Welcome back to Bookstagrammer of the Week! Today, we’re very excited to feature @cicivford! Given her consistently-insightful reviews, cozy aesthetic, and wonderful reader discussions, we are definitely major fans of hers!
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Why did you start your Bookstagram?
This past January 2020 marked my 5 year anniversary in the Bookstagram community.
Where are you from?
The Windy City, Chicago.
What do you want your Instagram to bring to the world?
I started out wanting to share my love for books and reading, inspire people to see the best parts of themselves and share my faith because it is the foundation of who I am. I still do that, but now with our current climate, I also want to heavily inspire people to read more widely especially Black, Indigenous & POC stories more than ever.
Fun Fact about you?
Here’s a few. I can learn all the lyrics to a song after hearing it once or twice. I can sing really well. I was named after the actress Cicely Tyson.
Omg the list is so long, but @honeybuttergal @crimeofrhyme @melanatedreader @inkandfable @absorbedinpages @_wolfandmoon @mayowa_reads @clumsy.words @crimebythebook @blackgirlthatreads @booknerdnative @mielsnickety @falling4romance @sumaiyya.books @cupsandthoughts There are WAY too many!!
Favorite Books and Authors?
Hands down the late Octavia Butler is my favorite author. I’d highly recommend the Xenogenisis trilogy and the Earthseed series. I’d also recommend reading ANYTHING by James Baldwin. Brit Bennett is becoming a favorite. I loved The Mothers by her & am currently finishing up The Vanishing Half. I also love Donna Tartt. The Secret History is one of my favorite books EVER and I am waiting for the day that TSH is adapted to film. I also love Carlos Ruiz Zafòn’s who recently passed away. The Shadow of the Wind is brilliant and beautiful.
I don’t think I have one. My friend introduced me to Ren, an anime character, does that count!?
What’s Your Special Approach to Content?
Showing myself to be friendly and/or approachable, sticking to my literary niche, communicating & engaging with others & consistency.
Aesthetic / Instagram page theme?
Natural tones always.
How often do you post?
I used to post everyday, but it started to feel draining and empty. I stopped feeling an obligation to do that ages ago and so I simply post when I am inspired to.
What does your Bookstagram mean to you?
It means the world to me. In my sort of naive mind I’ve wanted to be friends with all of Bookstagram LOL but I know that’s not realistic. It’s such a cozy, passionate, fun, friendly corner of Instagram and I am incredibly grateful because I’ve made so many real life, long lasting friendships with people from all over and I am proud of them.
Semicolon in Chicago. It’s the only Black owned bookstore here.
Who would you have supply you with a lifetime of books?
Author to take a selfie with?
If she were living, Octavia Butler.
Favorite book cover?
Book you have claimed to have read that you didn’t?
I’ve never lied about reading a book because why do that!? LOL I do, however, make claims that I’ll be finishing up a book at a certain time and almost never do. It will take me forever. I’ve actually realized I’m a slow reader. It used to bother me but it doesn’t anymore. I want to take in what I’m reading rather than trying to zoom through a bunch of books to make myself seem like a certain kind of reader. I actually admire fast book readers, but it doesn’t work for me in the way I digest stories.
When did you know you had made it as a Bookstagrammer?
When I started to grow it was because a bunch of kind people that shouted me out and then I was getting an influx of the sweetest DMs. They really meant a lot and still do. I also started getting tons of emails from major pub houses.
I have never been DEEP into book fandoms.
Advice for aspiring Bookstagrammers?
Post the books/stories you love, write reviews or don’t, have a theme or don’t, engage with others even if they read things outside of your preferred genre, make friends because it’s so easy to do so in the bookstagram community, stay out of the drama & away from negative subliminals because it doesn’t matter and is irrelevant to everything & have fun. Bookstagram is THE best community online.
I have so many bookmarks but will use everything other than an actual bookmark to mark my page. I’ve used cloth, receipts & sticks of gum.