Hi guys! So today, I will be sharing with you my overall #bookstagram experience. I think this is just about the right time to share it with you, weeks before 2015 ends!
Okay, so what is BOOKSTAGRAM? Well, it’s in the name is it? It’s an Instagram community where the main focus is on BOOKS. Yeah, if you’re not really a bookish person, you would be surprised that a community as such does exist. I was thoroughly surprised too I’m telling you. Haha.
I was still using my personal account back then to stalk book accounts and occasionally post book pictures. But I usually just stalk. Lol. I buy books back then but I was not a hoarder (like I am now!) so the shelves, the books, the overall feel of these accounts’ pictures is a feast to my eye.
Of course not all of my followers appreciate books, I have decided to finally do a book account when I have attended a small high school get together and one my friends said I’m getting “weird” because of all these bookish photos. I was like, hmm okay, time to move to another planet.
So a little over a year ago (1 year and 3 months ago to be exact), I started my book account. I am so proud to tell you that I have not changed my username ever since I’ve started. I change an awful lot of things but this username remained strong. Haha. I chose @ALICE.IN.WONDERBOOKLAND, and I couldn’t get any happier with it.
Why Alice you say, when my name doesn’t even start with an A? Well obviously because of my love for the story of Alice In Wonderland – no matter how many people find this story a little bit crazy, it still sticks to me every time. But yeah that’s not the only reason why I like “Alice”, it’s because moreover for the bookish that I am, I have also been fond of Alice Cullen back in the vampire days (don’t judge…. whatever, go judge, I love Twilight!), and! because I am so fond of this anime called the Alice Academy, where the students have all sorts of powers bla bla. The name just means so much to me. I have been using Alice as my kinda pseudonym for ages. I use this mainly for accounts that I am not revealed like for online games, this Instagram, etc.
So of course being the newbie bookstagrammer that I am, I followed EVERY.BOOKISH.ACCOUNT I could ever find. I didn’t filter AT ALL! When I see them posting books, I follow, I was just really excited to the fact that hey, here I am, I have a bookstagram, welcome me to your world! Then I started getting this “F4F” comments and I was like? What.is.that? Is that some kind of a code to bookish sisterhood or whatever? You won’t believe how unbelievably ignorant I am to all this internet lingo. Anyway, a good Samaritan in the name of Google then told me it stands for follow for follow and I’m like OKAY, WHY NOT?! I mean, what’s not to like about bookish accounts right?!
So yeah, you will hate me for this (or some of you might relate) but in my earlier days of bookstagramming – I did that too you know, I go on people’s accounts and say “hi f4f?” or “hi, I also have a book account” 🙈 I have no clue that I was completely being obnoxious and all. I was getting a fairly positive response and I was thinking that this community is a collection of people who are just so nice and light hearted individuals, until one fine day, I have commented this exact same thing to an account I loved and she replied rather strictly and said, “i don’t do F4F, if you really like my account, just go ahead and follow and not wait for me to follow you back”, and then she BLOCKED me. I found out she did because I was about to say sorry but then I couldn’t post a comment anymore. What have I done?! I was seriously humiliated and I felt like giving up bookstagram altogether. But to tell you the truth, I am honestly thankful to this person because she made me realize the essence of appreciation without getting any in return. I just hoped she could’ve been nicer though, (lol) I learned the hard way, but anyway, I learned. 😊
So truth to be told, I stopped those F4F comments as soon as that incident happened. I still remember I got more or less 80 followers during that time (the memory is still vivid you know). I just interact with people, I comment on their pictures, I chat with them, I worked hard on my own photos, and so on. Follower count isn’t that important to me anymore. Of course, it’s kinda nice to get to be followed by many but that shouldn’t be your main goal for bookstagram. I don’t do F4Fs anymore too, I follow accounts that I love and I have learned to filter accounts as well, I’ve been spoiled so many times by several fandom accounts that I have realized, it’s not healthy just to go ahead and follow everyone. 😄
Just to let you guys know, I didn’t start out very well. My pictures aren’t really that great and my captions are far from making any sense 😂
Those are my photos when I was just starting. I don’t delete photos I have already posted as much as possible. Especially these first ones. I like to keep it there as a reminder of where I’ve started. It would be nice to serve as kind of like an inspiration to others who is also starting their book account. Like saying, hang on, it will get there. 😉 I am not saying I’m such a great photographer now but looking back, it doesn’t hurt to say that, uhm, well, I did improved. 😆 You just need to find your own style.
I for my part have been into a lot of different phases. I am a very indecisive person so for most of the aspects in my life I almost always change phases at one point or another.
Here are the other pictures I have posted in the past, up there is what I call Phase 1, here’s Phase 2 (the warm photos):
Phase 3 (the white comforter):
Phase 4 (the “too-bright-i-realized-it-hurts-my-eyes” photos):
Phase 5 (the books and the occasional flowers):
Phase 6 (the books with arts):
Phase 7 (the white background, and just so you know, that white background is just the back of a movie poster. You don’t need a white table, you just need to improvise 😄):
Phase 8 (my current and loving it, and I call it Wonderlandish – ’cause I want to, that’s why. lol):
I think for more than a year of bookstagramming, it’s been a bit challenging to really find the style that your heart wants but it is refreshing once you get there, it’s like it’s always been there waiting for you. I was always anxious to try and change to other themed photos but I guess “change” is really healthy. Besides, if the change is for the better then why not? Just as long as your happy with the way your photos look, then go with it. Appreciate your own craft, I think that’s what matters the most.
Although bookstagram is an overall wonderful community, there are other aspects of it that was quite unnerving and even saddening on some parts.
The more that I was gaining followers, the more people appearing who are quick to judge. They judge me how I review a book, how I “incorrectly” see a certain character, etc. etc. At first I was really affected by these rare comments but then I just learned to go with it. I can never please everyone, I just thought that if you hate my views that much, then please with all due respect, click “unfollow” or just simply ignore me, so we both could have an eternal peace in life. 😂 I totally get it that others would not agree with me and that’s totally okay, ’cause at some point, I could disagree with other’s views as well. But that doesn’t give me the right to bash or humiliate them by commenting absurd stuffs on people’s photos. That’s what unnerved me the most, but as I say, I’ve learned to just let it pass. You won’t believe this, but I was once ridiculed by a certain someone because I like Alice so much. This account goes on days DM-ing me with her “findings” on why Lewis Carrooll is a pedophile, or how the Alice story is really about drugs and so on.. I just thought this person has seriously nothing more important to do other than to annoy me, and it must pain her to see I wasn’t even a bit affected. So yeah, say whatever you want to say girl. Bla bla bla… 😂
Also one of the disturbing things in bookstagram are those people getting my pictures without credit. Pictures that I have so hardly worked for. It’s not that I just get books in my shelf, lay it in bed and snap. I think about it, I edit it, I repeat the entire process if I feel it inadequate. And when some others are insensitive enough to get them and claim it as if it was their own, that’s really something I am very disappointed about. As much as possible, I don’t announce that this certain person is getting my pictures, I normally would just block them, especially if it’s just one photo. I really do not want to humiliate these people, I just hope that they learn how to take their own photos. It isn’t that hard anyway (if you have the passion). Tssss. 😔
These things though very seldom happens so it doesn’t much affect the overall feel good stuff bookstagram is inviting.
STAYING AS A BOOKSTAGRAMMER
Yes, of freaking course 😂 definitely staying – because this community is seriously the best. I have never encountered such nice people. It’s not like the polluted world of other social sites where everyone is bashing someone else. True, some bad weeds stumble upon this wonderful community but they are just so few the rest of us can easily shoo them away. This community is a collection of people who seriously helps out each other, people who become genuinely friends with everyone even though they are miles and miles apart. I actually started my online business because of the overall warm support that I am getting from this group.
Also true that at some point you may always find yourself a little over-trying to impart a better view of yourself, but it is heartwarming when you actually break down and rant and they are still there, commenting good stuff, messaging words of encouragement, or just simply letting you know that you have a mark in this world. It’s just really refreshing to know that when I am so tired of my personal life and relationships, I still have the bookstagram community to count on to. I can never let go of something so wonderful.😊