Meet The Individuals Behind Hudson County Book Instagrams
Following in the steps of foodie Instagrammers, book Instagrammers are starting to make their mark in the digital space. Instagram is where trends are discussed and capitalized on therefore it makes sense that book accounts are popping up.
If you’re looking to spruce up your Instagram feed or searching for a good read for the beach or bedroom, here is a list of Hudson County Book Instagrammers you should follow and get to know.
1. Becky Byron
While following a few specific book accounts that shared recommendations, reviewed books, etc., Becky Byron thought, “Hey I could do that,” and started her own account in 2018. From then until now, she’s made real-life friends, started a podcast and received opportunities by her favorite authors to promote books.
Byron’s passion for reading stems from her mother who was the ultimate bookworm. Byron shared that her mom kept a journal from when she was 16 years old containing a list of every book and read about 20 books per month. Unfortunately, her mother passed away a few years ago, but Byron plans to start reading those books listed in her mom’s journal soon.
Byron has her mom’s talent of fast-reading as well which showed during this quarantine, “Pandemic life has made me much more anxious than normal, and I always say that I use books to cope with anxiety… I’ve read 30 books since the start of this quarantine,” which is 10 less than she read in all of 2019.
Byron is also a co-host of the Books and City Podcast and has big plans in the future for it, in addition to a new book venture that she can’t quite share right now. In regards to her podcast, make sure to subscribe in order to keep up with some upcoming exciting announcements!
Favorite book: “It’s a stereotypical millennial reader answer but I can always reread ‘Harry Potter’ – it feels like home!”
Favorite genre: “Historical fiction. I love being transported to a specific time period like the 1920s in a New York speakeasy or fancy pre-war London party through a book. Also, much of historical fiction is also biographical fiction so you get to imagine a famous or unknown person in history allowing you to learn more than you ever thought you would.”
View this post on Instagram
I have two confessions to make. The first is that I’m officially completely obsessed with the new coffee shop in my neighborhood @lildovecafejc 😍 everyone should go! The second is that I totally didn’t love Rebecca Serle’s first book The Dinner List 😬 BUT I’ve heard rave reviews about In Five Years from friends, more specifically @kayreadwhat who gave me this lovely copy…so I’m actually excited to read this one and going to go in with an open mind! I’m definitely in the mood for some chick-lit right now. . . What’s your favorite coffee shop in your neighborhood?? And have you read In Five Years yet??
2. Quinn Keaney
Quinn Keaney has always been an avid reader and used to review books she’d read each month on her regular account. Then as she started to receive more and more requests from her followers to provide book recommendations, she gave in. As a former Entertainment Editor at Popsugar, she made regular book recommendations, covered new book titles in roundups, “When I left that job, I had an overabundance of books. Stacks and stacks covered my apartment. I decided to do something that combines my love of sharing books with people as well as give me something fun to do visually.”
Keaney can’t recall a time in her childhood she wasn’t obsessed with books, reading and writing. However, she plans to keep her passion as a fun creative outlet and hobby, not a job. Keaney doesn’t plan on getting too caught up in social media engagement and followers
Favorite book: “Like pretty much everyone else on planet Earth, I could re-read the Harry Potter series one billion times and never get sick of it.”
Favorite genre: “I’d say my favorite genre is a tie between thrillers and rom-coms.”
3. Jordan Hernandez
Outside her regular nine-to-five career, Jordan Hernandez stays very busy with hobbies, volunteer work, running a small business and is an author which is how her account name came to be. However, despite her busy schedule, she keeps a book or magazine handy in her bag, always.
Hernandez started posting book recommendations every so often on her personal Instagram account yet her mother is the one who questioned why she wasn’t doing it more often. This led to her finally creating an account dedicated to book recommendations. However, she wasn’t the biggest fan of reading growing up, “Reading to me was the worst. I can remember feeling extreme anxiety when a reading comprehension test was on the horizon and feeling paralyzed while taking the test,” says Hernandez.
Around seven years old, her parents introduced her to magazines hoping to get her comfortable with reading which ultimately led to her falling in love with reading, magazines and books. She even still subscribes to nearly a dozen hard magazines monthly.
Right now, Hernandez is reaching out to authors asking if they want to be featured on her page and share with her followers about their writing process, advice for up-and-coming writers and an inside look into their life outside of writing, “The future of Instagram is video content and I want to get these voices heard.”
Favorite book: “I often pick up ‘You Are A Badass’ by Jen Sincero. There are so many hidden gems in that book that immediately whip me into shape if I have a lack of confidence or just need to get pumped about an upcoming event or project. One book that I recommend to everyone is “In the Country We Love” by Diane Guerrero. That was truly a life-changing book for me as it allowed me to further understand the hardships of our immigration system and just how detrimental it is on people who simply want a better life for themselves and their children.”
View this post on Instagram
didn’t want to post twice in one day, so here I am with this weeks #CompletelyBooked ! If you are looking for a page turner, Such A Fun Age for you. New author Kiley Reid shares the story of young Emira, a 25 year old black babysitter who ends up in a racial encounter while caring for a white child. Need I say more?? But more than racial issues, this story dives into typical issues of becoming a “real” adult, navigating love, finding happiness for friends despite frustration in your own life, and finding passion through darkness. Shout out to @calilacs_beauty for the advanced copy of #SuchAFunAge @kileyreid
4. Bernie Lombardi
It seems as if a lot of book-influencers fell in love with reading at a young age, however for Bernie Lombardi, the creator of @blo288, he appreciated books as objects first. “ I loved going to bookstores and buying/collecting books; I love how they feel in your hand, how they smell and how they look in a pile, on a nightstand or a shelf. At some point in my early life, I decided I should actually start reading the books I was buying–this was probably in middle or high school.”
Now as an adult reader, he shared that his passion for reading comes from his interest in traveling and learning about the world; it’s technically hard to travel but it’s not difficult to pick up a book and allow yourself to be transported, Lombardi explained.
Lombardi is currently completing his Ph.D. in African and African diaspora literature, therefore he is more focused on that right now than his account activity. He is looking to increase his engagement and number of books read when he’s completed that chapter in his life. He is also considering expanding into the YouTube realm or creating digital content through Instagram stories.
Favorite book: “Books that I repeatedly recommend and gift people are Binyavanga Wainaina’s memoir ‘One Day I Will Write About this Place’, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s ‘Americanah, or anything by Elizabeth Strout.”
View this post on Instagram
review: majumdar situates a burning in contemporary india and explores several urgent social issues that are specific to this time and place—religious discrimination, political corruption, police brutality, gender/sexual difference, and poverty, among others. that being said, the heart and soul of the novel are almost universal, reaching far beyond its local context. as readers, we’re meant to consider the complexity of negotiating our individual and collective identities—that is, who are we and how do our experiences impact others? we have characters in a burning trying to get ahead in life who have to decide whether or not personal success and achieving one’s dreams outweigh the possible negative effects had on others. while this moral dilemma can reflect an individual’s greed, the novel highlights the extent by which the existence of this dilemma is rooted in society’s evils, especially its intent to keep certain groups of people at its margin. lastly, and just as important, a burning gives voice to society’s human sacrifices, those reduced to bare life to placate a society bent on ignorance and greed. ◾️ ▫️ ◾️ ◽️ ◾️ ▫️ ◾️ ◽️ #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #meghamajumdar #aburning #knopf #bookofthemonthclub #bookofthemonth #review #bookreview #bookpost #readersofinstagram #booksbooksbooks #indianliterature #americanliterature #literary #literature #bibliophile #goodbook #queer #queerlit #LGBTQ #bookculture
As more and more book Instagram accounts start to pop up, we might be seeing an emergence of book clubs forming in the community like a real-life “Breakfast Club” (just without the detention part). Again, make sure to follow these accounts to stay up to date on all the hottest reads.
(Main image by Becky Byron.)