@jennastopreading started her account in July 2018, which means she’s had her account for 3 solid years, though it’s only been active for 2.5 years due to the time she took off to manage her pregnancy from July 2019-December 2019.
Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, she now lives in a nearby city running her stimulating book account that she envisions and hopes is bringing light, positivity, and real life into the world. Staying true to herself, she tries “not to shy away from sharing [her] highs and [her] lows (including [her] ongoing battle with depression and anxiety) with [her] community.”
Asking her to share with us what Bookstagram means to her, she said, “My page is special because it’s helped me connect to some of my closest friends, but at the end of the day, I know my identity is not found in it – in my content, the number of followers I have, my engagement, etc. So while it means a lot to me because of the relationships I’ve made, I know I would still have those friendships even if IG disappeared tomorrow.”
Check out our full interview with her below!
What’s your special approach to content?
My number one rule is to be yourself – don’t try to copy anyone else’s feed, because you’ll wear yourself out and never get the content you want! I try to have conversational posts, where I engage with my audience by asking questions and then always responding to as many comments as I can. I want those who hang out with me online to feel like they can ask me questions, talk to me as a friend, and trust in both my book recommendations and who I am as a person!
What’s your aesthetic/ Instagram page theme?
This always cracks me up because I don’t really have a “theme” – I just try to take photos a step or two above mediocre in well lit spots. That’s my aesthetic 🤣
How often do you post?
Usually daily, but life gets busy and I will occasionally miss a day. I would say 13 out of 14 days!
What are your favorite books and authors?
This is the hardest question ever, but The Storied Life of AJ Fikry stands out as the book I am probably recommending and thinking about the most. I loved that book so much and wanted to hug it the whole time I was reading it. Another close second is It’s Kind of A Funny Story by Ned Vizzini – this one hits so close to home as a person who has battled depression for many years. My heart was broken when Vizzini died by suicide in 2013. My favorite authors are Matt Haig, Jenny Han, Nic Stone, Kristin Hannah, Rachel Lynn Solomon, Biana Marais, Jason Reynolds…and the list goes on!
Who are your favorite Bookstagrammers?
Do you have a favorite bookstore?
Warwicks in La Jolla, CA has one of the dreamiest locations I’ve ever visited, so I’ll pick that one!
Who would you have supply you with a lifetime of books?
Anyone willing to do so! 🤪
What author would you take a selfie with?
100% Matt Haig – and then I would tell him how much his work has meant to me during some of the hardest times of my life.
Favorite book cover
Ever? I could never choose! But of 2021? Probably Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid.
What’s a book you have claimed to have read but haven’t actually?
I don’t think I’ve ever done this as an adult, but in my sophomore year of high school, I 100% faked it til I made it with The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. Maybe I would enjoy it more as an adult, but I could not get through that book! I can’t believe it has a 3.83 rating on Goodreads with over 700k reviews.
What does your TBR list look like?
Who’s your fictional crush?
Peter Kavinsky from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. I met my husband in high school, and those books feel very reminiscent of that time.
When did you know you had made it as a Bookstagrammer?
I don’t know that I’ve made it, have I?! Ha! One of the things I’ve joked about with other bookstagrammers is that we know we’ve “made it” when we get our first hateful comment or DM. I think that joking that it’s a “good thing” is one way of making us feel better when it’s actually really hurtful.
What advice would you give for aspiring Bookstagrammers?
A lot of times people give advice like, “Read what you want!” and “Have fun!” and I think that’s really great, solid, and important advice. But I know when I started my page, I was always seeking more concrete information about how to make this whole thing work – how would anyone find/follow/engage with me? So, let me give a short list of some things that actually helped me.
1) Take photos in natural lighting when possible, and to make your page cohesive, you can use the same Lightroom or VSCO preset. I use an Adobe Lightroom preset package I bought on Etsy for legit $4.
2) Try to post consistently at the same time on the days you post (within an hour). This has helped my engagement so much. Also, don’t “post and ghost”, meaning that, when you post, be sure you are online and commenting on other people’s stuff for a while (and responding to comments on your post) for a bit.
3) Engage with other people’s stuff as often as possible! I try to do 10 comments an hour. This helps you build community and also helps boost your content within the IG algorithm.
4) Use hashtags – 25-30 on each post. And make sure they are relevant to what you are posting. Lost on hashtags? Look at other people’s posts that have a lot of interaction on them! That’s always a good place to start.
5) Be authentic and find your people – having a group of friends that can help you when you are feeling uninspired is super important.
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