Why I don’t like the whole #bookstagram trend.
Reading used to be an intimate affair, just cosying up in that forgotten corner of your house with a cup of coffee and just the book, its world, and you. No fancy props, no candles that smell like summer’s kiss, and no disturbances.
But then came Instagram, and soon bloggers married the two to create “#bookstagram”. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not against reading getting such much-awaited recognition and attention, my issues are different. And that is #bookstagram is almost never about reading.
Rant #1. Book boxes
Especially ‘curated’ book boxes have everything but books for the amount you pay them. It’s much fancier, with funky pops, merchandise and what not. It’s about making the reading experience more ‘exotic’. But where are the books!? No, sometimes I don’t want fancy bookmarks or anything, I just want books that I know will touch my heart. Which brings me to the second point.
Rant #2. Reading only much hyped, popular or books nominated for prizes
You know the feeling when you discover a dusty old book in some locked shelf in the bookstore, and it turns out to be just amazing? You never understand why nobody has ever talked about it. So you decide to put up a picture with #bookstagram. But only, nobody cares. It’s mostly about the books that have a huge fandom, like the ones with TV series. Your post will probably have the same fate as that book.
Rant #3. Only beautiful pictures not beautiful words
Okay, maybe I’m no one to question the choices of books. But where’s the review about the book after you’ve read it? Where’s the meaningful discussion? So many bookstagrammers get so engrossed in taking the perfect picture that they almost forget the very basic of a bookstagram, getting people to start a talking about books. I’ve seen many decorated pictures, many shooted with the most high-quality cameras, perfectly designed with earphones on a side, maybe a bookshelf, or some jewellery. Maybe you sit near your window with a book in your hand and a white mug of coffee for ‘aesthetic’. But never have I ever seen a caption that says “Have you read the book? Let me know about your views on it!”
Rant #4. It soon becomes more about showing off.
Often bookstagrammers then succumb to the pressure and then just focus on putting up a picture every day. They hoard books, mostly never bothering to even read them, posting great pictures, likes, reach, analytics and what not.
Mind you, this post is not targeted at someone or something special, but what I really felt. Initially, I was very happy when I stumbled about this ‘heaven’, but soon I started feeling like this was very hollow. No doubt, there are great profiles for readers, but how many of them are as popular as the one I've mentioned above? I just hope it becomes what it was always meant to be, for the love of words, to the ones that love them, and by the ones that know their value.