Greetings everyone. This is the advent of a new segment called Behind The Lens.
Bookstagram has been the best decision of my life. I simply love the community and the people in it. Over at bookstagram, I follow some of the very brilliant and talented people. I want you all to get acquainted with them for many reasons. For starters, they have been an inspiration to me and I learn a lot from them every day. And, secondly, this segment is a mark of fostering relationships amongst us and spreading the love for books which unites us. So, I intend to go behind the scenes by calling these lovely bookstagrammers on the blog to share their experiences with all of us.
Let me quickly tell you about how this segment is going to work. I am going to invite bookstagrammers on the blog and will ask some questions from our guests. Later, I will compile their answers for you to read.
Moving on, our guest for today is Esther from braveliteraryworld. Esther is from Taiwan and lives in the United States of America. She has excelled in the field of teaching. Her unique way of encouraging conversations over her captions is something which sets her Instagram posts apart. Let’s start with the questions now.
Mini: You have more than 6k followers on Instagram. You have started Booktubing recently. How did it all start? How did braveliteraryworld happen?
When I was a senior in high school 5 years ago, I took a photography class. One assignment was to photograph something we cared about, and naturally, I chose my books. I didn’t do well on that assignment because my teacher said that my photos told him nothing about the books. “It didn’t make me want to read,” he said. Around the same time, I saw Ursula of @ursula-uriarte’s photographs on Tumblr, and was blown away. I realized what my teacher was talking about; her photos made me want to read immediately.
But then college came, and I forgot about this for a while. But the summer after my junior year, I suddenly remembered those beautiful photographs that once made me want to pick up a book, any book. I decided that I wanted to try bookstagram. My first post was on May 23rd, 2016.
Mini: Talking about books now. Is there a particular book which is close to your heart? If yes, which one and why?
Yes! Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys is a book that is very very dear to my heart. I love classics, but, as a woman of color, I have resented how both women and POC are portrayed by some classical writers. Jane Eyre is a prime example. When I read WSS, which is a prequel to JE from the point of view of Bertha, Rochester’s Creole first wife, I felt emotions so acutely it was like I had lived that life. The struggle of not belonging, not being heard, and not being seen as human resonated with me. I recommend everyone, especially women of color, read WSS.
Mini: If you decide to write a biography or a fictional story based on your life, what would you call it?
Child of God.
Mini: Has Bookstagram changed you as a reader? If yes, what are the changes you have experienced as a reader?
Bookstagram has changed me so much as a reader! But the most important two changes is the ability to express what I liked/didn’t like about a book and an exposure to a wide range of books. I genuinely enjoy talking and building relationships with the people on Bookstagram, and I am extremely grateful for this community.
Mini: You are an inspiration to all the newbies. It is a popular myth that you need an expensive camera and props to get started on Bookstagram. What is your take on that? Any tips for all the people who are willing to join Bookstagram?
That is so sweet! And I would encourage anyone who wants to join, to just do it. It is 100% a myth that you need a fancy camera. I have a DSLR, but most times, I just use my iPhone. As for props, during my old theme, I only used a blanket from Target ($15) and fake flowers ($2 – $5) or mugs ($5 – $10). For my theme now, I don’t use any props. The most I do is buy a cup of hot chocolate to pair with a book at a cafe. If you want to try Bookstagram, just do it. We’re the nicest ever.
So, this was Esther talking. I really hope you enjoyed reading her answers. And, she has been able to reach out to you on some level. I am listing her social handle in case you want to see more of her amazing work yourself. That’s all for this week. Thank you for reading.
Happy (Bookstagramish) Reading!