The cardinal sins of bookstagram, according to me

It’s the time of the year where I’m supposed to be thankful thankful thankful, and while I am thankful for so many things, including the most wonderful bookstagram community, I also feel like complaining. So here is a list of things that annoy me on bookstagram.

 Exhibit A: Actual real screenshot of a stranger asking me if I wanted to start a podcast with them. Notice that they had to introduce themselves because they had never talked to me before.

Exhibit A: Actual real screenshot of a stranger asking me if I wanted to start a podcast with them. Notice that they had to introduce themselves because they had never talked to me before.

 EXHIBIT B: CALL ME TOM PETTY BUT I MIGHT ENJOY PUTTING PHOTO THIEVES ON BLAST IN MY STORY AND THEN SAVING THEM TO MY HIGHLIGHTS.

EXHIBIT B: CALL ME TOM PETTY BUT I MIGHT ENJOY PUTTING PHOTO THIEVES ON BLAST IN MY STORY AND THEN SAVING THEM TO MY HIGHLIGHTS.

  1. When people ask for shoutouts - if I give a million shoutouts, are any of them meaningful? Genuine heartfelt shoutouts to people that inspire me or accounts I’m digging are great. I also love when other people give real shoutouts. However, if you have never talked to me before and then you message me asking for a shoutout? NOPE.

  2. In the same vein, when people who have never talked to me ask for random things. I’ve been asked to mail strangers books before (um, heard of a library?). By far the weirdest request was from someone I’d never spoken to asking me to start a podcast with them. WHAT? I don’t think that starting a podcast is a small undertaking that you do with a stranger. No thanks. (By the way, I do regularly mail books to friends, but I find asking a complete stranger to send me something a little odd.)

  3. When someone only posts 5 star reviews… come on! You can’t love EVERY single book you read! That’s absurd. Also, now your opinions can’t be trusted so great job. Congrats, you played yourself.

  4. When people I don’t know tag me in their post just cause they want me to see it, or for a “challenge”, along with a hundred other people. Hmm now I’m even less inclined to look at your post because I’m annoyed that I have to go remove this tag of me that has nothing to do with me. Bye.

  5. People who hijack your comments to try and get you to read their book or look at their page. I’m talking about the comments that are probably from bots that say things like “Nice pic! (Multiple emojis). Hey I think you’d really like this self-help memoir about my uneventful uninspiring life, please check out my page and give me a follow!” Yeah nope, deleted and now you’re blocked.

  6. Follow-for-shoutout sessions. PLEASE STOP WITH THESE. I don’t want to be part of a gimmick that tries to lure new accounts into following you and twelve of your closest internet friends for a little bitty chance at a shoutout. No.

  7. When reporters write clickbait-y articles about bookstagram, judging us for our creative outlets and acting like we don’t even read... PLEASE. I personally have read more books since joining BG than I probably did in the previous five years combined. This community inspires me to make reading a priority and part of my life like no other. And if someone does just want to post pretty pictures of books, who cares? I’m here to look at those pretty pictures. So GO AWAY CLOWN SHOW, we don’t want your judgement here.

  8. When people ask me how I grew my account in a demeaning way implying that I deserve to have fewer followers or that their account should obviously be doing as well as mine because I’m nothing special. I know I’m nothing special and I am always amazed that people are following me, but still, rude.

  9. When people I’ve never talked to ask really probing personal questions. If we’re friends, this is cool. If we’ve never (or barely) talked, I think it’s a little weird to ask me how I met my boyfriend and then continue on to ask me about my experience with Tinder and ask for intimate details about my entire dating history. Yes, this is a real experience on my bookstagram account (where I post about books and not dating advice). I try to reply to most messages and this was one of the few cases where I just had to stop responding.

  10. Accounts that post 5 photos a day… every single day… I’ve had to unfollow accounts like this because they end up overwhelming my feed and also, we get it, you get a lot of free books, and I’m sick of you throwing them in my face.

  11. And of course, the icing on the cake, the one annoyance to rule them all: when accounts steal my photos without asking. It seems like there are a lot of weird spam accounts now that only consist of bad grammar, nonsensical bios, and stolen photos. It’s even worse to me when it’s a biggish account or seemingly legit brand with lots of followers that doesn’t give proper credit, or acts so affronted when you ask them to remove the post. Saying “it’s just a photo” is putting down work that took me time and effort. I have recently learned that you can report copyright infringements to Instagram, although it’s a tedious form that asks “ARE YOU SURE” fifty thousand times so I’m not sure how many people are actually doing this. I usually do and then also BLOCK and put the account on blast in my stories because I just don’t care if I hurt their feelings anymore, or hurt their brand. You hurt your own brand by stealing photos. Done.

Phew! Feels good to get all that off my chest. I think I need to follow this post up with a giant list of all the things I love about BG, because the good definitely outnumbers the bad. I’ve made so many actual friends in this community, and the overwhelming positivity just makes me happy. Sometimes, though, I just need a good rant.