For book lovers, there’s no more beautiful sight than a perfectly arranged bookshelf, a cosy reading nook or a stack of books arranged by theme or colour.
And so, Instagram is the perfect social media network for readers. Not only is it a place where you can find aesthetically pleasing pictures of books, it’s also somewhere that give you recommendations for your next read, based on just about any criteria you want.
Here are our favourite Instagram accounts for fans of reading.
Bookstagrammer Elizabeth Sagan creates stunning “paintings” using books. She’s often in the images herself, whether she’s flying on a broomstick through an archway, giving herself wings made of books with black jackets, or talking about Greek mythology with Medusa-like book hair.
Anuradha Bhaumick runs what is probably the cutest Bookstagram account ever, posting pictures of her cross stitch scenes, which are mostly of people reading and sharing their passion for books. Her cross stitches are full of detail you’ll want to zoom in to see, and the bright colours will add a much-needed dose of brightness to your Instagram feed.
If you love the classics, then take a look at designer Coralie Bickford Smith’s account. Bickford Smith, who as well as being the author of books including The Song of the Tree, is the designer for the Penguin Clothbound Classics, shares pictures of the books she’s worked on as well as giving an insight into some of the creative techniques she’s using.
Bookworm Sîan’s account is only a year old, but we’re already big fans. Sîan is a big champion of authors of colour, and of Black writers in particular, and this Bookstagram account is full of joy.
If you’re after inspiration for creating your own book nook, look no further than wordchild, whose account shows off their absolutely stunning reading spaces. Wooden floors, stacks of books, comfy reading chairs, and a mix of old and new bookcases – excuse us while we go swoon.
Book blogger Zulfa’s account is the definition of “aesthetically pleasing”. The set-ups for all her photographs involve lots of props, all perfectly placed and tying in with the books featured. There’s a definite tilt towards fantasy, science fiction and young adult novels, so if those are your jam, then click that follow button.
Are you the type of person who loves an inspirational literary quote? Then Kate Gavino has you covered with illustrations of quotes, and their authors. The account began as quotes from readings authors held in New York and Paris, but has since expanded to include a variety of authors, with Gavino using writers’ birthdays to celebrate their work.
We might not be commuting at the moment, but Books on the Underground can help us remember the good old days of squeezing onto packed trains, trying to regulate our body temperature when going from the chilly outside air to a station, and, of course, finding or leaving books on the Underground. The account is sharing its current reads at the moment, but scroll back through to see previous titles left on the Tube network, and start getting excited about one day discovering a book left on a train again.
Do love books? Do you love ice cream? Then say hello to Ice Cream Books, which does what it says and pairs books and ice creams in photographs that look like pieces of art. Images include a copy of Jeff Koons: A Retrospective with a bouquet of Jolly Rancher popsicles, and Bricks and Mortar: Offline Shopping in Online America by Frank Cost pictured among a wall of vanilla and chocolate wafer ice cream sandwiches.
Book Bento describes itself as “book recommendations with a side of stuff”. It may sound a little strange, but once you see the photographs on this account you’ll understand. Each book featured is pictured with items that are relevant to the characters or mentioned in the text. Think Erin Morgenstern’s The Starless Sea with a bottle of champagne and a watch.
The official account for Oprah’s Book Club doesn’t just feature the group’s chosen reads. It’s also a place where Black authors are celebrated, and where the club posts prompts and inspiration for future reads. And, of course, occasionally you’ll get recommendations straight from Queen Oprah herself.
If you geek out not just about books, but about book design, then make sure to follow Perfect Bound. Run by publishing industry magazine The Bookseller, the account features some of the best-looking books you’ll ever see. And because it’s based on design, you’re also bound to get some recommendations for titles you won’t see elsewhere on your feed.
Founded by actor Emma Roberts and podcast host Karah Preiss, Belletrist is one of the coolest book clubs around. Its account shares its chosen books, as well as memes and photographs the book club loves. Plus, there are lots of aspirational images of Roberts with books we hope to one day recreate.
The account for actor Reese Witherspoon’s book club takes you beyond the book and shows you the inspirations and research behind each chosen title. There is also information on events the book club is running, and book picks from authors.
The Happy Reader magazine, by Penguin Random House and Fantastic Man, shares spreads from its latest issues, as well as book recommendations, on its account.
Books Are My Bag is the campaign to celebrate bookshops, and is behind events including Bookshop Day and Independent Bookshop Week. On its account you’ll not only find inspiration for books to read, but also for bookshops to visit (once they reopen, of course).
Indulge your book love with Ideal Bookshelf, the Instagram account of a brand which produces all sorts of brilliant book merchandise, from pins to t-shirts and prints.
Much as we love a glossy photo or 10, the main reason we follow Bookstagram accounts is for the real book recommendations from real people. And one of our favourites is Cal’s Book Account. Run by a teenager with a serious book habit, we love that Cal reads widely and isn’t afraid to show a passion for reading.
We know we’re biased, but for that very reason we’d be remiss not to include our own Instagram account on this list! As well as sharing stunning photographs of new and old books we’re loving, you can also find links to some of our best articles, sure to give you plenty of reading inspiration.