The Publishing Post
BIPOC Bookish Socials You Need to Follow
By Shaniah Shields, Leanne Francis and Madhu Manivannan
With over 74.3 million posts under the bookstagram hashtag on Instagram, bookstagram is a flourishing community of fantastic people and book recommendations. Here are some of my favourite BIPOC bookish social media accounts.
Over at @bookofcinz, Cindy, a Jamaican girl living in Trinidad is one of my go-to people for book recommendations. I first found Cindy on Twitter and her vibrant and fun personality is matched by the books she reads and posts about on both of her accounts. One thing I love about Cindy’s account is her focus on promoting Caribbean authors and books. Cindy is the creator of #ReadCaribbean, the BookofCinz Book Club and the BOC Newsletter. If you’re looking to diversify your shelves, Cindy is one to follow.
Bookstagrammer of the Year 2020 Runner Up, @zubscovered is an amazing book and lifestyle bookstagrammer. Based in London, Zubs is also an English Teacher and Freelance Copywriter. Her bookstagram is filled with fantastic book reviews and stunning flat lays that showcase her beautiful book collections.
@bookswithsyd is a lovely bookstagrammer who combines two of my favourite things - books and journaling. Syd keeps a reading journal where she shares book reviews as well as highlighting BIPOC authors and voices in every aspect of her bookstagram.
Over at @Pretty_x_Bookish, Nokukhanya is a vibrant content creator, bookstagrammer and booktuber. One thing that is great about this account is the use of the ‘guides’ feature on bookstagram. Nokukhanya has guides that showcase BIPOC queer book recommendations and fellow BIPOC bookstagrammer.
Booktok has grown rapidly over the past year, with the #booktok hashtag accumulating a whopping 46.5 billion views. This is a huge increase in comparison to the 7.7 billion views booktok had in Issue 22, showing how much the online platform has grown. BIPOC content creators on booktok have created a space that allows the work of writers of colour to truly shine. Here are three of my favourite BIPOC booktokers who are helping readers diversify their shelves in 2022.
Hodan (@Hothanjama_) is a book and lifestyle blogger who describes her platforms as a place where she can share her love for “literature, photography and self-care.” Hodan’s booktok account has over 26,000 followers, with whom she shares recommendations for books featuring BIPOC, LGBTQ+ and disability representation. You can find Hodan’s other social media accounts here.
Ayushi (@bookwormbullet) is a content creator who creates fun, snappy videos with the aim of increasing South Asian representation in the booktok community. Ayushi’s booktok account has over 57,000 followers, with whom she shares romance and fantasy recommendations, such as Nisha Sharma’s ‘Dating Dr. Dil’. You can find out more about Ayushi here.
Erni (@the_asian_librarian) is a former librarian and author who champions diverse stories, with a focus on Asian literature. Erni’s booktok recommends a wide range of stories, from dystopian novels by Japanese writers to fantasy and sci-fi retellings of traditional fairy tales, to a following of over 10,000 readers. You can find more of Erni’s content here.
I have found BookTube to be a wonderful resource in finding readers with varying tastes in literature who use YouTube as a medium to explore their thoughts in detail. Some BookTubers whose recommendations and opinions I have found to be insightful include:
Tammy (tamscanread) is based in New Jersey/New York City and, alongside working in publishing, she makes a variety of book-themed videos through which her warm personality shines. On her channel, you’ll find her exploring book stores in reading vlogs, sharing her varied taste through challenge/’tag’ videos or revealing her unfiltered thoughts on the latest book trending on BookTok.
Nat (anattynook) is based in Singapore and makes videos on “books, commentary and slow living.” She primarily makes videos on non-fiction books, most of which are related to “politics, feminism, queerness, climate change and local issues.” She also makes vlogs, sharing her life in Singapore as well as more casual musings and reflections. I admire Nat for her ability to weave together her extensive knowledge on social issues as well as her genuine belief in our ability to collectively construct a better future into accessible and fascinating commentary in a video format.
Jananie (thisstoryaintover) is based in Toronto and shares her passion for reading through not only her YouTube channel, but The Read in Colour Book Club (@readincolourbookclub), which aims to celebrate titles across genres written by BIPOC authors. As a total novice to the romance genre, Jananie’s channel has been a great resource for finding recommendations.