Today I caught up with Victoria, the gal behind the camera at @sapphire.reads, to talk bookish pics, Insta tips and fave reads.
@sapphire.reads was one of the first bookstagram accounts I fell in love with. Victoria’s pics have a warm, cosy vibe that never fails to make me want to pop the kettle on and settle down with a hefty tome. AND she loves cats! Here are just a few of her gorgeous snaps:
Victoria, 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?
My name is Victoria and I’m a 23-year-old self-proclaimed bookaholic from IKEA-land. In other words, I’m from Sweden. Other than bookstagramming I drink too much coffee at various cafés, spend time with family and friends and I’m currently attending Uni majoring in nursing and caring science. I got into bookstagramming after watching a few of my favorite booktubers and wanted to find them on Instagram. I was surprised to find a whole community there that I hadn’t noticed whilst using my personal account. I quickly set up an account and started to post a few times each week. It wasn’t until last summer though that I really got into it and started to work a lot harder on my account.
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?
My Instagram account is all about the theme haha. I take all my photos in the same location and usually when it’s cloudy out as I usually get that dark and moody feel I’m looking for. My photos are dark but warm at the same time. My ambition is to make people want to snuggle up with a warm blanket, steaming cup of coffee and a great book just by looking at my photos. When I first go started I used to take pictures either in my kitchen with a plain white background or in my bed with plain white sheets. It wasn’t until I moved to another apartment that I started working with my kitchen table that has in some way stuck around.
What camera(s) and editing software (if any) do you use for your pics?
I’ve used my iPhone 5S for nearly all my posts and then edit them using VSCO cam for filters or Phonto if I want to add a text. That’s it really, unless I want to be a bit more ambitious and then I use either my Canon 500D or my Canon EOS.
How often do you post and do you plan posts in advance, or are they more spontaneous?
I always try to plan ahead and take photos enough to last me through the week but more often than not I take two or three shots one day and post them when I feel like it. Bookstagram is all about having fun for me and I don’t want to feel pressured to take and post photos if I don’t feel like it so I always try to have a few in handy. Normally I post about once a day, sometimes twice and sometimes I don’t post anything at all for a day or two. Recently Uni has been taking up a lot of my free time so I bought myself a notebook where I write down ideas for photos, captions and other ideas regarding my Instagram. It’s easier for me to keep things in order if I plan them first.
What do you think makes a good post?
For me it really depends on what you’re trying to convey with your post. I always love a great caption where you can exchange thoughts over a certain book etc.
What do you love most about being part of the bookstagram community?
Can I be real boring here and just say everything haha? Jokes aside, bookstagram is such a fun, loving and caring community and I haven’t regretted signing up once. I’ve made so many friends whom I chat to almost daily and I wouldn’t have “met” them if it wasn’t for bookstagram.
Is there anything you’d like to see change/improve in the community?
Nothing that I can think of at the top off my head. I haven’t stumbled across much negativity on bookstagram yet and I’m doubtful I will any time soon. Bookstagram is such a supporting community and I can’t think of a way I’d want to change it!
Who are some of the bookstagrammers who inspire you?
There are a ton of beautiful accounts on bookstagram and I’m constantly finding new accounts that I fall completely in love with so narrowing it down is always tricky. There are a few accounts however that I have loved since first joining bookstagram and accounts I’ve come to love along the way. A few accounts I have been loving a little extra these past few weeks are:
What kinds of books do you like to read?
Almost anything I can get my hands on haha! Though my favorite genre by far is fantasy. I could spend hours in a world completely different from my own without leaving the comfort of my bed. Awesome huh? I’m also a sucker for classics.
What are three key things you look for in a good story?
- When looking for that great next read I try to look for an interesting storyline and plot. As I mentioned above my favorite genre is fantasy but I read other genres too as long as I find the storyline interesting.
- I also enjoy some character development during the book. Not only the main character but all those surrounded by the story.
- A great setting! I love authors who can create and develop a fictional world that feels like it’s a real place just around the corner.
What do you love most about reading, and why do you believe reading is important?
My favorite thing about reading is that for a moment I get to leave my world behind and enter a world belonging to someone else. I always imagine the character looking a certain way, talking and even walking a certain way and I often find myself thinking of characters as friends rather than fictional characters. It’s like the famous quote from C.S. Lewis “We read to know we are not alone”. I always try to influence those around me to read more to experience the magic of it on their own.
What’s been your favourite read so far this year?
Last month me and three lovely bookstagramers, aka #Boromirsbetches hosted a readathon for the month of March where we read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. We invited all of Bookstagram to join using #MiddleEarthMarch with photo challenges, discussions and other shenanigans. It was a blast.
Other than a re-read of The Hobbit and LOTR I found myself loving The Pearl by John Steinbeck. Definitely a new favorite of mine!
What five books should everyone reading this add to their TBR pile?
One of my all time favorite books is A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. It’s heartwrenchingly beautiful so that’s a book I’d highly recommend. I know my followers are very wide spread in age but I urge you not to read this book if you’re under 15 as it can be both violent and brutal at times.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is another favorite book of mine. My copy is literally falling to pieces due to much love and many re-reads.
The Queen of the Tearling and the follow up The Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen. I’ve read so many mixed reviews about these books but personally I loved both of them! I’m so stoked for the third book which is to be released November 29th this year.
The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. I had heard so many great things about this series before actually picking it up myself and I basically binged read the first three books in the series then had a painful wait before the last book, Winter was released.
Then there’s my obvious go to books and series I’ve re-read a bunch of times but will probably never grow tired of: The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling, A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin and The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien.
What advice would you give to new bookstagrammers?
I guess my first advice would be to have fun and keep at it! Sure having a lot of followers is fun but it shouldn’t be the entire reason to keep you going.
And finally, where else can we find you talking books?
I’ve only just recently opened up a blog at ireadpaperbacks.wordpress.com. I haven’t gotten started on it properly yet though but I have some ideas in mind! Other than that you can find me on Goodreads where I’m @ireadpaperbacks.
If you haven’t yet, pop over to @sapphire.reads, say hi to Victoria and see what she’s reading on Instagram.
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