Tag: instagram

Scratching the Surface of Instagram Poets

Instagram poets like Rupi Kaur, Charly Cox, and Fariha Róisín have taken over the Millenial creative realm and have devoured the hearts and minds of impressionable youth.

It has been said that these poets misuse what William Carlos Williams did. William Carlos Williams was an actual poet at the head of the Modernist movement who invented the ingenious line-breaks these Insta-poets now supposedly exploit. Rupi Kaur has gone on record and said she treats her poetry “like a business.” By the rules of logic, you can then presume she is not writing actual poetry. None of them are. But if you’re curious what they write about, and how they write, read on.

 

 

Timothy Green from Press-Enterprise established this not-writing-actual-poetry nonsense in a kinder way:

Instagram poetry is the exact opposite (of real poetry). It’s self-aware and entirely useful. It is designed to sell and so it sells. It’s not exploration, but expression. Rather than poesis, it is mimos, “to mimic,” or better the Latin mirari, “to look at and admire.” Rather than a door to new meaning, it’s a mirror held up to the reader, reflecting and rendering beautifully back what the reader already knows.

 

image via amazon

 

Rupi Kaur confronts taboo and turns it into cliché. She mixes metaphors and writes inelegantly. In her first book, Milk and Honey, there are lines like, “he put his hands on my mind” and “how can I help I begged my heart…”

However you feel about the discussions she has with her internal organs, this Indian-Canadian writer has a massive following. I never thought I’d say that about a poet, maybe about a Rolling Stone, but not someone who calls themselves a poet.

 

Image via Amazon

 

Charly Cox uses mental health as her taboo. In her book, She Must Be Mad, you can see she swings from pole to pole when it comes to line breaks, and doesn’t believe in revision. It’s about more words, more alliteration, like, “spanking new anticipation twirling twines that tie knots in your chest, frayed ends tickling your stomach to stir hot queasy…”

…did someone say queasy? It’s a stream of consciousness modern-day extravaganza! James Joyce jubilation? No. Not quite. Look, the problem with Cox is that she isn’t confronting anything; even if this prose-laden punctuation-less madness is followed by a pared-down ‘poem’ (ugh) she ends up just confronting boy-craziness which is not taboo, not outrageous. It seems people are purposely searching for a lack of originality. Are people just not up for a challenge anymore?

 

Image via Amazon

 

Then you have Fariha Róisín, who could possibly have something to offer. She identifies as a queer Muslim femme and chooses to talk a bit about it In her Insta-poetry book, How to Cure a Ghost. I don’t mean to imply that her background and how she identifies is what makes her interesting. Rather it’s because she rambles on and on, dancing around the point.

She does the line break thing without knowing who she learned it from. If her rambling were compressed, cut, it could be something more impressive. She writes, “…it’s no coincidence I turned out like this…a condition abbu refused to accept…all the sorrows of our sad, sad nations.”

Is it wrong to want a poet who is almost saying something to actually say it? For pages she goes on the way a seventh-grade jazz saxophonist might riff.

 

 

So there are many more Insta-poets, like Wilder Poetry, Atticus, Blythe Baird, Amanda Lovelace and so on. They all pretty much do the same thing.

Here’s the formula:

  1. Pick a topic that deals with something illicit like sexuality, abuse, and so on
  2. Make something with line breaks
  3. Make sure it’s in a wordswag font!
  4. Post to Instagram

Once they get popular enough to move up the ladder, publishing houses like to divide their books into four sections. It is a kind of pre-determined script for more insta-poets to come.

So, if you like aphorisms if you like word magnets then go ahead, but to rephrase what Green said, it isn’t poetry. We scratched the surface of some of Instagram Poets, but it seems there isn’t much below. In fact, after reading some of these ticker-tape word parades, I suggest everyone read real poets. Support those who are creating magic through craft and technique. Try Jean Valentine’s The Door in the Moutain. She’s not easy. Nothing worthwhile ever is, though. That’s a cliche, only because it’s true.

 

 

 

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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: @carlysbookclub

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

 

This Week’s Featured creator: @carlysbookclub

 

Each week Bookstr is going to be highlighting your favorite Bookstagrammers. What is a Bookstagrammer you ask? 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 Carly, or as you would know her on Instagram, @carly or @carlysbookclub.

Here is her story:

 

 

Chapter 1: The Birth of a Bookstagram Account

Carly was already Instagram famous when she decided to delve into her love for books on a separate account.

I had the Bookstagram handle for about two years before I posted on it. I thought it would be fun but wasn’t sure if I had the time to commit to an additional Instagram. I just started to post earlier this year, and I wish I had started sooner! It’s been so fun to carve a little space in the Bookstagram niche—I love it so much.

Carly’s favorite authors are Elin Hilderbrand, especially for beach reads, and Ann Patchett. She would choose Penguin Randomhouse to supply her with a lifetime of books.

 

 

If Carly was given the chance to take a selfie with any author, she told us:

I’d especially be fangirling with J.K. Rowling or Elin Hilderbrand!

 

 

Chapter 2: To The Bookstagramming

More often than not, we judge books by their cover (especially since they’re becoming more and more pretty these days). That’s not a bad thing! They can help inform our tastes and further develop our appreciation for books (as if we needed any!)

Carly’s favorite book covers are the custom covers created by Juniper Books.

 

 

She has her own favorite Bookstagrammers too and especially loves @katesbookparade.

 

She’s new but I think her content is so cool & unique!

 

Each Bookstagrammer has their own theme and style for their page, so what is Carly’s aesthetic and how does she incorporate it into her content?

 

I like a classic look with a modern spin! 

I try to visit bookstores and libraries. I try to capture where I’m reading as well as what I’m reading! Whenever I stumble on a good “shelfie” (in hotels, stores, homes), I can’t resist snapping a quick pic.

 

When does Carly usually post her aesthetic bookish pics and her journeys to different bookish places?

 

Since this is a second and totally fun Instagram, I mostly just post when I have something new. Maybe a couple of times a week. I probably SHOULD be more active, but Instagram is a huge part of my day job so I try to keep this particular account “fun.”

 

 

We asked Carly how she knew she made it as a Bookstagrammer, and her response was humbling.

Honestly, have I? I feel like I’m so new to this. But one of my Instagrams blew up and got over 9,000 likes. I have NO idea why, but I wasn’t mad about it!

 

Chapter 3: TBR

Carly’s TBR list is overflowing, and most bibliophiles can totally relate to the need to add every interesting book to their TBR in the hopes of acquiring more favorites. Her TBR list includes:

 

 

Chapter 4: What Does Bookstagram Mean To You?

Carly’s love for books and her comforting pictures of bookish places have clearly had an impact on the Bookstagram community. But what does Bookstagram mean to her personally?

 

It’s a space to share the love of reading with other book lovers!

My senior year of college is when I kind of became an avid reader. I was a little lonely at school (all of my friends having graduated a year ahead of me) and started to devour books from the local library. It was the best escape from studying and “required” reading. Since then, books have truly brought me such peace and comfort and I hope to share that love with other people!

 

Well, what did you think of @carlysbookclub? You will love her community and aesthetic on Instagram! Do you have a favorite Bookstagrammer in mind? Contact us through any of our social media platforms and maybe you will see them on here next week! 

 

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

 

 

Featured image via @carlysbookclub

#Bookstagrammer of the Week: @mitra_bookish_girl

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

 

This Week’s Featured creator: @mitra_bookish_girl

 

Each week Bookstr is going to be highlighting your favorite Bookstagrammers. What is a Bookstagrammer you ask? 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 Mitra, or as you would know her on Instagram, @mitra_bookish_girl.

Here is her story: 

 

View this post on Instagram

Hello Dear Bookstagrammers 🤗💕 📚 – If you could visit any fictional world right now, where would you go ? 📚 ~ I'd definitely like to visit the magical city Daevabad to meet some Daevas and some Shafits 😍 to travel through the old and mysterious cursed lake (it would be thrilling), to shop in the Grand Bazaar, to see all their centuries old breathtaking buildings; the Citadel, the Grand Temple, and that Ziggurat Palace that has its own magic 🤩 I've read City of Brass and Kingdom of Copper this year in June, and I'm completely in awe of the Djinn 🧞‍♂️ world Chakraborty has created. It's such a fascinating world with Medieval Middle Eastern setting, lovely enchanting atmosphere, full of magical beings and creatures of water, air, and fire, with diverse characters (YES this djinn world is diverse in so many ways), where men wear turbans and women wear veils and chadors. It's a compelling story of a girl who is a con artist living in Cairo but when she met an Afshin djinn, it changed not just her life but the whole djinn world too. – I've always been fascinated with the Arabian and Persian folklore and mythology, I've grown up reading Arabian Nights, Daastan-e-Ameer-e-Hamza, and Talassum-e-hoshruba, and all these books have a special place in my heart, so when I read the City of Brass it captured my heart completely, it felt familiar, it felt like home. I loved it so much and can't wait to read the third and final book. 📚 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • #bookstagram #cityofbrass #kingdomofcopper #harpervoyager #hardbacks #hardcovers #djinn #daevabadtrilogy #yafantasy #fantasybooks #stillswithstories #flatlayoftheday #booksta #ireadya #ilovereading #bookwormlife #booksaremagic #readinggoals #idratherbereading #bookshark #fortheloveofbooks #yareads #booksparks #avidreader #booklife #bookworld #bookstagrammer #angleshot

A post shared by MITRA MUSTAFA 🇵🇰 (@mitra_bookish_girl) on

Chapter 1: The Birth of a Bookstagram Account

 

Mitra began her Bookstagram career with nothing but her wits, her love of books, and the Internet.

 

I found out about bookstagram through a bookish page on Facebook in January 2017, first I started following some Bookstagrammers, then I decided to create my own bookstagram account because I loved the idea of posting creative book photos and spreading the love of books.

I thought it is the best way to catch the attention of non-readers and make them read books, to make them fall in love with books. So I started posting my own book photos in February 2017.

 

Some of Mitra’s favorite books include The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak, Shadowhunter Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Nevernight Chronicles by Jay Kristoff, the Ember series by Sabaa Tahir, and the Grishaverse books by Leigh Bardugo—it certainly shows in this awesome post:

 

 

A fun fact about Mitra is that she loves the smell of book pages and that creative ink!

I sniff books too much, even while reading I sometimes stop reading the book and just sniff it, I love the smell of books so much.

 

Chapter 2: To The Bookstagramming

 

More often than not, we do judge books by their cover (especially since they’re becoming more and more pretty these days). But they can also inform us about our tastes and further develop our appreciation for books. Mitra’s favorite book cover is King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo.

 

 

So when should you keep an eye out for Mitra’s newest gorgeous photos?

I post daily and on evenings. Instagram allows us to check the statistics of our accounts and that shows us the time when most of our followers are online, so I post when most of my followers come online.

 

Chapter 3: TBR

Mitra already has so many great book recommendations. Every avid reader has a To Be Read list that they add to in the hopes of acquiring more favorites, and Mitra is no different. Her TBR list includes some of this year’s newest releases:

 

  • Darkdawn by Jay Kristoff
  • Capturing the Devil by Jerri Maniscalo
  • Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

We also asked Mitra if she could pick a publisher to supply her with a lifetime of books. Can you guess what she said?

I think I’d choose Simon and Schuster because they publish Cassandra Clare’s books so then I’ll get her books for free for a lifetime and I want to read every book she writes.

 

Chapter 4: What Does Bookstagram Mean To You?

 

There’s no doubt that Mitra’s love for books and Instagram style have an influence on the bookish community, and her photography skills are stunning. But what does Bookstagram mean to her personally?

 

It’s an important part of my life now, I feel at home here, to be able to freely discuss and share the love of books and characters without being judged by anyone for it surely feels like a haven to me. And it feels great when other people read the books I recommend. I try to create content that’s worth liking and reading. And that will influence my followers in a positive way. I just want more people to read books, and to learn positive things from the books they read. I just want to spread positivity and the love of books through my page.

 

Mitra has her own favorite Bookstagrammers too, including @xenatine, @bookish_mai, @_ckarys, @mkarys, @berrybookpages, and @bookwormgram.

 

 

Well, what did you think of @mitra_bookish_girl? You will love how interactive she is in her comments! Do you have a favorite Bookstagrammer in mind? Contact us through any of our social media platforms and maybe you will see them on here next week! 

 

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

 

Featured image by @mitra_bookish_girl

Everything You Could Read If You Stop Tweeting!

We all get sucked into the cycle of checking our phone every ten minutes just to see that we have no notifications. But, alas, this leads to us checking Instagram for the fiftieth time to see the same old posts that we purposely didn’t like in the first place. For busy book lovers who struggle with short attention spans, the thought “I should be reading right now” comes into our heads at least a few times a day. Now, an app can tell us just how successful we’d be if if we just listened to those impulses.

 

Image result for omni calculator
Image via Product Hunt

 

The Omni Calculator was created by sociologist Mateusz Mucha who wanted to offer easy solutions to everyday problems, 841 of them to be exact. The app can help you calculate how your plastic bag ecological footprint, the projectile motion of throwing a grape into your mouth or just how much free time you would have if you stopped excessively scrolling through social media.

 

Image via Bustle

 

The calculator is called “Social Media Time Alternatives” and allows you to input how many times an hour you check social media and how long these visits last. It then compares this number to an average book length of 240 pages with 250 words on each page read at 200 words per minute. You can adjust the length of the books or your reading speed to betting fit your reading habits. It then tells you just how many books you could be reading a year. For example, if you check social media for seven minutes every hour, that time could be spent reading 136 books every year.

 

 

Omni also measures this wasted time in other ways, such as binging Friends yet again or listening to “Despacito” or learning a new skill, like playing guitar. Whatever your vice, Omni acts as a reminder that every time you open Twitter, another one of the book piled on your desk could be fulfilling its dream of finally being opened and read fully.

 

 

Whether you download the app and use it daily or simply learning about the app and the excessive amount of time wasted everyday makes you want to put a few pages in on the novel that has been sitting on your nightstand for a month now, hopefully Omni can help all us book loving procrastinators to finally finish our Good Reads reading challenge for once.

 

 

Featured Image via Friends of the Fayette County Public Library