I am active on both Litsy, and Bookstagram. I have noticed a few people posting that they have recently joined Litsy, so I figured I’d throw in my two-cents regarding both platforms.
First, I Want to say that both Litsy and Bookstagram are awesome, friendly commmunities where you will meet amazing people who share a passion for books and reading.
Second, get your wallet out because these people will have you buying books like crazy. Whether its a new release or an awesome review or simply a beautiful picture, it is hard not to run out immediately if not sooner to you nearest bookstore.
Third, and for me the most important, OTHER PEOPLE STILL READ!!! Lots of them! Being a bookworm can be isolating at best and oftentimes times gets lonely, especially if none or few of your friends, family, co-workers aren’t big into reading. Everyone knows the latest blockbuster movie that is coming out next week, but try to ask someone in your real life what they thought of the last book you read…Crickets…
It is communities like Litsy and Bookstagram where you can find people who love the latest book and enjoy going to the bookstore. People who won’t look at you with a stink eye when you say you smell your books…you guys do that too right….
They both offer a place where you can feel at home in the glory of all your booknerdiness (you dont even have to leave your actual home which is an added bonus.) No one will say to you, OMG you spent THAT MUCH on A BOOK!!! Or, I don’t understand HOW you can just SIT THERE and READ! Or any of that other nonsense that non-readers say.
This isn’t a competition, but i think there some marked differences between the two that are worthy of discussion.
-These are all observations based on my own experiences with both apps. If you find that you strongly disagree with any of my opinions, feel free to comment-as long as it stays respectful.-
- Litsy is a very new app and book sharing platform. It was originally only available on IOS but is now available for Android devices.
- Instagram and its sub platform “bookstagram” are very well established and reach around the world.
An article from Bookriot earlier this year said that “if Goodreads and Instagram had a perfect baby…” Litsy would be the result.
In my experience with both platforms, I have noticed a significant difference between the user bases
- I find that most “bookstagrammers” are younger and more tech savvy than “littens.”
- I find a lot more about YA on Bookstagram than on Litsy.
- I find a lot more Harlequin-ish Romance and Horror on Litsy than on Bookstagram.
- I find that Bookstagram posts are more “fandom” related than on Litsy.
Quantity vs. Quality
While the ultimate goal of both platforms is to be a community of book lovers and readers I have to point out that I think Bookstagram has ended up being more about quantity, and Litsy is driven more by quality. I’ll explain…
- The most important part of your bookstagram post is the picture.
Some of them are incredible. But after the picture is only about a line and a half of your caption even though there is no character count limit. So if you write an amazing review of an awesome book, but your picture isn’t on par with expectations, like if you just post a picture of the front cover, (god forbid), you wont get half as many likes, comments, followers, possible regrams, as say an amazing picture followed by twenty five billion hashtags. #js. This is where the quantity part comes in. I mean, people can say they don’t care if people like their #shelfie post, but lets be real here, that is the entire point of Bookstagram and of Instagram as a whole- how many followers you have and which pictures get the most likes.
There have been more than a few instances in which I have seen an amazing picture of a book that I really like on Bookstagram and I leave a comment like, “Oh I loved that book! What did you think?” And the response is “well, I haven’t read it yet.” Let me be honest, in my pursuit to reach 1000 followers on Instagram I have also taken pictures of books I haven’t read. The point is that it is different on Litsy.
- You need to reference your post on Litsy to a book title.
Whenever you post on Litsy you have to choose which book your post is referencing. The options for posts are- Review, Blurb, and Quote- and then you have an option to add an image related to the book. You can of course select Untitled, Unknown as your book but I’d say 90% of the posts reference an actual title.
The little glasses icon that you see on the bottom of the picture means that I am currently reading this title. These are called stack adds. When you see a post about a book that interests you, you can add it to your stack as “to-read.” If you see a title of a book that you have already read you can add it to your stack as “have-read,” and choose one of the four rating options.
This is why I think Litsy is more about quality; as in the quality of your reading experience. It is definitely more specialized toward readers than Bookstagram.
And The Winner Is…
It may sound like I’m bashing Bookstagram, but I’m really not. I love the amazing pictures; I love that book fandoms are a thing. I like to think that Bookstagram has helped the rise in popularity of YA fiction; and if you haven’t read any YA in a long time please do because it isn’t what it used to be. I love that reading can be cool again. It’s just that unless you are an amazing photographer or know how to use photo editing apps (both of which i struggle with) it is easy to get lost in the bookstagram shuffle. With Litsy you can simply search the title that you loved/hated/want to read/need to talk about, and it will show posts directly related to that book.
I like both; I am active on both; both drive me crazy sometimes; both make me buy too many books, and both make me feel welcome and valid.
Feel free to follow me on either platform, and I will gladly follow back!