In case I hadn’t been super clear about this fact… I’m an extremely introverted person. Blogging and #bookstagramming is ‘safe.’ I have a screen between myself and the community that I’m building around myself here.
Despite the screen in between, this is still a big step outside of my comfort zone for me. I am the face of my own opinions on here. I interact with fellow book lovers, publishers, and authors. I expected that part to feel like work and be anxiety inducing – be the reason I dropped this new path I’m embarking on.
I was wrong.
Building a community surrounding books was surprisingly easy. Just showing up on Instagram and using the bookstagram hashtag finds you swimming in potential new friends. Meandering through the super popular pages is fun, and super aesthetically pleasing, but the community building starts on the small level. I immediately started chatting with some other brand new bookstagrammers and from there we introduced each other to the people we had introduced ourselves to, and suddenly you’re surrounded by book lovers who are always super supportive in the comments section of your posts! Easy as that.
Community is more than being supportive on the pictures. It’s dropping into people’s DMs when you see they’re having a bad day or that something has gone wrong. Lending support or sending good energy to people you haven’t necessarily met in real life yet when their real life gets hard. It’s noticing when their birthday is and reaching out to make sure they’re having a good day. It’s celebrating the passed exams, the child’s birthday, the new dog with them. It’s remembering the small stuff. It’s offering to help them reach their goals in whatever way you can.
I expected to find a very superficial community in the book world. Therefore, it was pleasantly surprising when I discovered there are people who are genuinely interested in not just their follow count, or how many page views their blog get, or how many Goodreads reviews their book gets. There are people who remember that I have an anxiety disorder and reach out if my posts are too far apart to make sure I’m just busy and not having a bad day. There are people willing to ship you books because they think you’ll really love this one – even if they dont usually let people borrow books from them. There are people who will have deep conversations about their lives. There are people who are willing to drive hours to meet up!
I hope everyone is having a good time being involved in the online book community. I’m always excited to grow my own community on here, so please – feel free to reach out! I’m always around with a supportive ear or just to chat!