I love reading, but sometimes I want to zone out and just scroll through pretty pictures on Instagram. I love keeping up with my friends, hearting all the babies, and marveling at the world travelers in my feed.
Whenever I need a shot of inspiration, I browse through what's new in the #bookstagram community. I find it soothing to bask in the beauty of books, and I've discovered some amazing photographers there (@chloeferres, @obviousstate, and @booksugar are a few of my faves).
I wish I was as talented a photographer as I am a reader (I'm a master book devourer, y'all), but I won't let my amateur eye and beat-up iPhone 5 stop me from doing my part to share the #booklove. For me, the key to a great bookstagram post is the story behind the photo. Just like a good novel, it needs character, maybe some backstory, or even a plot twist. I mean, anyone can post a book stack with a Harry Potter bobblehead. I want to peer into the worlds of other readers, have them take me on an adventure through books.
The best bookstagrams are the ones that spark your imagination and make you want to know more. The ones that make you laugh out loud or cheer or think to yourself, Yes. THIS. You can find tons of articles out there about gaining followers. But I'll take a narrative over a hashtag strategy any day.
Here are just a few of the stories behind @silentbookclub's recent posts. Hope you enjoy!
One of my all-time favorite shelf-talkers, and one of SBC's most-liked photos of all time. I wish I could take credit for the quote, but this gem is courtesy of the cheeky booksellers at Green Apple Books on the Park in San Francisco.
Last month, I went on vacation with my family to the Big Island of Hawaii. Our rental house in Volcano had an underground lava tube in the yard that you could peer into. As I was drinking my coffee and reading one morning, steam was coming out of the cave, which made for a pretty epic hashtag string: #whereIread #activevolcano.
This is how we SBC in San Francisco. Sometimes there is a piano player in the hotel lounge, but this month there was ambient music... and it kind of jammed. I told my husband about the Daft Punk muzak when I got home, he went down a deep internet hole trying to find it. Sadly he did not succeed. Well played, Palace Hotel. Keep us coming back for more...
I love doing activities while I hang out with friends. Maybe it stemmed from being a girl scout as a kid, but I'm a big fan of clubs. In addition to being the founder of Silent Book Club, I'm also a member of Ladies Drawing Night SF, a group that gets together once a month to draw (and drink and snack and socialize). This month's meeting coincided with an activist campaign I was working on with the American Library Association, so I experimented with some hand lettering and watercolor. Looking at it now, that book stack really could use a shadow.
I discovered The Last Bookstore on Instagram a couple years ago when my publishing friends started posting photos from there whenever they traveled to LA. I finally got to visit it myself earlier this year. I was only in LA for the day, and I made a pilgrimage stop on the way from the airport to my event. As I was browsing in the kids section, I realized that Christian Bale was standing about six feet to my left with his toddler. But only a moment earlier I had discovered an entire shelf of The Girls of Canby Hall, and I decided I was more interested in reliving middle school so I went back to my browsing.
Unfortunately, that means you get to see this instead of a picture of Christian Bale. #sorrynotsorry