Category: Bookstagram

4 Foolproof Ways to Judge a Book by Its Cover

 

We all know the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover.” It tells us that judging anything based off its first appearance will almost always lead you down a path of failure and misunderstanding, and you may miss out on something great. However, in the case of actual books, I disagree. The cover is the most important factor that helps the reader decide whether or not to read the book. Now it may seem like cheating, however there are many things that make up a cover. The aesthetics, the title, the author and the summary, but these are all things that you put on the cover to capture the attention of a potential reader.

 

1. Aesthetics

 

Image result for pretty book covers
IMAGE VIA ELECTRIC LITERATURE

First things first, let’s discuss the aesthetics of a cover. It’s usually the first thing you notice when you grab a book. There are many questions that must be asked and answered when you decide on the aesthetic of a cover. First, what is the genre of the book? If it is a horror story or mystery, then you usually would see darker colors straying to darker hues of black, grey, red, etc…. You’ll find a dark or ominous image on the cover to help push the idea of the book. If its a romance or coming of age story, you’ll find the use of lighter colors and also a wider array of colors.

 

2. Title

 

Image result for the great gatsby
IMAGE VIA WIKIPEDIA

 

Now you didn’t hear this from me, but the title of a book is probably the single most important part of the cover. The title holds the most weight of a book on its back. The title will provide any potential reader one of the first inklings of what the book is about. Especially depending on certain books, the title can be understood in many different ways. An example of such would be The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The title is referencing the main subject of the book, the character Jay Gatsby, this larger than life character that the narrator Nick Carraway in a way idolizes and looks up to. Hence the name, The Great Gatsby because the book tells the story of a man who spends his time with his mysterious charismatic rich man named Gatsby that throws the biggest and best parties The book is seen as a critique on the American Dream, and Gatsby is usually seen as the physical representation of it. Titles are powerful and hold the keys to the secrets that books hold. 

 

 

3. Author

 

Image result for challenger deep neal shusterman
IMAGE VIA STORYMAN

The name of an author can be the most influential or least influential. This all depends on the individual author because, you might not recognize the name of the author. But there are cases when you do recognize the name of the author and those authors may have a lot of prestige behind their names.. In that case the author’s name may be one of the defining factors for you to read the book, like if you read all of Neal Shusterman’s Arc of a Scythe series, you might be more inclined to pick up lets say, Challenger Deep because you are aware of his writing style and might be a fan because of it. But if it’s written by someone whose name isn’t recognizable. Their name won’t affect the decision making for choosing a book.

 

4. Summary

 

IMAGE VIA BARNES AND NOBLES

Lastly, the summary. The summary is usually the final part that people check out a book. Now the summary is super important because this is the author’s chance to describe the book in a way that will hook any potential readers that still remain on the fence.So the job of the summary is to grip the reader and entice them to read the book. Summaries usually have a gripping first sentence or couple sentences that captures the attention. An example from the book, Legacy and the Queen by Kobe Bryant and Annie Matthew, “Tennis means everything in the Republic of Nova. Too poor to afford formal training, twelve-year-old Legacy practices serves and returns against the wall of her father’s orphanage to pass the time. But all that is about to change.” See a summary like that grabs the attention because it’s simple, and sets up an idea of the world that the story takes place and also the type of character that we may be focusing on. 

 

 

Any way you try to cut it, the cover of a book is arguably the most important part of a book before you actually read it.. So next time you hear someone say, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” make sure you tell them they are wrong and then go back to reading because you can’t be distracted by people with such rudimentary level ideas that try to pass them off as profound ideas.


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Featured Image via Trinikid

#Bookstagrammer of the Week: @booksnest

Want to see your favorite Bookstagrammer featured next? Message @bookstrofficial here.

 

This Week’s Featured creator: @booksnest

 

Each week Bookstr is going to be highlighting your favorite Bookstagrammers. A Bookstagrammer is someone who shares all of their literary interests, ranging from book reviews and aesthetically pleasing book pictures to outfit pictures featuring their current reads. Anything that evokes bibliophile feels is on their Instagram pages. Make sure to give these Bookstagrammers the love they deserve! This week we are getting to know a Bookstagrammer, blogger, and book lover: Beth, or as you would know her on Instagram, @booksnest.

Here is her story:

 

image via @booksnest

 

 

Chapter 1: The Birth of a Bookstagram Account

 

Beth, a Bookstagrammer from Berkshire in the South of England, joined the Bookstagram community purely for her love of books and as a personal goal for herself.

 

I loved following other book accounts so I started my own in 2013 as a New Year’s resolution. I took photos I loved and have continued to do so ever since. I wanted to feel part of this community and that is exactly what I have achieved.

 

Beth’s favorite books are mostly from the fantasy genre, including The Priory of the Orange Tree, Vicious, The Poppy War, Strange the Dreamer and A Good Girl’s Guide to MurderHer favorite authors are V.E. Schwab and Samantha Shannon.

If given the chance, Beth would take a selfie with V.E. Schwab, of course.

 

 

image via @booksnest

 

So what books does Beth plan to read in the near future?

I don’t tend to set a TBR to be honest, but in my head I know soon I want to get to Ninth House, A Little Life and The Dragon Republic.

 

Her fandoms are Harry Potter, Star Trek, and The Lord of the Rings.

 

Beth’s fun fact is more about horses than about books.

I used to ride a horse called Treacle as a kid, but as an adult I’ve never got on a horse. 

 

Chapter 2: To The Bookstagramming

 

Bookstagrammers carefully choose the prettiest book covers to fit their aesthetic and theme, and Beth also has some personal favorites.

I think the covers for the Caraval series are stunning and so clever! 

 

She can describe her Bookstagram aesthetic in one word:

YELLOW! 💛🌻

 

Beth adjusts her schedule to her followers’ activity in order to determine what times she should post. She rightfully takes pride in the followers she has.

I always post around 8pm GMT during the week and sometimes in the morning around 10am GMT at the weekends. I either post daily or every other day, I base this on how well my last post did and if I want to give it more time to grow. I get these times by looking at my Instagram insights and seeing when my followers are more online. 

When I hit 10k in May of 2019 I felt a real sense of pride and accomplishment and I felt really happy. That was a big day for me and really hit home that my hard work had paid off. 

 

image via @booksnest

 

Beth is most inspired by these four fellow Bookstagrammers:

@amysbookshelf

@throneofshatteredbooks

@everlasting.charm

@hayaisreading

 

 

Chapter 3: What does bookstagram mean to you?

 

Beth’s Bookstagram page is a beautiful representation of her favorite reads, but what does it mean to her personally, and what does she hope it means to other people?

Bookstagram is living proof of my dedication and motivation to grow and develop a space to create my content. It shows my love of reading and photography, but also somewhere for me to fuel my creativity and that means an awful lot to me! 

I want to offer a cosy and happy space for people to come to enjoy both the photos and the books I feature. I also love being able to offer help and advice to other Bookstagrammers.  

 

She also has some advice to offer aspiring Bookstagrammers.

Building up an audience takes time, but as long as you’re doing what you love and learning and developing each day, you will grow. Don’t take it too seriously, have fun with it and keep putting in the effort. With persistence, you will see growth, but it does take time. 

 

Featured image via @booksnest

 

 


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#Bookstagrammer of the Week: @bookpairings

Want to see your favorite Bookstagrammer featured next? Message @bookstrofficial here.

 

This Week’s Featured creator: @bookpairings

 

Each week Bookstr is going to be highlighting your favorite Bookstagrammers. A Bookstagrammer is someone who shares all of their literary interests, ranging from book reviews and aesthetically pleasing book pictures to outfit pictures featuring their current reads. Anything that evokes bibliophile feels is on their Instagram pages. Make sure to give these Bookstagrammers the love they deserve! This week we are getting to know a Bookstagrammer with a passion for books and indie bookshops: Laci, or as you would know her on Instagram, @bookpairings.

Here is her story:

 

image via @bookpairings

 

Chapter 1: The Birth of a Bookstagram Account

 

 

Laci started Bookstagram as a fun project to cope with a difficult period in her life, and her account took off from there.

 

I started posting “Bookstagram” posts on my personal account during the summer of 2015 when I was recovering from my second brain surgery in 6 months. I have always loved reading and when I found a community of book lovers at my fingertips I decided I wanted to join the conversation. 

Because I’m the type of person who needs a project, even when I should be resting, I decided I would create my own Bookstagram account and see how it goes. That was in August of 2015 and it’s crazy to think I have posted almost everyday since then and 41K+ people care about my opinions of books and enjoy my very eclectic reading recommendations. 

 

Laci usually reads over 100 books a year, but her favorite books include classic reads such as:

As well as some more contemporary books like:

 

 

If given the choice, Laci would take a selfie with Margaret Atwood, her favorite author.

 

image via @bookpairings

 

Laci is a part of the Harry Potter, The Night Circus, Game of Thrones, and Good Omens fandoms.

 

Besides being book-obsessed, she also loves wine tasting.

I almost went through the training and testing to become a sommelier. I am a total oenophile and it’s another thing I love sharing with people. 

 

Chapter 2: To The Bookstagramming

 

Laci’s photography style definitely gives off a very memorable vibe, but how would she define this aesthetic?

When it comes to the photography aspect of my content, I always strive for cozy feeling photos with warm tones. I like to find interesting textures and angles so I am constantly experimenting.

I love to play with woodgrain and books for texture and I love using shadow for moodier photos.

 

 

She also has some photography advice for new Bookstagrammers.

In terms of photography, play around and you’ll improve post by post. You’ll find your aesthetic faster if you experiment and reflect on why you love certain photos.

 

Laci sticks to a specific posting schedule, so you’ll always know when to look for her newest bookish photos.

I generally post every morning between 7am-8am PST during the week and on the weekends I either post around 12pm or 5pm. I’ve done a lot of experimenting to find the optimal time for engagement, but it also depends a little bit on my schedule. I want to be able to respond to every single comment on my posts, so I try to post when I know I will be able to check-in periodically to reply. 

 

image via @bookpairings

 

So what are Laci’s personal favorite Bookstagram accounts?

It’s too hard to choose just a few! Here are some of my favorites:

@ouija.doodle.reads 

@theliteraryheroine

@fictionmatters

@booknerdnative

@worldswithinpages

@michellereadsbooks

@thebookishfiiasco

@jennareadsbooks

@booklanguage

@booksonherbrain

@somekindoflibrary

@absorbedinpages

I could go on and on.

 

 

Chapter 3: What does bookstagram mean to you?

 

It’s clear that Laci is very involved in the Bookstagram community, so what does her Bookstagram mean to her personally?

I am still stunned that my account has garnered as many followers as it has. I know that I work hard on each post behind the scenes, but I continue to be humbled by the Bookstagram community. To me my page is a place where I can share my love of books with other amazing, supportive book lovers. I feel like I have grown a lot personally since I started and I am lucky to have made some amazing friends within the community as well. 

I strive for authenticity when creating my content above all else. I want to share the books I am genuinely interested in reading and the books I love even if they aren’t the most hyped. I still get sucked into the new releases hype from time to time, but I’d like to think I also get less well-known or well-marketed books on the radar of my followers.

I hope that my Bookstagram inspires people to read outside of their comfort zones.

 

 

image via @bookpairings

 

Her final word to fellow Bookstagrammers and book lovers?

Support your local libraries and indie bookstores when you can. They provide so many services to their communities and it’s becoming harder and harder for them to survive with big business looming.

 

Featured image via @bookpairings

 

 


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#Bookstagrammer of the Week: @braveliteraryworld

Want to see your favorite Bookstagrammer featured next? Message @bookstrofficial here.

 

This Week’s Featured creator: @braveliteraryworld

 

Each week Bookstr is going to be highlighting your favorite Bookstagrammers. A Bookstagrammer is someone who shares all of their literary interests, ranging from book reviews and aesthetically pleasing book pictures to outfit pictures featuring their current reads. Anything that evokes bibliophile feels is on their Instagram pages. Make sure to give these Bookstagrammers the love they deserve! This week we are getting to know a teacher who is a lover of classic lit and diversity: Esther, or as you would know her on Instagram, @braveliteraryworld.

Here is her story:

 

 

image via @braveliteraryworld

 

 

Chapter 1: The Birth of a Bookstagram Account

 

Esther saw the Bookstagram community as a way to showcase her passions for both books and photography.

I made my first post on May 23, 2016. I had seen a lot of Bookstagram photos on Tumblr. Before then, I had no idea Bookstagram was a thing. When I saw the photos, I was excited by how people have combined two of my interests– books and photography– to create such beautiful works. In the beginning, my photos were absolute garbage. But I kept at it, focusing on my love of classic literature, and I haven’t stopped since.

 

Since Esther’s favorite genre is classic literature, some of her favorite authors include Isabel Allende, Jane Austen, C.S. Lewis, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Jacquline Woodson. But what is her favorite book of all time?

My favorite book is Wide Sargasso Sea, and everyone who follows me has heard me talk about it.

 

View this post on Instagram

How’s the weather where you are? . Fall is settling down here, and its arrival always make me want to pick up stories set in English countrysides, with farmhouses in the horizon and an open sky above. On that note, here are my top favorite English pastoral novels. . • Tess of the D’Urbervilles – a young, naive woman sets out into the world to save her family from poverty, but those who promise hope only bring disaster and heartbreak. . • I Capture the Castle – told through the diary entries of Catherine Mortmain, a teenager ready to take on the world, and set in a crumbling castle in Suffolk. Hilarious and heartwarming. . • Sense and Sensibility – not my favorite Austen, but S&S deserves its place on here for the loving descriptions of trees, hills, skies, and fields. The Dashwood sisters may have fallen down in the world, but they have no shortage of suitors as the girls form and test their own perspectives on love. . • The Small House at Allington – Lily Dale is in love with Mr. Crosbie, whom she calls Apollo. However, while Crosbie is fond of her, he is unsure if he’ll be happy with a poor wife. The most pastoral novel on this list, get ready for flower metaphors, images of rivers and shepherds, and gorgeous descriptions of setting. . • The Fall of the House of Usher – didn’t think that gothic horrors can be pastoral reads too? The narrator shows up at his friend’s dilapidated home, and is informed that his host’s sister has just died. I won’t give away the rest, but this is my favorite Poe story. . . . #classicliterature #penguinclassics #fallreads #fallvibes #janeausten #edgarallanpoe #thomashardy #readmorebooks #readinggoals #october

A post shared by Esther (@braveliteraryworld) on

 

image via @braveliteraryworld

 

Esther’s fun fact is that she was born in Taiwan.

 

Chapter 2: To The Bookstagramming

Esther’s preference for classic literature leaves her shelves with a classically clean look that is perfect for Bookstagram. 

 

 

 

 

image via @braveliteraryworld

 

When it comes to her posting schedule, Esther notes that it’s important for her to post in a way that prioritizes her life.

I used to post around what Instagram has deemed my “optimal” times, but with the algorithm, who really knows? Now, I post when it’s convenient for me. I love Bookstagram, but in this matter, I am putting myself– and the students I teach– first. 

 

 

What are Esther’s favorite Bookstagram accounts, and what advice would she give to those Bookstagrammers who are just starting out?

I will never be able to name all the Bookstagrammers that I love. But I do want to mention that I really appreciate @bluestockingbookshelf and @ab_read‘s honest reviews, that I am always encouraged by @bookplaits, that I am inspired by @beingabookwyrm and @sachi_reads, and that I am happier because of @bookbookchick.

My advice is to do what it takes to make Bookstagram a fun place for you. If that means posting and engaging regularly, do it! If that means posting and engaging when you can, do that. Sometimes, Bookstagrammers— including me— feel guilty for not spending more time on here. But you have to do what works for you. 

 

 

If Esther got the opportunity to take a selfie with an author, there are some classic authors that she’d love to meet.

I once met Rushdie, and I was so excited I dropped my phone! I would like to meet Amy Tan, and I would’ve loved to meet Toni Morrison.

 

Chapter 3: TBR

Esther’s TBR list is full of reads by diverse authors, including:

 

Her publisher of choice to supply her with a lifetime of books is Penguin Random House.

I have been really lucky to work with Penguin Random House a few times in the past, and I would love to work with them again. I especially love how they have been celebrating authors of color in their classics line. 

 

 

 

image via @braveliteraryworld

 

 

Chapter 4: What does bookstagram mean to you?

Besides sharing her love of reading with the world, what are Esther’s personal hopes for her Bookstagram?

 

I love classic literature, and I love talking about them with other people. However, lately, I have also enjoyed using my account to showcase diverse voices, especially monumental works likeThe Woman Warrior orPalace of the Peacock that are less well-known. In addition, as of the past few months, my job as a 6th grade English teacher has led me to discover many amazing middle grade texts that I am excited to share with Bookstagram.

I tell my students to just read. Graphic novels, magazine articles, comic strips, audiobooks, whatever. Read, read, read. And don’t let anyone make you feel bad about what you like to read.

 

Well, what did you think about @braveliteraryworld? We love answering her book trivia highlight! Do you have a favorite Bookstagrammer in mind? Contact us through any of our social media platforms and maybe you will see them here next week! 

 

Want to see your favorite Bookstagrammer featured next? Message @bookstrofficial here.

 

Featured image via @braveliteraryworld

 

 

#Bookstagrammer of the Week: @shelfbyshelf

Want to see your favorite Bookstagrammer featured next? Message @bookstrofficial here.

 

This Week’s Featured creator: @shelfbyshelf

 

Each week Bookstr is going to be highlighting your favorite Bookstagrammers. A Bookstagrammer is someone who shares all of their literary interests, ranging from book reviews and aesthetically pleasing book pictures to outfit pictures featuring their current reads. Anything that evokes bibliophile feels is on their Instagram pages. Make sure to give these Bookstagrammers the love they deserve! This week we are getting to know a Bookstagram account that celebrates diversity and LGBTQ+: Hunter, or as you would know him on Instagram, @shelfbyshelf.

 

Here is his story:

View this post on Instagram

📚Meet The Bookstagrammer📚 Hey, you guys!! It’s been a while since I introduced myself. My name’s Hunter, and here’s some fun facts about me! • I’m from South Georgia, currently living in North Florida with my husband and our dog, Willow. • I’ve always liked reading, but it wasn’t until I graduated high school that I began reading such a high volume of books. All of my friends were off at college, and because I didn’t have the opportunity to start school with everyone else, I started reading again. I’d read somewhere that Marilyn Monroe read so much because she wanted to be cultured and knowledgeable—still not sure if that’s true, but I like the idea—, and I thought I could do the same for myself. • I average about 100 books a year. • When I’m not reading, I’m pretending to do yoga—it’s hard, y’all. I also listen to the same music I’ve listened to for ten years. I also watch Beaches and My Best Friends Wedding on repeat. • I lived with my granny for most of my life. Her mom moved in with us when I was 10, and it was like Grey Gardens in the south. My granny is a mix of Little Edie and Margaret White from Carrie (Piper Laurie edition) • I used to make money doing portraits of people, then I did hair, and now I work for the state. But my dream is to be a writer of books, essays, plays, etc. I also wouldn’t mind acting into Oscar glory. My goal at 18 was to win 17 oscars (by the time I was 21), win a Pulitzer, the National Book Award, and the Nobel Prize For literature. And then a Grammy, tony, and Emmy—I wanted to do the full PEGOT. • Anyway, that’s just a little bit about me! If you have any other questions, comment below. And if we haven’t met yet, tell me some fun facts about you! And if we have met, I’m sure there’s still more to learn! Lol so share something new. And thanks to everyone for joining in the fun with me! – – – #books #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #meetthebookstagrammer #yoga #yogi #yogamat #love #hotyoga #pilates #aboutme #epicreads #mysistertheserialkiller #oyinkanbraithwaite #gayboy #lgbt #lgbtqia #gaypride #bookish #doubleday #selfie #thriller #booktalk #books📚 #📚

A post shared by Hunter | Shelf By Shelf (@shelfbyshelf) on

 

image via @shelfbyshelf

 

 

Chapter 1: The Birth of a Bookstagram Account

 

Hunter started out small on Instagram with only his love of books until he received a shout-out from a fellow Bookstagrammer.

 

I’ve been posting about books on Instagram for about seven years, but just in a general capacity. In 2018, my New Year’s resolution was to post a little review for every book I read. I just wanted to share my book thoughts with the few of my friends who read. I had no idea what Bookstagram was, and I thought I was the only one posting about books every day. Then this woman Larissa ( @bklnbooks ) followed me, and at some point she said she wanted to shout-out LGBTQ+ “Bookstagrammers.” I didn’t think I qualified as a Bookstagrammer, but I asked and she said yes. A few months after that, I changed my handle to @shelfbyshelf. It all happened pretty organically.

 

Hunter has a long list of favorite books (never enough favorites, right?), including:

His favorite book cover out of all eleven of those is Fates and Furies.

 

 

image via @shelfbyshelf

 

Hunter’s fun fact is that he is also involved in art.

I occasionally draw portraits—I was known for it for a while, and I have drawings in at least four continents, which I think is pretty nifty.

 

 

Chapter 2: To The Bookstagramming

 

Hunter’s aesthetic features books (of course) and the outdoors.

I didn’t think I had an aesthetic until someone posted a picture and said, “I’m stealing Hunter’s aesthetic!” And it was an angled stack of books. I’m not sure the best way to describe it, but I guess I’d just say, happy Florida green. Which probably isn’t accurate at all.

 

 

So many of Hunter’s pictures are amazing and showcase his personality, but there’s one that makes him feel particularly confident.

My favorite post was when I talked about how so many books that came out in 2017 were about grief of some kind. And my favorite picture is one I posted recently of me in a crop top surrounded by books, because it felt very Call Me By Your Name, and I wouldn’t have had the confidence to post it a year ago.

 

 

 

image via @shelfbyshelf

 

 

Hunter’s personal favorite Bookstagram accounts are both aesthetically pleasing and celebratory of diversity.

I love so many accounts/people on there, but I’ll name a few and why:

@armyofwords – She’s the most thoughtful and widely read reviewer, and the way she engages with the text inspires me to be a better reader.

@thestackspod – an amazing account with an amazing podcast. Also, just a super kind person

@bookedbytim – his account is gorgeous, and he’s a queer icon who is under-appreciated in the community.

@blo288 – Bernie reads a wide variety, and he also posts pictures of himself and his fiancé, and that makes me swoon.

 

 

He wants to tell his fellow Bookstagrammers:

 

Don’t feel pressured to post the right books or read everything the moment it comes out. And remember that there’s a way to be kind in your reviews, even when you hate a book. 

 

 

 

image via @shelfbyshelf

 

When should you look for Hunter’s newest bookish posts and reviews?

I normally just post once a day, and take a break if I need to. I like the consistency—it helps me feel like I’ve accomplished a little something each day—but I also don’t like to feel pressured to post content all throughout each day. One seemed like a good balance for me.

 

Chapter 3: TBR

Hunter’s current TBR books are Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli, Miss Burma by Charmaine Craig, and Three Martini Lunch by Suzanne Rindell. 

 

When asked to choose a publisher to supply him with a lifetime of books, Hunter chose Riverhead.

They have gorgeous covers, diverse authors, great content. I’ve loved every book I’ve read from them.

 

 

image via @shelfbyshelf

 

Chapter 4: What does bookstagram mean to you?

 

Hunter’s love for books has helped him define who he is.

I grew up in South Georgia, and as a poor queer boy from a broken family, I wasn’t liked very much. This page is a reminder to me that you can be your authentic self and find your people, and they will love you for everything you used to be so insecure about.

Aside from posting reviews, I always want to facilitate conversations. Whether it’s about why books can be healing, why it’s important to read diversely, what books teach us about language etc. I try to create posts that will generate a thoughtful and nuanced conversation. And before each post, I remind myself of this post from Kristen Bell’s therapist: “Honesty without tact is cruelty.”

 

Hunter hopes his Bookstagram will bring joy to the world.

I think we sometimes struggle to find joy in our world right now, and I try to spread joy and kindness as much as possible. 

 

 

Well, what did you think of @shelfbyshelf? You HAVE to watch his drunk book talk highlights! Do you have a favorite Bookstagrammer in mind? Contact us through any of our social media platforms and maybe you will see them here next week! 

 

Want to see your favorite Bookstagrammer featured next? Message @bookstrofficial here.

 

Featured image via @shelfbyshelf