Why I’m Leaving Bookstagram (For Now)

It was around two in the morning and I was lying in bed, thinking about how I haven’t posted on bookstagram in a while. I remember shaming myself for not posting reviews, which would mean I would lose followers, which would mean …

Which would mean …

Wait a damn minute.

Which would mean nothing.

I sat up to adjust my pillow (and my priorities) and realized something that’s been a long time coming: I wasn’t interested in bookstagram anymore. It served its purpose, and it is time to move on.

A little history

I joined bookstagram in July 2019. I realized that I was posting a lot of photos of the books I was reading, and all of a sudden, people were following me and asking me for book recommendations. I thought, “wait a second … maybe I can turn this into a thing!” After some quick research, I learned that bookstagram was, in fact, already a very big thing. I decided to take the plunge and made the switch. I grew my followers from 300 to 1,000 in four months. It was so exciting! I made friends, joined an engagement group, and felt my creative itch go away.

Then, COVID hit. Soon, everyone was isolated and forced to stay indoors. All I had was my husband, my cat, my books, and a tiny screen that connected me with thousands of bookworms around the world. Throughout the darkest times of the pandemic, I would turn to my little corner of the internet for support. Like everyone else, bookworms were looking for empathy, for laughs, for an escape.

Bookstagram really did that for me, and I am super grateful for that. I have made friends who have become lifers. They have been there for me more than some family members. When I was pregnant with my daughter, presents from the book community came pouring in. I was absolutely floored. There are people from bookstagram who I talk to every day, and I honestly cannot imagine my life without their light and humor and presence.

OK, so, why are you quitting?

I wouldn’t necessarily say that I am calling it quits, but, I’ve decided that I need to take a break from the ol’ bookstagram. But that doesn’t mean that I will stop reading. Oh, no no. Reading I will be doing. But updating my page regularly and contributing to a space that I am no longer interested in? That I will not be doing!

Between my job, taking care of Nora, traveling for work, and other responsibilities, the immense pressure and stress that I feel to post just isn’t worth it. I don’t feel like fighting the algorithm. I feel like I have nothing unique to contribute to the space, and I do not have the capacity or interest to try. There are so many incredibly creative minds on bookstagram — from their engaging reels and insightful book reviews to their book challenges and intricate photos. They are amazing, but I am just not one of them. They are kickin’ butt, so go follow them!

I want to be present in my own life instead of scrolling on a phone. I want my daughter to see me reading books, not screens (kindles don’t count!) I want to be with my daughter, soak in every moment because time is a thief. Bookstagram was stealing that time from me, so I am saying goodbye.

So will you still write about books on here?

Yes! Among other things. I toyed with the idea of making and distributing my own newsletter (I might still do this …) but, for now, I will continue to update my blog with book reviews, monthly wrap ups and TBRs, postpartum posts, and other life updates. My interest is writing, and while bookstagram offers an outlet to write and reach a wider audience, I am happy with my smaller corner of the world, writing my thoughts on a blank screen with little to no character restraints 🙂

So, thank you for following along. If I found you on bookstagram (or if you found me on bookstagram), I am happy to stay connected with you. Thank you for your support and friendship during the darkest of times as well as the brightest.

Be well, all. And onward.

August Wrap-Up

What are the lyrics to that Taylor Swift song?

August is already behind us, and we are well into September. Books happened, but I put down a lot more books than I finished.

Here are the two books I read in August:

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare

City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments #2) by Cassandra Clare

I’ll save us all some time by sharing that I’m glad Ian only bought me the first three books in this series.

On to September!

August Hopefuls

It’s hard to believe that summer is winding down, yet here we are. It’s funny; I’m usually excited for spooky season to begin, but with a baby, I want time to slow down. Let’s keep the summer for a while longer.

Before Nora, I was able to read 6 books a month. Now, I am happy to average 3. So this month, I will aim for 4 books and see how it goes! Here’s what I plan to read this month:

The It Girl by Ruth Ware

I’ve always enjoyed Ruth Ware’s books, so I am looking forward to this one. It does seem a little cliche in the plot, but wondering if I need cliche right now and something easy to read. This one is top of the list for August.

The Winners by Fredrik Backman

I was lucky enough to get an ARC (advanced reader’s copy) of The Winners, the last book in Backman’s Beartown series. I cried when I got it, no joke. I anticipate reading this one slowly, so it might make the August list, might not. Regardless, I know it’s going to be heart-wrenching and amazing.

Adult Assembly Required by Abbi Waxman

I really liked this author’s book, The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, so I expect this one to be just as cute and quirky.

City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare

Here I go. I am starting Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter Chronicles. I found this website that says to read the first three in The Mortal Instruments and to move on to the others. We shall see.

July Wrap-Up

What a fun month! I continued to navigate working from home, full-time mom-ing, and I also started a fun 365 Days of Movement challenge where I dedicate time to moving every day! We also went to the beach for a week, and Nora crushed her first family vacation!

I read three books in July, and DNFd a fair few. Bleh. Anyways, here is what I read this month!

The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun

What I liked:

  • This book was pretty darn funny!
  • The inside scoop on reality TV — ‘cuz we know it’s not real.
  • Inclusivity: LGBTQ, diverse characters, neurodiversity, and mental health.

What I didn’t like:

  • Honestly, nothing. I loved it! 🙂

Trigger Warnings: anxiety, panic attacks, depression, conversations about OCD and mental illness, drinking, alcoholism, familial estrangement, homophobia and racism (challenged)

Finlay Donovan is Killing It: A Mystery by Elle Cosimano

What I liked:

  • This book was super quippy and fun!
  • The plot/idea behind the book is wildly entertaining.
  • That this book is a series!

What I didn’t like:

  • The main character is “eh.” She makes a lot of obvious mistakes that can lead her to trouble but she somehow gets away with it? Not very realistic.
  • Some of the book was too detail heavy, and could have benefitted from some editing to focus on plot movements rather than mundane “tell not show” details.

Trigger Warnings: misogyny, rape, sexual assault, domestic abuse, cheating, nonconsenual drugging

Beautiful Little Fools by Jillian Cantor

What I liked:

  • A different, feminist take on The Great Gatsby.
  • Thoroughly researched, interesting characters.
  • Clean, shifting perspectives.
  • Entertaining book with a killer ending.

What I didn’t like:

  • Some parts were too top heavy with Daisy’s backstory, but other than that, a solid book!

Trigger Warnings: domestic violence, adultery, war, gun violence, sexual assault, homophobia, abuse, alcoholism, death of a family member, death of a parent, car violence, murder