A year ago today I created my bookstagram account, @alysonbookishthoughts. Like many others, I needed something new to do during quarantine and decided to make an account after following some other bookstagrammers on my personal account. I didn’t expect more than a few people to follow me, my reason for starting the account was just to have a place to share my thoughts on the many books I was reading.
Throughout the past year, I’ve tried out a bunch of different things on my account, wasn’t sure if I should share books that I didn’t love but decided to do it because we are not expecting to love every single book we read, and that if you want an incredible supportive community, join bookstagram! I also learned about book tours, how to receive the coveted physical ARC from publishers, and gave in many, many times to bookstagram made me do it hype on books — and only a handful were worth the hype to me.
Bookstagram has also taught me a lot about myself as a reader, such as:
- As much as I try, literary fiction is a genre I just don’t seem to mesh well with. Will I continue to read books in that genre? Yes, but then I’ll wonder why I keep picking them up.
- I love romance books! I’ve always read romance, but I never considered it my go-to genre, and this year has taught me that it really is my favorite.
- I’m a mood reader and setting a monthly TBR just does not work for me. It worked for a few months, but then when I didn’t read the books I had pre-selected in a specific month, I felt like a failure. Don’t force yourself to do something that will make you feel this way!
- It made me love reading again. I’ve always enjoyed it, but this year I learned that my favorite thing to do whenever I have some free time is pick up a book, even if I’m just reading for 5 minutes.
Bookstagram also made me a physical book owner. Pre-bookstagram I owned about 15 physical books and they were all books I had read years ago and were considered my favorites. I used to be a Kindle reader predominantly and would buy Kindle books because they are so much easier to store. Over the year between books I purchased, Random Acts of Kindness gifts, giveaways, and publisher copies, I now own more than 90 books and filled up the bookcase I purchased a couple of months ago for more storage space!