5 Favorite Literary Instas

 An Instagram style photo of a book surrounded by other objects on a flat pink background

A Book Bento Box post for Hermione Hoby’s debut novel Neon in Daylightphoto: courtesy of book bento box


hile social media gives us an unprecedented connection to each other, the vast amount of constantly whirling information can be overwhelming. Literature has always had a proud tradition of instilling peace and inspiring reflection, and this has never been more vital than in the hectic information age. We’ve put together a list of five Instagram pages that deliver literature’s power in small moments in between the vacation and baby pictures on your feed.



Book Bento Box is a literary take on a Japanese tradition of bentō, or single-portion home-packed meals that are often placed in elaborate, aesthetically pleasing arrangements. Book Bento Box builds on this concept with a book recommendation as the main course among a variety of carefully placed side items. 



Subway Book Review seeks to shine light on the time-honored tradition of reading in transit, taking readers aside to get their take on whatever book happens to be in their hands. The page features black-and-white pictures of readers from the subways of New York City, London, Cairo, and Mexico City along with their thoughts on the book.



Book readings can bring in all kinds of people, but authors can only hope to have someone like Kate Gavino in the crowd. Gavino has been to countless readings, during which she sits down and illustrates the author next to Gavino’s favorite quote from the event. Scrolling through the numerous illustrations and nuggets of wisdom is an inspiring experience, and there’s plenty to go through—enough for Gavino to compile into a book, Last Night’s Reading (2015).



Spine-side Out creates poetry from the spines of books. The titles fall into each other and form a poem, which makes for a unique bridge between books that may not otherwise have connections. It’s a great way to satisfy an itch for poetry while finding new and interesting reading material.



Photography critic for the New York Times, author, and art critic Teju Cole displays art and photography on his Instagram page. He frequently adds poetic captions that deepen the experience, but often he’ll simply leave the work to speak for itself. His page is perfect for taking a moment to be still in the midst of the day’s chaos.

Photo by Merleyn Bell

Reid Bartholomew is an assistant language teacher on the JET Programme teaching English in Japan’s Aomori Prefecture. A graduate of the University of Oklahoma, he studies contemporary Japanese literature.