You Can Learn a Lot About Someone From Their Instagram Feed

I have a new Instagram obsession and it’s a world that I never imagined would exist! Obsessions themselves are by no means new to me; I constantly cycle through phases where I’m more immersed in one interest than another. Before discovering this new world, my Instagram feed featured mostly travel accounts, with the occasional food accounts. It’s not hard to see where those come from, since they’re so integral to who I am.

I never considered that I’d have to make room for another type of account on my Instagram feed. But, as I grow old and weary (I turn 25 this year), I’ve come to recognize a few familiar faces that continue popping up over the years.

This Instagram obsession is about books. Now, where have I heard this before?

Not just books though. I know I’ve always been borderline psychotic about them. This time, it was about the aesthetics of books, which is currently driving young adults to read, I think! Maybe it’s because I’ve always thought this, maybe it’s because these accounts have tens of thousands of followers, but guys… I think reading is becoming popular.

Like anything, it started with an innocent curiosity Buzzfeed awoke in me: 19 Ways to Make a Next-Level Reading Nook.

Now, they’ve published article titles with “reading nook” in them before and, like a faithful booklover, I’ve clicked them all. This one, however, was different. It was a series of Instagram photos all from one account featuring books in various arrangements or bookshelves in pretty light. Buzzfeed had found the literary equivalent of a basic white girl’s Instagram selfie feed. There’s even a literary equivalent of the word “selfie”: “shelfie!” That’s a real hashtag!

I had to have more. One beautiful account wasn’t enough content to peek through the hundreds of travel accounts I follow. So, I spent a whole day sifting through #bookstagram to find popular accounts to follow. It didn’t escape me that most of these accounts were run by people in their teens. That made me feel a little weird and jealous, but I brushed it off so I could look at gorgeous book/shelf photos every day.

In addition to BookMarauder, I found abookishloveaffair,



A photo posted by Sarah (@newleafwriter) on

Well, you get the gist.

My one complaint is that there seems to be a lack of adult fiction bookstagrams. Everyone is more focused on YA! While I do enjoy a good YA book now and again (in the same way I watch YA movies), I personally feel it lacks a complexity that I want in my reads. I could go on about this in another post. (Did you know 55% of YA book readers are actually adults? Some people have very strong opinions about this.)

I don’t follow these accounts without irony; I’m fully aware of the effort it takes for the creation of these photos. Some of them have different background patterns, some use a variety of props that I’m sure didn’t come cheap–there’s a vinyl player in one of them for heaven’s sake. But constantly rearranging your bookshelves, spending hours taking these photos reveals a bit of materialism in their love for books–something that I struggle with myself.

I didn’t know I wanted some of these materialistic things in the same way I didn’t know this world existed. I lust over these gorgeous bookshelves with a hungry fire, for their colorful book spines and their sizeist arrangements. I even wanted those weird, large-headed figures peppering each account even though I just recently ostracized small, useless pieces of junk from my room a la Marie Kondo (if it doesn’t bring you joy, throw it out!). The collectibles are called Funko Pops, if you wanted to know.

In a moment of weakness last weekend, partly caused by seeing that I’d received a paycheck deposit, I headed to my local Half Priced Books (I’m so happy there is one in my hometown!) and bought 2 books. They are now proudly displayed among hundreds of my other books.

There’s no need for this book frenzy, as if I’m lacking at all. My bookshelves have been the the pride and joy of my room since junior high. In fact, were I a teen right now, I would undoubtedly be the holder of a bookstagram account. But now, I’m content to just inundate myself with beautiful, aesthetic photos of anything book-related. Maybe pop just a few of these on my own Instagram.

Which brings me to my point.

Having spent 3 years working for an English degree in college, it feels weird that I haven’t written analytically about any pieces of literature since then. For a good portion of my online life, I’ve lived and breathed travel. While it’s still going to be a big part of the blog, I think it’s time for a change. I’ve thought long and hard about making a separate blog solely for books, but honestly, I’m not going to blog about books as much as a book blogger does. (How many times can I use “blog” in 2 sentences?)

So, like my Instagram feed, I’m going to start making room for other passions of my life in this space. And I’m interested to see what else crops up!

What surprising interests have you developed over the years?

Twitter | Bloglovin | Instagram

Related posts:

  • Melanie Fontaine

    Okay, how did I not know about this world on Instagram?? Most of the books I read these days are e-books (because Minimalism & my book shelf is getting to small!), but there is something about artfully arranged copies of books that will always make my heart beat faster! ;) I have been really getting into reading again lately, so I’m looking forward to your blogging shift and getting some book inspiration from you! :)

    • Michelle @ Mishfish13

      That’s exactly what I wondered when I first stumbled into this magnificent place! And haha, I realized that I could never be a minimalist, unfortunately :( I’m a collector at heart and the best of things to collect are always physical. Yay about getting into reading! I know Kerri blogged about what she read lately–also I’ve been noticing you update Goodreads like no other because I’m a creep ;)

      • Melanie Fontaine

        Well, I’ve been updating my profile like nobody’s business – and if it makes you any better, I have certainly noticed all your updates as well!

  • Camila @ AdventitiousViolet

    Yay! First those instagrams are amazing! I’ve totally in love with these reading nooks and all! And I love that you may blog more about books – I always find that they make great posts! I’ve been having the same thought actually about having a second blog – I created it and all, but I’m not sure if I want to launch it because two blogs is a whole lot to have haha

    • Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Right?? And I’m glad you’ll read these posts haha… I feel like it’s always a little abrupt when we start coming out of our niches :p Yeah, one blog is already difficult enough for me to keep up with sometimes. Add two and you’ll never see me post anything ever again! What was your other blog going to be about?

  • Anna | slightly astray

    I would love it if you blogged about books!! I think it’s totally okay to start getting into other topics on your travel blog, as we evolve and discover new interest. I started following some art accounts on my main travel instagram, but ended up creating a 2nd account just to follow artists for creative inspiration.

    And I want to see a picture of your bookshelf!! I used to love collecting books and having floor to ceiling bookshelves is like a interior decor dream of mine! Seriously, donating my books was soooo hard!! And now I’m all about the ebooks. But there’s still nothing like browsing a bookstore and holding physical books, sigh…

    • Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Haha it just feels weird since everything was ALLLLLL travel :p I guess I was a little single-minded, haha.

      And yes! I will do a bookshelf photo one of these days. I just got some new additions (aka a record player than I love to death). Even while I was traveling, I couldn’t bear to donate or give away my books! Thankfully, my parents still kept my room the way it’s always been, so I could just store things there when I got back, haha. Ebooks are amazing while traveling, but I really really REALLLY prefer physical copies. There’s just that sense of accomplishment when you’re making your way through a book :)

  • Kerri

    Duuude, go crazy with the blogging, blog about EVERYTHING! I’ll still read it. As long as it’s funny though – none of that boring not funny blogging stuff.

    I’m an eBook kind of person. Moving books is a huge pain in the butt, but I do enjoy holding a book everything now and then. Giving it a little sniff and a flick through the pages, remembering the good times and all that.

    I think I went off topic.

    But seriously, blog about anything you want :) Travel-smavle.

    • Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Hahaha, thanks, Kerri for peer-pressuring me to be funny :P You’re the person my teachers spoke of in grade school!

      Oh, I completely agree. Just thinking about moving any of this out of my room at home is giving me a headache. Idealistically… they will forever be housed at my parents’ and I’ll just have little personal libraries sprouting everywhere.

  • Marcella ~ WhatAWonderfulWorld

    I love love artfully arranged book shelves!! And I too have been browsing similar Instagrams. I sadly had to donate a huge tonne of books for my move but I still managed to bring some, so I don’t have much hope of an arty book shelf, but also because I read Marie Kondo and got sold on minimalism. For now my book shelf dreams will have to be just digital!

    Also I totally think you can blog about anything! It’s fun to switch things up :D Excited to keep reading!!

    • Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Same! I can’t get enough. And haha, let’s compare accounts that we follow ;) I still haven’t read Marie Kondo, but she’s been popping up everywhere that I go. I really like the whole “If this doesn’t bring you joy, get rid of it”:)

      Thanks, Marcella!

  • Holly Hollyson

    I am so intrigued by the Marie Kondo thing, it is on my Amazon wish list now. I do lust after the book shelves too. When we move I get a whole craft room and I will be using it to put my books in. Right now, my books are all colour co ordinated on one shelf and then the ones that I really love are displayed on coffee tables etc but you are right – it is all a bit materialistic. My best friend’s parents have an attic in their house with wall to wall book shelves and an old mattress in the middle of the floor to lie on whilst you read. The books are in no order and in many places the shelves sag down or aren’t even attached to the book case itself because it is so old. But I love that reading space.

    • Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Yeah! Everyone’s buzzing about it and I’m all for the main message of her book. I love seeing how other people organize their shelves. I used to alphabetize mine but then decided that was WAY too much work and I added to it constantly that I’d always have to keep shifting everything around. THAT ATTIC SOUNDS LIKE MY DREAM.

  • Lani

    I’m getting ready to try Instagram. Finally, right? We’ll see how it goes. I just upgraded my phone :P So this post is soooo interesting to me and timely. Thanks for sharing a slice of your latest obsession!

    • Michelle @ Mishfish13

      WELCOME TO INSTAGRAM (and a new phone)! Let’s be Insta-friends :P Thanks for stopping by! For some reason, I never get notifications of your new posts! And then I go to the site to check out what’s up and there are like 50 new posts! AH. I’m a bad blogger friend.

      • Lani

        It happens to me, too. It’s annoying b/c I think I’m being a good blogger buddy and then suddenly a post appears and then I see that I have missed a few or two. I don’t understand how this happens, but I moved my news blogs to another list so hopefully that creates “room.” ;)

        • Michelle @ Mishfish13

          Yay :) Yeah, I recently migrated all my subscriptions to bloglovin’ so I can check it while at work (shhh). Hopefully it makes me a better person :’D

  • Cait @ Paper Fury

    I looove instagram for books (bookstagram!!) and I’ve been doing it for…oh, a year now? I think. :P I should’ve taken note of when I started BUT I DID NOT. hehe. So yeah! I adore most of those accounts you’ve linked to up there! And I seriously am rather addicted and at least post a bookish photo every day. But it’s funny, because I used to HATE cameras. Like I didn’t want to be in front of them or touch them or think about them…and now I actually went and bought my own camera and it’s one of my favourite possessions. <3 So that definitely changed for me due to bookstagram!

    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    • Michelle @ Mishfish13

      Hahaha I’ve checked out your bookstagram as well ;) I’m super addicted too haha. I never used to photograph ordinary photos of my home–as you can see, I write more about travel–but now I’m starting to bring the camera out for cozy moments at home too. It’s getting real over here.

      Thanks for visiting :)