I’ve been on bookstagram for half a year now and I’ve come across some struggles every user encounters sooner or later. After searching the web for solutions to my own problems – and not fidning enough helpful tips – I decided to start a new series called bookstagram 101. Here I’m focusing on different aspects concerning our beloved hobby. So my main problem is often the creativity. I love to take pictures but from time to time I do get the feeling that everything just looks the same. Well … on every picture there’s at least one book and so the opportunities are limited. Some days ago I had a huge creativity loss and I was close to hurtling my camera at a wall – not that I would actually do that, because hey. My camera is my precious baby!. I was down and my mood was bad to put it nice. I turned my books in every possible direction but still wasn’t satisfied. And furthermore I had the feeling that I already took pictures of every book I own in every possible combination.

So what do you do if your beloved creativity fails you and you already took 62 pictures of the book you are currently reading for two weeks straight? One of my best friends reminded me in those dark days – yes, I might be a bit dramatic here – that it’s always good to go back to basics. I always want to strive for the colourful and somehow complicate-to-take pictures just to find that my style is a cleaner one with focus on the books and close to no props. So why not take this simplicity and turn it into something new?

Below I gathered some ideas that are fun to do and will give your pictures the little something you might be looking for. I know that most of these ideas are pretty simple but that’s what I said earlier – back to basics is my thing here.

01. currently reading

I know that the book you’re currently reading might not be the best choice – at least when you already posted four pictures of it in the last few days. But sometimes, when your creativity screams for different books and all those special covers and book buildings – why not take your current read and worship it in one picture to show how awesome it looks?

02. tbr pile

Okay, this might only work if you know exactly what you want to read in the next month/weeks. Display the books you are planning to read and look how beautiful this random pile turns out! If you’re focusing on which books might complement each other on a photo, this might be something new. In most cases the books you want to read are a clutter of different colours, heights and editions. So let yourself be surprised how well some “chaos” might be!

03. book haul

Book hauls are only helpful if you bought some books in the last few days. If you’re on a buying ban – like me currently – it’s hard to display your new babies. But in case you went shopping and came back with like 48 bag of books – okay, just kidding! (even if this is a dream for you and me) – this might be a basic picture that you’re looking for. As well as #2 you might find some new combinations throughout your books that you’ve never seen before but are still lovely!

04. shelfie time

If nothing manages to make you happy or feel satisfied, go back and take a good ol’ shelfie. Bookshelves are just great because there are so many different ways to display your pictures and you can use taking a picture as an excuse to re-order your shelves. Also Disney currently has a wonderful thing going on. If you post a shelfie with the hashtag #MagicOfStorytelling, Disney is going to donate a book to an organization in need. How awesome is that?

05. bookish merch

What would bookstagram be without its merch? All-time-favourites are funko pops, fandom candles and jewellery as well a bookmarks and postcards. Of course there are many things more I could talk about (what about posters and pillows?) but you know what I mean. Take out your merch and display it on your pictures! You can use the merch fitting the fandoms or display everything in the same color (but that doesn’t always work!). So what are you waiting for?

06. book spine poetry

This was something I only recently found and it is the most amazing thing ever! Take a look at your books and take out those with names you can transform into a sweet little poem by stacking them over one another! The opportunities are endless and this is also fun if the rest of your day is pretty boring (well, I suppose if your day would be boring you’d have free time and free time means reading time, so boring days are quite non-existent!).

07. book fashion

have you ever thought about turning your books into outfits and make-ups? Or at least wear something that has been inspired by them? No? Then what are you waiting for? This is a whole new level of creativity concerning books and you might as well discover your new favourite outfit.

08. flower power

I love to see flowers included in pictures. May it be roses or baby’s breath (which I can’t get enough of!) – flowers always help to make a picture more vibrant and alive. If you don’t have flowers at home, maybe take some fake flowers and add them? They’re also looking beautiful and can help you with your struggle.

09. fairy lights

Yes, this point sooner or later had to be on this list. I love fairy lights and if I could, I would include them in all of my pictures. Sadly they don’t fit the still sometimes so I have to put them aside for some time. But fairy lights are helping you to give your photos some kind of magic and they’re always lovely to look at.

10. outdoors

Hello there. Yes, there actually is a world behind the pages of a book (I didn’t want to believe it when I first heard it, too). And the outside is a fantastical place to take pictures in it. Whether it is on a field, in a wood or old building, at the sea or just in your garden – there are beautiful places to take pictures at if you just look closely. Personally I found some wonderful places in our garden that I never viewed like that before!

11. drinks

Also famous on bookstagram are drinks – no, I’m not talking about the alcoholic ones *pushes to cocktail aside*. I’m talking about tea or coffee or hot chocolate. Or even iced teas and lemonade in summer. Drinks are always easy to build into your pictures and the loosen them up a bit. If you own a beautiful cup, show it!

12. pets

If you’re lucky and name yourself a pet owner than gently grab your ball of fur and place him or her in your pictures. Okay, this will only work when your pet decides to go along with it – my sister owns a hamster and she is definitely to good choice for taking pictures. Holding still for at least some precious seconds is required!

13. colours

I love to pick books from my shelves that compliment each other. Either in the same colour scheme or in an ombré style. But also certain colour combinations that are pretty. You can do everything you want with them – using only paperback or hardcovers, mixing them, taking the dustjacktes off of your books.

14. all the tags

What I love are certain tag challenges that are going ’round bookstagram at the moment. Sometimes you are lucky to discover something new by being tagged yourself or while stumbling over a post by a fellow bookstagrammer. My current favourite is the #myaestheticself tag (go on and search it, it’s really a thing!) but there are plenty challenges to do! If you ever stumble over a challenge I participated in feel free to do the tag. I’m always sorry if I forgot to mention someone but I love to see it when people nonetheless hop onto that train!

15. yourself

The best part is including yourself in your picture. There are suddenly so many possibilities! You can dress yourself up (see #7) or just hide yourself behind a book (that’s what I love to do). If you don’t find yourself aesthetic enough (which is bullshit because you’re adorable and beautiful!) you can also ask someone else to be featured in your picture. But I love seeing the person behind the account in their pictures and I can’t hit the like button fast enough!

Do you have any ideas or wishes for the bookstagram 101 series? Are there any struggles you endure often and want to share your solution? Don’t hesitate and leave me a comment!

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