Bookstagram (n.)—a place people can go to geek out about their favorite books and not be judged.
After looking in like a kid outside a candy store on a world with perfectly crafted feeds of flat lays, stacks, and bookshelves, with aesthetics ranging from minimalist to dark academia, I decided that I wanted access to all the behind the scenes happenings of this magical world.
I am so glad I did.
I posted my first photo of a heavily filtered Circe by Madeline Miller thrown on my wrinkled bedsheet on December 30, 2020, and still got about twenty-seven comments welcoming me to bookstagram. A little over a year, I now have 500 friends who are as crazy about reading as I am.
Where else could I post a million cast pictures of Shadow and Bone and talk about Dramione fanfic and not get blocked? The same place where I once got a birthday letter from a character in the A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas from a fellow bookstagrammer.
I’ve had conversations with people in my same book fandoms who obsess just as much as me, posted amateur photos that I’m still so proud of because they showcase my lovely books, and gotten to know so many people with amazing book recommendations and even more amazing feeds. I’m telling you I could scroll through book flat lays for hours. Another benefit to bookstagram is that you can post your reading progress throughout the year. It’s helped me stay accountable for my reading goal. There is so much support and likeness to bookstagram that it’s impossible not to feel at home.
Now, you might be reading this thinking, “Wow, what a nerd!” But, if you love reading as much as I do and want to join a community where all reading is accepted, I encourage you to make an account and post a crappy photo of your favorite book. You’ll be surprised how many people welcome you.
And if Instagram isn’t for you, there is also Booktok and Booktwt. How awesome is that by the way? Bookish people are the best.
The new year offers New Year’s resolutions and fresh beginnings for lots of people—more so this year than probably ever before, as we anticipate a vast improvement from the turmoil of 2020. While most of what the new year might bring remains a mystery, we can look forward to new releases by some of our favorite authors. Below are some of the YA fantasy releases I’m most excited about (some have even prompted a pre-order).
Rule of Wolves—Leigh Bardugo. The Grisha novels by Leigh Bardugo have been some of my favorite YA books that I’ve read this year. Luckily for me, I was able to tackle the Shadow and Bone trilogy in its entirety and the subsequent Six of Crows duology to get fully immersed in Bardugo’s mysterious and magic-filled Eastern European world. King of Scars sees the return of a fan favorite from the original trilogy (I know Nikolai was my personal favorite) and Rule of Wolves continues his story.
Release Date: March 30, 2021
A Court of Silver Flames—Sarah J. Maas. Sarah J. Maas has taken the fantasy world by storm with her A Court of Thorns and Roses (or ACOTAR) and Throne of Glass (TOG) novels. Delving into the ever-popular dynamic of mortals, magic, and the realm of the Fae, A Court of Silver Flames is a continuation of her ACOTAR series: this novel follows Nesta Acheron as she contends with political and romantic intrigue in the court of the Fae.
Release Date: February 16, 2021
Chain of Iron—Cassandra Clare. The sequel to Chain of Gold, Cassandra Clare returns to the Shadowhunters universe that has enchanted readers since City of Bones was published in 2007. Over the years, Clare has seen her stories translated to the silver screen as well as the small screen via a hit television series, so the Shadowhunters have become a household name throughout the various crossovers that Clare has created. Her newest series is called “The Last Hours” and is set in Edwardian London.
Release Date: March 2, 2021
Tales from the Hinterland—Melissa Albert. Most of us know The Hazel Wood from its wild popularity on bookstagram and other social media thanks to its gilded and intricately designed cover art that made for perfect book photography. However, it wasn’t just the cover art that managed to enchant audiences, as Melissa Albert introduced everyone to a new world based on dark fairy tales. Tales From the Hinterland is listed as “Book 3” of The Hazel Wood series; however, the description suggests it is to be a collection of stories set in the Hinterland world, which I’m sure is no less exciting to fans of Albert’s novels.
Release Date: January 23, 2021
Legacy of Orisha Book 3—Tomi Adeyemi. Pictured is the cover art for book two of Tomi Adeyemi’s series, as cover art and exact release dates have not been announced for book three. However, Adeyemi has confirmed via her website that the next installment will be hitting shelves sometime in 2021, and so I just had to give it an honorable mention for those that have been following this groundbreaking series. The Children of Blood and Bone and its sequel have revolutionized the YA scene and provided a different type of fantasy novel that is sorely needed within the genre. Influenced by Adeyemi’s West African heritage, these books blend African deities with magic, peril, deep character development, and representation, making The Legacy of Orisha books worth the read and worth the anticipation of the newest book.
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.
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.
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 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’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’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’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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!