Biblio Virgo


Ryan is from Ontario, Canada; she studies the first year of journalism at St. Clair College

Link to her Instagram and website

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

My journey with Bookstagram did not start in my college career though, but rather in high school on January 21, 2016. I decided to take an academic creative writing class in grade 12 and it opened many doors of writing for me. I was able to write poetry, scripts, short stories and portions of novels. Through this writing and a friend, I had rekindled my love of reading, though I have read ever since I was a little girl. My friend showed me her Instagram account and her blog on Wordpress and in a way a fire was ignited in me.

My dad knows when I get the blanket out that it's "book picture time",

What does it look like "behind the cover"? How many tries does it take before posting the final photo?

I say more photos the merrier. In my college course there is photojournalism and my professor always tells us the more photos we take the more successful we will be. I take 3-4 photos for each post idea. I will place the book in different positions, maybe take it from a different angle. Maybe I will use my favourite Indigo blanket (my dad knows when I get the blanket out that it's "book picture time", he always laughs and finds it cute), or maybe this time I like how the book looks against a wall. Themes do not necessarily mean you have the same drop back in every picture, but that your editing techniques are consistent. One should not post boldly coloured photos next to less saturated ones.

My professor always tells us the more photos we take the more successful we will be. 

My process for editing photos is somewhat lengthy but my hard work has payed off in finding my own unique theme. As seen on my Instagram profile, each photo has a white frame around it and each time I need to make sure the frames are the same.

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

To be honest I think the amount of likes is random. I advise using trending hashtags though to receive more likes and for heaven's sake interact with the people! It makes a world of difference. I don't really think there is a secret for getting likes. Your main factor is interaction. I'm telling you just liking other people's posts doesn't cut it. I noticed when I commented and messaged people I gained 60 followers in a week.

One should not post boldly coloured photos next to less saturated ones. 

Do you own all the books posted on your Instagram?

I own every single one of my books posted. I'm a proud book mamma.

What is your favourite book and why?

This question is like asking a mother to choose who her favourite child is, but, I will have to say that my favourite book is Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld. This book possesses an attribute that I have yet to see in any other existing novel. He incorporates a novel within a novel. His main character is and 18-year-old woman, Darcy, and she is writing a book for New York Times. Every other chapter is Darcy's novel and that element just left me mind-blown.

How many books do you read per month/year?

With school right now reading is a bit of a challenge but I manage. I average 3 books a month. In the summer though I usually read 5. At the end of the year? 50? Maybe 60?

On you blog you post reviews for four publishing companies. How did you get to that?

When reading I always have the notes app on my iPhone handy. I can't help but to take notes when reading. If there's a new character introduced, a quote I like, a new element to the plot, I jot it down. Gradually, I got to the point when I wanted to target my niche on Instagram so I would message and interact with authors. I would ask them if they would send me their novel for an honest review. Talking to authors is an amazing experience. I've even been sent books from authors such as Deborah Lawrenson. She sent me a copy of her book 300 Days of Sun. I remember the week after of reading and reviewing it I walked into Walmart and it was on sale. I laughed.

Publishing company wise, I looked at websites, found contact information and crossed my fingers to hear back from people.

Columnist wise, I showed one of my professors my book blog. A couple weeks after she came up to me and asked me if I would like to write a column each with for book reviews for our weekly newspaper. I was ecstatic. 

Talking to authors is an amazing experience.

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

Oh boy. To be honest this gets reorganized a lot because I get regular book mail from publishing companies. I'll often read 3 books at a time. One from a publishing company, one from an author, and one of my choice from my shelf. So unfortunately no set list with this bookworm.

I would suggest a light drama or romance for this upcoming spring. It will put you in the mood of the season.