Open Letter Re: THAT Guardian article

1 November 2018


Hello Readers & Friends,

I am writing this response on the train on the way home from work right now. As many of you have probably seen, the Bookstagram community is in outrage over a recent article published by The Guardian which essentially makes fun of, and puts down, the Bookstagram community. 

It's common knowledge that Bookish people are most often introverts, and having somewhere we can engage in conversation over something we are passionate about is only ever going to be a positive thing. This isn't like fashion 'gramming where there is a pot of money at the end of the rainbow if you get 10,000 followers (I would know, having worked in influencer marketing.) The book community doesn't reap those rewards, they will often just be offered ARCs and free book copies, reinforcing the fact that we do what we do because we genuinely love it. There is no ulterior motivation, we aren't doing it to 'look cool'.

The community is supportive, creative and full of amazing and wonderful intellectual people who want to take beautiful photos of a subject they love (their book collection) rather than photos of themselves - in an age where narcissism is rife thanks to the selfie, surely this is a breath of creative fresh air? Isn't it nice to celebrate something other than artificial good looks?

We can safely debate topics and themes, share our favourite reads and warn others not to waste money on over-hyped titles.  It's not about 'pretending to read a book' its about sharing our passions and supporting writers and talented creatives. 

It's opened doors to authors who may not have been discovered without the support of Bookstagram, myself included.  And to suggest novels are only cool now just shows how ignorant the journalist is. We've always been here. The Bookstagram community has forever existed, it's just now we have a huge platform to express ourselves and talk about books on. And the community is clearly so popular that people like you stumble across it and without even attempting to write an intellectual article about it or understand the people behind it, has turned to cheap journalism which attempts to hitch a laugh at our expense. 

As a journalist graduate, author AND bookstagrammer, I'm embarrassed I had to read your unwanted opinion. And judging by the comments on the article, so is everyone else. 

C X 

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