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Conversations with Joy Benavides

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joy Benavides. 

Joy, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I started a “bookstagram” (Instagram for books) to show my love for books and to show off the city of Denver. I had wanted to make a bookstagram for a while but wanted something that would make it more unique. Something I noticed bookstagram was lacking was Denver! The beautiful city itself, and the abundant options of coffee shops, bars, and restaurants this city has to offer! I decided this would be a fun way to show my city off. 

My one-year anniversary on bookstagram is 12/21/2021 and I’ve grown a lot! People seem to be enjoying my pictures of Denver (and of course, the books)! 

It has become my love letter to Denver and books. 

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
This is a hobby of mine and has become one of my favorite things to do, but it is something I do purely for fun. Thankfully, it has been a hobby with a smooth road! 

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
As a bookstagrammer (what a fun term), I read as many books as I can get my hands on. I then try to find places in Denver that would photograph well with different books. It’s a great excuse to try different places and stay “in the know” of everything happening in Denver! There’s so much this city has to offer! I bring books with me everywhere to snap a picture, and while I may get some strange looks, I have no shame in my book photograph game. I’m most proud of the little community that I’ve been able to foster through this bookstagram experience. It started with my friends and family supporting me, and has grown into a special community with people from all over the world! I’ve met other people who have bookstagrams in Denver, and it has been so fun getting to know people who love the same things I do! I have also had people who have never been to Denver tell me they would love to visit! That makes me very proud because this little something that I started has reached people from all over! 

I think what sets me apart is Denver! My city that I love so much. I think it has made me stand out in the bookstagram community, and I love Denver even more for that! 

What would you say have been one of the most important lessons you’ve learned?
I’ve learned many lessons from bookstagram. One being that being a “nerd” is always cool! Bookstagram is an ever-growing community cause books and reading are cool! I think that bookstagram (and booktok (TikTok for books)) have shown people that reading is still cool. Case in point- how many movies and tv shows these days have been adapted thanks to books? The whole Marvel universe is based on comic books! 

Reading is cool and will never be outdated. 

I’ve also learned how amazing it is to connect with people based on mutual hobbies. I’ve made so many book friends that I adore! 

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Joy Benavides

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