Happy one year bookstaversary to @theespressoedition! What a wild ride the past year has been (and there’s a great big giveaway to celebrate it)!
Today feels extra exciting for me. I can honestly state that in the past year, bookstagram has changed my life. That might seem like a big statement to make about an Instagram account, but to me, it’s so much more than that. On January 21, 2020, I made my first post on @theespressoedition. I couldn’t believe the kindness and response that I received on just that introduction post. Within a week, I’d made more friends than I could have even thought possible. Within a month, I had lost any and all interest in my previous Instagram account.
It took very little time for me to find comfort and joy in this community. While there are so many unique individuals on the platform, they’re all bonded by one common denominator: a love of books. I feel like I can be myself, embrace my nerdy side, explore even more creativity with photography, and just enjoy talking about books. This bookstagram account was what began to nudge me towards a rebrand – and for that, I’m incredibly thankful. I’ve never felt like I fit with the previous niches I was trying to mold myself into, but this one feels like coming home.
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My bookstagram friends asked me some really fun questions in time for my one year bookstaversary and I’m sharing the responses here!
what is the Best opportunity that came out of having a bookstagram account?
Without a doubt, it was getting to interview my favorite author, Joanna Ruth Meyer (read the interview here). Honestly, being able to actually connect with the authors whose books have made such an impact on me is totally surreal. I geek out any time one of them replies to a photo, follows me, or answers a DM. I am a total fangirl, squealing while holding my phone!
what are my Tips for arranging a cute bookshelf?
This is a tough one because my own bookshelf is still pretty sparse. Up until the past year, I didn’t buy books. I just… never felt the need to when the library existed. The books I did own were from high school or even earlier in my life. Now, my rule is that I can buy books but only if I’ve already read them, loved them, and swear to read them again. So with all that being said, I say to style your shelves with the help of other knick-knacks (candles, succulents, pins, mugs, etc.) and mixing up whether the books are side-by-side or stacked on top of each other. This makes it visually appealing. ALSO, dust jackets are awesome if you want to spice up the less-than-exciting covers. I recommend the dust jackets from The Bookish Shop. I have 3 sets of them now and love them.
How have books helped me through living with a chronic illness?
Whoa. Well, for anyone who doesn’t know already, I have gastroparesis. It’s a nasty disease that affects my digestion. There have been periods of time that I’ve dealt with flare-ups for days or weeks, keeping me stuck in bed. That can be a really depressing experience, but reading makes it a lot more bearable. I can read when I have the strength to sit up, but I recall days of just curling up in a ball and listening to an entire audiobook (that’s exactly how I read all of Five Feet Apart). I feel less lonely, I can escape from my frustrating reality (part of why I love fantasy so much), and it keeps me occupied during the downtime. Books are a spoonie’s best friend.
what is The best part about bookstagram?
Easy, it’s the community. These people are hands down the most supportive, encouraging, relatable souls I’ve ever met in my entire life. When I was part of the fashion community, I always felt out of place. I wanted to talk about my obsession with Gilmore Girls, vent about the heat in the summer, and nerd out about the newest Marvel movies, all while reading fantasy novels. There are so many kindred spirits on bookstagram and I’m so thankful for it. It’s my tribe, for sure. I’ve also made some true, life-long friends because of it!
What’s the best way to get people to engage with posts?
My formula is as follows: create a cohesive feed (using presets and taking photos in the same setting always helps), write engaging captions with questions at the very top (try to get creative with the captions too and make sure they relate in some way with the photo), and make sure you are engaging! Reply to all your comments, comment on other photos on your feed, send DMs, reply to stories, get people interested in what you’re doing. OH! And use a mix of big and small hashtags that relate to your photo and then go through the recent photos under those hashtags after you post to find new accounts to interact with!
My favorite book/series OF ALL TIME?
Now this one is just mean. I’m going to do the top 3 books and top 3 series to make things less challenging. My 3 favorite books: Into the Heartless Wood, Early Departures, and The Bookish Life of Nina Hill. My 3 favorite series: Wicked Lovely, the Twilight Saga, and the Shades of Magic trilogy.
What inspired me to start bookstagram?
I had shared a few bookish posts on my previous blog’s Instagram page and had a really great response. I think the very first time I shared, I used the hashtag #bookstagram and when I went to begin engaging on it, I saw so many pages that made me think, “I should really do something like that.” I had been wanting a place to get more creative with my photography, just have fun, make new friends, and be myself. I started chatting with Esther and at one point I made mention of starting my own page and she gave me so much encouragement that I just went for it! I brainstormed a name, took some photos, planned my feed for the first month, and then BOOM! @theespressoedition came to be.
What’s my favorite book I discovered because of bookstagram?
Not a book, but a series: Shades of Magic, definitely! I saw those books all over and decided to give them a try. After reading the first book, I went and bought the trilogy. I buddy-read the rest of them with Kait and fell in love with the world. That’s definitely my most recent fandom. I have t-shirts, mugs, and a poster as well. It’s just so cool!
The best lesson I’ve learned from bookstagram?
“You will want to fill your entire home with bookish goodies.” Okay, I kid (but not really). Maybe just that I’m not alone? For most of my life, I’ve felt like the oddball nerd who would rather stay inside with my faerie book than go hiking or whatever my other friends were doing. I thought I’d find my tribe in fashion blogging and that felt off too. It’s just so nice to feel like I belong somewhere, finally. That there are other people like me. It makes me wanna cry with happiness.
what advice would I give to someone wanting to start their own page?
Be creative, intentional, and have fun. Don’t expect to grow overnight and don’t expect to get engagement without putting in the effort. People grow differently as well so don’t compare your page to others. Do it because you want to either connect with others or have a place to show your pretty photos. Really have fun. I mean that one. Enjoy writing captions or hyping up your favorite books and making connections with others!
To celebrate my bookstaversary, I’m hosting a giveaway!
I will be giving away a custom-made The Espresso Edition candle from Janzy Wax Co., your choice of a bookmark from The Seasonal Pages, a mug of your choice from Wicked Whimsy Boutique, and a $25 gift card to Bookshop! The rules are super simple: follow my bookstagram, subscribe to my newsletter for an extra entry (where I’ll be announcing the winner), and leave a comment on this post saying you entered. It’s all really easy to complete in the form below! Good luck!a Rafflecopter giveaway