I’ve never considered myself a bookstagrammer. An avid, voracious reader : yes. An obsessive taker of photos, in spite having no photography skills: also, yes. And yet, until recently, I never put these two together. Even now, I am not very regular at it –mostly because bookstagramming is a LOT of work, and I am very, very lazy.
Recently, however, Vicky from Books & Strips, (Thank ywho goes by @mybookjacket on Instagram, invited me to participate in the #AtoZBookstagramChallenge, and I jumped in. I saw it as an opportunity to do something different, to learn something new, and to share my love for books. I didn’t expect for it to be as intense an experience as it turned out to be.
The “how-to” of the tag is simple:
- Each day, take a letter of the alphabet, starting with A, followed by B, then, C; so on and so forth.
- For each letter, choose an author whose name (I chose last name, others have chosen the first name) begins with the letter of the day.
- Choose a book by the author, take a photo and post to instagram.
I did not anticipate how much I would enjoy doing this tag, or how obsessed I would get with it. I was surprised by how much time I spent wondering what author/book to choose, what props to use, and how to arrange the shot. I also did not account for how time consuming an exercise it is to take and post the photos. The whole exercise from start to finish took me nearly an hour each morning.
While I knew I wouldn’t find an author for each letter, it was still disappointing to skip a letter. It felt like a mini-failure. In the end, however, I skipped only four letters: small victories. I am proud however of the number of diverse books I was able to share. Only a couple of books were by white/male/heterosexual authors.
It was also a wake-up call. I realized there are many books I own that I haven’t read yet. Between library books and ARCs, I’m often distracted and take my own books for granted. So, new goal is to read all these books that I own.
I have gained a lot from the experience. I have a greater awareness of my taste in books. I have marginally improved my bookstagramming skills. I have met other, more avid bookstagrammers doing great work. I’ve met people who love the same authors and books that I do, and I have been introduced to authors and books that are new to me. It has been a fun learning experience–an experience I would recommend to anyone who loves books.