This week’s featured Bookstagrammer account is a duo from Metro Detroit, Michigan! Laura and Penelope are cute and sweet; however, Penelope is more cuddly as she is a dog! Full of florals and pastels, @basicbookbabes bookstagram is an excellent place for various book recommendations. From historical fiction to romance and fantasy, Laura’s interests vary, allowing all types of book lovers to join her community.
Get to know the Bookstagrammer of the Week
Who are some of your favorite bookstagrammers?
There are SO MANY great bookstagram accounts out there! A few of my favorites are:
@booksovrbros he has such a positive and inclusive attitude and the most gorgeous photos
What are your favorite books?
Who are your favorite authors?
My auto-buy authors are Taylor Jenkins Reid, Colleen Hoover, Emily Henry, Brit Bennett, Kate Quinn, Ruth Ware, Rachel Lynn Solomon, and Casey McQuiston.
What is your favorite bookstore?
What are some of your favorite fandoms?
I have just started to dip my toes into the books that have dedicated fandoms. I would say that I dove headfirst into the ACOTAR fandom after reading those last summer, and I’ve got a few more major series with fandoms on my TBR list.
What is your favorite book cover?
This question is like asking a parent to pick a favorite child, but I am obsessed with Blood Like Magic’s cover right now.
Let’s Talk about Bookstagram
Why did you start your Bookstagram?
In 2020 I made a New Year’s Resolution to read one book a month because I used to be a huge reader as a teen, but I stopped when I discovered binge-watching Netflix. I was sharing those reads on my personal Instagram, and I think that maybe five or so people cared about them. I felt like I was re-discovering my passion and nobody wanted to hear about it. I started to find dedicated book accounts when I was searching for book recommendations. In January of 2021, I decided this would be a healthy creative outlet to track my book progress and get more recs from like-minded people. I never expected my follow count to grow; I just wanted to connect with people passionate about what I was passionate about.
What do you want your Bookstagram to bring to the world?
I want it to be a safe place for anyone to drop in and talk about books.
I want new bookstagrammers to know that you don’t have to be a perfectly curated feed to feel connected with other readers and succeed.
I want people to remember that you don’t have to write an elaborate, thought-provoking review for every book you read.
What’s your special approach to content?
I try to stay consistent with the book’s theme when styling my photo, so I would never put a Thriller with a stack of YA Romances. I’ll use those if I have props or things around the house that would look best with a cover. I like to keep my photos light, bright and airy feeling but I also don’t want to stress about them for too long. It’s an account that is meant to be fun and relaxing!
How would you describe your aesthetic?
I don’t think I follow a certain “aesthetic,” but I like a more clean, cohesive, bright white vibe. I use a Boho filter on most of my content that I got on Etsy and used the Lightroom app so that it flows together, but I could never follow a certain “look” because that’s not real life for me!
How often do you post?
I try to post daily if I have the content available, but I don’t stress about it if I don’t have anything prepped. I like to mix it up between book reviews and stack challenges so that there is content for everyone.
What does your Bookstagram mean to you?
Bookstagram is a healthy outlet for my creative side, and it balances out my work life well. It’s also the place that introduced me to a lot of people I wouldn’t have been able to meet in the world. I am not great at making friends and maintaining relationships as an adult (especially post-pandemic). I’ve found a lot of great people in this community who feel the same and are respectful of that.
When did you know you had made it as a Bookstagrammer?
I think when I was able to connect with Sadeqa Johnson via DM about her book Yellow Wife. I loved the book so much and for her to reach out to tell me how much my review meant and compliment my picture of the book was a really special moment for me.
Do you have any advice for aspiring Bookstagrammers?
Be yourself and don’t try to achieve perfection. The community is less fun when you are constantly worried about your likes, shares, and follower count. Instead, find your niche and make genuine connections with other bookstagrammers, and you will have a lot more fun with it.
Let’s Get into Fun Facts and Additional Bookishness
What is a fun fact about you?
I told everyone growing up that I was related to Vanilla Ice because his last name was the same as some of my extended family members. So I figured there couldn’t be THAT MANY VanWinkle’s in the world. So if you’re reading this Vanilla Ice, wanna do some genealogy research together?
Who is your fictional crush?
Which author would you like to take a selfie with?
Taylor Jenkins Reid
What books are on your TBR list?
Some of the most anticipated reads on my TBR are Gold Diggers by Sanjena Sathian, Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas, Spoiler Alert by Oliva Dade, and We Begin at the End by Curtis Whitaker.
Who would you have supply you with a lifetime of books?
That’s tough because there are SO MANY good publishers out there. I think that I have the most books from Berkely, so I would go with Penguin Random House to get all of their books from their imprints.
Do you have any book you have claimed to have read that you didn’t?
Probably every single book I was supposed to read for school. However, The Great Gatsby is the one I can think of that I know I never finished.
Do you have any additional bookishness you would like to share?
Bookstagram introduced me to two of my favorite virtual book clubs, and I recommend them to anyone looking for more of a guided book club experience!
The Bad Bitch Book Club is run entirely via Facebook groups and has many niche subgroups. It’s genuinely the best bookish find out there and has some of the best recommendations I’ve seen.
I also joined the #SteamAndScreamBookClub, which selects one steamy and one screamy read each month, runs via a Discord chat for everyone, and randomly selects participants each month to join their zoom calls. So inclusive and always picks great reads!
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