved, which was very sad. I honestly don’t even have enough shelf space in my apartment to store all the books anyway. But not having a lot of physical copies means not a ton of variety in my bookstagram pictures. Most bookstagrammers seem to have hundreds of books, and I definitely do not have hundreds of books. I could probably afford to buy more books if I wanted to, but again, not having space is a problem.
  • No good backgrounds. I guess I could just use white posterboard for backgrounds of books, but the minimalist bookstagram accounts don’t seem to do as well as the colorful ones, though minimalist is more my aesthetic for bookstagram anyway. Photography backgrounds don’t have to be super expensive, but I still have to spend money on them, and it’s money I don’t have a ton of right now.
  • No accessories. Bookstagrammers all seem to have adorable accessories that go with their photos. A lot of it is normal household stuff, but some is more creative like pretty oragami things or fake flowers. Again, I don’t have the money or the space for that kind of stuff.


So what a lot of my bookstagram struggling comes down to is lack of money and space. I’m realizing that basically any type of Instagram requires someone to be well off financially, and since I’m just starting out being financially independent, that does not describe me. A couple other bloggers have written about privilege and Instagram, and I’m definitely starting to feel like class privilege is major when it comes to being able to have a pretty Instagram.

Still, I’d really like to experiment with photography and have my very own aesthetically pleasing Instagram. I’m also starting to realize I don’t want to focus on just one subject, and maybe have more of a lifestyle-type Instagram, even though mine would be like a literary lifestyle Instagram, which seems not to be a thing yet. I have ideas for book posts, bullet journal posts, body positive posts, and makeup posts, but all of those things don’t usually go together in one Instagram. But I might be thinking too much about what a “typical” popular Instagram is and gaining followers right away instead of doing one that I just happen to enjoy.

I don’t know where I’m going to go with Instagram yet, but I’m leaning towards getting a good camera that I can do more experimenting with after a few more paychecks. I just want to find a new creative outlet to do that will maybe help distract me from being anxious sometimes and give me more to think about. We’ll just have to see if it works out, I guess.


Tell me about your experiences with Instagram! What advice do you have for me?

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  1. not enough physical copies is also my problem! like u, most arcs i read are digital and my book collection maybe isn’t too small but 1) it’s like 80% in polish and 2) most of my books r stored in boxes rn after i moved back home… why do we suffer mel :<<<

  2. I have no decorations. My yard is my decoration half the time. The other thing I see most of (my favorite) bookstagramers do is us Library copies. They, too, don’t have as many physical copies to photograph.

  3. I feel your struggle. I use either my phone or an VERY old Nikon D40. It can be hard to get those wonderful jaw-dropping shots since I have no pretty backdrop. My graphic skills are basic but I owe a lot to them for the way my bookstagram has been shaped.

    I also don’t have a lot of books and the ones I do have are not the latest releases. I’m still trying to get myself settled into the idea that it should be okay to post a kindle read because I’m here to share my love for books and promote books to people! But when you don’t see any appreciation for it, it’s hard to continue. This is why it’s so important for smaller bookstagrammers to support and interact with each other.

    1. That is somewhat comforting to know I’m not the only bookstagrammer who uses a phone. I might get a camera at some point but it’s hard to decide if it’s worth it because I also don’t have so many other things that make a “popular” or big bookstagram.

      I wish I could post a Kindle read but I have a paperwhite that doesn’t do color so I feel like it wouldn’t be good enough? It can just be hard for small bookstagrammers.

      And I agree! I’ve been trying to find some smaller bookstagrams to follow and ones that use a more minimal style but sometimes it can be hard. If you have any bookstagrammer recs I’d love to hear them 🙂

  4. I started bookstagram AGES ago, back when minimalism was more everyone’s thing. Then giant bookcases and expensive props came, which is difficult to match up for people without funds for that. 🙁 I’ve actually taken a bookstagram break–I’m a bit tired of all the stress it brought: setting up, taking photos, editing. I plan to start back up again when I get my shelf organized, but at the moment I don’t think I have tips. I need to figure it out for myself, too. xD

    – Aimee @ Aimee, Always

  5. Bookstagram is hard to keep up with! I use my phone COMPLETELY and I do have a nicer camera but it requires a lot more effort. I find that apps help me with lighting when I take my pictures on my phone.
    Props- i’ll never keep up. I always want to and have to remind myself that I wont.
    good post!

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