Students showcase their love for reading through bookstagram accounts

Kaiya Little, Senior Life and Arts reporter

Thumbing through the pages of a thriller, Emily Bradley’s eyes pick up the pace, moving quickly from line to line. Among the many books on the human dimensions of organizations sophomore’s bookshelf, Bradley said mysteries are her go-to. 

“(Reading) makes me feel like I have more than one life,” Bradley said. “I get to experience different things that I never would… It makes me feel like I have more understanding of other people.”

Eager to share thoughts on her favorite reads, Bradley (@emilyandher.books) said making an Instagram page dedicated to reviews encourages her to make time for her favorite hobby. Bradley recommended those looking for a community to share their love for books join the trendy wave of bookstagram because it provides new online friendships and a place to enjoy books with likeminded people. 

“You get to make new friends that don’t live right next to you or go to your school, but you also get to get a piece of their culture if they’re not in the same country,” Bradley said. “It’s nice to see how they think of books … You become friendly with people who could be thousands of miles away.”

After becoming an avid reader during quarantine, biochemistry and computer science senior Siddhi Patadia (@bookswithsiddhi) took to Instagram, where she began posting aesthetic pictures and thoughtful reviews paired with questions to her growing audience in November 2021.

“I’m able to have these kinds of conversations and make people think critically about their reading habits, while also thinking critically about my own,” Patadia said. “I genuinely believe that the media that we consume … influences who we become as people.”

Patadia said she often feels overwhelmed by the rigorous nature of social media and tries to institute a loose schedule for posting and takes breaks from the app every Saturday.

“It does get exhausting … Every time I feel pressured to post, I step away from the platform and focus on why (I’m) even on Instagram: because I like reading,” Patadia said. “You have to do what’s sustainable for you, and I’ve learned to not only accept that but also be content with that.”

Encouraged by an online challenge for the new year, psychology sophomore Lindley Ferguson (@lindleyreads) said she started her account to highlight the books she uses as a form of escapism.

“(Young Adult) books are fun to read because (they can be) about people that are discovering things for the first time — what it means to be independent, what it means to fall in love or find themselves,” Ferguson said. “(I also) like a good contemporary romance (book) … there’s something about a man written by a woman, nothing compares.”

Now a few months old, Ferguson’s account houses carefree snapshots of her books and honest captions meant to foster discussions in the comments. Despite increased attention from students, Lindley said she uses her page as a personal archive for her feelings about books that move her.

“There’s a certain side of bookstagram that’s very cultivated. People will plan their posts and have backdrops and these gorgeous aesthetic accounts, (but) that’s not who I am,” Ferguson said. “I love to post and just word-vomit my thoughts on a book … and see how it impacted me because one of the best parts of books is how they impact us.”