Amalia Cole lives in Sydney, Australia; she studies Philosophy and Psychology
How and why did you get to creating your Instagram profile with books?
I guess my university studies got me heavily into reading over the past few years. I love the idea of sharing what you read with other people, and see 'Bookstagram' as almost an online bookclub. Instead of bombarding my personal feed with books, I decided to create the book-specific @malireads.
What does it look like "behind the cover"?
I must say, cropping is an Instagrammer's best friend! I take the majority of photos on my bed...so you do not see the mess surrounding the clean, minimalist photos. I take photos from a few different angles and distances so I can play with different crops later on, but try not to edit the photo too much - just a play with brightness and I do apply a specific filter to all of my photographs so no matter where they have been taken, the feed is still somewhat uniform.
People appreciate originality, and if you try to follow what everyone else is doing, then it is very hard to be unique.
Can you predict which photo will get more likes than another? Or is it rather random?
Not at all. The photos that I am proudest of never get that many likes, and some I have taken on the fly without much planning have been my most-liked! It is unpredictable.
Is there some secret for getting likes?
(laugh) I went into this Instagram venture with a 'if it gets likes it does, if it doesn't then that is okay as well' attitude, and have managed not to veer too much from this, so I don't pay too much attention to 'how to get likes'. I just try and remain consistent with the relevant hashtags to get my account out there, but that is about it. People appreciate originality, and if you try to follow what everyone else is doing, then it is very hard to be unique. I think if you stay true to your vision and keep things consistent, it will work in your favour.
Do you own all the books you post on your Instagram?
I own them all. When a book lover, germaphobe and shopaholic meet, you get one, big, beautiful, at-home library!
What is your favourite book and why?
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess is always the first book that comes to mind. It is a combination of a few of my favourite things - a dark, gritty novel with a bit of psychology, a lot of crime, and written in a beautiful, almost poetic style. It was also an eye-opener into how diverse literature can be. If you haven't read it yet, please do. It is magnificent!
How many books do you read per month/year?
I aim for four or five books a month, but I am a ridiculously slow reader so do find this goal quite challenging. I also tend to start a few books at once and take my time with them (just like starting a couple of new television series and switching channels), so can end up only finishing one book one month, but six or seven the next.
I wanted to start a website where people can come and search for a book to match their mood.
You also have a blog. What is its main goal?
The most common question I get asked by my friends and co-workers is, "Mali, this week I'm feeling (insert mood here), can you please recommend a book for me?" I also choose what to read depending on how I feel at the time, so I decided I wanted to start a website where people can come and search for a book to match their mood. I did some research on other book review websites, and my biggest struggle was with the navigation, so wanted to create something super clean and simple, where people can manage to find a book recommendation with ease.
What is on your reading list? Any good tips for the upcoming spring?
I am incredibly eager to read The Bone Clocks and Slade House by David Mitchell. I have heard so many good things and cannot wait! As it is Autumn where I am from, I'm thinking of starting a few lengthier fantasy reads than I normally would to get me through the winter. For those who are going into Spring, I always love a good adventure novel for the sunny weather.