Student Spotlight

Book Lovers Online: Erin Kim

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Student Spotlight

Book Lovers Online: Erin Kim

Book Lovers Online: Erin Kim

Grace Sailer

Book Lovers Online: Erin Kim

Grace Sailer

Grace Sailer

Book Lovers Online: Erin Kim

Grace Sailer and Josh Arroyo

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Erin Kim, Senior at NMHS, is the creator behind a “bookstagram”, an account on Instagram that features her love for books and photography. Her account @thebookists on Instagram has over five thousand followers and has reviewed books such as the Harry Potter series, Six of Crows, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and more. Kim speaks passionately while describing her humble beginnings with the account, “I wanted to share my love of books with other people and little did I know there was already a community like that. I followed a few bookstagrammers but I didn’t know until I joined how massive the community really was.”

Grace Sailer
Erin Kim showing her love for books via Instagram.

Kim’s account “started off two years ago, in June,”, and at first, she says, “I just used the books that I had and I took photos with them, and I didn’t have much merch or anything so I just did what I could.” Kim was then chosen to be a representative of the company The Bookish Box through a rep search, another big aspect of the posts on her account. “Companies post these things called rep searches, and they basically tell you what they’re looking for and you make a post about it, with information about yourself and what you do and how you promote products, and at the end of it you leave a hashtag, and basically what they do is they search through that hashtag and choose someone to be a brand rep, and I was chosen”. “I use a lot of products from different companies and post with them.”A lot of her following has been gained from the exposure that these companies give her, she says, “Whenever they post one of the photos that I take for them, I gain probably 15 followers from that” Now, Kim, “[is] fortunate enough to work with the biggest book box in the industry”.  

Erin Kim has gained a following filled with other bookstagrammers and good-old book lovers from across the United States and different countries around the world, including Australia, China, the Philippines, and Thailand. Most of her following are “definitely people from other fandoms” and as she says, “Only about 100 of my followers are friends and family, the rest are fellow bookworms and other people and even people who just enjoy the photos, which I find very flattering.”  Kim describes the content on her account as “of course bookish” and with a smile adds that it’s “more geared to young adult fiction and fantasy.” In regards to the photography aspect of her account, she says “I definitely like incorporating a more natural aspect to my photos, … I like to mimic the seasons.” As we transition into fall, Kim is now using more autumnal colors and florals to surround her photos, while in the winter, she says “I use more like Christmas tree-type florals and decorations.”

Kim is also the sole creator on the account, yet she founded it with the help of a friend. “I used to have a friend run it with me, Maya [@btwnthepages on Instagram], but she goes to BCA and just doesn’t have time.” Kim acknowledges how difficult it is to run the account on her own, largely in part to the Instagram algorithm. “My followers see the most of the pictures that they like, so the more often they like my posts, the more often they see my posts in their feed.” But if there are none of Kim’s posts in their feed to like, the frequency of the times her posts show up in their feed goes down. “If I don’t post… my account gets hidden. And on a post where I normally would get 500 plus likes, I get around 200 likes.”  So, if Kim is inconsistent with her posts, even for one or two days, it can affect the exposure to her followers, which can dramatically affect her like and following statistics. “So it’s hard especially when you’re passionate about your posts… each picture takes about 10-20 minutes to create, and because I’m inconsistent, the posts still don’t do well.” Because of this, as well as the instability in the profession, Kim says she would never make social media her full-time job, yet she would love to continue it as a hobby. 

Overall, Erin Kim is very passionate about her role as an influencer for fellow book lovers, and takes the time to appreciate how becoming an influencer with connections to people from other places has made her more aware of the opportunities that she is provided at home. As a Senior at NMHS, she is part of the Varsity Tennis Team as well as the Orchestra, Choir, the Environmental Club and Peer Leadership (to name a few). Kim especially loves being a part of the school musical as a member of the stage crew.When asked to describe one thing she likes about NMHS, she says with confidence, “The opportunities that NMHS gives you are really unique and at NMHS if you don’t have a certain opportunity you have the ability to create it. For example, one of my friends from Michigan, his school doesn’t even have a model UN. It’s like the saying ‘you don’t realize what you have until you see people who don’t have it.’” If you or someone you know is a book lover, just want to support a fellow knight, make sure to follow Erin Kim’s account on Instagram @thebookists and show her some NMHS pride.

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