Today I caught up with Samantha, the reader behind the camera at @bookwormeverlasting, to talk bookish pics, Insta tips and fave reads.
Samantha’s snaps are clean and simple with bright bursts of colour, and I love reading her captions to see what she’s been up to! Here are just a few of her gorgeous pics:
Samantha, thanks so much for joining me and taking the time to answer my questions!
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! My name is Samantha. I was born and raised in Southern California. I’m 30 years old, been married for 11 years, and have three wonderful children (two boys and a girl).
When I’m not on Instagram I am running around with my three kids. I’m a stay at home mom (I have a BS in clinical laboratory science, but choose to stay home and raise my children) as well as a home educator. I’ve been homeschooling my oldest for three years now. Between the kids, home, and husbands I’m shocked I find time to read, but I make it a priority to make sure that I do.
I got into bookstagram when I started browsing the hashtag #bookworm from my personal account and kept seeing these amazingly, beautiful, pictures, featuring books. I’ve always been a reader since I was a child so I decided I wanted to start sharing my love for books with fellow booklovers.
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 account has changed and developed drastically from my first few months on instagram. Frankly, my older pictures are awful and embarrassing, but I keep them around to remind me that I have improved and I have found what I’m good at. I tried the clutter look and wasn’t good at it, at all. Once I started with white and simple pictures my account took off from then now. Simple and pretty is what I always try to maintain.
What camera(s) and editing software (if any) do you use for your pics?
I use my iPhone 6 to take pictures. I tried using my Nikon once upon a time, but I don’t have time to upload pictures to my computer, edit, get them back onto my phone, and finally post onto Instagram. That’s never going to be a thing for me. My main editing apps I use are snapseed and VSCO.
How often do you post and do you plan posts in advance, or are they more spontaneous?
I made my account August 28th, 2015 and I have posted every single day since that day. Sometimes I post two/three times a day. Mostly it’s just one or two times though. Usually my posts are spontaneous. A light bulb will go off where I think yes, this book with these props will be perfect. Then I set up, take the pic, and post. When I know I’ll be busy for a weekend or even for a week then that’s when I take pictures in advance. Right now I’m in the process of moving. All of my books/props are packed, but I took two weeks worth of pictures in advance. I’m extremely dedicated to my bookstagram. I absolutely love doing it.
What do you think makes a good post?
A caption is always a good post for me. Even if it’s simply explaining what is going on in the picture or why you choose that book to post about. I’m instantly turned off from posts with no caption no matter how pretty the picture is.
What do you love most about being part of the bookstagram community?
The friendships I’ve made. I have made true friends through bookstagram. I talk to them every single day, we exchange books and bookish gifts on occasion, they have been my support and cheerleaders (@ifreakinlovebooks @littlebookwormig @dropandgivemenerdy @weereader @eatdrinkreadrepeat @girlthatreads_). I will always love and appreciate those ladies. I wish I could mention every single account that has impacted. I’m afraid that would take up your whole blog post if I did.
Is there anything you’d like to see change/improve in the community?
Bookstagram has been the most friendly and supportive community I have ever been a part of. I wouldn’t change that for anything.
Who are some of the bookstagrammers who inspire you?
Oh boy, where do I even start with this one. @britbookboy inspired me to make a bookstagram account. I kept seeing his pictures the most when browsing the #bookworm hashtag. There’s also @youngadultbookaddict @_halfbl00dprincess @therusticwindow @booksthetics @hayaisreading @midnightburrito (I know, I know, crazy name, but I swear her pictures are far more gorgeous than a midnight burrito). @sapphire.reads @bookloveer_221b @booksenchanted @sweptawaybybooks @bookishjourney @crimeofrhyme @outofthebex @bokhjerte @bookmusings I’m positive there is a hundred more, but, again, I would take up your whole blog post, lol.
What kinds of books do you like to read?
My favorite is romance all the way. Give me a steamy romance any day and I’ll be happy. I also really love New Adult, YA, and fantasy.
What are three key things you look for in a good story?
I don’t know if I have three key things because I mostly focus on relationships in a book. Not just the romance side, but I also really love a good solid friendship. Characters that can make me laugh, swoon, cry, make a good story for me.
What do you love most about reading, and why do you believe reading is important?
I love that reading can make me feel emotions other than my own. If I’m feeling grumpy or sad I can read a book that will make me laugh. For that time I’m wrapped up in the book I’m reading I can relax my mind from my own reality and immerse myself in someone else’s story. For that same reason I think that makes reading important.
What’s been your favourite read so far this year?
The Captive Prince trilogy was hands down my favorite read this year. I devoured all three books in a week.
What five books should everyone reading this add to their TBR pile?
Five books? Can I do five series?
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat
Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum
What advice would you give to new bookstagrammers?
My advice would be to be yourself. Is that too cliche? I’m serious though. When I first started I tried so hard to be what I thought bookstagram wanted and my pictures were ugly, awful, and made no sense. I was constantly stressing about taking pictures. It wasn’t until I said screw this and started doing what I love, what I’m going at, and how I wanted my account to look did I finally find true happiness in my account and my follower count boomed (without participating in sfs). Oh, and lighting. Lighting is very important.
And finally, where else can we find you talking books?
Thank you so much for having me! This was so fun.
Pop over to @bookwormeverlasting, say hi to Samantha and see what she’s reading on Instagram.
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