On 11 January 2018, I started a #bookcovers and #firstsentences series on Instagram. One of my goals was to showcase and pay homage to the books and writers in my bookcases. Another was researching the effect of book covers and first sentences on the reader. And on 28 January 2022, I shared my 600th post.

I’ve admitted elsewhere how I soon realised the research aspect of my posts lacked “scientific rigour”. Likes and comments are affected by the number of followers, timing of posts, and tags used. For example, my most popular books are Long Way Round (106 likes) and Long Way Down (70), tagged #EwanMcGregor, #CharleyBoorman and #motorbikes.

The frequency of my posting has also affected followers and likes. And while it took only four months to post my first 100 books and just over a year to reach 300, it’s taken four long years to achieve the 600 milestone (see below).

Instagram Milestones

The following summarises the milestones of my #bookcovers and #firstsentences homage series, with links to the posts on Instagram:

Frequency, Mix and Media

In the enthusiastic early days of my Instagram series, I posted multiple books every day to build up a following. And even when I dialled down my posting volume after a few months, I still managed daily posts.

However, as the frequency of my posts decreased over time, I increased the range of the books in the series, reflecting the eclectic mix of fiction and nonfiction titles in my bookcases. And I included children’s and young adult books from my son’s collection (now stored in boxes in the attic) and Agatha Christies and sci-fi from my wife’s bookcase.

Another change over the past year is the number of ebooks and audiobooks I’ve posted to Instagram. Although I still love the feel of traditional paper-based books, I’ve come to enjoy the convenience of reading a Kindle in bed at night. And the entertainment value of audiobooks while walking my dog. (My top six books for 2021 included an ebook and three audiobooks.)

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600 Posts and Beyond

In celebrating my 500th Instagram post in October 2020, I observed:

While I’ve enjoyed the Instagram posts, it’s proved more time-consuming than simply taking a photo of a book and entering the opening lines. And my writer and editor roles at Tall And True keep me busy, with blog posts like this and short stories and other fiction and nonfiction writing. And then there’s my new podcast, Tall And True Short Reads.

But I concluded, “I’d continue posting #bookcovers and #firstsentences to Instagram. It might just take a little longer to get to my 600th post.” And so it did!

Like life, I’ve learned that the journey with my homage series matters, not the destination. So I look forward to sharing more books and carrying on towards my 700th post and beyond.

More on Book Covers and First Sentences

You might like to read the other posts and articles I’ve shared on the Tall And True writers’ website about book covers and first sentences:

© 2022 Robert Fairhead

Note: This post first appeared on Tall And True.

This post was proofread by Grammarly
About RobertFairhead.com

About RobertFairhead.com

Welcome to the blog posts and selected writing of Robert Fairhead. A writer and editor at the Tall And True writers' website, Robert also writes and narrates episodes for the Tall And True Short Reads podcast. In addition, his book reviews and other writing have appeared in print and online media, and he's published several collections of short stories. Please see Robert's profile for further details.


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