I’m (Finally) Back with Another Discussion Post aka Why I Don’t Have Bookstagram (ft. Me being controversial, again)

So I haven’t done a classic discussion post in years, but hi.

Hello.

I’m Taasia, and I like to post highly personal, controversial and/or strange discussions about books!

Maybe a few of you noticed, but I am one of the few bloggers out there who does not have Bookstagram.

And since I’ve had this idea brewing in my mind for a while, so I figured it was time to actually write it.

Also, as of writing this post, I recently co-won the Small Book Blogger Award from the Third Book Blogger Awards along with the lovely Olivia @ Purely Olivia! Thank you so much to everyone who voted for me & has supported me, beyond grateful and feeling so soft πŸ’– I love you all so MUCH. It all feels surreal.

And to all the people who just started following me because of that, thanks for stopping by. I hope you all enjoy the blog & like it enough not to unfollow.

So with that out of the way, let’s talk about today’s topic – the reasons why I personally choose not to have a Bookstagram.

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My photography skills … really are not something

It is a running joke in my family that I cannot take pictures to save my life (especially of people), and honestly? They have good reason. While my photography isn’t ~that~ terrible, but it really isn’t something I want to embarass myself in front of the internet for, because photography isn’t a natural talent of mine.

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Aesthetic who?

You know all those people who just naturally seem to have a perfect, cohesive aesthetic? That is absolutely not me. For the life of me, I am hopeless at maintaining a cohesive aesthetic. You all should see my personal Instagram, lmao. (Wait nO I truly hope you all don’t see that mess, because your eyes should be spared that misery.)

In case I haven’t made it clear, this area is … not my strong suit, to say the least.

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It gives me less time to do blog posts/Tweet/read

Even if I was good at taking photos and all that, I just don’t think I would like the process of maintaining a Bookstagram that much, and would honestly much rather take the time to do things I love, bookishly-speaking, such as writing blog posts, read and Tweet/interact with you all on Twitter. (Even though Twitter can be exhausting sometimes, but that’s another topic for another day). And for me, it’s depth over breadth.

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The difficulty of growing a Bookstagram

While growth on social media accounts as well as any content-creating platform is generally difficult, Instagram is perhaps the most difficult platform to grow on. While I personally don’t care about stats that much, I do think it is still a factor that needs to be put into consideration. The lack of growth that my Bookstagram account is likely to have will likely demotivate me to Bookstagram, and I don’t have the same passion to get me through that, personally speaking.

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The consumerist & materialistic culture of Bookstagram

I briefly touched on this in my ARC hoarding post, but the bookish community has been known to subconsciously preach a consumerist attitude towards the owning & hauling of physical books, and Bookstagram is the bookish platform where this is most prevalent. And this attitude has always made me highly uncomfortable.

At this time, not to really hot take or what (even though that is what I have literally been doing the whole post) I am just not in a place where I want this to see that constantly in my feed. Yes, they look gorgeous, and yes, you can run a Bookstagram with ebooks, but this links back to growth, because it is known that physical books get a lot more likes than ebooks.

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I just don’t have time

I know this is a highly self explanatory goal, but I’ve just never had a lot of time. While Bookstagram has its perks and seems awesome, it is something that takes a lot of time and maintenance, and not to be that person, but it’s a platform that you don’t receive monetary compensation from. While I personally find maintaining this blog worth it (because I love it enough), sadly, I’m not one of those people who find maintaining a Bookstagram (with no compensation) worth it.

And since moving to my new school, where my workload, commitments and extra curriculars are going to shoot up, I will have even less time for it, and I just really need to focus on school in these last two years (yes, I just started my first day of A Levels at the time this is going up (aka junior year for all you Americans), and it is … painful thus far).

Tangents aside though – on to my next point!

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Not really a platform for me … for now?

This is probably the biggest reason why I don’t Bookstagram, and while it seems like its own separate reason (which it is!), it’s also pretty much a combination of all my reasons tied together. These factors just combine to create a good case on why I don’t have a Bookstagram, but never say never, right?

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So, do you have Bookstagram? If so, how are you liking it? If not, why don’t you have a Bookstagram? Do you agree with any of my reasons here? What are your thoughts on Bookstagram (and the community as a whole?)

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68 thoughts on “I’m (Finally) Back with Another Discussion Post aka Why I Don’t Have Bookstagram (ft. Me being controversial, again)

  1. Mhmmm I have a bookstagram and I post sporadically on there because like I don’t have the energy to invest in it properly I guess. I kinda have it as a way to work on my photography skills and my aesthetic is literally books in my garden, though I’m lucky enough to both have a garden and physical books to take pictures of. My captions are also just quotes from the book in the related photo.

    I think the other main reason why I don’t invest a lot of my time into my bookstagram is I’m not really engaging with that community all that much. I prefer to stick with my blog, twitter and discord and I’ll hop on and off instagram as I please. Loved this post Taasia! You made so many excellent and true points ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I absolutely agree with everything you wrote here. As much as I want to look like I have a perfect aesthetic, it is just not me πŸ˜‚ I still play around with pictures for my blog but I’m not that serious in getting the perfect shot.
    I also wholeheartedly agree with how consumerist it all is. I pretty much exclusively read ebooks and almost all are from the library. I doubt most people have the space to have a full library to have 100s of books – especially when most of us are young.

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    1. The perfect aesthetic, or frankly, an aesthetic at all is SO difficult to capture? How do people do it? And I totally agree with what you said – having a perfect aesthetic just isn’t me. The majority of what I read are also eBooks, and this is especially so with teens, which just makes it so difficult to grow. It’s just very unrealistic. Thank you for your kind comment & I hope you enjoy the post! πŸ’–

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  3. Honestly, I relate to so much of this but for some reason I still try to run a Bookstagram! I’m rubbish at taking photos, and I don’t have much time to dedicate to it (which might be why my photos are rubbish) but I’m still trying to make it happen. I’m quite enjoying the interaction on there, but there are so many better platforms to use tbh. And I totally agree that it adds to the consumerist culture here! I quite like looking at other people’s photos though.

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    1. I’m really glad you’re liking the interaction of Bookstagram, and I’m sure your pictures are great! Bookstagram isn’t my favourite platform either, and like you said – there are so many better platforms to use, and it really just is too consumerist for me. Other people’s pictures are gorgeous and I’m not immune to scrolling through hashtags on my personal Instagram!

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  4. Congratulations on winning the award… Your posts are amazing !!!!! And this one resonates with me so much..

    I still remember when I discovered that bookstagram exists about an year and a half ago, it made me feel very bad that I didn’t own many physical books or have book shelves… And though I always knew that I could never take nice pictures to make an account, it still took me a long time to get over the fact that I don’t get to buy a lot of books… Thankfully I like writing reviews and I’m able to stick to that…

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    1. Ahhh Sahi 😭❀ You’re too kind! I’m so glad this post resonated with you 😊

      I know for sure that you’re not the only one who felt that way about Bookstagram! There’s a pressure to own physical books, even though that’s not something feasible for everyone. Your reviews are awesome, so I’m glad you stick to that πŸ™‚ Hope you’re having an amazing day, Sahi!

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      1. Thank you so much Taasia… I’m glad some of us who have similar thoughts have found a good platform in the form of a blog to express our thoughts the way we want 😊😊
        And thank you so much for reading my reviews…. Yours are definitely more amazing 😍😍😍
        I’ve been having a great reading week and I hope you are too !!!

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  5. I’m the same, I don’t have a bookstagram (or even book twitter!) and don’t have any plans to make an instagram anytime soon. It would just be too time consuming (I’m also going into A-levels next week!) and I’d definitely feel demotivated because I’m not quite there with the aesthetic haha. I also only read ebooks and personally I don’t think they’re as aesthetic!

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    1. That’s definitely interesting, because I’m in the same boat – Bookstagram is a lot of work. Best of luck with A Levels & I hope you’re liking it (I am but the workload is killing me). The aesthetic is definitely something that will make me feel bad about myself, and I don’t want to go through that. Physical books are defo more aesthetic, but I do really like how convenient eBooks are!

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  6. I literally relate to this post!!! I really TRIED with photography but i suck!! and everyone else’s feeds are SO AESTHETIC. i don’t really post pictures anymore, so it’s really just something for me to keep up to date with my bookish friends on their stories! the only part of Bookstagram is that actually sometimes post on is my story. and yeah it’s really focused on consumerism? like having nice props, good camera (tho editing can go far), having loads of books to photograph in the first place!

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    1. Ummmm Ilsa? Did you just say you suck?? You DON’T suck, I love your feed so much πŸ’– I might do that just for that & an occasional post when I need, since I use my personal Insta for the former thing. And just … Bookstagram really just is too consumerist for me, & I really don’t care for that part of it.

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  7. Is this me? These are all the reasons I dropped my bookstagram. It was so stressful to find time to take pics with natural light, and they all looked a mess because the aesthetic was barely there. Also, this is more of a personal thing, but I kind of hate Instagram as a platform? I barely use it personally because everything feels fake and don’t even get me started on the algorithm stress. I get the importance of the platform, believe me, but I don’t want that kind of stress in my personal life.

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    1. Omg YES! Natural light is not my friend and the whole thing seems overly stressful! Instagram isn’t just the realest platform and it feels more like a curation of pretty pictures of a person rather than snapshots of monumental life events. And the stress that comes with Bookstagram? imo, not worth it.

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  8. I don’t have a bookstagram either for most of the reasons you mentioned but especially “The consumerist & materialistic culture of Bookstagram”. I love following them but personally I can’t afford it

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  9. I have one, but I use it solely because I want to scream about old books in a smaller format. My photography & aesthetic is also pretty terrible, hahaha. I’ve just been holding a book up in front of my shelves and calling it a day because too much more effort is just, well, too much effort, like you’ve said! I totally get why you don’t have one, though. They can be a total pain! And I never thought about how it promotes consumerism, but you’re so right! Every time I see a book that I don’t have, I look it up and usually end up adding it to my list. Food for thought, so thank you for that!

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    1. That’s really cool, Mary! I’m sure your aesthetic is gorgeous 😊 Bookstagram just seems like a lot of effort that doesn’t seem super worth it in the end? It’s just a lot of commitment that I don’t have time for. I’m glad I gave you some food for thought, but also same. Because I totally agree!

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  10. I think this is a really useful post 😊 As a book blogger, sometimes it’s easy to feel under pressure to be everywhere, doing everything, so it’s lovely to hear from someone being realistic and honest. Hope your first day of A Levels went well! ❀️
    πŸ“•MPπŸ“š X

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  11. Great discussion post! πŸ‘ I personally also don’t have a bookstagram, because photography isn’t something I’m passionate about enough to invest a lot of time into it. Maintaining an account is lots of extra work too on top of everything else.

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  12. Oh man, I really agree with/relate to everything you’ve said… but I do have a bookstagram. *hides* I’ve been re-evaluating a lot of the choices I make regarding my blog recently (i.e. do I do certain things because I want to, or because I think I should?), and bookstagram is something I should think over carefully. I do enjoy taking photos, but I’ve been thinking that I could use them on my blog, or on twitter as well, both of those platforms I’m more into than bookstagram. I hate writing the captions, and scrolling through my feed bores me to death – which is weird because I’m following the same people whose blogs I follow and love, so the problem is definitely with me, not with their accounts. I loved reading your post, and it gave me a boost to really consider what I want to do about my insta presence. πŸ™‚

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  13. Oh I agree with ALL of this! I also don’t have a bookstagram and honestly have 0 desire to, for basically the exact same reasons that you listed. I’m not great with design/aesthetic, it’s not my favorite platform, and I’m not a huge fan of the materialistic aspect of it. I’d rather put my time and effort into making my blog better than worrying about a bookstagram account!

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    1. It’s quite a relief to see that you agree, and you’re completely valid for not having a Bookstagram! Totally agree with what you said – I’d much rather be dedicating the time to blogging, which I love rather than a platform I feel obligated to have/don’t really want to run in the first place.

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  14. this post was SO relatable HAHA. like, my photography skills–where are they? I have none. I’m also a full time student with extra curriculars and other responsibilities. it’s hard to balance blogging and reading–what more bookstagram. and I FELT THAT POINT ABOUT CONSUMERISM. it took me so long to accept that I’m not less of a reader just because I usually read ebooks. Privilege is prevalent everywhere, but it’s most prevalent on bookstagram, because we see so many people who have enough money to buy beautiful hardcovers of books, or non-intl influencers who are getting all of the physical arcs on that platform, and it’s DISCOURAGING.
    ok this comment was a mess, but I love you and this post. I hope you’re adjusting to your new school! ALSO CONGRATS ON WINNING BEST SMALL BLOGGER YOU DESERVE IT SO MUCH AHHHHHH

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    1. Ahhh so glad you relate to the post, Caitlin! Balancing blogging and reading is already SO much work – and adding Bookstagram to it? It’s just too much for me. And omg SAME. As an intl reader, it’s so much harder to access physical books and I felt so much less valid for it. It is so discouraging and I defo agree with what you just said about it.

      Also this comment was not a mess and I 1000% agree with everything you wrote! I love you so much & you’re just the sweetest πŸ’–πŸ’– thank you and CONGRATS ON WINNING BEST NEW BLOGGER! such a well deserved win πŸ€§πŸ’•

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  15. I have an Instagram for my blog but I just don’t post regularly on it because of the reasons you have listed here. I have been thinking of just keeping my blog and twitter. This post really helped me feel less bad about it because bookstagram feels like a requirement for book blogging but I really don’t have the capacity for it.

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    1. You’re totally valid regardless of whether you have a Bookstagram! It’s hard because Bookstagram feels like a necessary staple of the community, which is what I felt like but I ended up just not caring in the end. It’s j not possible for everyone and you should definitely do whatever suits you & your life ❀

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  16. I do have a bookstagram, in fact, it’s what I started with which then made me realise there were book bloggers out there (hence why I started my blog). I also find it easier to interact with people on Instagram because commenting doesn’t really require a huge amount of thought. It’s mostly either a comment in relation to the picture, or most people do a QOTD (question of the day) which is pretty simple to respond to.
    From there I have grown amazing friendships, and have met fellow bookstagrammers at book launches, book swaps, meet ups and so forth. I guess that’s probably because most of my fellow bloggers I interact with are international to me, and being in Australia it’s a bit harder to meet people!! But there’s a crowd of already Melbourne based bookstagrammers who know each other and if you fall in with the right people then you’re kind of set. I also like the DM aspect as I have a twitter, but don’t really use it that much.

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    1. Oh, also, my “aesthetic” is just books on my old kitchen table!! It’s really nothing special, but it ties in with my blog headers, and it’s easy. It seriously does not require a great amount of skill or props either, and I sometimes throw my iPad in with an ebook on it!!

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    2. That’s definitely true! Leaving comments on social media posts are considerably easier than full on blog posts/videos because of the amount of thought. I’m so glad that bookstagram is a platform that you like and is for you! Just because it isn’t for me doesn’t mean it isn’t for others πŸ’•

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  17. OMG I love this post so much Taasia because I cannot for the life of me manage to stay active on my bookstagram.FOR SO MANY OF THE REASONS YOU LISTED. College is so much time, and I also don’t have fancy cameras or editing software or even PROPS AND BOOKS!! For something like good lighting, I’m always out during the day so I can’t take photos at night when the natural light is gone 😭 I can definitely understand why you don’t want a bookstagram (or at least not right now)

    Great discussion post!! ❀️

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    1. TIFFANY I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!! Your instagram is beautiful and I’m amazed at how you can maintain your aesthetic, because I definitely can’t! College seems like so much time gone and you’re doing amazing with what you’re doing! Thank you Tiffany you’re j too kind 🀧❀

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  18. Okay so I LOVE THIS POST so very much, such a fantastic discussion. I’ve been… well, going back and forth with bookstagram a little bit lately, I think mostly because I’m seeing all of these incredibly aesthetic, stunning bookstagrams and I just want to be part of it all, too, haha. Yet, I don’t have bookstagram right now for these very same reasons. I would need way more time in the day to do it all and I’m already overwhelmed, wouldn’t this just be me jumping off the edge? And I feel like, yes, it would certainly give me less time to work on my blog and to write content and… this is what I love the most, while I don’t have a knack at all for photography, well not that I know of haha.
    This is such a great post!!! ❀

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    1. Ahhh says you, Marie! You’re just too sweet πŸ€§πŸ’— I lowkey want to be part of Bookstagram as well because of the lovely aesthetic, but I know it’s just not a realistic option right now. I’m glad you’re doing you because your blog is SO wonderful! Like, seriously, I love it SO much!! Nooo your photos are beautiful (especially your travel photography) & you’re j amazing in general πŸ’—

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  19. First of all, congratulations on your award, ahhh!!πŸ’“πŸŽ‰That’s incredible and after I finish reading this post I’m off to go stalk the rest of your lovely blog…
    This post was amazing!! I really love all the points you made here. I do have a bookstagram, but it’s more of a side hobby that I’m not extremely invested in. I don’t post very often because I don’t have much time for it, but I like having it just so I can scroll through a feed of pretty books once a day and get inspiration.πŸ€—
    I definitely do put blogging first though, and while I admire so many big bookstagrammers, I just sadly don’t have the time to put into it. Again, lovely post!

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    1. Not to be repetitive, but I just wanna say this again – congrats to YOU for winning the award! Couldn’t think of anyone more lovely to share it with πŸ’– And ahhh Olivia you’re just too sweet 😭🀧❀ I’ve seen your bookstagram and I think it looks absolutely gorgeous! Your feed is actually perfect. I’m really glad that your method works for you! I 100% agree with you on your point of blogging & big Bookstagrammers, because I also just don’t have the time & effort to dedicate to it. Again, you’re just the sweetest & so so kind! ❀❀❀

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  20. Congratulations again on the award, Taasia!! ❀ I honestly relate to this post SO MUCH! I was SUPER active in bookstagram when I first got it. I honestly gained like 750 followers in two months. I don't even know how it was humanly possible. And then, I promptly decided to go MIA from in for 9 months. Oops. lol! It was so difficult to maintain an aesthetic, and I just didn't have the time to devote to it. I recently started getting back into it lately, but I only spend about 15 minutes a day on the platform, tops. And, I take all my photos ahead of time, so I only have to stage my books maybe once a month. I'm lazy like that. Haha! Wonderful post! ❀

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    1. KELLY! I love you with my whole heart 😭❀ Bookstagram is just such a difficult platform to maintain & props to you for doing it! Your aesthetic is gorgeous, but I totally get why it was difficult for you. I’m glad that this works for you, and I might do this if I start my own Bookstagram. The lazy point? Same though. Again, ilysm 😭❀

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  21. This is such a damn fantastic post, Tassia! I also choose not to invest time in Bookstagram, mainly because I don’t want to have to spend as much time as is needed to grow on the platform but also because I worry it will make my book hoarding worse, if that makes sense? I totally agree with you on the consumerism aspect of IG in general, and I don’t need the pressure to spend more money.

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  22. I do have bookstagram, but I haven’t used it since 2018 I don’t think? It’s never been successful, and I cleaned out my following since a ton were ghosts. I guess it’s always been waiting for when I have free time, but that’s never soβ€”100% agree with this post.

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  23. I think this is a really interesting discussion about bookstagram! I do currently have bookstagram myself but I can totally understand all your reasons why you don’t want it. I got bookstagram because I wanted to follow some accounts and wanted to try it out. I quite like the task of taking photos so it works for me at the minute. Also I take it quite low-key which means I can be inconsistent but I enjoy it when I choose to go on it.
    It certainly takes a lot of time, I was so surprised when I started but taking photos is quite time consuming and I wouldn’t want to do it if I didn’t enjoy it. And being on it you certainly do experience the follow/unfollow game.
    I like that you mentioned how it encourages the materialist side because it does– seeing all the new things makes a want feel like a need and it can be really hard to balance it once you start indulging that side so it is a very true point that people should consider before getting it!!
    Whilst I really like bookstagram for me, I can understand all your reasons and agree with them!! I loved reading this post!! πŸ’•

    Also I mentioned this on another post but congratulations again on your book blogger award– you so deserve it!! πŸ’›

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    1. Sophie, thank you so much! You’re too kind 😭 I’m so happy that Bookstagram is working for you & that you enjoy it. The follow/unfollow game is always so frustrating and that does not sound fun to deal with 😦 Bookstagram has a tendency to increase my want to haul books, which is annoying :/ And thank you for all your kind words, Sophie! They’re so, so appreciated ❀

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      1. Of course I loved reading this!! Yeah I think I am really chill with it which I would love to know how to do with every aspect of my life but still ahha!! I know, I just try to ignore and follow accounts I like!
        Yes I agree it does make you want to buy every book possible!!
        Of course, I really mean it!! πŸ’›πŸ’›

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  24. I have never really understood instagram? And more than that, I don’t get bookstagram.
    Maybe I am hugely missing something but I just don’t personally get anything out of the platform, particularly in the realm of books. So you are not alone. Bookstagram is not for all of us.

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    1. I totally get where you’re coming from! I can appareciate how beautiful it is and how so many people love it. It’s just not a platform for everyone, and I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels like that. I hope you’re having the loveliest of days πŸ’•

      Liked by 1 person

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