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Navigating Bookstagram - Stories & Tips From a Small(er?) Account - Monthly Challenges



Today I'm sharing with you another installment of the Navigating Bookstagram series! (Yay!) Something that you've probably seen around bookstagram by now are the monthly challenges that some bookstagramers hold every month. (That's why they're called monthly challenges....) Monthly challenges can be really helpful, especially when you're just starting out as a bookstagrammer.

A monthly challenge is basically a list of picture prompts for you to continue throughout the month. Some prompts are based on a holiday that might occur on that day (ex. red, white, and blue on the United States' Independence Day). Prompts can be specific or vague, leaving room for interpretation. (Although some bookstagrammers do have explanation of prompts available in their captions or on other platforms such as blogs.)

Most prompts are posted by the bookstagramer(s) hosting them in the form of pictures on Instagram, so that you and other participating bookstagrammers can post them before the month begins to show others what challenges you'll be doing.

That's right. I said challenges. With an s. Because some people do more than one. However, for your first time around, I would suggest sticking to one or taking bits from different challenges here and there just so that it's not too overwhelming.

But why would you even want to do one of these if it's so much work? The thing is, finding inspiration for pictures is incredibly hard. And, at least for Em and me, it's easier in the beginning if you have a prompt for every day to help you. Monthly challenges are also a great way to meet new bookstagrammers and to get more involved in the community.

Now, I'm not saying that monthly challenges are only for beginners. Anyone may join and enjoy them. After all, sometimes they're just plain ol' fun to do! To add, if you one day gain a large and loyal follower base, you could even make your own or join up with another bookstagrammer to make one!



Below you'll see some examples of monthly challenges that we've participated in along with some pictures that we took to go along with the prompts:

In October 2016, we participated in @commasandampersands' monthly challenge...


For instance, here's the picture we shared for Day 14: Toy


Here's an example of when we had to do the prompt (Day 6: Wonderland) our own way because we have not read the Alice in Wonderland books:

Day 6 of #ampersandoct16: Wonderland - So...neither of us have read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland or Alice Through the Looking Glass (yet! πŸ˜‰), so instead here is our own little wonderland, including our favorite books, a sweater, a cup of (imaginary...shh! 😢) tea, and the outdoors! πŸ“š☕️πŸ‚ - The cross country meet today wasn't too bad, and tomorrow's Friday! πŸ˜„ Plus I'll probably be getting On Writing from the library tomorrow, so I'll have some reading tonight (finishing up my current read) and tomorrow to look forward to. - - #bookstagram #bookstagramfeature #bookishfeatures #featuredbooklovers #booksfeatures #booksworm_insta #igreads #bookish #booklove #booklover #booklife #bibliophile #bookworm #bookaddict #bookaholic #bookgeek #booknerd #booknerdigans #bookme #bookphotography #becauseofreading #readersofinstagram #booksofinstagram
A post shared by Julia&Em (@readingisinevitable) on


In November, we participated in two monthly challenges (one by by @acciobooksncoffee and @_livelaughread and the other by @readwithmikee and @pagewithaview). Most days, we would choose only one challenge to do. But, sometimes, we chose to do both.

On the 13th, we posted the pictures separately...

Day 13 of #livelaughbooksnovember: Book Hangover - After reading these books, Em and I were stuck in that weird in-between place of being half in and half out of the book's world. They snatched our hearts and wouldn't let them go. ❤️ (She read Whisper to Me and I read The Goldfinch.) Oh: The Goldfinch really got me. I found myself rereading parts of it for several days before letting it go....Maybe it was so difficult for me because I had been reading about Theo (the main character/narrator) for about a month! 😯 - Going to Barnes & Noble today! That's always fun. πŸ˜† I also have had my blog post for tomorrow ready for a few days now (shocking!) so I don't have to worry about that. πŸ‘ After being sick and confused for the whole of yesterday, I'm excited to go and have some fun looking for books and watching OUAT at night. πŸ˜‹ - - #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookstagramfeature #bookishfeatures #featuredbooklovers #bookfeatures #bookworm_insta #thefinchbook #igreads #bookish #booklove #booklover #bibliophile #bookworm #bookaddict #bookaholic #bookgeek #booknerd #booknerdigans #bookme #bookphotography #becauseofreading #readersofinstagram #booksofinstagram #instabook #instabooks #igbooks #bookhangover
A post shared by Julia&Em (@readingisinevitable) on


Day 13 of #novbookstagram: Read It More Than Once - Em has definitely read her favorite book of all time, Made You Up, more than once. (I'm guilty for having read my favorite book, The Goldfinch, once 😳, although I just admit it's rather long.) She wrote her favorite quotes in a little notebook and has made some fanart, which is good because there isn't much out there. It breaks her little heart that not that many people have read it. πŸ’” - Speaking of Em, she just prepared the coolest surprise for me! (For no apparent reason, too!) She made a little projector using a magnifying glass, some duct tape, a shoebox, and her kindle, and used this projector to show me a little YouTube video I like on her bedroom wall! It was amazing and honestly took my breath away. 😧 She's the best. ❤️ (@dollsofdaydreams) - - #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookstagramfeature #bookishfeatures #featuredbooklovers #bookfeatures #bookworm_insta #thefinchbook #igreads #bookish #booklove #booklover #bibliophile #bookworm #bookaddict #bookaholic #bookgeek #booknerd #booknerdigans #bookme #bookphotography #becauseofreading #readersofinstagram #booksofinstagram #instabook #instabooks #igbooks #reread
A post shared by Julia&Em (@readingisinevitable) on


But on the 15th, we combined them:

Day 15 of #livelaughbooksnovember: Underrated Characters Day 15 of #novbookstagram: Fictional Job You Want - Okay, so Marian Ashcroft is definitely an underrated character. I absolutely loved her character, and it's not fair that she didn't make it to the movie. How is that possible? She's such a great help to Ethan and Lena, and her relationship with Ethan's mom was great. I guess they filled her in with Alma, but...not the same. πŸ˜•AND, c'mon: caster librarian? That sounds like a fictional job I'd want! - Kinda bad day today. πŸ‘Ž But that's okay, right? It'll get better...? Or maybe not...? At the least I want to actually get some sleep tonight. Been going to bed waaayy too late. πŸ˜… - - #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #bookstagramfeature #bookishfeatures #featuredbooklovers #bookfeatures #bookworm_insta #thefinchbook #igreads #bookish #booklove #booklover #bibliophile #bookworm #bookaddict #bookaholic #bookgeek #booknerd #booknerdigans #bookme #bookphotography #becauseofreading #readersofinstagram #booksofinstagram #instabook #instabooks #igbooks #beautifulcreatures
A post shared by Julia&Em (@readingisinevitable) on



And with that I wish you the best of luck participating in monthly challenges! While Em and I don't do them anymore, they really were fun and helped us when we didn't know what to post. Until next time,




Click here to read the next Navigating Bookstagram post, "Inactivity". Or click on the Navigating Bookstagram tag (below) or the link in the pages bar at the top of the screen to read more.

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