I love, love, love Bookstagram. I live for the interaction with insane Book Lovers like myself and the talk of all things bookish. The photographs are beautiful, the reels are hilarious, and the book recommendations are priceless. What self-respecting Ink Drinker wouldn't want to be part of this community?
You simply must join the fun! But to be a true citizen of Bookstagram World- you must post as well as scroll. You must do your part and add to the experience. We're not demanding a post a day or fireworks- but we would love a little sample of your personality and book tastes.
Here's a list of 30 ideas to get your creative juices flowing and into the Bookstagram game:
1. Introduce Yo-Self
This should be your first post. A popular intro-type post is often a Fast Five. Post 5 fun or random facts about yourself- whether or not these facts are bookish is up to you. This allows others to get a snapshot of the newbie.
If you happen to be a veteran, this is still a good post to do periodically to re-introduce yourself to your new followers or reach out to a smaller niche within Bookstagram (like romance readers, fantasy fanatics, or middle grade addicts).
2. Bookstack Your Name
Can you guess my name based on my bookstack? I'll pause while you try to figure it out. (Pause). It's Stacey- not Stacea. I had to cheat because I had no book titles that started with the letter "Y." I was a bit hesitant to post this picture because of the error- but I wanted to participate in the day's challenge. Guess what? Several people in the challenge group had the same issue! Lesson: Don't be worried about perfection- you may miss out on the experience.
Side note: If you are an author- there is a tremendous need in the book market for "Y" titles!
3. Book Recs
Book recommendations are kind of the whole point of Bookstagram- to find your next great read. So, if you read a gem, be sure to hype it up so others can enjoy.
Fun tip: Tag the author. So many times, an author will comment on your post and thank you for reading his/her book. How cool is that?
Another Tip: To make life easier, create a template on Canva you can use repeatedly for all your reviews. In the above picture, I took the original picture of a simple wreath on my floor. For each review, I insert a new book cover, add my book highlights for each arrow, & give my star rating. With Bookstagram, I always subscribe to the KISS philosophy (Keep It Simple Stupid).
4. Author Birthday Shout Out
Every month, a famous author is celebrating a Birthday. Look up your favorite author's birthday & be sure to celebrate it Bookstagram style. This means prop their books & don't forget to tag them (if they're still alive!).
Here's a list of my favorite literary birthdays for each month to get you started:
January 3: J.R.R. Tolkien
Febrary 7: Laura Ingalls Wilder & February 12: Judy Blume
March 2: Dr. Seuss
April 12: Beverly Cleary & April 23: William Shakespeare
May 31: Walt Whitman
June 12: Anne Frank
July 21: Ernest Hemingway & July 31: J.K. Rowling
August 10: Suzanne Collins & August 24: John Green
September 13: Roald Dahl
October 16: Oscar Wilde
November 29: C.S. Lewis & November 30: Mark Twain
December 16: Jane Austen
5. Favorite Color Stack
Pretty self-explanatory. The only note I'll add is that you could do a stack, shelf, or basket display of your favorite color as well. Also, no need to limit yourself to your actual favorite color. You can post a blue stack one month & a red stack another.
If you're on Bookstagram long enough, you will often see different color stack challenges for a cause. For example, someone might say, "I will donate $1 for every pink bookstack post that I'm tagged in for the month of October." We book people are pretty giving like that!
6. Favorite Author Tribute
Always a great idea to support your favorite author. Plus, it's a great excuse to buy all their books! You're doing it for the book community- they need this!
7. A Shelfie
Stereotypically, Ink Drinkers are shy by nature- but we're also clever. Behold the shelfie! I don't know about you- but I find bookshelf decor much more fascinating than duck lips.
You can organize your bookshelf by genre, author, or color. You can create a section for library books, books in a series, or books with dogs on the cover. You can show off your book-themed candles, Funko Pop characters, and other bookish merch. You can even turn your books backward and cause an uproar on Bookstagram! Just don't miss out on #shelfiesunday.
8. Flat Lay Friday
A flat lay is an image shot directly from above to capture the beauty of your books carefully arranged on a flat surface. I'll give you a moment to admire my flat lay. AWWWW. Now, take a moment to admire the one below. Aren't flat lays just divine?
I admit, I am still intimidated to do flat lays because I'm not a photographer. But I've found a ring light does wonders for amateurs like me. And I try to adhere to that whole- don't be a perfectionist thing & have a good time. I gained followers on each of these posts & Lisa Fipps commented on the Starfish post. So again, worry less- post more!
9. Currently Reading
If you haven't had time to create a book review or recommendation, then just post what you're currently reading. Ask your followers if anyone else has read this book & if they have, rate it 1-5 in the comments. This is a good way to engage people and start a conversation (or book debate/war).
10. A Book Haul
It's time to flex! (Your insanity!) Just kidding (kind of). If you're new to Bookstagram, you may not be able to imagine a time when your books will overtake your home- but it's coming, I promise!
How does this happen? You see so many stinkin' good books on Bookstagram- that's how! You will also be in search of complete collections. Don't forget all those books you fell in love with as a child that you're just dying to share with the world. And then heaven forbid, you read an eBook you love- now you're going to need to buy the paperback version for your bookshelf. Need I go on? I think you see how this book obsession snowballs out of control so easily.
So, trust me, it won't be long until you're posting your book hauls like the rest of us.
11. Your Reading Nook
Full disclosure, I do not have a reading nook. This is a picture of my beloved writing space. I read sitting on my ugly recliner while my husband watches Investigation Discovery (ID)- probably plotting ways to kill me via a book avalanche.
Anyhoo, I absolutely adore reading nooks- all the cozy, all the books, all the cats! They are my absolute favorite type of posts on Bookstagram and I screen shot my favorites. I'm currently scouring my house to find space so I can create a reading oasis of my own.
So, please post your reading nook- I need inspo!
12. Holiday Inspo
Every month has a day to celebrate something and on Bookstagram every celebration should include books. As you will see from this list of holidays, many days are set aside to pay homage to our beloved books. So, Merry Books to You & Happy Posting!
1st: New Year's
2nd: National Science Fiction Day
3rd Monday: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
4th Wednesday: Shelfie Day
1st Week: Children's Author's & Illustrator's Week
2nd: Groundhog Day
14th: Valentine's Day/Book Lover's Day
3rd Monday: President's Day
Middle Grade Book Month
2nd: Read Across America
17th: St. Patrick's Day
21st: World Poetry Day
National Poetry Month
DEAR Month (Drop Everything & Read)
1st: April Fools
2nd: Children's Book Day
2nd Week: National Library Week
13th: Scrabble Day
25th: Poem in Your Pocket Day
Last Saturday: Independent Bookstore Day
Family Reading Month
2nd: Harry Potter Day
4th: Star Wars Day
2nd Sunday: Mother's Day
Audiobook Appreciation Month
3rd Sunday: Father's Day
4th: Independence Day
20th: Paperback Book Day
31st: Harry Potter's Birthday
2nd: Coloring Book Day
9th: Book Lover's Day
National Library Card Sign-Up Month
1st Monday: Labor Day
6th: Read a Book Day
25th: Comic Book Day
Last Week: Banned Book Week
National Book Month
1st Full Week: Mystery Series Week
6th: Mad Hatter Day
Picture Book Month
1st: Author's Day
6th: Nonfiction Day
3rd Week: Nursery Rhyme Week
4th Thursday: Thanksgiving
Read a New Book Month
7th: Letter Writing Day
21st: Crossword Puzzle Day
13. Favorite Bookish Quote
I haven't posted a book quote yet, but I made this on Canva to prep for this blog post. I Googled Little Women quotes & then plopped that baby on a little cabin in the snow that gave me Little Women vibes. You best believe I'll be posting this one day this winter.
My point is, quote posts are so easy! You don't have to worry about lighting, book prop arrangements, or make-up! You can post this puppy with a messy bun sitting on your recliner in your pj's. Good times!
14. Book Spine Poetry
This is a tough one- at least it was for me. But it was also a fun challenge. The idea is to create a poem using book titles. Here was my attempt, I titled it "Chasing Dreams"
Wisdom for the way
No summit out of sight
Among the brave
Still a work in progress
Okay, I'm no Robert Frost or Maya Angelou- but my word choices were limited. (I don't think that made any difference!)
Think of a topic, then scan your bookshelves for titles that fit that theme. Pick out your favorites and arrange them in an order that makes sense to you. Voila- you're a poet!
15. Middle Grade Monday
Being a middle grade author- I love Mondays! I hope you do too. You can celebrate Middle Grade Mondays in a variety of ways. You could do a book review like my example. Or you could show off your entire collection of middle grade books, share a childhood favorite, create a middle grade author tribute- basically anything you would do for any other book- but better because it's middle grade!
16. DNF's or Bad Reviews
Do you want to stir the pot or ruffle some feathers or stir some feathers in a pot? Then post about a book you didn't like! I know, I know- Book Nerds are shy, docile creatures- what could possibly happen? I'll tell you what could happen- World War III, that's what! If you mess with a Bibliophile's baby (a book they hold near and dear to their heart), the gloves are coming off! They will defend their beloved book until their last dying breath.
So have some fun and say you don't like a book that all the Bookstagrammers are gushing over and let the battles begin.
Hint: Do not tag authors if you don't have nice things to say about their creation. Stirring the pot is one thing- being mean is another.
17. TBR Stack (aka piles)
TBR is supposed to mean To Be Read- however veteran Bookstagrammers know that's a lie. It's more like BIBBILBP- Books I Bought Because I Love Books Pile. Or IMHAPP- I Might Have A Problem Pile.
Anyhow, it's nice to put those hopefuls to good use and create a pretty picture. So, gather those books you bought because of Bookstagram recs and post a caption of your monthly goals- we'll have a good laugh together!
18. Favorite Author Quote
Pretty much like a book quote, only this is from the author. Still easy, still inspirational, still posted from the comfort of your recliner in your pj's and messy bun.
19. Books on Vacation
Isn't this what social media is all about? Making people jealous by living our best lives! So, post a selfie reading on a sandy beach, or your hand holding an open book overlooking a mountain vista, or a cozy bookstore in some exotic location. We book people are used to living vicariously.
20. Pets (or Plants) & Books
We're not known as the crazy cat ladies for nothing! Post pictures of your adorable pets reading with you on your lap and embrace the title. Your engagement will skyrocket with everyone oohing and aahing over your adorable fur baby.
21. Bookish Destinations
My hometown of Indianapolis is home to Kurt Vonnegut, Booth Tarkington, John Green, and James Whitcomb Riley. And with these famous authors come some fun attractions to see like the Kurt Vonnegut Museum, Riley's grave site at Crown Hill Cemetery, and the Funky Bones sculpture featured in the movie The Fault in our Stars.
My point is, if Indianapolis has bookish sites to see, I know your state does too. Take a literary road trip, snap lots of pictures, and post about your experience.
This picture of my husband and I was taken at Ernest Hemingway's house in Key West. We had so much learning about Hemingway's writing habits, petting his 6 toe cats, and finishing up with a beer at Sloppy Joe's (Hemingway's favorite hangout). I can usually rope my husband into little literary excursions like this with the promise of beer. Feel free to copy my technique.
22. Seasonal Book Post
You have so much flexibility with a seasonal post. The only requirement is to draw inspiration from the season you are in. Spring posts are usually bright cheery books among the flowers. Summer posts are filled with books in the sand. Fall books are decorated with colorful leaves. Winter usually has a cozy fireplace or snowy window vibe.
Another take on this type of post, is to announce the books you want to read or have already read during this season. Just make sure your background is seasonal. That's what I did for my summer bookstack post. I lined my summer hopefuls on top of a painting, then used Canva to create the background and caption. I think I ended up reading 3 of them!
23. Book Pairings (Wines, Snacks, Coffee, Tea...)
This is probably the most popular type of post on Bookstagram- books and coffee. I think we should revise our stereotype from cat ladies to caffeinated cat ladies!
Despite this type of post's popularity, I do not have one as you may have noticed. This is a stock image. I need to create one with my drink of choice- iced chai tea latte with almond milk, please. You best believe I won't be creating my Book Pairing photo composition on a white bedspread though- that's just a disaster waiting to happen. Either me (most likely), Boomer (my pug), or Fuzzy (the required cat) are spilling that tea!
24. Emo Books
(Books that made you laugh, cry, scream, sleep with the lights on)
I'm big on funny books. You tell me a book made you shoot water through your nose- I'm in. I also love a book that makes me ugly cry. I don't know what sadistic gene I have that finds pleasure in this- but I've got it.
However, I do not understand you horror book people. What's wrong with you?! I read Pet Cemetery as a kid- while I was babysitting. Worst mistake of my life and one I intend on NEVER making again!
But post bout those books that give you all the feels. We want to jump on the emotional roller coaster with you!
25. Nostalgia: Classics or
Books that Made You Fall in Love with Reading
Take us on a stroll down memory lane. Tell us your favorite childhood book and why you loved it so much. Then we have a reason to gush and tell you our favorites or say Oh, My, Lanta- that was my book! The nostalgia reels on TikTok are popular for a reason, we love reminiscing about the good old days.
And classics are, well- classic! They never go out of style- so they are always there waiting to be adored on your next post.
26. Book Meme
I don't know about you, but I love a good meme. I follow accounts that give me good LOL moments. I screen shot them and share with my students and friends. Whoever created the first meme is my hero.
Memes are easy to post. Just Google bookish memes and share it on your account. But if you really want to stand out- create your own. This is one of my little gems made on Canva. You can also go on a meme generator account to create your own kind of funny.
I highly encourage this type of post for my own selfish reasons- I love book humor!
27. Books Around the World
One of the biggest perks of reading is traveling to different worlds without leaving the comforts of your couch. If you've read an amazing book set in an even more amazing location- let us in on the action.
You could also find books located on each continent, in 5 midwestern states, or 6 books set in Australia. You get the idea. Just group your books based on a setting and you have a great post.
28. Book Merch
What's better than an obnoxious book haul? NOTHING. But a bag full of book merch is a close second. And you're not bragging or flexing- you're providing a service to your fellow Book Affectionados. You're enlightening us on all the wonderful bookish things we need in our lives. So please, post your latest and greatest pretty book thing- we have money burning holes in our pockets!
29. Book Shops
This is another post lacking in my Bookstagram collection. I love bookstores, but don't visit them often enough- probably to save myself from bankruptcy. However, giving your small but uniquely cute and quirky bookstore a shout-out should probably be a Bookstagram requirement/law. So, excuse me while I go visit Wild Geese Bookshop- it's my duty!
30. End of Month Reading Wrap Up
Easy enough, just drop images of the books you've read this month into a template you created on Canva. The hard part is giving a short recap of each book in the captions.
You could also do a flat lay or bookstack. I just recommend you actually do it- because at the end of the year, you will be able to see all that you accomplished in your book life. It will make you feel better about all the
other areas in your life that are suffering due to your book addiction!
And that's a wrap on this post too. I hope it sparked some ideas for your Bookstagram posts this month/year/whatever. I'd love to meet you and talk books on Bookstagram. Follow me at staceywritesandreads and I'll follow you back. We'll be the bestest of Book Buds.