10 Easy Instagram Photo Book Challenge

Lately, I've grown fascinated with the Instagram #BookChallenge and the #BookBento photo technique.  So, here's my rendition, see above graphic or make a copy of my GoogleDoc. Feel free to take, use, share, & make it yours! (With attribution please)

Confession: I'm kinda lazy, some book challenges are 30 or 31 days...I chose 10 pictures just to make it doable and easy. 

Have you heard of these? Have you ever participated in one? For the past 6 months, I've been working on a new presentation for a keynote appearance in Ohio and it's making me more thoughtful about the potential of Instagram. More clever ways to interact with Libraries, literacy, books, reading, kids, and our community.

UPDATE: October 5. I changed number 5 in the graphic & challenge above to #BookSelfie. 

I have an announcement [taps mic] I am an idiot.

Here's why. I've always LOVED the term #Shelfie cause it's fun to say, where kids & people hold up a book next to their face, or covering their face, but ummmm after trying to make that a thing -- womp womp, it's not.

When you search #Shelfie on Instagram you get mostly pictures of ....well, shelves. But the #BookSelfie is the hashtag that brings up pictures of smiling people holding up books! So.... #BookSelfie it is! Ta da!

Here's an amazing example from Johann in the UK.

Book review! 📚 . “Monsters are real. Ghosts are too. They live inside of us, and sometimes, they win.” . When I first read The Shining a number of years ago I thought it was fantastic and gave it 5 stars, but it just never ranked as a personal favourite. On this reread, however, my socks were well and truly blown off and I had an entirely different experience. This is why I will always be a huge advocate for rereading - it’s quite apparent that wherever your head is at, or whatever life circumstances you find yourself in, can really impact how you view a book. As if that isn’t obvious 💁🏼‍♀️ . On my first read, I was impatient. I was just starting to read King, I wanted the SCARY BITS. This time around I was emotionally involved. I felt a deep connection to Danny and I could really tap into Wendy’s fears as a parent. A younger, more naive me would have thought “why don’t you just fucking leave if all this creepy shit is happening?” - well, until the snow storm at least - but now I can appreciate this as a last chance saloon for the Torrances. They needed the money, they really had nothing else to go back to. . The Shining is surely one of King’s scariest, if not THE scariest - a few scenes in Pet Sematary might rival this title. One scene in particular left me feeling claustrophobic and breathless, and I regretted reading it one night before bed when I was home alone. I love that there’s so much history to the Overlook and that the former guests continue to hang around 👀 . Jack’s descent into madness is terrifying. He is a complex character and it is difficult to know whether we are to sympathise with him or not. He’s far from a perfect father, but we are all flawed in our ways - just maybe not to this extreme. I shed a little tear towards the end, because I think in spite of all he has done, he does love his son - he was just the perfect prey for the Overlook to get its claws into. . I thoroughly LOVED this reread, and also the extra prologue and epilogue this edition has. The prologue in particular is something you should seek out if you’re a fan of The Shining - it really added another layer of history. . ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5. . #jobisreviews2019 . . . . . .
A post shared by Johann 💀 (@jobis89) on

See? I can be an idiot for years and then eventually learn. I'm also not afraid to admit when I'm an idiot and totally wrong, either! Because, well...unlike most of the Real Housewives (Hello Vickie G & Ramona S --talking about you) I can say I do try to "own it."

Here's more info from BookRiot #RiotGrams 2019

“We’ve talked a bit about Bookstagram here on Book Riot, and you probably know about our own sweet little Instagram account. Now we’d like to challenge the awesome readers and community of Book Rioters to take part in a month-long Instagram challenge, hosted by us. If you’ve got an Instagram account, that’s all you need to take part.” 

Don't have access to Instagram at school or the App is frowned upon or banned in your district? Here's some Ninja ways around that will still capitalize on the engagement of Instagram with out all that messy Social Media sturm & drang! (Thank you Tim Guy of Project Runway fame for that turn of phrase!) One of my Twitter fam & friends said: 
To which I replied:  Do you have GSuite in your school?  You could have the kids take the pictures & share them with you in Google Drive then you could print them out for a bulletin board as well as Tweeting them out! There's always Ninja yet ethical ways around stuffs! You could even use an Instagram template to put them together with @PicMonkey or Photoshop! 


Box it Like Bento

I'm also really intrigued by the #BookBento. I've seen it around, appreciated the technique, but haven't tried it myself yet. Here's some info about it!

#BookBento From Jennie Bales, Library Professor in Tasmania:
“Bento is a Japanese term of single serve take away meal that is served in a box – traditionally lacquered wood – with separate sections for different portions. Applying this structure to a literature response strategy results in book bento boxes. Here are some great examples to get you inspired. You will see that the box structure can be somewhat flexible in this strategy and most do not have compartments for different portions…...An alternative way to express a response to literature that will excite students with its combination of personal expression, visual arts, technology (Instagram), creativity and hands on compilation of the bento box contents.”
 Follow Jennie Bales on Twitter

Killer #BookBento shared by the amazing Jennifer LaGarde

Must Read:

Building beautiful book bentos by Joyce Valenza featuring an interview with 

Library Girl, Jennifer LaGarde

Want to see more of the pictures and examples? Check out my Flickr Gallery!

Want to learn more? Join us for this webinar! 

Interactive Instagram Book Challenge Resources:
Instagram Photo Challenge Returns!
31 Days of Instagram Challenge - 5 Minute Librarian
What I Learned From Hosting An Instagram Challenge (+ 6 Tips to Create Your Own!)
 Very excited & honored to be the opening Keynote at the Ohio OELMA Conference!

2019 OELMA Conference - Ohio Educational Library Media Association

Resources for my Keynote & Sessions. 

Keynote: Presentation Resources 
FOMO: Instagram Session: Presentation Resources 
Session Note-Taking GSuite Worksheet - Please go to File > Make a copy - Thanks! 


  1. There is nothing I love more than a good Instagram book challenge!

    1. Hey Alicia! Thanks for your kind comment! Have you done an Instagram book challenge before? Can you share your IG name or DM me? I'd love to see your content!

  2. I have never heard of a book challenge before and I love this idea. There are so many different ways to use this poster and these activities - in the classroom or library. I will be sharing this with my colleagues for literacy week and making it available to my students as extending activities for in class. Thanks for the great idea!

    1. Hey M! I'm so glad you like the idea - it was new to me, too! Please check out the other Insta posts, I really want to try the Insta Book Bento Box idea! I've yet to really do that, but it sounds super fun! DM me your Insta, I'd love to follow you. Thanks for your comment!

  3. Wow! These are great ideas to get students engaged with reading and literacy. I have recently started taking a post grad librarian course in BC so I am new to this area. I particularly loved the Bento Box idea. I think it gives students the opportunity to think outside the box (no pun intended) and share their creative side. It also is a great way for students to make connections and try something completely different. Thank you for sharing, I can't wait to try some of these activities out in the future!

    1. Thank you for your kind comment! I had a very enjoyable visit keynoting the #BCTLA conference a while back. Were you there by any chance? Would love to see what you do come up with. Please tag me and refer to this comment on Instagram and I will be sure to follow you!

  4. This is such a fun idea! A great way to get students to want to read more. I think it could be used as a classroom challenge throughout the year. Once a student finishes a book, they take a picture using one prompt from the list. A small prize could be available at the end of the year.

    1. OMGosh, love that idea! Thank you so much for your comment, Paige! Please tag me on Instagram and refer to this comment on IG and I will be sure to follow you! Would love to follow your great ideas and see your kids excited about reading!

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