Welcome to another edition of Bookstr’s Bookstagrammer of the Week, where we feature an awesome individual sharing their love for all things books and stories through photography. This week, we talked to @topshelfbookreviews about her bright, colorful, fun, and cozy bookstagram. Enjoy!
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Why did you start your Bookstagram?
I created my bookstagram because I wanted to connect with others over the literature I love and read. I also wanted to discover new books and build friendships with people who value reading and can open my eyes to new ways of thinking. It definitely has provided all this and more!
Where are you from?
I’m from Roseville, California. It’s a suburb right outside of Sacramento. I love it because it’s not far from Tahoe, Napa, San Francisco, and the ocean. We are removed from it all but can easily drive up and enjoy the beach or the mountains any day. I’ve lived in Northern California my entire life.
What do you want your Instagram to bring to the world?
I want to help inspire people to pick up a book and enjoy the magic of stories. Books really leave such a big imprint on the world and are essentially immortal, as they go on long after the person that wrote it departs this earth. It’s just such an amazing concept, and I want to encourage people to embrace books and work reading into their daily lives.
Fun Fact about you:
I graduated from Sacramento State University with a Bachelors in Science in Nursing and worked as a surgical RN before creating my Bookstagram. I would bond with my patients over whatever book they came in reading while I prepped and recovered them before and after the procedure. I stopped working as a nurse a few years ago when my second daughter was born, but I love books that have to do with science and medicine!
I have so many! Here are some of my favorites who not only provide great content but are incredibly nice and just all-around great humans.
Favorite Books and Authors:
I am a huge Stephen King fan and constant reader. My favorite book by him is 11/22/63, followed closely by The Shining.
Some other auto-buy authors for me are Blake Crouch, Colleen Hoover, Taylor Jenkins Reid, Michael Crichton, Diana Gabaldon, George RR Martin, JRR Tolkien, Jodi Picoult, Jojo Moyes, and Gillian Flynn.
Robb Stark from Game of Thrones… I mean, he has a dire wolf! He’s brave! He risks it all for love! That’s hawwwt.
I also love Jamie Fraser from Outlander and I can’t answer this question without the well-deserved mention of Rhysand from the A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J Maas. I lovingly refer to him as “Sexy Sandy” and want to serve him soup. (IYKYK)
Also known as The Never Ending Story. (I dare you not to sing the song now- you know you want to) Seriously. My TBR is very expansive, and we would be here all day discussing it. Just know it grows every week and is a very eclectic collection ranging from nonfiction memoirs and self-help, to romance and dark horror novels. I got it all.
What’s Your Special Approach to Content?
I just write and read what interests me. My purpose is to connect with others while sharing my opinions and gaining insight from others, so I just keep it authentic and natural.
Aesthetic / Instagram page theme:
I don’t have a format or particular theme that I follow with my Instagram, although I know those are popular. I just go with the flow!
How often do you post?
I post once a day. I share memes, bookish items, and daily life in my story posts multiple times throughout the day. I like to stay present and engaged and be social.
What does your Bookstagram mean to you?
It honestly means a lot. I have made some very close friends on this platform, who I talk to daily and are a big part of my life. This has been a very isolating year for so many people. With the pandemic being such a life-changing event, my Bookstagram has allowed me to feel connected despite quarantine and has been a huge comfort.
Winston Smith Books in Auburn, CA! It’s a used book store that is truly magical. If I’m looking for something new, I tend to go to Barnes and Noble.
Author to take a selfie with:
Uncle Stevie! (Stephen King) – my maiden name is King, so I really like to think of him as my long-lost uncle. Maybe in another when and where, he is.
Favorite book cover:
I am a total cover lover. It’s hard to choose just one! Some that quickly come to mind include Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino, The Dutch House by Ann Patchett, Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender, Untamed by Glennon Doyle, The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, Watch Over Me by Nina Lacour, and Heart Bones by Colleen Hoover.
Book you have claimed to have read that you didn’t:
Probably something I was supposed to read in class for high school. Sorry Mr. Bowers, Cliffnotes was just really handy… but look at me now! Reading up a storm. *nervous chuckles*
When did you know you had made it as a Bookstagrammer?
I first felt fulfilled as a Bookstagrammer when I had people I’ve never met reaching out, saying that I’ve inspired them to read more, and asking me to recommend books. I feel so happy when I’m able to help guide others to their new favorite stories.
Game of Thrones! I own so many Valar Morghulis hats and GOT shirts, candles, and merch. I can’t get enough.
I also love The King Multiverse and am down for long discussions about The Dark Tower.
Lastly, I was a huge Harry Potter fan growing up and attribute my deep love of reading to that series.
Advice for aspiring Bookstagrammers:
Have fun! There is no right or wrong way to express yourself in this area of the internet. It shouldn’t feel constricting or stressful. It’s all about self-expression and creativity – whatever that looks like for you!
Be kind! It’s ok to have differences in opinions from others; that’s the cool thing about reading. It’s all subjective, and not everyone will experience a book the same way. The important thing is to remain considerate in your discussions. Have an open mind. You may learn something new.
Be yourself! Share your thoughts and feelings, and learn from others. Be your true silly, nerdy, bookish self to the full. You never know who you’re inspiring.
I wear a fanny pack around the house with my phone playing audiobooks as I do chores. If that’s not dedication, I don’t know what is. – Audiobooks count! Listening is a skill. If that’s the only way you have to read a book, do it and don’t feel shame for it!
A friend of mine pointed out that just because you’re listening to a book doesn’t mean you’re not learning and growing from it. That’s like saying that listening to a teacher give a lecture doesn’t count because you can only learn from reading the textbook. We all know that’s not the case! So, it’s time to accept audiobooks.
*steps down from soapbox*
Thanks so much for joining me and discussing everything Bookstagram. Please don’t ever hesitate to reach out to me on Instagram and chat about books! I love meeting new friends and am always open to discussion.