Instagramming your book, first thing after you bought it? Or did you buy it because you had to Instagram? These days judging a book by its cover is the new norm. However, somewhere around following that tutorial to master the art of bookstagramming for that perfect post, the purpose of a book is defeated. Reading was replaced by flaunting.
With Kindles and eBooks becoming easily accessible, f the days of those printed pages sewn together are numbered. But with the popularity of social media-especially Instagram, which promotes the coveting of book covers with hashtags such as #bookstagram, the physical counterparts are back on the table. John waters’ sentiment of making books cool again has materialized, to restate he said, “if you go home with someone and they don’t have books, do not sleep with them”. Apparently, books are the new cool accessory ‘suggesting intellect’, an Instagram worthy object of desire. Also, you don’t really have to go to someone’s place to see their books if one is interested in that particular dating tip that is!
As a matter of fact, this trend has emphasized the need for cover aesthetics. The book covers are now being distinctly designed to suit the screens, making them bolder, brighter and more colourful. It is very much possible that this was started as a trend in response to the popularity of eBooks, to boost the sale of physical ones. Take the success of the omnipresent book, ‘The subtle art of not giving a fuck’, the best-selling nonfiction. Most would agree that it’s the cover that lured them to buy the book in addition to being Instagram worthy.
Promotion on Instagram doesn’t seem so wrong if it’s making people buy tangible books. But the important questions that really matter are, by promoting them as accessories, is the essence of a book lost? Somewhere in the excitement of Instagramming that book, did you forget to read it? And most importantly, if you don’t get past the cover, does the intellect only remains ‘suggested’?