Inspiration is sometimes hard to come by, especially when the subject matter constantly is books. My personal worry is that with time my photos will start to look the same. There are only so many ways to turn a book. Book stacks are popular but there’s not much to them beyond y’know, stacking books.
Feeling stuck, the same questions keep circling: What to post when you’ve not read a book in weeks? Does a lack of book hauls preclude you from posting new photos on Instagram? How can you update your bookstagram account regularly when you’ve run out of ideas?
When my well of ideas runs dry, I like to go back to basics and work from there. I find it particularly useful when I’ve been in the middle of the same book for over a week. That’s why I’ve decided to share this list to help you out when you’re looking to push your bookstagram creativity. For the most part, these are fairly simple points but they’re a good anchor for photographing relevant content.
1. Currently Reading
You joined bookstagram to talk about books. A great place to start is always the book you’re currently reading. Bring it out with you and snap it in a café, in an open field or feature yourself reading it in your favourite nook.
2. Planning to Read
If you’ve been stuck on your current read and are on the brinks of posting your fifth photo of it in a row, look to the book(s) you plan to read next. Looking forward to something else makes it easier to bear with a book that’s boring you but you refuse to abandon.
3. Latest Hauls
Book hauls guarantee that you post books you’ve not featured on your account before. They also generate a lot of buzz because everyone likes shiny new things.
Rows of bookshelves are bookstagram’s favourite eye candy. Visit your local indie bookstore and you’ve got yourself a gem on your camera roll.
Home away from home, libraries are havens. If you’d rather keep your wallet in your bag, then head to your library rather than bookstore.
As I’ve already mentioned, bookshelves are hot favourites. If you’re in dire need of inspiration, use that as an excuse to decorate your shelves.
7. Point to New Blog Post
With so many social media platforms, sometimes we spread ourselves too thin. Double up your latest blog content and package it for Instagram. You might just send new visitors to your blog this way.
8. In Your Bag
People are naturally curious. Satisfy your friends’ and followers’ curiosity and empty your bag. Arrange everything in an artful flat lay, and you’re done. You do carry a book with you wherever you go, right?
9. Bookish Merchandise
A popular way of establishing fandoms is related merchandise. It’s no wonder that bookstagrammers who decorate their photos with bookish paraphernalia have high engagement rates.
10. Reading Nooks
Show us a slice of your life through your reading nook. Are you the sort of person who reads in bed? Or did you set up a dedicated corner to enjoy your latest reads? We want to know.
11. Fan Art & Lettering
The bookstagram community is very supportive and encourages all sorts of talents. There’s also a more personal quality to fan art because of the effort that into it. Don’t be shy! Share your creations alongside the books that inspired you.
12. People Reading in Public
This is something I like to do when I travel. During those times I have few books to work with, which means less options as well.
13. Book Tags
Check out the photos you’ve been tagged in. #ombrebooks, #bookthroughphone, and so on are wonderful ways to pull yourself out of a funk. Someone else is telling you what to post. You just need to set up your frame accordingly, then snap away.
I’m sure your favourites make you smile. That should encourage you to explore ways to show them off in the best possible way.
15. Book Spine Poetry
Waiting for inspiration that won’t come will just prolong your unwanted bookstagram break. Get in the groove and force your mind to get creative. Book spine poetry is a fun way to do that.
16. Recommendations (thematic)
Pick a theme and roll with it. Say, you’re in the mood for mystery. Feature five books on bookstagram, and ask others for their mystery recs. Talking to others will suck you right back into the community.
17. Just Finished
No time to write a book review of the book you finished? Take to Instagram and share some quick thoughts.
18. Photo Challenges
Seek out book photo challenges. Working with prompts makes it much less daunting when you’re lacking inspiration. Keeping up with a photo challenge ensures the you remain consistent with your schedule. You could start with #BookishScene: Project 52 which has weekly themes — perfect if you don’t want to commit to a daily challenge.
Book fairs, blogger meet-ups, etc inject life into your bookstagram account. They also allow those who can’t attend to live vicariously through you.
20. Outfits Inspired by Books
Fashion meets books when you gun for a bookish #ootd. If you love dressing up, inject that creativity into your bookish photos.
Add colour and vibrancy to your photos with flowers. They bring a lot of pep and hopefully cheer you up as well.
22. Tea or Coffee
Most bookworms are glued to their mugs. That makes them very handy accessories for book photography. If you find a single book looks too lonesome on its own, pair it with your tea or coffee.
23. Pets Snuggling with Books
Most adorable photos above all are pets cuddling — even better when books are involved. Capture those golden moments for some spontaneity.
24. The Great Outdoors
Fresh air helps to clear our heads. Step outside with your books and look for interesting spaces. This might just help you overcome your bookstagram rut.
Take along a bunch of books if you have leftover baggage allowance. A new environment will surely inspire you to take photos.
Food and books, books and food; both are vital. Better still if you cooked up a fancy storm in your kitchen. Figure out how to distribute those yummy portions virtually and you’ll be everyone’s best friend for life.
27. Colour Block
Stacks of books in the same colour are very striking. Pair with items of similar colours to accentuate them. Do this with several different colours and you’ve got that many more photos to post.
Rainbow colours are some of the most darling photos on bookstagram. Rainbow book stacks and rainbow coordinated bookshelves probably receive the most love. Share your take on Instagram and the excitement that bubbles over from others might just bring you the encouragement you need to get creative again.
Tarini K says
so inspired, thank you for the inspiration!
Tarini K recently posted 2019 creative reading challenge | checklist
How fun! This was a great post. I definitely use the tea and food trick a lot and my shelves are organized to look ombre.
I love this list! As a fellow writing blogger, I’m looking to grow my social media presence and increase brand recognition.
Bookstagram seems like a wonderful, relevant catalyst for increasing recognition and I look forward to putting these 28 post ideas to use!
Thank you so much for posting this! You’ve been my bookstagram inspiration:)
Paige Hadley says
Awesome post Josephine! This is just the inspiration I needed. Hope you’re having a great weekend :)
Natalie @ Flowers in my Books says
I took a break from bookstagram for a few months because I was feeling uninspired but I’ve been wanting to get back into again and this post has supplied me with so many great ideas! Thank You!
Natalie @ Flowers in my Books recently posted Things I’ve Been Loving: April Edition
Tamara @ Tamaraniac says
This is so helpful! Bookmarking this page for when I need photo prompts! <3
Jeann @ Happy Indulgence says
This post is fantastic Jo! I like to keep my bookstagram fairly current to what I’m reading, but I do sometimes take photos weeks in advance before I post up the review for the blog, so I can point it to my blog post. Lots of fantastic ideas here!
Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted Blog Tour and Review: When We Collided by Emery Lord
Lyn Kaye says
Thank you for the ideas! I’m trying to get my Instagram more bookworthy, but I feel like I fall pretty flat in that department. I always struggle with the “props” and the lighting, and the kitties always want to knock over my set up.
Erin @ The Book Archive says
I am currently thinking of creating a bookstagram, so this is super helpful. I am a bit worried considering the impending doom of Instagram’s changes from chronological order to “popular” order. What a horrible decision, huh? And I LOVE photos featuring animals, but getting my cats or dogs to pose with a book is still a work in progress! Thanks for sharing!
Erin @ The Book Archive recently posted Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish People on Social Media
Aila @ One Way Or An Author says
THIS PAGE = BOOKMARKED
Seriously, sometimes it’s so easy for me to lose inspiration for Bookstagram posts. I don’t even have a theme, like so many people do. :P it’s pretty much whatever I think looks good, haha. But all these suggestions are stellar!! Thank you :D
Aila @ One Way Or An Author recently posted Book Review: A Criminal Magic by Lee Kelly
Kristin @ Simply Bookish Things says
OMG you give me so many great ideas! I’m gonna take some bookstagram photo’s now, haha! Lovely post :)
Kristin @ Simply Bookish Things recently posted Why You Shouldn’t Hesitate To Re-read Your All Time Favourite Book or Series
Alexa S. says
I love this post! Bookmarking it for my future reference, because I can use all the prompts and ideas I can get when it comes to Bookstagram ;)
Sara Strauss says
OMG you and this post are such life savers! These are such great ideas! Sometimes I get stuck and have no idea what to take pictures of and this is great! I even kind of want to print this and have it on hand at all times! You probably think I’m kidding, but I’m totally not! Love this!
These are just nice ideas! I am totally doing a bookish #ootd soon! And I would have my pets cuddling with my books… if I had pets. :)