You’ll Love Bookstagrammer Dr. Andy’s Vibrant Realm of Inclusivity

Read on to discover the magic Andy brings to their LGBTQ+ focused bookstagram!

Book Culture Bookstagram LGBTQIA+ Reads Recommendations
White background with multicolored flowers and paint splash. Three round photos of books, and a person surrounded by books, are lined at the center.

This week’s incredible bookstagrammer is none other than Dr. Andy of @foreverinastory! Their radiant joy and organized chaos bring a much-needed splash of color to your ordinary Insta feed. Andy’s page is sure to bring comfort to all walks of life, focusing on representation of the LGBTQIA+ world as well as POC authors. Join me as we talk about what makes Andy unique and how their journey began! (Spoiler alert: it’s not your typical story).

A brunette person holds a stack of books almost as tall as they are, with a smile, in front of a colorful bookshelf.

Andy of @foreverinastory

Instagram | Goodreads | Storygraph | Blog

Thanks for chatting with us, Andy! Let’s begin.

Where are you from?

I’m originally from the Chicago suburbs, specifically Lombard, though I did live in Villa Park for a summer. Now I live in Champaign, Illinois, USA. I moved down here for grad school in 2017 and haven’t left yet!

Why did you start your Bookstagram?

I actually started my bookstagram because a friend basically dared me to do it. When I first started, I had such eclectic posts, and most of them were inspired by random thoughts or from book challenges through Facebook groups. I had a lot of fun taking photos and I kept at it. Here we are about six years later.

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

My bookstagram is a place for queer books of all genres to find their audience. Most of my content is centered around the LGBTQIAP2S+ community — especially sapphic, ace, aro and trans/nonbinary books. I also love highlighting and working with queer indie authors. Some of my favorite books have been written by indies, especially self-published authors. My main goal is to highlight book titles that don’t always get the big marketing dollars.

Eight book covers, lined up in two rows, surrounded by rainbow-colored flowers.

In addition, I want to push people to read more than just the big titles by white authors. I designed a yearly reading challenge to do this, called the Be Intentional Reading Challenge. This year I’ve designed the full challenge of 140 prompts, as well as two mini versions: 70 prompts and 35 prompts. Throughout the year, I post recommendations for each prompt in the full version. I’m a little behind but I’m up to prompt 5, currently. Lastly, for the past several years in June, I co-run the #QueerBookstagrammerTour with @DJReadsBooks. I love getting to celebrate the queer community, finding more people in my community, and getting stellar book recs!

What are some fun facts about you?

  • I currently have 1 screaming cat and hope to collect more cats soon.
  • I am AuDHD and it leads to some very chaotic life choices.
  • I listen to audiobooks at 3x or more. Begging for Libby to finally boost playback up to 4x.
  • I have a PhD in Pathobiology.
  • I serve as an election judge and support staff during local elections every year since 2020. It is by far my most chaotic job, but it’s also a favorite!

What are some of your favorite Bookstagrammers?

Oh my gosh, I have so many. A lot of my closest friends are bookstagrammers, but some of them don’t post because burnout is real. I tried not to forget anyone, but if I did. IM SORRY in advance 😭

Star – @LittleMissStar55; Melanie – @MelanieReadsBooks; @Rachael – @RQDReads; Hailey – @Page_Pixie; Aster – @LavendersBook; Rachel  – @TheReadingSkeleton; Amivi – @AmiviReads; Megan – @BooksNBlazers; Amy – @ThePeonyInInk; Heather – @TheSelfishSapphic; Mackenzie – @MackenziesPocket; Guthrie – @BookWNoName; Rachel – @TomeTraveler; Kat – @NerdyDreamer107; Alexx – @Obscure.Pages; Jay – @_LitMeDown; Corey – @GrimDark_Dad; Autumn – @AutumnInTheOaks; Mari – @AllegedlyMari; Victoria – @Cuir_BookSeeker; Jesse – @JesseOnYouTube_; Alex – @MyPacificRoad

What are your favorite books and authors?

A brunette person holds a stack of books. There is also a large stack to their left. They are smiling and standing in front of a colorful bookshelf.

Authors in general: Jenna Miller, Julian Winters, Aiden Thomas, Charlie Jane Anders, SD Simper, Anna-Marie McLemore, Claudie Arseneault, H.E. Edgmon, Dr. Darcie Little Badger, Racquel Marie, Alechia Dow, Chencia C. Higgins, Kacen Callender, Kalynn Bayron, Jae, Katee Robert, Rin Chupeco, Rebecca Roanhorse, Nghi Vo

These are people whose books I love in general and it’s too hard to pick ONE favorite from them.

Do you have a TBR List?

Please. It never ends. Especially with so many queer books releasing every month. I help put together the monthly queer release list for Rainbow Crate to post on the 1st. Here’s the May one!

What’s your aesthetic / Instagram page theme?

I am all about bright colors and rainbows. I take both indoor and outdoor photos. I really love bringing books with me when I go places and taking pictures of them out and about. My insta is a mash up of genres and age categories, and for the most part, my page is made up of queer books.

How often do you post?

I used to post every day, sometimes twice a day. In late January 2023, I took over as social media manager for Rainbow Crate. Because of my job with RC and getting a full time job after graduating with my PhD, time has been more scarce to post things on my own Instagram. I’m trying to be more active lately so you can find me posting anywhere from 1-6 times a week 😂. Even when not posting on my feed, I am pretty active on Instagram, especially through DMs.

What does your Bookstagram mean to you?

My bookstagram has brought me so much joy and community. It’s a place where I can unequivocally be myself in all my messiness. Bookstagram brought so many good things into my life including amazing books, and the best people, including my partner 🥹. I don’t think I would be the person I am now without the people I’ve met and talked to through Bookstagram. When you find your people, it brings so much joy and a support network that will be there for you even when you’re not feeling your best.

White bookshelves filled with colorful books, knick-knacks on top, and Halloween-themed tinsel garlands running down between bookcases.

What’s your favorite bookstore?

Right now, it’s definitely my local indie bookstore: The Literary. It’s a good spot to work or hang out. They have great drinks and stuff to browse. I also love getting to explore indies when I travel. Some favorites in the Chicago area are Semicolon Books, Call & Response, Three Avenues Bookstore, and The Book Table.
I also recently got to explore Charis Books & More, which had an absolutely amazing selection of books, including some of my favorite indie published titles.

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

Oh my gosh, is this a thing? Does the imposter syndrome ever leave? Because I can 100% say it hasn’t for me. I’m still constantly surprised and ecstatic when other bigger bookstagrammers comment or follow me. Also, having authors think of me when recommending books, or sending me arcs because they enjoy my content, has been one of the most heartwarming things ever. Truly, I still am in awe that people want to talk to me about books.

A line of colorful books, spine up, displayed on a carpet. Below them are three books, sitting cover up, including: "If You Still Recognize Me" by Cynthia So, "Riley Weaver Needs a Date to the Gaybutante Ball" by Jason June, and "The Luis Ortega Survival Club" by Sonora Reyes.

Do you have any advice for aspiring Bookstagrammers?

Hmm, I was basically super chaotic when I started, and it really worked for me. Booksta is its own unique environment, there’re no true rules on how to bookstagram. I recommend talking about books you love and are genuinely excited about. People will see that in your captions, videos, or stories and they’ll want to respond to it. Besides this, find the people [with whom] you fit and share common interest in books. Responding to people’s stories is a great way to start to build those connections when you like their content. Lastly, I’d say don’t be afraid to try new things. Some trends are just fun, and you can participate in them AND put your own spin on it if you want to.

Be sure to like and follow Dr. Andy’s IG for your daily dose of bright and colorful bookish content! Plus, with a handle like “forever in a story,” how can you go wrong? That is so cool.

To read about our last Bookstagrammer of the week, click here!

Want more queer book recs? Check out our LGBTQ+ bookshelf on Bookshop!