Because the best thing about bookstagram is also the worst thing about bookstagram: the opportunity to interact with so many people.
***Note: Whenever I come across a frustrating/sketchy BG account, I generally try to do the adult thing and unfollow, block if necessary, or just move on. However, as you’ll see below, I do lose my temper on occasion. I wouldn’t necessarily suggest that method, but I won’t deny how satisfying it is in the moment.***
1. Buy Likes/Followers
Wait…you went from getting 4k likes on some photos to getting 10k likes on every single photo? Overnight? Without changing anything on your feed? And your account is growing like crazy while the algorithm is cutting the rest of our numbers in half?
Yeah, we know what you’re doing, and we don’t like it. First, you’re a jerk for making everyone else feel bad about their own account engagement when they look at your unbelievable numbers. And second, you’re an idiot for buying likes/followers instead of books. You don’t deserve that money.
2. Leave lots of passive aggressive comments
Before bookstagram, I had no idea how many strong opinions were floating around about the “correct” way to organize one’s books. Every single time I post a photo of my bookshelves, someone, somewhere, becomes deeply offended that my books are arranged by color and feels the need to say so. My bad, I didn’t realize that posting a photo of my bookshelves was the same thing as me barging into your home and demanding that you organize yours the same way.
3. Use words like “authenticity” a lot
If you only share photos of yourself lounging in your most glamorous outfits, in the cleanest part of your house, reading the prettiest books you own, please STFU about your “quest for authenticity.” Instagram is inherently deceitful because we’re able to edit our lives into a series of picturesque moments. When you insist that your account is a 100% accurate reflection of your life, you’re really just insulting everyone’s intelligence.
***Note: These are usually the same people who insist it’s “not about the numbers” but still lose their goddamn minds when they reach 50k. Like, please, tell me again about how authentic you are.***
4. Give a lot of unsolicited advice
This is one of my favorite bookstagram sins because it’s so fun to watch (ambulance chasing is a real hobby of mine).
Every few months or so, someone I follow will decide to delete their bookstagram or take a break because it’s a strain on their finances or they’re not spending enough time with their family, etc. This is fine and completely understandable. HOWEVER. More often than not, the person in question decides to go out with a bang by typing up a amazingly condescending “farewell post” all about the evils of social media and the importance of putting down your phone and living your life!
The most ironic thing about this is that these enlightened people are, in fact, using social media to spread their message about the dangers of social media. And that’s why your writing teacher was constantly reminding you to remember your audience.
5. Repost someone’s photo without credit
Just GTFO. We all hate you.
(This also applies to people who credit the owner of the photo in a sketchy manner, like hiding their account name at the end of 30 hashtags. You know who you are.)
6. Scold people for not liking the same books as you
Unless you’re the author, it’s ridiculous for you to take a negative book review personally. When you criticize a person for writing anything less than a glowing review, you are completely missing the point of bookstagram and stifling meaningful discussion and critical thinking.
7. Shamelessly promote yourself
It’s a huge pet peeve of mine when I get a comment or a DM from someone asking me to check out their Instagram account, or their blog, or their book, without interacting with me in any way. They’re not following me, they don’t “like” my photos, but would I please give them a shout-out? I usually ignore these people on principle, but more often than not they get persistent and aggressive, in which case they get blocked.
***Note: these culprits are often self-published authors. I love you guys, and I love free books, but please stop being the used car salesmen of bookstagram. You’re embarrassing yourselves.***
8. Harass people about their giveaways
If you have to send someone multiple DMs asking if the giveaway winner was announced yet, I’m going to go out on a limb and say you didn’t win.
Additionally, if you’re the kind of sore loser who berates a person when you don’t win their giveaway, I think I speak for all bookstagrammers when I ask you to please a.) grow up or b.) leave bookstagram.
One of the number one reasons I’ll unfollow a person is if they complain all the time. No, I don’t want to hear about it every single time someone offends you and no, I don’t want to hear every little detail of your extremely frustrating day.
Let me be clear: I am all about honesty. It can be extremely emotionally draining to force yourself to write nothing but positive captions all the time. However, as soon as your negative posts outweigh your positive ones, you may want to find yourself a nice journal instead.
10. Get easily offended
This is my not-so-subtle way of pleading with you to take this article as the satire it is intended to be and refrain from sending me any angry comments/DMs about it. I’ll probably just screenshot them to share for my next article anyway.