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Giveaway and Q&A with @books_and_abe

“To build up a library is to create life. It’s never just a random collection of books.” –Carlos Maria Dominguez

Anyone who loves collecting books will understand the truth of that statement. Jackie, a Bookstagrammer from Arizona, certainly does. Though she created an Instagram account (@books_and_abe) to showcase the lovely sets and editions she owns only last year, Jackie has been enthusiastically collecting books for as long as she can remember. Today, nearly 10,000 followers admire her lovely “shelfies.”

If you adore clothbounds, word clouds, fine bindings and other beautiful variations of the classics, then we absolutely recommend following @books_and_abe on Instagram. From the get-go, you’ll be struck by the bright, cheery tones of Jackie’s creative arrangements. The editions she owns are vibrant and colorful, photographed against the backdrops of decorative blankets and quilts. Jackie also has a number of cacti on her bookshelf and around her home, sure to make you feel like you’re in sunny Arizona yourself.

Displaying her editions on Instagram has even helped Jackie grow her amazing collection. Gifts and suggestions from other Bookstagrammers – whom Jackie refers to as “kindred spirits” – have allowed her to complete sets with hard-to-find copies or discover entirely new editions she hadn’t realized existed.

This week, we’ve also partnered with @books_and_abe on a special giveaway, so be sure to visit Jackie on Instagram to learn how you can win.

Read on to learn a little bit more about Jackie!

What is your favorite thing about sharing pictures of books on Instagram?

I honestly think the best part of Bookstagram is the community, which is just 99% the kindest book-loving peeps ever. Everyone is uplifting and encouraging, and that feels rare for social media. Plus we all relate to each other and don’t see 30 books bought in one month as being totally cray, like other people do.

What type of books are your favorite to photograph?

This question is like asking which of my kids I like photographing better…I can’t choose because I love them all for different reasons. I’d have to say the Mr. Boddington Penguin Classics are high on my list.

Jackie (@books_and_abe)

What is the most memorable book that you’ve read in the past year?

Gone with the Wind seriously blew my mind. It is such an epic American novel. As much as I loved the movie growing up, it blew that out of the water. I’m in love with Melanie and Captain Butler.

If you could make everyone in the world read one book, what would it be?

This question is SO hard. Can I name my top 5 favorites?

  1. Jane Austen (All her works share the #1 spot.)
  2. Les Miserables
  3. My Name is Asher Lev (I named my second son Asher because of this book.)
  4. The Book Thief
  5. Little Women

What is your favorite place to read?

My bedroom is my book oasis. I installed shelving by my bed, and it’s my Bookstagram hub. I love to read and write in there. I even hauled a small desk in for work so I could be right there under my books.

What’s your day job?

My day job is being a stay-at-home mom. It’s my everything, and I love raising my boys. I am also a real estate agent, and I came back to teaching piano after a two-year hiatus – that money is my book-buying fund.

Any tips to share with a beginning Bookstagrammer?

Just have fun and be yourself. Don’t worry about how many followers or likes you get. I started Bookstagram purely to help me have a couple minutes every day to escape grieving my fourth little boy, Abe, who passed away very suddenly in 2014. It’s a little spot for trying to re-find my own creativity. Book collecting has been therapy for me. I’ve made wonderful friends and had a great time doing it.

Post what makes you happy! I can’t tell you how many times a post that I love so dang much and spent so much time on will get the fewest likes and the post I snap as I’m walking out the door will get over 2,000 likes. It’s hilarious, and I just roll with it because it doesn’t matter. Just enjoy the ride.



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