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Bookstagram 101

By Salve Villarosa Published Oct 29, 2021 5:00 am Updated Oct 29, 2021 11:18 am

Everyone’s heard the saying, “A picture’s worth a thousand words.” And to that, Bookstagrammers would probably reply, “Only a thousand words? Hold my beer.”

If you haven’t heard of Bookstagram yet, here’s the SparkNotes version: it’s that cozy corner of Instagram where readers run free, stories reign supreme, and yes, judging a book by its cover is 100-percent acceptable. Less selfies, more (book)shelfies.

To learn more about this online community, Young STAR rounded up five Filipino bookworms for a little Bookstagram 101: what to expect on their feeds, how to find your perfect aesthetic, and which books they think you should pick up ASAP.


Name: Nikki Solinap
Hometown: Bacolod City
Day job: Graphic designer

 Nikki Solinap of @___bookish

Personal Bookstagram aesthetic: Cozy and candid. I shoot my photos in my bedroom with natural light, so I try to make my feed feel natural and a bit intimate — like you’re just catching glimpses of me reading in my space.

Go-to genres: Literary fiction, generational sagas, POC narratives, classics by women

Favorite book quote: “History has failed us, but no matter.” — Min Jin Lee, Pachinko

Three bookish things I can’t live without:

  • Sticky notes and flags. I love annotating my books — I can easily flip to key scenes and my favorite quotes, and it adds a nice personal touch.
  • My reading journal, which is really just a notebook where I jot down my thoughts and feelings while I read so I remember them when I write book reviews. This practice also helps me engage with the text more.
  • My Notion reading tracker. Besides being a bit of a data nerd, I like to make sure my bookshelf is diverse — taking note of the races, genders, and cultures of the authors I read keeps me conscious of this.

One book that everybody should read ASAP: Piranesi by Susanna Clarke. I haven't shut up about it since I first read it! It's unlike anything I’ve read before, but I think it’s a universally enjoyable book — you can spend hours decoding its allusions to religion, philosophy, science and magic, or you can read it casually as a gripping mystery novel. You can (and will want to) finish it in one sitting!

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A post shared by nikki • bookstagram ?? (@___bookish)


Name: Lean
Hometown: Alcantara, Romblon
Day job: Senior High School Student (Grade 12- STEM)

Personal Bookstagram aesthetic: Warm, cozy, and inviting. Basically anything that reminds me of fall. 

Go-to genres: Contemporary and fantasy

Favorite book quote: "So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I'm still trying to figure out how that could be." —Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Three bookish things I can’t live without: Sticky tabs, highlighters, and a pen. I love annotating.

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A post shared by Lean | ?? (@crooked.pages)

One book that everybody should read ASAP: Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman! It's such an underrated gem, and I'd love for more people to read it.


Name: Beatrice D. Masaluñga
Hometown: Las Piñas City
Day job: Hemodialysis Nurse

 When she's not reading, Beatrice Masaluñga works as a hemodialysis nurse

Personal Bookstagram aesthetic: Minimalist and well-lit

Go-to genres: Romance, young adult fiction, mystery/thriller, horror

Favorite book quote: “Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you.” —Gayle Forman, If I Stay

Three bookish things I can’t live without: Kindle, book light, reading journal

One book that everybody should read ASAP: That's the hardest question you could ever ask a bookworm. I'll say For One More Day by Mitch Albom. Guaranteed, the story will make you cry and hug your parents afterwards. Spend quality time with your parents while they're still here.


Name: Bryan Michael Cayangcang
Hometown: Davao City
Day job: I just left my job at a beauty subscription box company after seven years, so I'm still on the lookout for new opportunities!

Bryan Cayangcang of

Personal Bookstagram aesthetic: I would probably call it a cozy autumn vibe where cottagecore, Nordic and rustic aesthetics meet. I try my best for my photos to feel like you're snuggling up in your bed with a good book, a cup of coffee, and the sound of rain in the background. I'm an autumn baby, so I guess that explains why!

Go-to genres: YA queer contemporary, murder mysteries and sci-fi/fantasy

Favorite book quote: "A home isn’t always the house we live in. It’s also the people we choose to surround ourselves with." —TJ Klune, The House in the Cerulean Sea

Three bookish things I can’t live without: Bookish candles to feel the vibe, rainbow-colored sticky tabs for annotations, and my iPad which contains most of my eBooks — perfect for traveling!

One book that everybody should read ASAP: Where We Go From Here by Lucas Rocha. It's about three young gay adults in Brazil whose lives become connected in the face of HIV. It's honest and relevant, and it helps break the stigma about this real struggle.


Name: Kathleen Quiambao Lau
Hometown: I'm from Manila, but I’m currently living in Germany.

Personal Bookstagram aesthetic: I regularly change my aesthetic but I always go with warm and cozy.

Go-to genres: Contemporary fiction, romance, and thriller.

Favorite book quote: "If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking." —Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

Three bookish things I can’t live without: Pens/highlighters because I love annotating books, headphones so I can listen to audiobooks peacefully, and lastly, my e-reader.

One book that everybody should read ASAP: My Fate According to the Butterfly by Gail D. Villanueva. The author manages to tell a beautiful story that has sensitive and intricate topics (such as colorism, colonial mentality, mental health and substance abuse) in a way that is honest and effective, yet very light and insightful. I personally think that this book would be a great introduction to the Philippines and its culture, especially for international readers, because it shows both the good and the bad.