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don’t get me wrong, i absolutely love bookstagram. but i recently did a question of the day (qotd) on instagram asking what people hated most about bookstagram. boy, i wasn’t expecting the response i got. i genuinely thought no one would reply, but i was overwhelmed with the responses.

today, we’re going to discuss what i dislike most about bookstagram, and i’ll include some of the comments i received also.

* fyi, this is a fun post to highlight some of the annoyances of bookstagram. i dislike some things, but i love bookstagram as a whole.

the need to own all the latest releases

to put it mildly, bookstagram has this unspoken rule: you must own all the latest releases. if you don’t, you kinda become irrelevant. i have nothing against owning all the books, but it’s not possible. especially being international. that shit expensive.

buying brand new

this one kinda goes in with owning all the latest releases. buying brand new books instead of second hand. idk who decided that owning second hand copies was a crime, but they need to answer for it. buying second hand is amazing if you’re on a budget, or even if you’re environmentally conscious. as much as i love owning books in perfect condition, what’s the point in owning something that’s never going to get used.

never going to the library

again, this all fits into that umbrella of owning all the latest releases. but what’s wrong with the library? i love going to the library, i know that it doesn’t cost me a single cent to read (well, my library is YA books are free, adult books cost a couple cents each). not only is it cheap, it’s helping out the community.

posting every single day

do any of you realise how hard this is? and i say this as someone who takes their photos on the weekend so i have something to post during the week. (also, i work away from home, so i only see my books on the weekend anyway🤷). it takes so much effort to post every day, to interact and engage with the community. it’s almost a full time job by itself. in saying that, if you enjoy what you do, it never feels like work. i like to mix it up every now and then – sometimes i skip a day. scandalous. unfortunately, it feels like this affects my engagement. *sigh*

i genuinely can’t believe that there are some people out there who take photos on a as they need them basis, and have props? that’s the time and energy i wish i had! (honestly, if you do this, there’s something magical about you).


points made by others

so yes, there’s a lot to dislike about bookstagram, but there’s also heaps to love.

here’s a few things that i love about bookstagram

the community. yes, sure there’s peer pressure to read certain books and only own new ones, but the community has been great. i’ve been on bookstagram for many years now (and having had a 2 year break), but i always love the friends i’ve made because of it.

never running out of books to read. is this even a point? idk. prior to bookstagram, i could never find a book that i wanted to read next. i’d read one book and leave a good few weeks or months before picking up another. bookstagram has definitely been keeping me busy!

interacting with authors. same as the community, i suppose. but i really enjoy that i can interact with authors and get to know them a little bit (even though it feels like a bit of a one sided relationship!!).

free books. these are one of the best things. it’s like receiving a gift (that comes with a bunch of stress over trying to finish it in time). granted, not everyone receives these, but netgalley and edelweiss are wonderful tools for international people. (although, these are more blogging perks, and aren’t easy to photograph).

and i guess the one that my parents love the most: at least i’m not doing drugs. (although in a way, reading is a bit like a drug – it’s very addicting and it’s expensive).

what do dislike most about bookstagram?

i’d love to hear your thoughts about bookstagram! comment them below, and lets chat!

questions were asked on my twitter and instagram accounts.

39 Comments

  1. avatar

    The biggest pressure I feel on bookstagram is to own new releases as well! Due to financial constraints, I tend to buy backlist books or secondhand books.

    1. avatar

      I love secondhand books for how cheap they are!! i really struggle trying to justify $30 for a paperback!

  2. avatar

    This is such a great post! I never really got to optimize Instagram so I only use it casually but I agree with these points. I think the pressure of always having the latest releases is one of the things why I’m scared of bookstagram lol

    1. avatar

      instagram is hard to navigate. i’ve definitely noticed a difference when i post a book that’s popular vs one that’s not. if you’re using it for fun, then i don’t think the new releases is much of an issue.

  3. avatar

    I hate feeling like if I don’t post I’ll lose my following but I have eased back a bit and doing fine. I think the algorithm is really the problem but oh well, lol. I use my library all the time!

    1. avatar

      i recently discovered engagement groups which has helped me a lot, but other than that, the algorithm makes it so hard to do anything.

  4. avatar

    Totally relate to your thoughts

    1. avatar

      glad you can relate!

  5. avatar

    Great post! I have the best intentions of getting on instagram more and will, as soon as I either use my time better or someone gives me more hours in a day without disrupting my treasured sleep. I think the point about libraries is excellent. I love my library for both ebooks and audiobooks and who can afford to buy a bunch of books new? Yes, I’m also a fan of betterworldbooks.com where the books are used but they also support reading and education. Thanks!

    1. avatar

      i love the look of some of those secondhand ones in the us, i just wish intl shipping wasn’t so high.
      hopefully you enjoy instagram! there’s many reasons to love it, i just hope some of these issues don’t get to you. embrace your love of libraries!

  6. avatar

    And this is why I haven’t started a Bookstagram yet haha! Just sounds like I would overwork myself.

    1. avatar

      honestly!! it seems like everyone’s trying to overdo it for themselves!

  7. avatar

    Agree with a few points. But in the end it is your bookstagram, you don’t have to feel pressurize to do things in the same way as others are doing ❤

  8. avatar

    What I dislike is the cancel culture!

    1. avatar

      honestly same, but twitter is way worse for that.

  9. avatar

    I felt pressure the first year because I started my book blog and wanted to build a following on here and ig, but then I told myself I can’t be buying books just for ig lol…I love buying books but I don’t have the budget for it – plus I don’t have big bookshelf. I read a lot of ebooks and library books. Now I just post what books I have on hand and if I have nothing – I don’t post. It’s nice to take the pressure off me. 🙂

    1. avatar

      honestly! i’ve got a self imposed buying ban, so far so good. it’s been about 1-2 years and i’ve only just bought my first book. it’s definitely helped my budget a lot! currently, i’m allowed books i receive for free, but i can only keep them if they fit onto my bookshelf (meaning i only keep my favs). i’m definitely starting to find what works for me, so the stress is dying down a bit more.

  10. avatar

    Lovely post! I love bookstagram though I’m more of a lurker – for several of these reasons but also because I mostly read ebooks, so they’re not as easy/fun/pretty to photograph 🙂

    1. avatar

      ugh, i read heaps of ebooks too and it’s such a shame! i’ve seen some people getting creative with photoshop and making it look like a physical when it’s just the cover image. pretty cool.

  11. avatar

    Posting on a regular schedule is the hardest, I can’t imagine the pressure to do it every day. The thing I dislike the most about IG is the algorithm for your feed. I feel like I miss out on so many posts and feel bad that this affects how I interact with the people I follow. What’s the point of following people if IG never shows you what they post?

    1. avatar

      exactly!! that’s one thing i don’t understand! i don’t want to see some popular post from two days ago, i want to see what was posted right now. chances are, your friends don’t have high engagement and those are the posts i’d rather see!

  12. avatar

    Great discussion and honestly ALL of these reasons are why I was so hesitant to join bookstagram. It took me 3 years because I just don’t like the idea of feeling commercialism pressure, but also the algorithm there is so unforgiving — it’s a lot of work to do well, and for a side platform it’s just too much. I recently decided to throw all the needs to the wind and do what I want. I don’t post frequently, my theme is dark, and I’m not putting a ton of pressure on myself… so it is a little more fun than I expected.

    1. avatar

      yeah i think that’s the key thing there. instagram is more of my main thing and my blog is like my side gig so i give in to that pressure. i’m glad you found what works for you!

  13. avatar

    love this post! one of the reasons I’m still hesitant to begin my bookstagram.

    1. avatar

      if you do start it, i recommend not trying for engagement, because that’s when it becomes difficult and stressful. if you’re doing it for fun, and don’t care about the engagement, then go for it!

  14. avatar

    While I do like being able to find out what the new releases are via Instagram, it tends to feel like a popularity contest. Unless it’s trending, the books aren’t mentioned, which is a shame. I totally don’t get why people aren’t using their libraries either! It’s such a brilliant resource! I wish people would use them more so there would be better funding for them. It’s quite interesting that you mention that you need to pay to read anything that isn’t YA. I live in the UK and everything is free, while my aunt who is from Tunisia isn’t even allowed to take the books out of the library. For all the books that are written centring magical libraries you would think it would have more of an allure to it.

    1. avatar

      okay but that last statement is spot on!! books romanticize libraries yet readers hardly seem to use them! and i’m not sure why my library has a fee on anything aside from kids/ya but it doesn’t bother me too much (seeing as majority of my reading is ya). as for the bookstagram aesthetic, it’s not too hard to cover library barcodes with a few well placed props!

  15. avatar

    what i dislike most about bookstagram is the app itself. ig won’t show me the posts of people i follow, the feed is not in chronological order, and if i don’t post frequently i fall out of the algorithm. on top of all the annoyances or outright disfunction of the book community the instagram app is just not an ideal app

    1. avatar

      since instagram has announced it’s no longer a “photo app” i recon someone should make an actual photo app, where it stays in chronological order. i dislike the algorithm so much. if i wanted to see random photos, i wouldn’t have bothered following anyone.

  16. avatar

    I did a lot with bookstagram for awhile but then got burnt out by the constant posting. I’ve never been one to read books that everyone else does. I have my genres that I enjoy and tend to stay firmly there. As for the buying new – no. I love second hand bookstores and getting books that I can tell someone has already previously loved.

    Happy reading!
    -Megan @ Bookstacks & Golden Moms

    1. avatar

      i’m sorry that you burned yourself out. i’ve done that a few times before – it’s hard work trying to post all the time!!

      but i’m glad that despite the usual instagram peer pressure, you’ve stuck to what you know and love.

  17. avatar

    I agree with all your points, which is why my bookstagram is so poor. I read books a lot, but I am honest in my criticism, don’t accept books for review, and mostly use the library. In short, totally amateur hour!

    1. avatar

      bookstagram is hard work! i accept books for review, but i keep a tight schedule so i don’t overdo myself. and it’s good to hear you use the library! they definitely deserve more love online.

  18. avatar

    Agree, I get a few arcs but buying new releases isnt my thing anymore. It also seems like most of the new books are just cheap retellings of old ones, so im super picky. We also started a huge monthly challenge with prizes to read backlist books published prior to 2021 – screw it people should read classics and old books and thriftstore finds too

    1. avatar

      i’ve been in a book buying ban for a couple years now, just trying to get through what i already own (which i’ve been fairly successful at), so the only new releases i’ve been reading are arcs.

  19. avatar

    I often feel like an amateur on IG. I’m constantly jealous and in awe at the same time for the many amazing and professional looking photos others post and the recent books they all share (often gifted from publishers). How often I wished there was a Tesco’s here where you can buy books for rediculous prizes 😋 Great post, it’s good to know we share the same thoughts!

    1. avatar

      i’ve been on instagram for many years, and i constantly feel like an amateur!

  20. […] things i dislike about bookstagram. it was as fun post, which evoked a lot of responses, and i had many great discussions with people prior to writing it up. […]

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