Welcome to Lectito’s first ever ‘Meet the Bookstagrammers’ feature! As the oh-so-creative name suggests, this is a new series where I’ll be chatting with the photographers behind some of my favourite bookish accounts on Instagram. I’ll be asking the bookstagrammers to share a little bit about themselves, how they manage their account, what they love about the bookish community on Instagram, what tips they have for their fellow ‘grammers and, most importantly, what they love to read.
Today I’m excited to introduce Abeer Acero, A.K.A. @lookingforabura!
Abeer is a part-time Muggle who loves good coffee and whimsical reads. Her feed has a warm caramel-and-sepia feel that makes me want to pop the kettle on, grab an oversized jumper and head to my reding chair. Here’s just a sample of her gorgeous pics:
Abeer, thanks so much for joining me! Can you start by sharing a little about yourself: Where are you from? What do you when you’re not on Insta? How did you get into bookstagramming?
- Hi, I’m Abeer. 25 years old and I’m a Filipino currently working and living in Dubai. I’ve been bookstagramming for almost 2 years now. And I guess I started it when I first moved to Dubai. I have no social life, no friends aside from my family. So I looked for ways to have “friends” online. And of course, books, well, books have always been there for me. I’ve been engrossed about reading ages ago (thanks to my mom who’s a bibliophile as well) but I wasn’t that too loud about it. It was when I started bookstagram that I showed my passion to the world.
- If I’m not bookstagramming, I go around town and look for cafes to eat and have coffee. I’m a coffee addict!
Can you tell us a bit about your Insta account: What inspires your posts? Do you have a particular aesthetic or theme? Has your account changed/developed over time?
- Omygosh! Yes, it has improved A LOT!!! My fellow bookstagrammers inspire me to do better and put more effort in my photos. I don’t really have a particular “theme” but I tend to always go with warm and earthy colors. I love the tones of brown, and who can resist white backgrounds?! Hahaha 🙂
What camera(s) and editing software (if any) do you use for your pics?
- I mostly use my phone. I use it for 90% of the time! I just use my Nikon D90 if I go out for shoots, sometimes I upload them. Hehehe
- I only use VSCO cam for the filters.
How often do you post and do you plan posts in advance, or are they more spontaneous?
- I post quite a lot, to be honest. But there are days when you just don’t want to post anything and that’s okay. That’s real life, you know.
- Oh I do both! I plan my posts for the next 3 days, but there are spontaneous moments where you just post a photo that is currently happening to you. That happens a lot when I’m in coffee shops! Hahaha I can’t help it, the lattes are too cute to not post! Hahaha 🙂
What do you think makes a good post?
- A good post always contains 3 things:
- The composition of your photo – take a book that you are currently reading/ what you have read/ what you want to read then
- Consider what kind of “background” you want. Some say the “theme” of the photo determines the amount of likes. Some do it outdoors, others have a lot of accessories which I envy! But for me it’s mostly in my bed, with a cup of coffee. Because…
- IT SHOULD ALWAYS represent who you are. A photo is good if it gives your followers a glimpse of you are. Make it personal. Like, putting something in the caption to start a conversation. I feel like I know some my followers because we talk to each other, we interact.
What do you love most about being part of the bookstagram community?
- I love bookstagram because it’s peace-loving and friendly community! And aside from discovering more books to read, you also get to know people who will become your friends even beyond Instagram!
Is there anything you’d like to see change/improve in the community?
- I guess, I’d like to change the connotation that having thousands of followers is the “goal”. No, that’s a wrong mind-set. I’ve been there before, knowing that I should get “these numbers” and I’ll be good. BUT as I gained more followers, I realized that it isn’t the goal at all. I am thankful, of course, but that should not determine you success. That should not validate your happiness. What matters to me now is that being in this community means sharing what you love and inspiring other people to do what they are passionate about. I love how it feels! Not worrying about the number and just sharing the good vibes!
- Also, I know that this is BOOKSTAGRAM, but I would also like to tell everyone that you can post whatever you like aside from books! Because, as real as it gets, we love other things, too! Personally, I curate my feed in a way that I could share all the things I love: books, food, lifestyle. AND THERE IS NOTHING WRONG with that. Promote what you love, instead of bashing what you hate, right? You do you! Your happiness should be your top priority and not what others want to see.
Who are some of the bookstagrammers who inspire you?
- Oh, there are tons!!! @bookmarauder inspired me to do bookstagramming… And these people are the ones I talk to most of the time and I adore them dearly… @westerosreader, @crimeofrhyme, @lottelikesbooks, @booksfordessert and everyone else in @wethebookdragons book club! And these accounts inspire me the most… @crimebythebook, @bookbaristas, @foldedpagesdistillery, @ursula_uriarte, and @abookishloveaffair.
Sorry that’s a lot! Hehehe 🙂
What kinds of books do you like to read?
- I’m like a Jack of all trades! I love exploring all genres. But my favourites would be crime fiction, contemporary psychological thrillers and young adult dystopia & fantasy and a bit of historical fiction!
What are three key things you look for in a good story?
- Oh, first of all I love a good plot and good story telling. Whatever the genre is if it is written beautifully then I like it. Then of course, the characters. I love distinct characters, they make me think, it’s also very important that I connect with them. And it’s always a bonus if there’s a big unexpected twist! That’s like the game-changer.
What do you love most about reading, and why do you believe reading is important?
- That’s a good question! I love everything that happens when I read. The adventures I experience through pages are priceless! But one thing that really made me a passionate bookworm was when I had NO ONE else to talk to at that point in my life and all I did was read. I remember it clearly. September 2011, I was so depressed in my personal life and I had no one to cry on… I turned to books and they kept me company. It’s a bit dramatic but it’s true. It happened. I can even tell you now the books I read for that whole month just to get me through those tough days. Like one of my favourite authors, Neil Gaiman, said, “Books were safer than people anyway.” SO yes, for me reading is an integral part of me. I can’t imagine who I am now without books.
- I’m always an advocate of READING BOOKS. I tell that to everyone I meet, specially the young ones. I urge them to read because they are missing out in life if they won’t. Reading is something that no one could ever take away from you.
What’s been your favourite read so far this year?
- I only read 18 books since January!!! *hides face* My favourite so far has been The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafron. It’s a beautiful book. Impeccably written and it just…hit me! *I highly recommend it*
What five books should everyone reading this add to their TBR ile?
This is the hardest question ever!!! But I’ll break it down into different genres…
- The obvious choice and the Potterhead in me will say, read the ‘HARRY POTTER series’. It’s my childhood, and HP started my love for reading, So it’s always good to start there!
- And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (I love her so much!!!)
- Looking for Alaska by John Green (still my favourite YA book, that’s where I got my URL hehehe)
- The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (all his books actually hehehehe)
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak or The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafron (because these books !!!!!)
What advice would you give to new bookstagrammers?
- Be yourself! Don’t be pressured by everyone else, we all started with one follower! Just keep posting and do what you love. And interact with others! You are bookstagramming for a reason; make that reason be good.
And finally, where else can we find you talking books:
Thanks a lot!!! I enjoyed this! 🙂 xx
And thank you for taking the time to chat!
If you haven’t yet, pop over to @lookingforabura and say hi to Abeer and see what she’s reading on Instagram.
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