Today I caught up with Annie, the Aussie bookstagrammer behind the lens at @thebookcube, to talk bookish pics, Insta tips and fave reads.
I love Annie’s account for its diverse selection of beautiful, natural-looking pics that give a sense of her beachy Gold Coast lifestyle as well as her current reads and reviews. She’s also one of the friendliest bookstagrammers around and always happy to chat books and reading recommendations. Here are just a few of her gorgeous snaps:
Annie, 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 Annie and I live on the Gold Coast, Australia! When I’m not on Instagram, which is hardly ever (oops), I’m either working at a bookshop, shopping for books, chilling down at the beach or taking my puppy for a walk. When I started my bookstagram, I didn’t actually know other accounts really existed so basically I just thought one day, ‘let’s take some photos of books and upload them to Instagram’. It’s now become my full-time hobby and I wouldn’t change it for the world!
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?
I strongly believe in promoting the importance of literacy and bookstagram became a way that I could openly share my love for books whilst inspiring other people to read. I love to feature Young Adult books because getting younger people to read is something I also aspire to do. I tend to stick to one theme of having bright and colourful posts but this changes quite often; who knows what theme is next?! My account has drastically changed since I started it and I haven’t deleted any of my original posts, so flicking through my feed you will see the many changes that have taken place. The freedom to change it up every now and then is fantastic—it all depends on what I want my photos to look/feel like!
What camera(s) and editing software (if any) do you use for your pics?
I use my iPhone 6S to take my pictures and VSCO Cam to edit them! The filters on VSCO Cam are absolutely to die for, so if you want an easy-to-use, flawless editing app with hundreds of filters to choose from—definitelu pick this one!
How often do you post and do you plan posts in advance or are they more spontaneous?
I’m very spontaneous with my posts, so one day I might post up to three times and another day I might not post at all. It all depends on how busy I am with work and other everyday life stuff but I do try to post as often as possible. Bookstagram has become a big part o my life so I’m always pretty much scrolling through the pretty photos that pop up on my feed.
What do you think makes a good post?
Personally, I think a good quality photo that shows some creativity is a good post. However, everyone is different and I believe we all have something special to bring to the bookstagram community!
What do you love most about being part of the bookstagram community?
I am forever grateful for the amazing friendships that have come from bookstagram. From attending meet ups to even getting to travel interstate for book events, I can’t begin to explain how amazing this community is. Everyone always wonders why I’m so addicted to posting photos of books but honestly, it’s way more than that. It’s a place where I’ve bonded with like-minded people and I think that’s what makes it so awesome!
Is there anything you’d like to see change/improve in the community?
Just like every other online community, you get the people who like to copy others’ work or judge people on what they’re reading or posting and this is the only part that bugs me. I believe that is the only thing I would change in the community because everyone has a right to post and read what they want without harsh criticism or people stealing posts they’ve put so much effort into.
Who are some of the bookstagrammers who inspire you?
There are way too many to list here but I would like to mentionTamsien from @babblingbooks who I’ve been friends with since day one near enough! Her photos are absolutely stunning and I love how she clearly puts so much thought into what she does. Then there’s the likes of @seelieknight @crimeofrhyme @youngadultbookaddict and many more who continue to inspire me every day! Not only the bookstagrammers too but the publishers and their authors also make up a massive part of our community and I wouldn’t be without them!
What kinds of books do you like to read?
I mainly read books from the young adult genre and within that I love contemporary books. Books with a strong focus on mental health are probably my favourite types because they often express the stories we rarely get to hear or know about in real life.
What are three key things you look for in a story?
Three key things I look for in a good story would have to be:
- The power to keep me reading—I need stories that grab me from the word go
- Characters I can relate to—this makes me connect to the book
- Chapters or shorter sections—this may sound very weird but I can only keep going with a book when I have chapters to start and stop between. Long books without any real sections don’t keep me going!
What do you love most about reading and why do you believe reading is important?
I love the fact that reading can take you from one world to another. It’s like hitting the pause button on real life and getting to escape into a fictional world where you can lose yourself in the characters and become an entirely different person. Only readers get to live multiple lives! Reading is so so so important to me and that’s why I love promoting it, it’s something so special that can pass on a tonne of knowledge nothing else can.
What’s been your favourite read so far this year?
So far this year, my favourite read would have to be The Yearbook Committee by the wonderful Sarah Ayoub. Addressing mental health, feminism and other important social topics, this book appears, to me, to be at the forefront of Australian Young Adult literature. It’s fun and enticing whilst educating younger (or even older) people about what’s going on in our society. A definite five star rating from me!
What five books should everyone who’s reading this add to their TBR pile?
- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
- The Yearbook Committee by Sarah Ayoub
- The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
- A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
Such a mixture of books but they all hold a big place in my heart!
What advice would you give to new bookstagrammers?
Post what you want to post and don’t follow the crowd! Just because you see what is popular doesn’t mean that is what you have to post. Go ahead and take photos as you want, be really creative and bring something different to the community! I think in such a creative spot, being true to yourself is important. Go ahead and post a blurry photo—it’s got a unique touch to it! Take a pic of that non-fiction book you’ve just devoured—it deserves to be seen just as much as the popular fiction! Most importantly, have fun and don’t take it too seriously. We are all here to have a good time talking about books!
And finally, where else can we find you talking books?
For any enquiries, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pop over to @thebookcube, say hi to Annie and see what she’s reading on Instagram.
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