Bookstagram as haven for literary lovers | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Jen Lansangan’s Bookstagram account displaying visually appealing photos of her books. —@ONECHAPTERADAY.PH INSTAGRAM
Bookstagram as haven for literary lovers
Jen Lansangan’s Bookstagram account displaying visually appealing photos of her books. —@ONECHAPTERADAY.PH INSTAGRAM

With over 25,000 posts under the hashtag #bookstagramphilippines, it’s evident that this social media phenomenon has transformed how people in our country engage with books—whatever genre it is—in this digital era.

As more readers share their genuine enthusiasm for books, this platform is poised to motivate people to develop their reading habits. Moreover, this hub would help boost the presence of Filipino authors and promote their newly released novels.

Bookstagram has been a virtual gathering place for literature enthusiasts. Once you start your own book account and consistently post your photos and reviews, you’ll be supported by an engaging community of avid readers worldwide. You might even meet your lifelong besties, who will “buddy read” with you or shop with you at your favorite bookstore.

Besides finding a sense of connection, Bookstagram is where you’ll level up your photography skills. An elegant stack of your to-be-read pile, your newly organized bookshelf (a “shelfie”), or a flat lay shot of a book at a café—these are some ways to capture aesthetically pleasing photos of books. It’s definitely an avenue to express your creativity and personal style.

Diversity and discovery

On Bookstagram, you’re free to share your opinions about your current read. It’s a safe place where people appreciate diverse discussions and perspectives. Your authentic feelings about a book is certainly encouraged, and your followers will appreciate you for providing a well-written review—one that does not expose spoilers.

As you read other people’s reviews and pick up more books they recommend, eventually you’ll discover your next favorite book. It could be a literary work that will give you a rollercoaster of emotions or provide you with valuable life lessons. That could also be the piece of literature that you will encourage your future children and grandchildren to read.

Koji Arsua’s Bookstagram account featuring captivating pictures of his books. —@KOJI.READS INSTAGRAM

Since the pandemic, bookish content has taken social media by storm, whether through Instagram, TikTok or YouTube. Jen Lansangan, Mikha Pinto and Koji Arsua are among those inspiring book-related content creators who have provided insightful book reviews, shared visually pleasing photos, posted engaging reels and encouraged others to read regularly.

Lansangan, a 30-something civil engineer, has been a bookworm since college. In August 2022, she decided to create her Bookstagram account,, as a motivational tracker to maintain her daily reading habit. Last year, she finished almost 50 books and currently, her go-to genres are historical fiction, literary fiction and memoirs.

“Prior to ‘booksta,’ I was bent toward self-help books. Personally, I am an enthusiast of self-development and improving one’s character, probably also because of my work, which is in line with sales. But then I wanted to really explore other genres and find out what I am really inclined with,” Lansangan said.

Inspiring nonreaders

Pinto, 23, a recent speech communication graduate and a soon-to-be business development employee, started her Bookstagram account, @mikhareads, in 2022 and since then she has read over 140 books.

Mikha Pinto’s Bookstagram account showing various eye-catching posts of her books. —@MIKHAREADS INSTAGRAM

“In 2023, I read 47 books across various genres. While literary fiction (my fave) holds a special place in my heart, I rediscovered my love for romance books last year. Additionally, I particularly enjoy reading translated fiction,” she said.

Arsua, a millennial Filipino-Japanese writer and a self-confessed book nerd based in Manila, created his Bookstagram account, @koji.reads, in 2021 and loves reading horror novels, queer stories and books by Filipino and Japanese authors. “The most rewarding aspect of being a content creator is inspiring nonreaders to pick up a book based on my recommendation,” said Arsua, who has read 74 books in 2023.

These three literary lovers said that they have found kindred spirits through the Bookstagram community. Just through digital interactions, they have forged friendships rooted in a shared passion for books.

“The fact that I based my undergraduate thesis on Bookstagram is enough proof that the community has had a significant impact on me,” Pinto said. “Like other online communities, Bookstagram has facilitated the formation of solid relationships among people bonded by their love of books.”

Apart from meeting new friends, Lansangan said she wants to use her account as a way to promote the works of Filipino storytellers. “My goal is to read more of our local authors’ penned books and use my page as an avenue to showcase the prowess of Filipino authors,” she said.

Through a vibrant online presence and compelling content, Arsua wants to show that reading—a solitary, quiet activity—is fun. “I want to make reading more inclusive and less intimidating,” he said. “I believe that reading is for everyone. It’s just a matter of finding the right book.” INQ

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