Monday, April 4, 2016

The Hardcover Lover Confessions | Bookstagram

Hey, there, and welcome to the latest edition of my discussion post feature, The Hardcover Lover Confessions! In these confessional-like posts, I confess my bookish habits, thoughts, or other random things about the book community with my readers, and then I encourage everyone to start discussing the issue with everyone else in the comments. It's a really fun way to get some bookish confessions off your chest, but it's also a great way to get to know other people in the blogosphere by commenting and interacting.

There really isn't an order as to when I post my Confessions - I kind of come up with them when an issue arises or a thought pops into my head. Sometimes, an issue just eats away at me until I finally decide to write a post. Ergo, there could be one a month or there could be a few a month. There could even be a month when I don't post a Hardcover Lovers Confessions at all. It just all depends on what's going on in the book community or how I feel.

Hardcover Lover Confession on Bookstagram

Ah, Bookstagram! It's so beautiful, right? If you're anything like me, you probably follow a lot of bookish accounts on Instagram or check the bookstagram hashtag from time to time. How could you not? The pictures are just so gorgeous, and I love seeing them when they come across my feed.

Even though I personally love Bookstagram posts, I don't actively set out to become a Bookstagrammer. Below, I'll confess to you my reasons for loving Bookstagram but not actually being a Bookstagrammer.

Why I Love Bookstagram

  1. The Books - Everywhere you look on Bookstagram, there are books! Lots of books! I just love seeing all these books - some that I've read, some that I want to read, and some that I'll never read. It's amazing to see all the different editions that people have, and I love seeing all the different covers from around the world.
  2. The Accessories and Props - It's no secret that Bookstagrammers love their props. Some of the items that are in posts are stunning! I often see something, and I'll like the picture just because of a prop. Often times I find myself wanting to buy similar things for home and bookshelf decorations.
  3.  The Image Quality - I never really knew just how much I appreciated photography until Instagram came along. My appreciation for the art has increased after seeing many of the beautiful bookish pictures on my feed. I never knew just how crisp a picture of a book could be, and I just love seeing how beautiful many bookish pictures come out.
  4. The Themes and Settings - I enjoy seeing the variety of themes and settings on Bookstagram. It's amazing to see how many people have come up with unique and stunning themes for their posts. It's also amazing to go to a particular account and see just how amazing all of their thumbnails look together.

Why I Don't Really Bookstagram

From time to time, I will post bookish pictures on Instagram, but compared to what everyone else puts out there, mine are crap. I don't mind it, but it definitley does make me think twice before I post a picture because I don't want to be judged for my lack of skills.

So what are the reasons why I don't Bookstagram?
  1. Lack of Concentration and Dedication - Even though I enjoy taking pictures of books and posting them to my Instagram account, I lack the concentration and dedication to create stunning images for people to look at and eventually like. I'd love to, but it's just not at the top of my list right now, and I like focusing on my blog a little too much. Also, I just don't get on Instagram daily, so there are times when my profile goes without an update.
  2. Money - Like many millennials at the moment, I don't have a disposable income. In fact, I'm living paycheck to paycheck while searching for a fulltime job. I simply don't have the funds to buy accessories and cameras to make my pictures stand out among the many. I don't want to be wasteful, and I think buying props and accessories just for a social media platform would be frivolous at this point in my life. 
  3. Lack of a Camera and Editing Apps - I don't have a fancy digital camera. I don't even know where my cheap digital camera is right now. I also don't have a fancy smartphone with a camera, so when I'm posting pictures to Instagram, I'm using the cheap camera that Apple thought would work. It's something, but it's definitley not a lot to work with. I also don't have a lot of editing apps on my MacBook or iPod, so I just use the filters that Instagram provides. I still haven't figured out what works and what doesn't, so I don't do a lot of editing.
  4. Time - I don't really spend a lot of time on Instagram. There are times when I don't check the app for weeks or even months at a time. Because of that, I don't do a lot of photo posting. I wish it were different, but I like using my time for other activities.

Confessions from Bookstagrammers

I thought it would be fun to do short question and answer sessions with a few Bookstagrammers to get a better feel for the social media platform. Below, you'll find out a little bit more about Bookstagrammers Erica, Ali, and ...

Erica's Confessions

Q. What inspired you to become a Bookstagrammer? Any particular event or person?

A. At first I just made a bookstagram for my blog (divingunderthecover) but then I switched and became the co-blogger over at Novel Ink. Once I did see what bookstagram actually was the one person who inspired me was/is @halfbl00dprincess.

Q. Do you have a particular style, or do you play around with different styles and themes from time to time?

A. I keep going back and forth between a few different themes and I haven't found my niche yet. I do like having a theme, but sometimes it's so hard to be consistent.

Q. What kind of camera do you use?

A. I use my iPhone and I just purely edit on the Instagram app.

Q. Are there any drawbacks to being a Bookstagrammer? 

A. I'm speaking just as how I feel, and how I think of things, but it's not due to any factors other than my insecurities. I just worry about being consistent, posting every day and I get so envious of some people who just have a natural eye. Other than the trouble I have with just myself I don't necessarily think there are any drawbacks. The community is so wonderful and it's my favorite way to connect with book lovers!

Ali's Confessions

Q. What inspired you to become a Bookstagrammer? Any particular event or person?

A. I followed a lot of amazing bookstagrammers on my personal account and I really wanted to do something like what they were doing, so alas, my bookstagram account was born.

Q. Do you have a particular style, or do you play around with different styles and themes from time to time?

A. I try to keep my theme consistent; I use a white background and books modeled on top. I do think I want to change it up soon, maybe using a white duvet from time to time so there's texture and depth in the photo, but I'm still thinking about it!

Q. What kind of a camera do you use?

A. I just use my phone (haha!). I use some editing apps on there too, so that helps my photos look crisp. I'm thinking of purchasing an actual camera though soon!

Q. Are there any drawbacks to being a Bookstagrammer?

A. So far, I haven't experienced any major ones, but I do think it can be a lot of work putting yourself out there by interacting with other bookstagrammers, but overall, I love doing it and I think it's really exciting and fun to be sharing my love of books through photos.

Rachel's Confessions

Q. What inspired you to become a Bookstagrammer? Any particular reason or person?

A. I don't know that I ever really set out to be a Bookstagrammer. I was already late to the Instagram party because my (ex-)phone couldn't get the app. Once the app was finally available, I started taking pictures of books and my dogs and cats and whatever, I guess, but I don't think it took long before I tried to make my pictures look pretty. Then I'd see other bookish accounts that took stellar photos and wish I could do something like that, too. Over time my photos improved--though I'll still have a photo here and there that I'll see on my profile and wonder why on earth I thought it was worth posting--and I started getting creative with photos and really putting a lot of time and effort into each one.

Q. Do you have a particular style, or do you play around with different styles and themes from time to time?

A. I would call my style eclectic. Some profiles have a theme and look so uniform and cohesive and I LOVE IT but I just can't do that. Various factors go into my photos: the book (or subject) itself, the possible theme, what I want it all to look like, and so on. But I'd say that my biggest factor is always LIGHTING. There are several times when I want to take a picture and can't--or do and can't post it--because the lighting just isn't there. I need natural lighting or I can't achieve the editing I want and the photo drives me crazy. I can't have too much light, either; the sun can be too glaring and just ruin everything sometimes. I swear some people live on another planet because the lighting in their photos is amazing.

As far as specific styles and themes, it all depends on the photo. I'll usually try to go with something that fits the book, and that's where being eclectic comes in--one photo may be bloody while another is filled with flowers. Some photos get a darker, almost moodier feel while others are light and have the brightness and highlights at one hundred. I think that if I had a set theme or style my photos wouldn't be what they are because the formula wouldn't work well on every photo. Each one is a unique individual with its own formula.

Q. What kind of a camera do you use? Do you have a dream camera?

A. As of a few months ago my pictures are taken with an iPhone 6s. Every single edit I do is done wholly on Instagram and what the app provides. If I had a dream camera...oh, gosh. I don't know and I don't know much about cameras. (Except I like the black ones that look all fancy and professional.) The other day I was taking pictures with my cousin and she does some photography and I constantly apologized if the photos I took were horrible because I do not know how to properly use such a camera. I'm pretty comfortable with my iPhone's camera (and I love that I can set it to a square shape so it's perfect for Instagram and I can avoid cropping issues), but I wouldn't mind a camera that takes more high definition, professional, legit looking photos. I get frustrated when I try to take a picture or post a picture and the quality is low. I put a lot of time and effort into my photos--between taking pictures and making messes and editing, editing, editing--and it drives me crazy when the one thing I can't fix is the quality. (Especially when I see how ridiculously high quality other bookstagram photos are.)

Your Confessions

Now I want to know what you're thinking about Bookstagram? Are you a fan of Bookstagram? Are you a Bookstagrammer? Who are some of your favorite Bookstagrammers? 

Are you like me and get too scared to post your pictures? If so, why are you scared?

Tell us all what you think of the Wonderful World of Bookstagram in the comments below! And feel free to leave links to your accounts so everyone can check out your accounts and follow you!

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