Betty Books


Nicole lives near Santa Cruz, CA, about ten minutes from the beach (and she loves it).

Link to her Instagram

How did you get to creating your Instagram profile with books?

I started my Instagram account as a way to keep track of my reading and share it with my friends and family. I never could have predicted what it's become - an amazing community of book lovers from around the world. It's the best. I'm a full time mom of four and it's become an important creative outlet for me. It combines my love of reading and photography in a very satisfying way.

I'm a full time mom of four and it's become an important creative outlet for me. 

What does it look like "behind the cover"?

When I look back at some of the first photos I posted it is clear I was not attempting to be creative at all! There was little concern for filters or props.

Now, there is much more thought that goes into it. Sometimes I try and coordinate my photo design with the book cover. Other times I try to highlight important themes of the book with certain props. It's funny because now I know which parts of my house get the best natural light during specific times of the day. If I need to do a shot in the morning, I know to photograph in my dining room. In the afternoon it's next to my large sliding door in the back room.

I mainly use the VSCO app for editing. But the most important thing is to start with good lighting.

Can you predict which photo will get more likes than another? Or is it rather random?

I would say that anything I post about Jane Austen is always a hit. I love to collect the many editions of her works and share them.

Is there some secret for getting likes?

I think it's all about the photo-- I really strive to post something unique and creative! The goal is to have a photo that makes people stop scrolling through their feed.

Do you own all the books posted on your Instagram or do you get some of them from the library?

I own most of the books I post. But I also post photos of my library reads too. I think it's important to show both because I definitely utilize my local library.

My general rule is (which I don't always follow) to buy the classics and borrow contemporary.

The goal is to have a photo that makes people stop scrolling through their feed. 

What is your favourite book and why?

A book that I love, love, love and always find myself recommending is The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater. I adore this book. It's both magical and real. Romantic and subtle. It's quiet and thrilling. I love the main characters--the feisty Puck Connolly and the quiet, brooding Sean Kendrick.

I remember reading the preface and just feeling awestruck. When I recommend this book I often say, if you don't love it please don't tell me, it will hurt my heart!

My favourite genre is historical fiction, particularly WWII. All the Light We Cannot See and Everyone Brave is Forgiven are two of my favourites.

My general rule is (which I don't always follow) to buy the classics and borrow contemporary.

How many books do you read per month/year?

This year I made a goal to read at least 4 books a month. So far so good! Some months I've exceeded that goal.

I know that you also have come up with some of your own #. What was the origin of this idea and how did you react to the massive response of all the people?

I created the hashtag #readtherainbow2015 and #readtherainbow2016 after seeing @houselarsbuilt create the hashtags #crafttherainbow and #dresstherainbow. After seeing all her colourful posts and encouraging others to get out there and try it, it hit me - I should try the same concept, but with books!!

The reaction was beyond anything I expected. First of all, I was so happy people actually participated. And then I was absolutely blown away by their creativity and enthusiasm for it. I got so many messages saying things like--"who knew running around my neighbourhood taking pictures of my books in front of colourful walls could be so fun?!"

It was great fun and I made some new friends! Creativity has the power to unite us. I really believe that.

Creativity has the power to unite us.  

What is on your reading list? Any good tips for the upcoming spring?

I always think of that quote -"I was born with a reading list I will never finish."

There are so many on my list right now, but here are a few I've moved to the top of my TBR pile that I'm excited about:

Pretty much anything I can find from author, Daphne du Maurier. I discovered her last year when I read Rebecca and absolutely fell in love with her writing style. I recently read My Cousin Rachel and it was fantastic as well.

I also just finished reading Anne of Green Gables for the first time and I'd love to read the rest of the books in the series. This year I've been reading more children's and young adult classics. It's been wonderful!

I'm also excited to start reading my Book of the Month selections. Pachinko by Min Jin Lee and The Impossible Fortress byJason Rekulak are at the top of my list.