For the people that aren’t familiar with that phrase, it is a contraction of ‘bookstagram anniversary’ which is on the date you made your bookish instagram account. For me that is today. Time flies when you are having fun right? Anyhow, it has been one hell of a year for me and I am really glad I decided to join this community. I got to know so many nice people and learned about so many good books and authors! And I know today marks that my bookstagram account is one year old, but it also marks my official entrance in the bookish community across several platforms, which makes it more special.
When I started my bookstagram acount, I posted regularly as in every day or every other day and I enjoyed that very much. I participated in tags from other users, bought some bookish boxes for props and it was always funny to explain to my neighbour what and why exactly I was photographing in my front yard. Eventually, I ran out of ideas. I didn’t read really fast or alot at all, so I didn’t have relevant content all the time or much variety in my pictures. I am aware this doesn’t matter to most people, but it bugged me. At some point, taking pictures felt like a chore; like I had to do it to please others instead of doing it, because I liked doing it. It felt like I was burned out so I decided to take a break for an unknown amount of time.
I do not regret taking that break. It took me a few months to recover from that feeling as I simply underestimated the pressure of posting daily while I didn’t have much inspiration or many books/props to photograph. Beside all that, keeping up with my blog after starting it and still actually reading was quite tiring. In fact, I found comfort in not having to do anything, besides curling up with a book and a cup of tea. I was so busy with everything around reading and books I actually forgot to read or didn’t have much time for it, something I also explained in my How I survive my TBR post. Eventually it was that feeling of comfort and peace I mentioned what made me come back. Now reading is my main activity and blogging and instagramming is a nice extra and I only do it when I want to.
Resuming on the time that I was active, there is one, beautiful and important thing I have learned this year and that is how human authors really are. Before, they were just names on bookcovers, but this year I started following some of them on social media and seeing how they interact with me and other fans made me realise they aren’t much different than us. We are all content creators after all, but in different ways. I have also learned how valuable it is for authors that people review their books and tell others about it. I already knew this was the case, but now I really understand. This gave me more motivation to review more often than I did before my break. I revamped my review style to talk less about all details of the book and more about my structured opinion and people seem to like it alot more. I know this as my views and visitors go up weekly!
At last, the one
thing I think was the best thing to happen to me as a result from making a bookstagram account was that I actually got to meet a whole bunch of other bookstagrammers in real life! Some people organised a meet-up in Utrecht, The Netherlands last year August and I just took a leap of faith and went. Most people knew some of the others, but I only knew the girl who organised it, because I happened to follow her. And to be really honest, I am not so good with strangers in real life. It took me some time to get comfortable with the others, but I realised I wasn’t the only one feeling that way. What truly broke the ice was when people from several bookish Etsy shops were ready and everyone could walk around the stands and sniff candles or decide what bookmarks to buy. It was really wonderful to see how people were suddenly back in their booknerd-comfortzone and could talk about the books they loved to actual human beings instead of a screen. It was good for me to meet other people with the same interests and I would love to attend another meeting like this. I do have a whole stack of physical reminders of that day as I bought several bookish candles and bookmarks and we also got an amazing goodiebag. It truly was a day to remember.
I want to conclude this long post with that I feel like I have grown as a person. Reading was already a passion when I was younger and I neglected it for years due to personal reasons. Picking it up again and interacting in this community made me feel so much better about myself and grow more into my passion. I am really glad for that as I can now call this truly my own and I am thankful for this past year and I hope for many more years to come.
May the next year be even better!