With over 10k followers on Instagram, Giselle Gonzalez is one of the well known bookstagram accounts on Instagram. These crisp, bright, and clean photographs display a look that many book lovers enjoy, making it one of the most popular hashtags on Instagram. Today I’m chatting with HBL and her experience with her business and the book community.
Giselle Gonzalez moved to New York from Miami for school to get a degree in PR and English at Boston University. She hopes to move to NYC permanently after she graduates. She worked as a publicity intern at Grand Central Publishing in NY last year. She loves music, puppies, coffee, exploring new places and talking about books.
- Tell me about of yourself that you wouldn’t normally put on a bio.
Hmm, well something I have not put in my Instagram bio is that I am vegan!
- How did you come up with the name Hopeless Book Lover? How did start your business?
Hopeless Book Lover was one of the many names I was juggling around with when I decided to start a blog. I had a list of a bunch of different names and Hopeless Book Lovers (it was originally plural) was the name that stuck with my co-blogger and I at the time! It started off with me just wanting a platform that wasn’t Goodreads to review books and post fun content, and then I slowly started becoming addicted to the Instagram/photography aspect of it, which I guess only makes sense since I was in photography club in high school.
- Describe how you feel when you get book mail from a publishing company vs. an author. Do you feel any different?
I wouldn’t say I feel any different, though if it’s an author I am obsessed with that feels a a bit “cooler”. Haha.
- For those who don’t know, what is your definition of “bookstagram“?
“Bookstagram” for me means a community where you can meet people who share your same passion, which to me is something that just continuously blows my mind because I was not surrounded by people who loved books and talking about them while I was growing up.
- How has moving to NY changed or impacted your content on your bookstagram?
While I’ve only lived in NY the past two summers (I’m still in school in Boston, #GoTerriers!) I think being here has most definitely impacted my content. There’s just something about NY that makes me want to create and take the time to go out and get the content I want. Everyone here is so creative and passionate and I feel like that just fuels my own passion (It also helps that everything here is so photogenic! *sigh*).
- What do you think it is that makes a good Instagram photo?
I really think this is very subjective because what I consider to be good could definitely not be considered good by someone else and vice versa. Personally, I love bright, naturally lit photos and creative ideas for photos.
- It’s noticeable you’ve reached your success (10k followers is amazing!) from being passionate and your love of books. But with an equal number of likes, do you get dislikes or do you ever get haters? If so, how do you feel about that?
I have never gotten haters and that’s something I love about bookstagram; everyone is so supportive and when they love your photo, they really let you know.
- What is it like living in NY? I’m from Toronto and we get compared to NY a lot, and so it’s hard for me to list the pros and cons of it all.
It’s HOT. Haha that’s the summer perspective. In all seriousness, living in NY is almost euphoric (at least for me personally). Like I said before, I’ve only lived here for the summer so my experience might be a bit different but whenever I’m in NY, I constantly feel like I need to be doing something. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll have days where I just want to curl up in my apartment and watch Grey’s, but for the most part I feel like I constantly need to take advantage of the city I am in by getting out there and exploring. Living in NY is also the ultimate networking opportunity. You are constantly meeting new people and that is something I absolutely love!
- What do you tell the men in your life (or potential suitors) what HBL is? Do you have any responses to share?
LOL I am single as a Pringle.
- What would you advice fellow bookstagramers who are just in it for the likes and follows?
STOP! I can be guilty of sometimes getting caught up in stuff like that too but when that happens I think it’s best to just disconnect for a while and think about why you are on bookstagram. When you started you probably only cared about creating cool content and talking about books right? That’s the mindset you should stick with!
- Give me your top three pieces of advice for someone visiting NY.
1) Explore areas on the lower side! Don’t just stay in Times Square, see it all.
2) Try to take the subway! It’s a lot easier than you think and it’s cheaper.
3) Soak it all in. You’re in the city that never sleeps. Take advantage of every thing and every moment!
- How do you handle being an adult? Things like rent, school fees, bills are all daunting tasks that every person our age has to go through. And sometimes, it’s tough.
So I’m lucky enough to have my parents support me since I am still in school. However, I do love having a job (or three) and I try to support myself as much as I can with what I make. It’s tough though! Everything now is sooo expensive. Thankfully though, I have my parents who are the best! ❤
- Digital or physical copies of books?
Both! Hehe. The beauty of a physical book cannot be replicated but I love the convenience of reading on my kindle app.
- What is your favourite thing about having Instagram as a platform to share your love of books?
Interacting with readers and non-readers! I’ve discovered so many amazing life bloggers, food bloggers, etc., through my bookstagram and that is something I did not expect!
- 3 pieces of equipment (of any form) that you never leave without.
Headphones, chap-stick, and sunglasses.
- Tell me a secret.
Well, I may or may not be in the works with a super cute company on a secret project! –> Side note from me, OMG!!!
- What does your perfect meal consist of?
Gah, okay… Avocado toast + acai bowl + latte!
- Do you have any goals for the rest of 2017 for HBL?
Yes! For the remainder of this year I definitely want to start collaborating with more brands and I want to apply to be brand reps for companies too. I definitely want to do more stuff like that. Hence my secret project! 😉
- Would you ever interview me? (Haha just kidding!) Who is one person you’d love to interview?
LOL my interview skills are definitely not up to par, especially when compared to yours. 😉 But I think one person I would love to interview at the moment would be Amy Palladino, so I can grill her on whether there will be more Gilmore Girls!! (I just saw the A Year In the Life special).
- Who would you be without HBL?
I feel like without HBL I would be a very boring person. It’s so hard to imagine my life as one in which I’m not a blogger because I honestly put so much of my time into it.
Thank you so much for interviewing me! I was so honored to be asked and- oh yeah, I am all about the shameless promo. If you’re reading this I would absolutely love it if you’d subscribe to my website: www.hopelessbooklover.com. I don’t post everyday or anything but I want to try writing more and including fun lists and content! 🙂
This is where I do all my journalism related stuff. If you want to check out my book blog (UBH) where I post new releases and reviews, click here.
all images credits go to Giselle Gonzalez. Comments or concerns, email me here.