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18th March 2021

‘I like big books and I cannot lie’: Behind the bookstagram

Books and Instagram are an unlikely match but bookstagrams continue to grow in popularity in the UK. We spotlight another account for the second article in our series on UK based bookstagrams.
‘I like big books and I cannot lie’: Behind the bookstagram
Bookstagram bookshelf series feature: @i_likebigbooks

Last week we considered ‘The rise of the bookstagram over lockdown’ and spoke to @takeabreakbookclubb. The article is the first in a mini series spotlighting various Instagram accounts.

The popularity of books on social media has helped to promote reading as a hobby amongst millennials and Generation Z. The UK based bookstagrams are predominantly run by women. So, we’ve focused on chatting with accounts founded by young women.

Books have been the perfect distraction for many people over lockdown, a form of escapism. So second up in my series on UK bookstagrams is @i_likebigbooks. The account is run by Leah, and was founded in December 2020.

Bookstagram spotlight: @i_likebigbooks

What’s been your best lockdown read so far, and why?

I read Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine in the first lockdown, and it was my favourite read of 2020. It was unlike anything I’ve ever read before. Eleanor’s character was so well-developed, making the book actually funny, as well as heartbreaking in places.

Tell us about the book that began your love for reading.

I don’t think I could remember that far back! My mum got me my first library card when I was six weeks old, so all I could say is that my love for reading goes as far back as that!

How long ago did you start your bookstagram account?

I started my bookstagram account in the middle of December, but only properly started posting on it towards the start of the new year.

What inspired your account name?

So a few years ago my mum got me a bookmark that said ‘I like big books and I cannot lie’. The bookmark is a play on the song ‘Baby Got Back’ which Ross sings in an episode of Friends. I’m the biggest Friends fan ever, so the inspiration for my Insta handle comes from that basically!

What motivates you to post on your books insta?

I love connecting with all the amazing people I have met through my account. The community is so lovely and supportive, and it’s great hearing other people’s opinions on books I’ve been reading and reviewing.

How important are aesthetics with book pictures on insta, and what’s your vibe?

Aesthetics are probably more important to me than they should be! I really take pride in how my feed and posts look, and I have a mostly pink/blue/grey vibe, with some cats thrown in for good measure.

Which of your posts has received the most engagement so far?

My most liked post is of a book order I did towards the beginning of starting my account – it features my cat Mabel which I think explains the likes!

@i_likebigbooks most popular Instagram post so far. Image credit: Leah Murphy.

What advice would you give to someone looking to set up their own books account?

When you first start out, don’t compare yourself to other accounts that also recently started, and already have 500+ followers. At the beginning I definitely did this and it wasn’t helpful. You will get your ‘break’, you just have to stick with it and be patient. Post what you want, when you want and try not to get caught up in the social media side of things.

Please give Leah a follow at @i_likebigbooks and give her bookstagram some love. If you are interested in joining a friendly reading community, then Gals Who Read (a Facebook book club) is a great place to start for anyone who identifies as a woman.

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