Meet Eloise, the Bookstagrammer Spreading a Rainbow of Queer Joy!

Are you a fan of Queer books? Meet this week’s Bookstagrammer of the Week, Eloise of @eloise_bradbooks!

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Bookstagrammer Eloise on a colorful rainbow backdrop

This week’s Bookstagrammer of the Week is the wonderful Eloise from @eloise_bradbooks! A Bookstagrammer with a focus on Queer books and a bright, beautiful aesthetic, Eloise is a beacon of light within the bookish community. You can look to her for LGBTQIA+ book recommendations, rainbow-colored wrap-ups, and more. Read on to learn more about Eloise and her Bookstagram!

Eloise holding THEY HATE EACH OTHER by Amanda Woody in front of a rainbow color coded bookshelf.

Eloise of @eloise_bradbooks

Instagram | Goodreads

Eloise, thanks for agreeing to this interview! Let’s begin!

Where are you from?

I was born in the UK but I’ve always lived in France, currently in the city of Lyon, where it is so difficult to access books in English. But I try my best to find them!

Why did you start your Bookstagram?

I started Bookstagram many years ago (I feel like I’m a booksta-granny), simply to share my thoughts on books. I hoped to find people like me, who loved books and who also found themselves in weird, shy, geeky characters. It quickly became important for me to share more Queer stories because I know they helped me understand myself better than anyone or anything else did. I wanted to make sure that any Queer person looking for recommendations could find books where they felt seen and understood. Representation of minorities is so important.

What do you want your Bookstagram to bring to the world?

I hope my account brings people joy, relief, community, a sense of belonging, and a feeling of being seen and understood. Many people (myself included) don’t get to talk about books they see themselves in “away from the keyboard” with their straight friends and family. For some, it’s so difficult to get to read Queer books. I hope to provide a big selection of book recommendations from many different genres, celebrating many different identities, and a community where we can all gush about them. 

Eloise holding Wren Martin Ruins It All

What’s a fun fact about you?

At 10 years old I was already playing librarian. I forced my sisters (who didn’t like reading) to choose books from my shelves, and I noted them down with a return date. At the time, it didn’t even cross my mind that I could become a librarian… And today I am one!

Who are some of your favorite Bookstagrammers?

I’m so happy to see more and more Queer Bookstagrammers post about their own recs and thoughts about Queer books. Star from @littlemissstar55 is the most amazing lesbian Bookstagrammer sharing so many sapphic books. (Also, she will always remind you to drink water, and I can never thank her enough for that.) Marybeth from @marybee.books is one of my favorite Bookstagrammers with the best book recs, sharing SO MANY colorful and very Queer posts. Other Bookstagrammers I love and who deserve so much love are @plotpressed, @evereadsandreviews, and @johneepixels7.

Can you share some of your favorite books and authors?

Anything Alice Oseman writes will become my favorite. They have a way of understanding me/young adults, their books speak to my soul. Radio Silence is the one which I hold closest to my heart, it is just me in a book. I Was Born For This is an amazing story of fandom with perfect anxiety rep which I am so thankful for. Loveless made me cry from happiness from seeing Aro-Ace rep in a popular book, Heartstopper feels like the biggest hug you didn’t ask for but needed and got anyway.

Photo of Eloise holding LOVELESS with the quote "Give your friendships the magic you would give a romance. Because they're just as important. Actually, for us, they're way more important."

 I also loved Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo in a way I’ve never really loved any other fantasy book since. (I even named my cat Inej after one of the main characters — @inej_and_panda if you’re interested in cute little kittens.) Becky Chambers’ books also speak to my soul. They all feature such strong (often platonic) bonds, found family, and as a bonus, they’re all set in space, mixing different ‘alien’ races and populations. You know you’ll feel like you’ve been hugged when you read Becky Chambers’ books. I’d recommend The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet or A Psalm For The Wild Built.

What is your unique approach to creating content?

I don’t know if it’s a particularly special approach, but I just feel like if I discover a great-looking Queer book, especially from lesser-known or under-represented identities, I will make sure to talk about it in some way. I will find a thematic list in which it could feature, and it allows me to talk about loads of books with similar themes or identities.

What is the aesthetic or theme of your Bookstagram account?

Colorful, bright, and Queer. Very Queer. 

Photo of Eloise holding a rainbow book stack with the text "5 stars?"

Who would you choose to supply you with a lifetime of books?

I trust no one but myself and my thorough research before I read any book, haha!

Who is an author you’d most want to take a selfie with?

Alice Oseman. Fingers crossed, one day!

Photo of Eloise holding Heartstopper with a blue crewneck embroidered with Nick and Charlie saying "Hi" and "Hi."

What’s your favorite book cover?

Tillie Walden’s On A Sunbeam, but the Avery Hill Publishing edition (those stars, that fish ship!!!!) Also, have you seen the cover for Murray Out Of Water by Taylor Tracy? I need it as an art print on my wall.

On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden, book cover.
Murray out of Water by Taylor Tracy, book cover.

When did you know you had made it as a Bookstagrammer?

In my opinion, you’re a Bookstagrammer as soon as you post about books on Instagram. Whether you have 10 followers or 10,000, you’re still a Bookstagrammer. So, I wouldn’t say there was a moment I realized I’d “made it” because I don’t believe there’s a line to cross to have “made it.”

But I’ve only recently realized that this account is important to many people. I receive messages pretty regularly from fellow readers who are grateful and so happy to have found this account. They say it has helped them find books in which they finally see themselves, books that have helped them figure out who they are, books that have allowed them to accept themselves and live more freely. That’s the main reason why I’ll keep talking about Queer books on Bookstagram for a long long time, despite how difficult it can be sometimes.

Eloise holding three books with a rainbow bookshelf in the background and the text "Queer Black Characters."

Can you please share any advice for new or aspiring Bookstagrammers?

I know it may sound “cheesy,” but I honestly think it’s important to just post what you want whenever you want. Don’t be fooled by everyone saying you should post a certain number of times per week, or only talk about popular books, or have the best camera to take the prettiest pictures with the most props. As long as you talk about what you enjoy, then you’ll have fun with Bookstagram and find the people you’ve been looking for. And that’s what it’s all about.

Thank you to Eloise for gracing Bookstr with some of her humor, joy, and bookish wisdom! Whether you’re a fellow lover of Queer books or an aspiring Bookstagrammer or both, be sure to follow her on Instagram and scour her TBR on Goodreads!

To read about Bookstr’s own resident Bookstagrammer, Ashley, click here.

To browse Eloise’s recommended reads and more, click here.