Looking to add a darker vibe to your Instagram feed? Well, our Bookstagrammer of the Week, @thepoetichistorian, has you covered! Read on to discover how she created her “dark academia” theme, about her passion for history and classics, and what the bookstagram community means to her.
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Why did you start your bookstagram?
On October 23, 2019, I made the decision to start my bookstagram account. This is something I had wanted to do for a while, but I hadn’t been sure about the name or theme. The main motivation behind creating @thepoetichistorian was my need to connect with other bookworms, other students, and to chat about history and books with people who share those passions. I have studied online for a few years now, and while not being able to interact with other students on campus, Bookstagram has enabled me to meet new friends studying similar subjects and interested in similar topics. The bookish community has helped me in more ways than one, and I am forever grateful for that.
Where are you from?
I am from England but spent most of my childhood and my teenage years in Australia. Now, I’m back in the United Kingdom and love living here. There is something about the English countryside that has always called me home.
What do you want your Instagram to bring to the world?
I want my Instagram account to inspire and encourage people to pursue their passions fearlessly. I want to inspire people to read classics and to recognize the importance of history and ancient texts. It’s so important to keep an interest in history and Homer’s epics alive. Bookstagram is the space I needed as a kid when I was struggling to ‘fit in’ at school, and as a teenager when I was working late through the night, tirelessly working towards my dream of studying history at university. I want my account to be a space for fellow students and bookworms to feel comfortable, welcome, and accepted.
Fun fact about you:
I love my cat as if she were my child, and I talk to my houseplants.
These are just twenty of my favorite bookstagrammers, but the community is full of such wonderful and creative people!
Favorite Books and Authors:
My all-time favorite author is J.R.R. Tolkien. The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit, and The Silmarillion are some of my favorite books. Apart from Tolkien, my favorite authors are Jane Austen, Shakespeare, Stephen Fry, Donna Tartt, Homer (of course), Sophocles, and Euripides. My absolute favorite book is The Secret History by Donna Tartt. My second favorite is If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio, followed by a host of other favorites such as The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Circe by Madeline Miller, The Theban Plays by Sophocles, Heroes by Stephen Fry, and Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen.
I actually don’t have one! But I grew up with Pride and Prejudice, and I thought that Mr. Darcy was the ideal husband. As an adult, I think he really messed up with *that* proposal, and I now see why Elizabeth disliked him so much.
My TBR is constantly growing thanks to the amazing book recommendations I get from the bookish community on Instagram! But I do tend to make short TBRs for each month. January’s TBR consists of Troy by Stephen Fry (my most anticipated release of the year), The Bacchae by Euripides, and finishing The Riddle of the Labyrinth by Margalit Fox.
What’s your special approach to content?
It’s taken me a whole year of bookstagram to find the theme I like most. I really enjoy playing with colors and lighting on Adobe Lightroom and creating new presets, and I’m really happy with how my feed currently looks. My special approach to content is to have fun with it, to change things up every now and then (either with a filter or a different style of photo). Bookstagram has always been a place for me to socialize and connect with people who share similar passions to me, and that is at the heart of the content I make. I’ve made so many lovely friends on bookstagram, and genuine connections are always more important than numbers.
Aesthetic / Instagram page theme:
My aesthetic is dark academia, but lately I’ve introduced a dash of cottage core to my feed. I adore the woods and nature, so I try and incorporate that into my photos also.
How often do you post?
I post daily in the evening GMT time, unless I need to take the evening off for some reason or other. Often, I’ll have a ‘catch-up’ day where I don’t post anything new and spend that time catching up on comments and other creators’ posts instead. I plan my feed, and often my captions, to maintain my posting schedule. Sometimes I’ll make a reel and post that in addition to my main post. It just depends on how much time I have to create and if I’m feeling inspired.
What does your Bookstagram mean to you?
The bookstagram community means so much to me. I love photography and talking about books and the ancient world and history and poetry. Bookstagram provides a space for me to do that, and for that I am incredibly grateful.
An online bookstore called abebooks.com, which my friend @emilygabriellax recommended to me. I buy all my books second-hand unless there’s a book I want to read which is only available brand new.
Who would you have supply you with a lifetime of books?
One day, when I am an actual scholar, I hope that there will be a lifetime of books surrounding me in my office!
Author to take a selfie with:
The next time I see a statue of Homer, I’m going to take a selfie with it!
Favorite book cover:
My Waterstones exclusive hardback edition of The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern, without the dust jacket. The foil is so beautiful, and a bee, key, and a sword are printed along the pages.
Book you have claimed to have read that you didn’t:
On bookstagram, I am always honest with my reading and only post photos of books that I either have read or intend to read. In school, I couldn’t get through Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro when we studied it. I’m not sure if I claimed to have read it, but I definitely did not read it.
When did you know you had made it as a Bookstagrammer?
Whenever I see that I have inspired someone to read one of my favorite books, or someone tells me that they find my content inspiring, then I know I have made it.
Lord of the Rings! The memes are fantastic.
Advice for aspiring Bookstagrammers:
When choosing a username, pick something that represents you and that you feel completely comfortable with. Be creative, post photos that you’re proud of, and share your passions and talents with the bookish community. Build friendships, encourage and support others, and engage with other bookstagrammers’ posts. Use hashtags, share your posts when you’ve posted, and share other bookstagrammers’ posts too. I like to think of an Instagram page as a blank canvas, ready for you to share your craft. Play with filters and lighting, see what works for you, and achieve the theme you want. It doesn’t happen straight away, but naturally will fall into place once you’ve experimented with a few different styles. Don’t pay much attention to numbers; they never stay the same. Build genuine connections with others and share your love for literature.
“The Poet’s eye, in a fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven.
And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown; the Poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes, and gives to airy nothing,
A local habitation, and a name.”
Theseus; Act Five, Scene One
A Midsummer Night’s Dream