20 Book Photography Ideas

Whether you are looking to start a Bookstagram or are simply exploring the beautiful world of the book aesthetic, here are 20 photos to inspire your book photography. 

 1. Beautiful spines 

There is no sight less pleasing to a book lover than a stack of pretty spines. My personal favourites are these Penguin Classics editions of F. Scott Fitzgerald's works (as you will be able to tell if you follow me on Instagram @stackedshelves). There are so many pretty spines out there that stacking a few books together can create a whole variety of pretty pictures for your Bookstagram.

2. Beautiful covers 

So many books have covers art so stunning that they deserve a photo all to themselves! The Night Circus is one of my favourites, and I'm currently re-reading it, so I decided to showcase it on my feed. Obviously, if you're a book-lover, you will have no shortage of pretty book covers to show off in your bookish photos, and there's so many ways to do this. I always picture myself holding my books like this: 

3. Life is an open book

Whilst covers are beautiful, the sight of an open book is equally as pleasing to a book lover! Here I've taken it further by situating my photo in front of my shelves turned with the pages facing outwards. This is so aesthetic, but be warned - you will spend hours searching for your books. (Update: I had to abandon this shelf configuration for now - I just couldn't bear having the sight of my pretty spines turned away from me!)

4. Book stacks

I personally love the sight of books stacked together with the pages facing outwards, especially when they're a little weathered and aged. And people perusing Pinterest and Instagram really dig the whole #vintagevibes and #vintageaesthetic - showing off some old books you have and their worn out edges is the perfect way to insert yourself into this category!

5. Statement sweater

You may have noticed that my feed is centred around myself holding books in various positions. This also gives me the chance to showcase my outfits, and now that sweater weather has returned, I'm focusing my Instagram on pairing cosy jumpers with my book stacks. It's the perfect way to inject more of that autumn goodness into your bookish photos. (I've had lots of questions about this jumper - it's from H&M).

6. Favourite books 

There was no real reason or logic behind this photo other than it gave me a chance to showcase one of my favourite books, American Psycho. Take photos of books you are passionate about, and that will shine through in the caption and attract people to your post. The same goes for taking pictures that you enjoy and that you would like to see more of - creating content you would consume is an important tip to remember.

7. Oversized sweater

Similar to what I was discussing above, an oversized sweater is always on trend for autumn/winter fashion, often paired with belted jeans. You don't even have to show yourself wearing it - you could lay one out on your bed with some books in shot to capture those autumn vibes.

8. Warm tones

I'm really pushing this buttoned sweater, but this tip is about injecting warm tones into your photos, especially during the autumn months! This is easily done by turning up the white balance when editing your photos, and it works really well with the 'shelves turned outside in' aesthetic. VSCO also have a whole host of free filters that you can use to make the most of your edits - I've used it for months and would really recommend. 

9. Oversized shirt

My posts where I wear an oversized shirt always do well, and I think it's because there's something about the pairing of a shirt with a book which inspires an element of schoolgirl chic. (No, not in a creepy Lolita way).

10. Deckled edges

If you have any books with unusual features such as deckled or sprayed edges, showcase them! Unique features like this always make a photo more appealing, and they're a good way to break up your feed and show something a little different every once in a while.

11. Sunlight

Some people like gloomy photos, but personally I love the look of sunlight streaming into my pictures. I always try and shoot my photos in the sun to really bring out those golden tones - which I think are especially perfect for the orange and brown tones of autumn. (Seasonal content is the way to go - so many more people will engage with your posts).

12. Tea!

I'm British, so of course a healthy amount of my posts have to revolve around tea. Hot drinks and books make the perfect combo, and inspire all the cosiness in pictures. I've also experimented in the past with making fancier looking drinks like hot chocolates with cream and sprinkles, which look super yummy and attract the viewer's eye.

13. Reading nook

I do most of my reading in bed, so try to bring this through in my feed. Flat-lay pictures like this are perfect for this time of year when all book lovers want to do is curl up under the covers with a good book.

14. A change of scene

I actually took this photo when I visited the Palace of Versailles, of all places! I take most of my photos indoors, so sometimes it's nice to have a change of scenery to keep your feed interesting. And book lovers like to read everywhere, so some photos outside reflect this!

15. Book spread

I love spreading out a trio of books in my photos, whether I'm holding them or otherwise - the combination of the different covers is so aesthetic! And everyone always loves a good Harry Potter photo, which is another tip - photographing more mainstream books is naturally going to attract a wider audience. I would never not talk about a book on Instagram just because it isn't popular, but try to keep a balance between the mainstream and the niche in your bookish content.

16. Holding up a book

This isn't my usual style of photo, but lots of bookstagram accounts do it very well. I think the combination of the disembodied hand with the plain background looks really cool, putting all the focus onto the book cover!

17. Sweet treat

Everyone loves a snack whilst they read, and my preferred choice is some biscuits to go along with my cup of tea! Even better - cookies are so nice to look at, and I always get more comments on how good they look in photos like this rather  than on the books themselves!

18. Random piles of books

Photos of books stacked up all over the place in people's abodes is very popular on bookstagram, and it's easily recreated.

19. Silhouette

I love the look of photos taken in the silhouette of a window - there's something about it which is so romantic. And it's easy to get a book in shot!

20. Immersed - literally - in books 

This is one of my more extra photos, admittedly, but the aesthetic of lying in and amongst scattered books is so popular on bookstagram that I had to give it a go!


  1. Oh my goodness, these pictures are AMAZING!! You are such a great photographer...all of these ideas are really creative and I will definitely have to try them out. ��

    - Ash ♥

    1. Whoops, the smiley face emoji turned into question marks :(

    2. Thank you so much! Let me know if you try any of them out - I would love to see them! And don't worry - happens to me all the time :)

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