Bookstagrammer foldedpagesdistillery turned her lit love into a MASSIVE following of 100K – and tells us how it all got started

Recently we got the chance to put a few questions to Hikari, who runs the beautiful bookstagram account foldedpagesdistillery. With almost 100k followers and a whole feed full of  gorgeous bookish photos, we were thrilled to find out ALL the answers to how she got started on Instagram, which of her books are the most photogenic, and just how she managed to get her hands on the swords she uses as props in her photos.

What first attracted you to bookstagram and made you begin posting bookish photos? You’re going to laugh at this, but when I started a bookstagram back in January 2015, I thought I was doing something completely unique. I actually hadn’t been on Instagram at all prior to that and didn’t really know or understand how vast the Instagram community is.

Mostly I had just started my book blog and I was looking for ways to get my book reviews maximum exposure. I started out by literally throwing my book onto the couch or my bed and posting a poorly lit close up of the book I had read and reviewed to let people know there was a review available. Slowly I started finding other bookstagrammers, making friends, and also realising that the photos could be a creative opportunity, instead of something that resembled MySpace for books. I’d say it took me four months of trying new things before I found my style, my stride, and my purpose on bookstagram.

How long have you been a part of the bookish corner of Instagram? Just over a year and a half now!

Could you describe your “Instagram aesthetic” in only three words? Artistic Flat Lay

We know how great bookstagram is, but what is one of your fave things about it? The longer I am on Instagram, the more I am convinced that it is a very unique group with a very unique mentality. I have made some of my best friendships via Bookstagram. People that I text or call on a daily basis, have met in person for book events, and some that live near me that I see regularly. It is a very friendly and welcoming group. I love that I know so many people on Instagram on a deeper friendship level and I love that when new bookstagrammers come to my page, they feel like they can immediately treat me like a friend. It’s a very tight knit group, but is always ready to welcome anyone who wants to obsess over book characters and plot twists like family.

And now, let’s spotlight some of your incredible pics! What is your favourite prop you’ve used in your photos? This is hard for me to answer because I am a prop FIEND and love ALL of them so much. I have so many props and so much random stuff in the house that became a prop after I started Instagramming. So maybe I’ll just say the prop that I get the most comments about.

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy: 5/5 (This is an ARC. Physical copies go on sale in November, but you can read these via eBook or listen to audio now. Just FYI for all those asking. I got this by pure luck.) . I’m not going to give a synopsis of any kind on this. If you haven’t read The Mortal Instruments, specifically City of Heavenly Fire, I couldn’t say a single thing without crazy spoilers. I know that some of you are waiting to read Lady Midnight so you can read the Tales first, and after reading it, I think you could do it either way. I read Lady Midnight first and found that I personally preferred having these stories afterwards. There were a couple major things that happened in Lady Midnight that I don’t think would have been such a huge shock to me had I already read the Tales. I liked being that shocked and surprised. On the other hand, I think I could have read Lady Midnight with a lot less anxiety had I read the Tales first. I went into LM hoping for lots of appearances from The Mortal Instruments gang. I was dying to know what happened to them. But Lady Midnight is Emma and Julien’s story and there just isn’t room for big updates on TMI. The Tales, however, have all the good stuff. After reading the Tales, I found that I am totally satisfied. All my questions about the TMI gang were answered in full. (although I could have done with a lot more Jace than I got. ha.) . You cannot read the Tales without having read The Mortal Instruments or The Infernal Devices. This one is a direct continuation of The Mortal Instruments in my mind, with plenty of stories that include TID characters. And to anyone who has read those two series, the Tales is like Cassandra Clare’s delicious treat to her fans. This was a seriously awesome set of stories and exactly what I needed to pick me back up from a book slump. I loved every single one of them, even if some of them broke my heart. The Tales actually made me love Lady Midnight much more, just because it eased all my TMI questions and allowed me to love the new story the way it should be appreciated. I am interested to know if you preferred reading/listening to the Tales before or after Lady Midnight.

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I’m sort of a collector of items that speak to me in some way, and a couple years ago around Halloween I saw some awesome plastic swords on sale for $1 each. I bought two for no reason other than they looked cool and I had to have them. When I started styling bookstagram photos, it turned out that plenty of books have swords in them and I finally had a reason to use those swords. Every time I pull them out, I’m like, “Good thing I bought these swords!” haha. Any time I post a sword photo, I can guarantee several comments of people asking me where I got them. They are definitely my most popular prop.

Is there one book that’s so beautiful you just can’t help but take a million pictures of it?

I don’t do repeat book photos very often, since I’m usually sitting underneath a large stack of new release books. But whenever I get a new edition for my ‘Anne of Green Gables’ collection, I photograph those, ‘Dragonology’, ‘Wizardology’, ‘the Spiderwick Field Guide’, and my ‘Harry Potter Film Wizardry’ books are always always showing up in my photos.

Overall, ultimate fave picture you’ve ever taken?

When We Collided: 4/5 Stars When Vivi moves to Verona Cove for the summer, she’s trying to escape her old life. When Jonah meets Vivi, he’s just trying to survive his. Jonah is stable, responsible and a whiz in the kitchen. Vivi is unpredictable, full of energy, and working her hardest to make every moment in her life count. Both know what it’s like to have darkness in their lives. When these two meet, the find that maybe clinging to each other, they can keep each other afloat. Sorry guys, that’s the best I could do on my own synopsis and avoid spoilers. We read this book from Jonah and Vivi’s perspectives in alternating chapters. Jonah’s struggles are clear, Vivi’s remain a mystery for much of the book. I love Jonah SO much. Not only does my foodie heart sing with all the food that is described with Jonah’s chef skills and his family’s restaurant, but he’s just so good. Jonah is amazing. Vivi is a little more unpredictable. She’s bouncy and bubbly and I think she might be just what Jonah needs. I both loved her very much and hated her very much at different points in this book. It’s near the end, when all the secrets are out in the open, did I appreciate the way this book was written. Reading each voice, becoming familiar with them, and then watching them change over the course of the book was fascinating and a revelation. There are few books that I think handle depression and other such topics really well, and I am not sure if this one was one of them. But I do think it offers a unique way to view those kinds of sicknesses and how they affect people, and I do like the way Vivi and Jonah discuss “darkness”. This is a love story first. Second, I think it’s a good entry way into finding out and understanding different kinds of mental sickness. It definitely had me online looking up the meaning and symptoms of various topics. This is a very quick read, and I really needed a YA romance to pick me up after so many adult contemporaries lately. This did just the trick and I enjoyed it very much.

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Don’t laugh, but the effort it takes for me to put together some of my photos makes them like carefully crafted babies to me. I have a very hard time picking one favourite, because I have loved thinking up and putting together so many of them.

Thank you Hikari for chatting to us! You can follow her on Insta at foldedpagesdistillery or tweet any further questions you have for her @fpdistillery.

Wish your bookstagram was this beautiful? Us too, we’re filled with bookish envy. Come chat to us about your fave of Hikari’s snaps or the bookstagrammers you love @maximumpopbooks. And, if you’re feeling generous, you can give the MP! Books Instagram a lovely little follow too.

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