Rise of Bookstagram in India

Instagram, an image sharing social media platform has recently expressed a surge in Adolescent and Young adult users throughout the world. For various reasons of usage majorly including selfies, groupies and profile images, Instagram has been experiencing surge to extend that it is having unexplained server outrages recently. But this Facebook platform has witnessed some new usage too including Cosplays, Meme shares, Concert highlights, Event highlights, movie reviews and what not to list, but the very same platform has also seen a rise of budding writers & poets in addition to some of the decent Bookstagrammers.

Bookstagram, an urban dictionary word, where it literally means book promo, review and book selfies, which is now fuelled by decreasing effective data prices, increasing Instagram users and a generation of selfie and photography loving readers. If we see Instagram, then we can find a whole new world in the community of readers and amateur literature critics. The best part is, it is saving this world by preserving the culture of literary criticism and promotion, also, to increase in reading trends. A trend which is showing quite a positive benefit and a promising future if that pace at which it is increasing does continue in future too.

What constitutes in the activity of Bookstagramming?

  • 1.  Buying the book from stores and reading it to put a decent picture of the book with a matching background layout. Thanks to online stores like Amazon, Flipkart, etc the book purchase expense have reduced significantly.
  • 2.  Often the work ends with a decent review with a lovely image of the book with a layout.
  • 3.  Sometimes doing a promo of self or the book by tagging and related methods common in all social media platforms.

Now the question arises, what kind of books are read?

Well, the books are often the latest releases, thus an effective threat to existing books, literary legends and classics. Presently rise of books written in English looks to have a deep potential to undermine the culture and our own Indian languages. 

           The books rarely constituted Western classics earlier. But when the trend of Bookstagram began, due to increasing manpower donating volunteers throughout the world we have seen a rise in paperback digitisation and increase in eBooks. Surprisingly it is a very positive thing. Now people read the sample in the form of eBook and place the order of printed paperback at Online Stores. But there has been a different section too like me who do like the eBooks to read the literature. Thanks to increasing Kindle format availability and device simplicity, we have seen an increase in pages read yearly. As per KDP reports, the monthly funds for royalty has always been more than 12 million dollars on Kindle format itself, and for God sake, we still need to have a multidimensional multiplatform study to accurately quantify the actual legitimate reads or illegitimate reads via pirated eBook copies. 

           This new trend has resulted in a slow increase in the expansion rate of the publishing industry. Thanks to platforms of self-publishing, more people have entered in the community of avid readers and aspiring writers. Now we daily see some or the other book club meets in different cities lately. For example, we have “My Secret Bookshelf” founded by our own daughter of Assam, Antara Bhattacharjee, whose activities of Book Club meets, promoting book reading among youths and further support to aspiring writers have been extensively covered by ou regional daily, The Sentinel and few other national dailies too. The book review programs have lately taken a good boom even in Assam, which many used to say to be not in Pan Indian vicinity because of their conservative thoughts or maybe other reasons best not spoken of. Most of the review programs have created a bunch of mentors and literary critics who have themselves developed their own personality too due to the hobby of reading books. And in a great number of cases, these books are gifted to reviewers and made in low prices for sale on online stores, just to inculcate and increase reading habits among the general public.

Published with due permission from the image rights owner. Not for reshare without credits.

           I have lately experienced that avid reading and putting thoughts over social media does have a good impact on myself too. Just like a recent study that found that social media likes are like a reward of candies to youth similarly engagement on posts have been quite motivating for me. I have begun reading a good number of books lately, crossing 22 new novels read this year till September just due to those non-monetary rewards. Well reading the texts containing thoughts, ideas, dreams, fantasies and vividly different knowledge arenas are certainly helpful, till it does not reach to extend of negatively affecting regular course studies or daily activities. And I believe the increase in reading speed does have a very positive impact on a student for his or her own academics too till they got self-discipline of making a proper schedule of doing what and when. Until then, this social media usage trend is a very positive and sustainable trend. 

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