Pris' Bookshelf


Priscilla lives in Singapore, she works as a digital marketer and does her postgrad studies

Link to her Instagram

How did you get to creating your Instagram profile with books?
I have always loved books and I'm an avid reader. Early last year, my friend, who is also a bookstagrammer (@thetirelessreader), mentioned that she often gets great book recommendations from the bookstagram community. Beside reading, I love talking about books and all things books related. So, I decided to start sharing some books that I was reading and started really great conversations with other booklovers. I have not stopped since then.

What does it look like "behind the cover"?

I am quite a lazy bookstagrammer. I admire all those beautiful shots that I think require at least an hour to set up. Most of my photos are taken in less than 5-10mins. 
I do spend some time editing, mostly cropping and re-taking if

they do not fit properly in a square format. And definitely some editing on lighting and exposure. I only take my bookstagram shots in the day time with as much natural light as possible. Most of the times, I shoot against a big piece of white paper. I arrange a few props, take a few shots in different angles and finally, choose the one I like best. I take all my shots with my iPhone.

The only funny one I can think of is when I was taking photo of The Killer Inside Me, when I first started the bookstagram account. I experimented using paint, ketchup and chili sauce make fake blood for the post below. I tried a splattering technique to make it more 'real' and ended up having to scrub the floor for the next 20mins.

I tried a splattering technique to make it more 'real' and ended up having to scrub the floor for the next 20mins.

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

It is quite a no brainer that beautifully taken photos often attract more likes. I also noticed classic and popular/trending books get a lot more likes. The great thing about the bookstagram community is that people actually do read the comments and participate in conversations. Considering all the above, most of the time, I have a sense of whether a post will get more attention. Having said that, there are also times I just want to share my thoughts about a particular book, even if they are not popular!

Is there some secret for getting likes?

I don't think there are any specific secrets. But it helps to post at high traffic time and picking the right and relevant hashtags. Definitely include #bookstagram.

Do you own all the books posted on your Instagram?

90% of the books are mine. Some are interesting ones I picked up from the local libraries. I also share book related pictures from my travels. I tend to include visiting bookstores and libraries in my travel itinerary.

I love talking about books and all things books related.

What is your favourite book and why?

How long do we have to answer this question? (laugh) It is a very difficult question. Perhaps, I can share my favourite book from 2016. I love The Vegetarian by Han Kang, a South Korean author. It is also the winner of the 2016 Man Booker International Prize. It is such a beautiful, unsettling novel about the twisting metamorphosis of a soul. I finished reading in one sitting but it was so haunting, I kept thinking about it for days. I try to read different genres. But my usual go-to genre is mystery/thriller! I love a well-written thriller with a great plot twist.

How many books do you read per month/year?

It depends on several factors, including studies, work, and mood. Last year, I started on a lot of books but completed only about 58 (excluding those I had to read for my studies). I know some readers challenge themselves to read more each year. I am less bothered about reading more. I want to enjoy my reading and not make it into some sort of chore or competition. I am more concerned about reading great books.

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

My TBR (to-be-read) list is so long right now. I am currently halfway through Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult as well as Clare Mackintosh's I See You. I am also listening to the autobiography of Oliver Sacks, On The Move: A Life on audiobook. For upcoming releases this spring, I am quite excited about Haruki Murakami's Men Without Women that's scheduled to be released in May. Also looking forward to The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy in June.