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book aesthetics 101

recently, i became obsessed with making aesthetic posts for my favorite books. i’d only seen a few before creating my own, but those were usually entire accounts dedicated to the concept. when i saw a fellow blogger (@thebookvoyagers) make some on twitter, i was inspired to create my own (and now there are a ton of others making it as well, so THAT’S EXCITING).

what is an aesthetic post?

aesthetic posts can also be known as mood boards. however, the difference between mood boards and aesthetics is that mood boards could be very vast; aesthetic posts are usually only four pictures (well, on twitter, anyway). you can make these for nearly anything – people, music, astrology, personalities, concepts… you get the idea. bookish ones are generally based on novels or characters in books.

how do i make one?

these are actually incredibly easy to make because all you really need to do is find pictures. (the only reason why i feel a bit icky when creating these posts is because the photos aren’t mine and the sources of photographers are hard to find.) my number one source for finding pictures is weheartit. the site has a huge variety of nice aesthetic-looking photos but, as i mentioned earlier, the photos aren’t sourced. you can also use pinterest and google, but weheartit is my favorite and also the only site i use.

some tips when searching for photos:

  • look up keywords from the book instead of the book title itself (ex: “summer” or “friendship” for SINCE YOU’VE BEEN GONE)
  • if you’re using a media platform like weheartit or pinterest (aka not google), create an account and save/heart/pin possible pictures onto your collections
  • make sure to be aware of how the colors compliment each other of the four pictures you choose
  • search through A LOT of pictures before simply picking and choosing one
  • when choosing pictures with people, try to have the models be as true to the characters’ physical attributes as possible (ex: an old man with a beard playing a violin is NOT a close representation of jem carstairs from THE INFERNAL DEVICES even though both play violins)
  • be patient and have fun!

why should i make these?

aside from the fact that they’re super fun to make, aesthetic posts are a great way to promote the book to those who haven’t read it, and allow readers who have read it feel like they’re reliving it. i’ve had a few people tell me they want to read insert-book-here after seeing my post on it. in a way, they’re spoiler-free summaries on the book with images instead of words. but for those who’ve read the book(s), it could feel a bit like a reread or encourage a reread. (i’ve made myself want to reread some books waaaaaay too many times while making these.)

have you made any bookish aesthetic posts? or do you plan on making any? let me know in the comments!

Alexandra Ling

alexandra is a nineteen-year-old content creator and avid reader. when she's not on the internet or hiding behind pages, you can find her training to be a professional ballet dancer. she finds writing about herself in third-person strange.

  • i DO aesthetics on my twitter, and i just realized the We Heart It thing! thank you so much! as for me i type [subject]+ tumblr photography, it helps and i find a lot of interesting pictures!
    thank you so much for this post it was really helpful 🙂

    Maha @ Younicorn Reads

  • I love aesthetics so much! I recently started to create aesthetic collections on We Heart It and it’s so much fun and somehow really relaxing haha

  • I adore bookish aesthetics posts and I always stare at them enviously wishing I’d created them. Maybe I should try may own because it is simple (but time consuming). I always feel like I have nothing new to offer but the ones you’ve done are so pretty. Aesthetics posts are actually a really great way to convince me to read a book (I saw one for Everything Leads To You and instantly bought myself a copy) because sometimes I need that abstract picture representation of what the book is about or the characters who feature in it to spark my imagination and convince me to get reading.

  • I found your thread on Twitter for your aesthetics before, and I have to say, I’m addicted to staring at it every time I see it on my feed! xD I’ve tried doing aesthetics before, and I agree that it’s really fun to do. Though there are a lot of things to consider before rounding up all your images and finishing your aesthetic, which is a thing I didn’t know as a newbie. Awesome post!

    (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧ Mara @ Mara Was Here

  • I’ve seen a lot of aesthetic post on tumblr, and truthfully, the main reason I read The Raven Cycle is because the aesthetics I saw. They’re just soo pleasing to my heart and soul, if you could get what I mean. It’s just such a great way to get people to have interest in a certain book or post. There are tons of aesthetics blog on tumblr. But my favorite kind of aesthetic is the mythology ones. They always look timeless and ethereal. I don’t know if it’s aesthetic or not, but you really should check @ALLCAPSBOOKS on twitter. Really love your aesthetics though, especially the Winner’s Curse one. It makes me want to read the book!

  • Yessss I love these. I do feel a little weird about using the images, and I’m glad you mentioned this, but I loooove how it makes people want to read the books. I’m so glad you and Sil started making these! I mostly just use pinterest for mine, and I like to make sure I mix pictures of people/objects with pictures of scenery/locations.

  • This is so fun! I’ve never seen any of these, I’ll have to try my hand at making one of these posts! Yours are really beautiful, I’ll have to hunt on Twitter for more

    Thanks for sharing your process

  • Natalie

    I haven’t made any myself but I LOVE looking at them. I follow so many accounts that are specifically for aesthetics because I adore it so much. I hadn’t heard of bookish aesthetics but now I’ll have to look into some.

  • Tsaliara

    Wow! I’m tempted to make these myself. But yeah, my number one obstacle is the fear of someone suddenly pops up and accuses me of stealing his/her pictures. It might be my fear only, but seeing so many artists on Tumblr get angry over “using-pictures-without-source” things, I’m so scared of using pictures with no source. Let alone gathering many of them for making aesthetic post. Can someone tell me what is the line of using pictures online? Should I get loose a bit about it?

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