To Instagram or Not to Instagram

Since beginning my book blogging adventure I have been accutely aware of the beautiful photos and “posing” of books in a variety of ways. These pop up on twitter and very recently I began having yearnings for more photogenic photos (if that makes sense). Photos that encapsulate the emotion of a book, a colourful explanation of what makes the book so brilliant or scenes of such cosiness that you drop everything and read.

Now I am at a crossroads- to Insta or Not to Insta.

I have been inspired to investigate #Bookstagram by Mia Kuzniar, debut author of The Ship of Shadows, publishing in July by Puffin. Her photos are cosy scenes of books, hot chocolate and fires blazing in the background. Her Instagram name is @cosyreads. She has been so lovely chatting to me and inspiring me with her #Bookstagram journey!

My Bookstagram Journey

—Maria Kuzniar, author of The Ship of Shadows, coming July 16th with Puffin.

When I lost my beloved grandfather, it felt like my world collapsed in on itself. I was living in Spain at the time and I felt isolated and struggled alone with my mental health. It was the reason my husband and I decided to move back to the UK. It was also the reason I took a lengthy period of time off. But with that forced time off came something beautiful: I reconnected with my creativity. I dedicated myself to writing, which I’d always wanted to do, and I joined bookstagram.

Bookstagram, for those of you who aren’t aware of it, is a delightful little corner of Instagram, dedicated solely to books!

It took me about 18 months to write a couple of books and find my wonderful agent and shortly after that, a publishing deal with Puffin for my debut middle-grade novel, The Ship of Shadows. Throughout all of this time, I was constantly taking pictures of books.

It started basic. I really didn’t know what I was doing! I just snapped some photos of books on my floor and posted them to Instagram with the hashtag #bookstagram.

I really didn’t expect much from it. I thought it would be a fun distraction. A coping mechanism for when the rest of the world felt too big and scary. I didn’t expect to meet my best friends in the world from it.

A few likes grew to a few follows and soon I was chatting every day to fellow bookworms from all around the globe! I joined book clubs, found great new books to read and kept taking more and more photos. A funny thing happens when you spend that much time taking photos of books—you start to experiment and get creative with it.

My style has definitely evolved over the years. I’ve been bookstagramming (yep, it’s also a verb!) for around four—five years now, but my favourite photos are the cosy ones. After all, it’s what I decided to name my account, @cosyreads.

I love that bookstagram feels like a real community. It’s caring and supportive and all of my best friends are ones I’ve met via bookstagram. Instagram often feels like a very superficial app but for me, this little corner of the internet feels like home.

If you’ve ever been tempted to start one of your own then my best advice to you is: just take the leap and start! You don’t need any special know-how or cameras. All of my photos were taken with whatever phone I owned at the time and I learnt along the way by practising and experimenting.

My debut book is coming out next month and I’m still constantly taking photos of books, though these days I’m much happier. And the most gratifying moment of all came a few weeks ago: I got to take photos of my very own book for the first time!

Thank you all for reading about my bookstagram journey and a huge thanks to Erin for hosting this guest post on her beautiful blog!


Where you can find me:

Where you can find my book:

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