My 2015 in Books

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My 2015bestnine on Instagram 🙂

 

Same time last year, I made a 2015 Bookish New Year Resolution, and now I am reviewing 2015 if I was able to stick with these resolutions.

Discover New Authors: Yes! I was able to discover new authors, by new I mean an author I have not read anything by even if their works were really popular, and fell in love with their works! It was always nice to read a book from an author you know nothing about. My favorite new authors for 2015 are:

  • Anna Quindlen – my best friend mentioned this author to me as she wanted to read Still Life and Breadcrumbs, if I am not mistaken. I saw a copy of her book A Short Guide to A Happy Life and loved it! What a positive woman she is!
  • C.P Cavafy – ahhhh! He is a now a favorite poet!! I lovedddd his poems! So achingly beautiful.
  • David Sedaris – oh my goodness this guy is soooo funny, I couldn’t contain my giggles when I was reading Me Talk Pretty One Day
  • Sarah Kay – I think I am a little obsessed, I love all her poems, she’s my person! Haha
  • Renee Ahdieh – oh wow I really enjoyed The Wrath and The Dawn, probably one of my favorite reads of 2015. So yes, I want to read more from this author!
  • Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner they write so well they made me a Scifi Convert! Haha

Read More from a Genre I have not explored:  I fell a little short with my promise here, I said I would read more historical fiction, SciFi and more nonfiction. I’ve not read much from this genres, so I am carrying this over to 2016. But hey I guess I made a little progress here, I’ve read more non-fiction this year, my favorites were Im Special and Other Lies We Tell Ourselves to get Through our Twenties by Ryan O’Connell and Candy Darling: Memoir of An Andy Warhol Superstar. I failed to read any historical fiction, yeah I know such a bummer, but I was able to read one SciFi which was These Broken Stars.

Less YA: I always find myself drawn to YA, I could not resist it. I think I have read a lot of YA for 2015. I need to lessen that on 2016, but not completely stop reading them. Why? They are all feel good and easy read. I wouldn’t want to completely stop myself from reading them.

Read More Classic:  Do Little Black Classics from Penguin count? If yes! Then I was able to stick with this resolution haha! My favorite penguin classic would be Remember Body by CP Cavafy

Read More Poetry: Oh yeah! I was slaying this one! I’ve read a LOT of poetry books this 2015! Great poetry year for me, I must say! Faves: No Matter The Wreckage, Remember Body, The Year of What Now, Ugly People Beautiful Hearts, Memories and Twenty Love Poems and A Song of Despair.

Less Book Buying even Lesser TBR: Did I really write this? I don’t remember. What is this?

Buy The Ones I really Like Well I did say Booksale and Warehouse Sale are exceptions, so I was still able to stick with this one! Ha! I am a terrible person haha

Take More Beautiful Bookish Photos: Hahaha! I wrote this as a resolution? How shallow could I get? Haha! But hey I could see the “improvement” on my photos. So… hahaha

Read More Underrated Books: Uhm, nope, was not able to fully grasp this one. but hey I really tried.

So those were my resolutions last year. I’d say I did a pretty decent job, all things considered. I hope 2016 will be a better reading year for me and for you guys too!

I picture myself reading more Adult fiction next year. I really wanted to branch out, be diverse as possible, I know I have been saying this before, but hopefully this time I could really really stick to it.

And oh I am also unhauling some books too, I might do a giveaway here and there, so watch out for that.

How was your 2015? Did you “improve” as a reader, I know I have! 🙂

 

 

 

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Top Three Wednesday + Updates

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I am so sorry I was not able to post my Top Three Wednesday yesterday, as I was super busy catching up with friends and doing mundane things. Ha! Our supposed to be Top Three Wednesday is: Books That Changed Your Life in lieu of the coming new year.

I decided to carry it over to January 2016, why the hell not, it is still a fitting topic, for a brand new year! hehe, stop, I may or may not be making excuses, but let this pass, okay? haha.

So for January I took the liberty again of choosing the Top Three topics, again, you could comment down below the topics you want and we can do it on February and the succeeding months. 🙂

January 6: Top Three Books That Changed Your Life

January 13: Top Three Favorite Female Characters

January 20: Top Three Favorite Male Character

January 27: Top Three Nonfiction Books

So that should cover us for the whole month of January. Comment down below the Top Threes you want to feature on your respective blogs!

Happy New Year and enjoy the rest of the Holiday break! Cheers to you guys!

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These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner: Book Review

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Synopsis: Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive – alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth.

The Starbound Trilogy: Three worlds. Three love stories. One enemy.

Date Published: December 10, 2013

Publisher: Hyperion

No. of Pages: 378 pages

Date Read: December 2015

Source: Bought it.

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One word: Weird. The good kind of weird. But I tell you the story is as beautiful as the cover!

Sci-fi being an uncharted genre for me, it really took me a whole while to start reading this book, I’ve had it with me for more than a year now and never get the urge to finally crack its spine. Plus the hype when I bought it was so intense then, and as most of you know I tend to veer away from hyped books so I waited a whole year to finally read this one. And this moment has never been sweeter. 🙂 It’s true what they say, the perfect book will come to you at the perfect time.

At first I thought this ain’t my kind-of-book, definitely not right up my alley. But because I wanted to widen my reading experience, I bought it. I could not also discount the fact that the beautiful cover really drew me in. Tell me who could resist that?

The only extent of SciFi genre I have encountered is Cinder and it is not even super scifi. See my palpable lack of knowledge about SciFi books. So I have always put this at the bottom of my to-be-read pile. I was avoiding it, so to speak. I was easily lost in the terminologies and space stuff, and was having a hard time picturing a scene. But boy, I really tried hard. I wanted to understand the hype surrounding this book, I want to love it too. I was past 50 pages when I stopped reading for almost two weeks. I just lost interest, I could not exactly point my finger as to why, I blame the holiday season though, but still not enough reason to abandon a book right? Maybe I just couldn’t wrap my head around the terminologies and my evident lack of interest contributed to it too. I was distracted with other books, the ones I could see myself really enjoying (*insert* Game of Thrones). But then one evening, I was staring at my bookshelf, forcing myself to go back and read Game of Thrones, but perpetually failing. I looked at the cover of These Broken Stars and thought to myself, I ought to finish it before the year ends, so I picked it up, hoping to all odds the story will be more interesting than I have expected. And yes, before I know it, it is past 2 am and just couldn’t put the book down! What a turn of events! And the next days were spent huddled in a corner with this book in hand over-eager to know what’s about to go down.

 The book leaves every chapter with somehow a cliffhanger, that you just couldn’t stop reading until you know what the hell was going on. And even then you are still left baffled with too many questions you are so dying to know the answers to. And yes up until the end I was predicting what was about to happen, and none of my predictions came close to what was really happening. The authors made it so engaging that you could not miss the tension, the build-up of the story, the whole being at the edge of your seat situation. Boy! I loved every bit of it.

Lilac and Tarver’s story of survival is really unique and weird if I may add. The whole novel was a good kind of weird, and to be honest I got creeped out at some parts. (Especially that one in the forest, okay I’ll stop there I don’t want to spoil anyone).

Lilac’s and Tarver’s character were consistent. I loved how the romance did not happen in an instant, there was the development as the whole story progresses. I also cannot discount the cuteness of their banter and how they seem to hate each other so much at the beginning. I loved how badass Lilac can be and how caring Tarver is. Although everything was not answered and explained thoroughly in its ending, I am satisfied with how the story ended. I could not wait to read This Shattered World.

I also commend the authors for giving such a great story, it was not mediocre at all. It was a different taste to what I normally read, and for that I am thankful. This book made me want to read and explore SciFi genre. And oh yes, I’ve found favorite new authors! 🙂

So for those having a hard time getting into SciFi genre, this book is definitely a good start.

Enjoy the rest of your vacation and Happy New Year!

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“I know a thousand different smiles, each with its own nuanced shade of meaning, but I don’t know how to reach the few feet away to touch this person next to me. I don’t know how to talk to him. Not when it’s real.” 
― Amie KaufmanThese Broken Stars

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Top Three Wednesday: Christmas Themed Books

 

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Ho! Ho! Ho! Christmas is upon us! Can’t believe this Friday is Christmas already! Have you received early Christmas presents? I have!! 🙂 I will show all the books I got for Christmas! You see, readers are the easiest ones to give presents to. 😊

So for this Wednesday it is our Top Three Christmas Themed books, I have not read a lot of it. I have read a lot of short stories though. The ones I have read are all so cute and just plain amazing so I wouldn’t want to miss the opportunity of sharing them with you.

1. Sundays at Tiffany’s by James Patterson

I was so in love with the movie not knowing it was based on a book. So when I found out, I looked for a copy and devoured it as soon I got them. Thanks to my dear friend Nica for helping me get a copy. The movie was different from the book, but it was equally amazing. I think this book was the reason why I loved books with angels. So to those who have no idea about this book, imagine your guardian angel falling in love with you, and you to him. ❤ Add the fact that most of the book transpired during Christmas season. There sure is something magical about that. It will give you that happy and satisfied feeling and a little crazy dream that what if it happens to you too.

Now I can see myself rereading this one. It has been two years since the last time I read this! Oh Michael, how I’ve missed you! ❤

2. Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

This book screams cuuuuuute in all the right places. Book like this is the reason why I love YA and find it hard to resist it. Dash and Lily’s voice are both fun to read. Also I loved the fact that both of the characters are bookish and the book started inside Strand Bookstore. If you want a that feel-good book, this one is definitely the one to read!


3. My True Love Gave To Me by Various Authors edited by Stephanie Perkins

Ha! Sorry had to include this one even if I am not done with it yet. I am already half way through though so don’t give me that look. It had mixed reviews, but that doesn’t change the fact that this one is perfect for the holidays. As I’ve said, I have not read much novels set on Christmas, thus explaining why this one made it to my list.

This book is written by various authors, including Laini Taylor (the main reason why I bought it haha) Rainbow Rowell, Jenny Han, Stephanie Perkins and many others. Each story is unique from the other.

So there you have it! My Top Three Christmas Themed Books! I hope everyone is having a good time this Holiday Season!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!
Oh I will be posting Bookish Resolutions and a review of my reading life for 2015 and my Top 15 books of 2015. Hope you could check that out!!
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Top Three Wednesday: Most Read Authors

Heyya! And I am back with another Top Three Wednesday! If you wish to do this with me check this link. Today we are doing the Top Three Most Read Authors.

Oh the authors we love so dearly, that we just couldn’t get enough of their works so we need to read every thing they have written, yes even their grocery list! 🙂

I noticed that I’m not the type of reader who binge read books by one author. I fear that if I do so I would end up not loving them just as much. I’ve always wanted variation. For an instance if I just finished a contemporary book, my next read would be a fantasy one. I never read one genre alone, say for the whole month. I don’t want monotony, i don’t want to end up having read too much fantasy to last me a lifetime. Like I’ve said I want variations. Also applies to authors, I seldom binge read, so when I do, it means I loved the author to a fault. But even if I love them too much, I pause and pick other books before I get on with the other books by said author. I hope I am making sense here. Haha.

So without further ado, here are my Most Read Authors.

I’m basing this one on my Goodreads account. 🙂

1. Laini Taylor

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Laini Taylor

I first heard of Laini Taylor last 2012. I have always been intrigued by her book The Daughter of Smoke and Bone. When I read the synopsis of it on goodreads, I immediately added it to I want To Read category. Back then there were no physical copies of her book in our local bookstore, so I didn’t had the chance to read it not until 2013. When I found a copy of Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Days of Blood and Starlight. I bought them immediately. And boy  I was taken aback. The writing style was really good. I remembered putting on my review  that it was BACON, that good! So from then on my love for this author flourished. The Daughter of Smoke and Bone is my favorite trilogy to date, maybe of all time. So yeah, that says a lot about this author. I have also read Lips Touch Three Times which was also so good. She has this way with words and world building that you just could not get enough of. She writes so vividly that you could actually feel you are part of the world.

I wish she would write a new series, it’s been a long time since her last book Dreams of Gods and Monsters has been published. I am in need of my Laini Taylor fix. And oh I am praying to everything that is holy that she  visits the Philippines!! I’m dying to meet her!!

2. Tarryn Fisher

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Tarryn Fisher, my spirit animal. Haha. I have only read three of her books, and each of them holds a special place in my heart, especially the book The Opportunist, that book spoke to me in more ways that one. I’m not saying that what has transpired in my own life is the very same thing written in the book but events there are too familiar that I could see myself in it. She writes characters that you’ll love to hate and hate to love. Her characters’ complexity makes all her books very engaging and total page turner. She doesn’t write mediocre stories, you will find yourself at the edge of your seat all the freaking time. She writes so beautifully, it would tear your heart out.

I was so happy to have met her! She was such an amazing person and very beautiful too! Now Tarryn, please visit the Philippines again!!

3. Rainbow Rowell

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To date she has published five books Attachments, Eleanor and Park, Fangirl, Landline and Carry On. I have only read the first three books. My favorite amongst the ones I’ve read is Eleanor and Park. That book holds a special place in  my heart, I read it during the darkest days of my life and I’m so glad it kept me company through the ordeal. It is true what they say you are never alone when you have a good book.

Rainbow Rowell’s books give you that warm and fuzzy feeling. Like warm blanket on a cold rainy afternoon, like a cup of tea to soothe you after a tiring day. She’s one of the contemporary authors I highly recommend. You can never go wrong with a Rainbow Rowell book. And what I love about her books are they are different. Distinct from one another that you will never get tired, as they don’t run the same story or same plot. Each book has something different to offer. And most of all it can be enjoyed by teens and adults alike.

Please visit the Philippines too, your Pinoy fans are dying to meet you!

 

So there you have it, my Top Three Most Read Authors!! So who made it to you list?

 

Have a nice day ahead!

 

Next week we will be talking about Top Three Christmas Themed Books. 🙂

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Top Three Wednesday: Romance Novels

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Hi! I am back with Top Three Wednesday! Today is all about Romance novels (a genre I really really love! Probably my favorite genre of all, I’m hopeless romantic like that, so deal with it, haha)

So my top three would be a no brainer. If you have been following me on Instagram, you probably know by now how obsessed I am over these books.

1. This is A Love Story by Jessica Thompson

This one still holds the number one spot. I just love this book so much I cannot even tell you the full extent of it. I loved it so much I skipped class just to finish it (if you have been my classmate in law school, you’ll understand the gravity of this, I don’t miss classes except when I am too sick, so yeah). Haha those are good times. This book is so well-written, the characters relatable, the plot will simply draw you in. It was one of the books I had a hard time putting down. Oh what I would trade to read it for the first time. Some found it dragging, or the pacing too slow, but for me it was just perfect – just what the whole story required. It was also heart wrenching, I cried buckets! You can check my review here.

I highly recommend this one to all the hopeless romantics out there. This book is just for you, you wouldn’t want to miss this one out. I wouldn’t want to go into much details, I want you guys to experience it yourself, then come back to me and talk about all the unsettling emotions, prepare a tissue please!

Here are some quotes form the book:

I believe that love is an overwhelming, all-consuming force, and when it’s genuine you can’t really ignore it. No matter how long it takes. It knocks down your door by force. It keeps you awake at night. It plagues your thoughts and burn your soul. If it is love, they won’t need me at all. By telling my daughter that the man of her dreams loves her too, would I not be getting in the way? Meddling with fate?”

It must be difficult loving someone that much and having to pack it away into a little box and pretend it isn’t there’
That was a very good way of describing it. A little box. Packed full of love. Love that I had never really been able to express, so it was banging away at the sides and screaming to be let out.
‘Yes it has been. And really, it’s a little box I carry everywhere with me, because I guess the love never properly goes away.”

 

2. The Opportunist by Tarryn Fisher

Oh boy! This book is a whole lot of another story. This book ripped my heart out, crushed it beyond recognition. I swear I needed a new heart after I read this one. The whole series was my favorite, but among the three this one holds a special place in my heart, I could identify with the main character in a lot of ways. Their love story was not the typical kind, it was full of complications, making the story so captivating, it will grip you like a vise. You can check my review here.

Here are some quotes from the book:

“You can only give your heart away once, after that, everything else will chase your first love”

“I think that after the first time you give your heart away, you never get it back. The rest of your life is just you pretending that you still have a heart.”

 

3. Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

Ahhhhh! This book is currently my favorite Colleen Hoover novel. This book is not your typical love story, it is not the mediocre kind. It was well-executed and the plot perfectly laid out. It will give you that warm and fuzzy feeling in the end. And yes read it whilst listening to the playlist, you’ll appreciate the whole novel even more. You can check my full review here. 

Here are some quotes from the book:

“How ever, I’ve learned that the heart can’t be told when and who and how it should love. The heart does whatever the hell it wants to do. The only thing we can control is whether we give our lives and our minds the chance to catch up to our hearts.”

“We try so hard to hide everything we’re really feeling from those who probably need to know our true feelings the most. People try to bottle up their emotions, as if it’s somehow wrong to have natural reactions to life.”

 

So there you have it guys, my Top Three Romance Novels. 🙂 I didn’t put much details on each book, to avoid spoiling you guys. 🙂

Please feel free to do this Top Three Wednesdays with me! Next week we will talk about Most Read Authors! It would be exciting!

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Life of A Bookstagrammer

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I started bookstagram June of 2014. It wasn’t called as that then, it was just merely an instagram account solely dedicated for books or other bookish things. I made an account just to pass the time, to destress, and just look at other people’s ever growing collection of books. I have stalked so many accounts wishing I could own that amount of books too someday. I didn’t own a lot then, as I was not really a hardcore reader not until college, except for the occasional assigned readings in high school, Sweet Valley High and Goosebumps, I was just an ordinary teenager who lounges in front of the tv, or chat aimlessly over the phone with my classmate gossiping over some lame things high school girls worry about. Now I envy those high school kids these days, for they are born with so much options when it comes to books. They have everything now. Back when I was their age, we didn’t have enough YAs talking about vampires or wolves, we didn’t have Rainbow Rowell or Stephanie Perkins. Yes we have JK Rowling then, which I was more than grateful, I was acquainted with Harry when I was 14, but other than this, we didn’t have much. Now don’t look at me like that, I am not that old, I am only 26.

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So I was not exposed that much to books when I was younger. For an instance I have only read The Great Gatsby last year, as opposed to all the readers who probably have read it when they were 16. Because of this, I hardly call myself a reader, I was a late bloomer so to speak. I have yet to read classics, and I wish I could be given an entire year just to read them, or get paid at reading them that would be even more amazing. To date I have only read 194 books (yes I’m basing this on Goodreads) this is not probably all the books I have read, but these are the ones I could remember.

What am I driving at here? Im saying, bookstagram helped me a lot. I mean a huge deal. I have learned about books, I probably wouldn’t pick up on my own. I have discovered authors I wouldn’t know about had it not been for the constant recommendations of other bookstagrammers and the greatest take away of all this, I get to meet a lot of amazing people whom I share the same passion with. I have met a family (holla to my Bookish Pinoy sisters), I’ve met amazing new authors, I’ve made real friends. And it was such an amazing experience. I have fangirled like crazy, cried like a heartbroken girl over a death of a fictional character, swooned over a fallen angel, laughed my heart’s content over a witty character all that and so much more. And I get to widen my horizon, try out a genre I wouldn’t even dare try before (hello Sci-Fi haha, but I’m still hesitant about Horror, I’ll get to it errrm someday, I hope haha).

So onto what you came here for. Haha.

I have been asked a couple of times how to start a bookstagram, I don’t think I’m the right person to ask, but here is my 2cents.

I say, you don’t have to own a lot of books, or brand new or newly released ones for that matter. Work with what you have. You don’t need to ask your parents to buy you this and that because it is what is in (hi teens I’m talking to you), don’t go starving yourself because you wanted that newly released book in hardcover so you could have something to flaunt on your bookstagram feed. You buy books to read them and love them, not for aesthetic purposes. I have known far too many people who do this, buy books just so they could have something new to post on their accounts. That’s now how bookstagram works, that’s not how life works. (I’m sounding like a preacher here, but listen to my point, haha) Social Media is as shallow as it is, we all know that, we post things people would like to see, even if it ain’t true at all. But don’t fall to this kind of mentality. Bookstagram isn’t about showing off, it’s about sharing what we love – books. And please don’t go asking people to give you books, this is not only annoying but, I mean what on earth? Don’t do that, it’s not nice. Let them give it to you wholeheartedly. They buy their own books with their own hard-earned money, and you will just blatantly tell them to give you books, sweetheart we barely know each other. (I have been a victim of this, I can’t believe people do that, I mean what the hell?!) If you can’t afford the books, save up for it. Live within your means. You don’t have the latest book in the  Remnant Chronicles? IT.IS.FINE. You will not die because you don’t own it yet. You’ll live, I promise! My point is, it’s okay if you don’t have the latest books yet. Nobody will stone you for that. Enjoy the books you already have, I’m sure you wanted them just as bad before you got them.

And don’t get me started with hyped books. I hated hyped books. What I normally do is let the hype die down, then that will be the time I will read it, save of course for occasional exceptions. But that’s how I do it. At least I’m very good at avoiding spoilers (but oh my good lord, I just read a Heart of Betrayal spoiler and I want to strangle the person, kidding! But seriously, why would you do that? Weren’t you hugged enough when you were a kid?)

Okay enough of my preacher side.

How about taking photos. Well, I’m not one to talk about taking great photos, I think my photos are just fine. Well, look at the other accounts, their photos are so crisp! I envy them so much, especially the ones with autumn leaves as backdrop, haha those are my bookstagram goals, but sadly there is no autumn here in the Philippines so I just work with what I have which is mostly a white bedsheet! White bedsheets always make the perfect backdrop throw in a coffee or a cup of tea and a bookmark and voila you have an instagram worthy photo. I remember when I was just starting bookstagram, whenever I take photos of my books, my siblings will look me as if I’ve lost it, with their what-the-hell looks coupled with a question: What do you get out of it? They ask me that all the time. And I just laugh at them, and say I get a lot of likes haha and a lot of friends and authors asking me to review their books, so yes, I get a lot out of it. Now, it is not something foreign to them, my sister for an instance would bring home Christmas themed donuts and will say “I bought them so you could include it in your photos, this will look nice!” or my brother who used to tease me whenever I take photos of my feet with what I am currently reading, will say “Take your photos here, the floor looks nice.” haha! I swear I now have a very supportive siblings! My other sister even got me Mr. Tea to include in my photos!

Mr Tea gets to work in Rhik's cup of lemon verbena.

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And yes natural lighting is the key! Plus a few apps to help you improve your photos. I use Snapseed to adjust lightness, contrast, saturation and all that. Then use VSCO for filter. They have a lot of filters to choose from so play with it. Phonto i use to watermark my photos. I didn’t watermark my photos before, but now I have to, because there are a lot of instagram accounts that used  my photos without my permission whatsoever, let alone some credits, worst, they even crop the photo where the watermark is placed. Because of this I had no choice but to put watermark. After all this is covered by copyright. So I reserve all the rights over them. Ha!

Consistency is also important, you want your feed to look uniform and cohesive. Make it pleasing to the eyes. Plan a feed you would want to look at. 🙂

 

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Next. Be friendly! Talk to people! Reply to the comments on your feed. Whenever asked for recommendations, give one. Praise other people’s feeds, do a shout out from time to time. Hold a giveaway if you wish. Make bookstagram worth your while.

And the most important advice is to enjoy. Make it fun and light, something you spend your time on whenever you’ve been so stressed with school, work, or life in general. Make it a breather. Make it something  you would want to be a part of.

It’s never about gaining many followers, it is meeting new people. It is sharing our love for books. It is a community. So don’t stress yourself over it, just have fun and be surrounded by people who love books like you.

Happy bookstagramming! 🙂