So after a long, long, long time here is a brand new guest post by bookstagrammer Tooba Pasha, who actually sent it to me weeks ago but combine laziness with a bit of social life (which is usually attending family) and tada, you have an ignored blog. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it. Happy reading!
Bookstagramming isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Instagram, especially in Pakistan. From promoting businesses to sharing gorgeous selfies, political opinions, travel stories to showing off photography skills, Instagram has been everybody’s playground. Except book nerds. But now times are changing.
While people might call us useless and indulgent millennials (especially us desi kids), the bookstagram or book Instagram community defines itself otherwise. Hashtags like #bookstagrampak and #creative_pakistan encompass these talents, with each hashtag covering over 16,000 photos. And the lengths these bookstagrammers go to, from buying books to taking gorgeous photos is remarkable.
The community loves its world. And by displaying their photographic skills, they share their love for the world with like-minded people. They spend their hard earned money to buy books, props, camera equipment, and so much more, just so they can portray their photos the right way.
But is that all you need to be a bookstagrammer?
Well, if you’re in Pakistan equipment can be a little hard to come by. But as a bookstagrammer myself, with an increasing followership, I’m here to provide you with some help!
Finding the right books
Usually, people ask me how I get so many books and where do I get the money?!
First, I order from books from places such as Readings and libertybooks.com. For Readings, what you see is what you get. If they have the book on their website, they will send it to you, and for a good price.
The Liberty Books stock needs an overhaul, so usually I ask both, the online store and the physical branch itself if they have the book. They’ll have it in either one or the other. But sadly, mostly they don’t. This is why I opt for Readings.com.pk for many of my book purchases.
Secondly, I work. So each month, I put away some money and spend it on books and equipment needed for my Instagram only. I also order book subscription boxes so it’s not so difficult for me to get props.
Thirdly, I started my book collection by scavenging through second-hand book stalls. Along with MANY old books, they have a great collection of popular series and standalones novels as well. In fact, I found a copy of Milk and Honey just last week, all wrapped in a plastic cover, ready to be sold. But this doesn’t mean they’ll have every popular book under the sun. Sometimes you need to go on a hunt. A combination of dedication and luck is required.
We have book subscriptions too!
Like I mentioned earlier, the number of book subscriptions is increasing in Pakistan too. Owlpost, probably Pakistan’s most popular book subscription service sadly closed their business this year in April. But there are still numerous services that offer some great boxes as well. Some are better than others, some are more expensive. But they’re all trying and succeeding in the competition. If you can pay, order one box each month then get a subscription to the one you like.
Here’s a list of the ones I’ve ordered from in the last year.
Find the right community
The Instagram community is very welcoming. But you have to follow some rules and etiquettes if you want to get ahead. If you’re purely interested because you love books, there’s no issue. But be warned that you will be tempted.
The community is warm and thankfully creative! There are a number of artists offering book art, crafts and jewellery. We even have a couple of bookish candle makers! All they need is the support of every book lover to grow.
The Pakistani book-loving community is like any other. We all love to be creative, we want to share our enthusiasm and we can’t help but spend our pocket money on books. So even if you’re a part-time reader, you can still dive into the bookstagram world and find recommendations, words and individuals that will astound you and enthrall you!
And if you need any help, I’m right here. I offer a lot of help through my blog on bookstagramming, and write reviews as well.
T. Pasha, better known as inkandteacups, is a Harry Potter fan who takes her love of books a bit too seriously. She also posts her rants on her blog (link below) and constantly challenges people to contradict her opinions. She wins every time. Here she tells everyone (including me too) all there is to know about being a bookstagrammer, especially those in Pakistan.
Follow T. Pasha on Instagram: inkandteacups
Follow her blog: Books, Life and Everything in Between!
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