How to Navigate Bookstagram Lingo: A Glossary

Whether you simply enjoy interacting with bookish Instagram accounts or you’re an emerging Bookstagrammer yourself, you may have come across some unfamiliar terms or abbreviations. With social media, these acronyms are always evolving, so don’t feel embarrassed if you find yourself confused reading Bookstagram captions! We’ve prepared a mini glossary to help you navigate the niche lingo of the Bookstagram world.


Book Hangover:

If you love reading, you’re probably already familiar with this feeling. A book hangover describes the sadness or emotional distress you feel after you’ve finished a great book. Usually, you have a hard time transitioning back into reality after enjoying the fictional world of your last read. You might even have a hard time starting a new book when you’re in the middle of a book hangover. This term is often used jokingly in Bookstagram stories.

Bookstagram:

So, what is Bookstagram, anyway? Bookstagram is a category of Instagram accounts that cover bookish material, just like us! Bookstagrammers can be book bloggers, book critics, or people who just love to post about the books they’re reading. It’s a great online platform to discuss, review, and discover new books.

Book Title Acronyms:

Bookstagrammers commonly use acronyms to discuss books they are reading. This shortens the book title, but—of course—this can be very confusing for beginners! We’ve gathered a sampling of acronyms we’ve commonly seen on Instagram.

  • HP = Harry Potter
  • THT = The Handmaid’s Tale
  • ACOTAR = A Court of Thorns and Roses
  • ACOMAF = A Court of Mist and Fury
  • ACOWAR = A Court of Wings and Ruin

CR:

CR stands for current read. Many bloggers will use this abbreviation on their bio descriptions so you can see the book they are currently reading. So, if someone’s bio reads “CR: THT,” that means they are reading The Handmaid’s Tale at the moment. (And probably preparing to watch Hulu’s dramatic spinoff series!)

DNF:

DNF’s are the books that readers did not finish. Bookstagrammers usually use this term in their stories to explain that the book wasn’t captivating enough for them to finish. If a reader posts, “this book was a DNF unfortunately,” that means you won’t be hearing the bookstagrammer’s review anytime soon—they’ve abandoned the book for something that fits their reading preferences better.

MC:

MC’s are the main characters of the books you are reading. Careful! This is not to be confused with emcees (also spelled MC’s), who are masters of ceremonies in the rap and hip hop world.

OTP:

OTP’s, or “One True Pairings,” are fictional couples that you love and root for. On the other hand, NOTP’s (pronounced No-TP’s) are the fictional couples that you wish would just steer clear of each other. You don’t approve of NOTP relationships.

POV:

You might recognize this term from your junior high school years. POV stands for point of view, or the perspective from which the story is told.

RTC:

When a bookstagrammer marks a title as RTC, this means that there’s a review-to-come. Once the reader has finished the book, they will share their thoughts with you so you can decide if you want to research the title further.

Shelfie:

A shelfie combines the words “shelf” and “selfie.” Yup, you guessed it! Shelfie posts are photos of readers’ bookshelves. Shelfies can range from very simple bookshelves to highly decorated and curated shelves. #sheflie is a fun hashtag to follow if you’re looking for some design inspiration for your reading room.

TBR:

Do you know that pile of books you’ve always meant to read but haven’t had a chance to start yet? That’s called your TBR list (or to-be-read list). If you’re like us, this list grows longer every single day!

WIP:

If you follow a bookstagrammer who is also an author, you might notice them talking about their WIP. This is the story they are currently writing, also known as their work-in-progress.


We hope this glossary helps you navigate the unique lingo of Bookstagram the next time you open up Instagram! In the meantime, be sure to finish up your CR so you can tackle that ever-growing TBR list!

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