Today I caught up with Ziba, the gal behind the camera at @ziba.reads, to talk bookish pics, Insta tips and fave reads!
Ziba’s account features a rich array of book reviews and recommendations as well as beautiful, beachy snaps from her travels. Here are just a few of my personal favourites:
Ziba, thanks so much for joining me! Can you start by sharing a little about yourself: Where are you from? What do you do when you’re not on Insta? How did you get into bookstagramming?
I’m Persian and currently based in Sweden. I am soon relocating to Manchester, UK, to do my Masters in Digital Marketing. I’ve previously worked as air crew in Dubai for many years so that’s why I also incorporate travel, mostly Hawaii photos, into my gallery.
I got into bookstagramming because I also write fiction so I wanted to see what other people were reading and share ideas. I had no idea at the time that bookstagram was a thing or even existed. I took a shot 16 months ago and struck gold – literally!
Can you tell us a bit about your Insta account? What inspires your posts? Do you have a particular aesthetic or theme? How has your account changed/developed over time?
I try to keep my account summer-y and white and bright with minimal filter. But I also adjust it according to the season so I have a seasonal theme, I suppose.
How often do you post and what do you love about being part of the bookstagram community?
I post daily and only plan sponsored posts for maximum exposure for my…business partners? (not sure what to call them) I love the community itself. How friendly people are and how much we learn from each other and the friends I’ve made. Real friends.
What kinds of books do you like to read?
I like to read classics mostly, anything Hemingway, Steinbeck, Jackson, Du Maurier but also the more low key writers. Contemporary fiction has never caught my interest that much but it has more and more lately. A classic contemporary writer that I love – if I can label him that way – is Stephen King. The king of kings.
What are three key things you look for in a good story?
I look for emotional connection, an immediate ‘sucked into the story’ feeling, and memorable characters.
What do you love most about reading and why is reading important?
Reading is important because it’s like traveling which is the most important thing you can do to deepen your soul. When you travel you experience, you meet people, you learn, you develop and more importantly you step outside of your box and comfort zone. Reading does that too but in a different way.
Reading is just cool.
What’s been your favourite read so far this year?
My favorite read this year is the book I’m reading right now; Stephen King’s 11/22/63. It’s AMAZING!
What five books should everyone reading this add to their TBR pile?
A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway (you’ll get to know what Hemingway is famous and infamous for. All the components of his fame).
Read The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck and get a true insight into 1920s US and what that was like. With proper dialects and everything.
Read Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca and see what it’s like to read something that looks simple but when you start to peel the story it’s the most complex thing you’ve ever read.
Read Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House and experience true horror. The one that makes you question your existence.
And finally, read Alex Garland’s The Beach because it’s simply sublime and no matter who you are and how much money you have in your account, you WILL want to travel.
What advice would you give to new bookstagrammers?
My advice for newbies: Have fun!! Use minimum filter on your photos, INSPIRE, be friendly and active. You’ll learn, make friends and grow a following which you can use for super cool things in the future Trust me. 🙂 xx
If you haven’t yet, pop over to @ziba.reads, say hi to Ziba and see what she’s reading on Instagram.
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