Good morning bookworms!
Today instead of featuring romance novels, or a specific title suitable for the occasion, I rounded up some of the best “Bookstagram” pics I noticed on my Instagram feed this morning. I thought it would be nice to shine a spotlight on some very talented book photographers. I for one, am always trying to up my instagram game, but there are some book lovers who have made bookstagramming a real art form.
But first, I want to take a second to talk about what this day is all about. My daughter said it best this morning when she said, “It’s a day to show the people you love, how much you care about them.”. She’s 4 btw, and I couldn’t be more proud of her. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy some hearts and flowers as much as the next girl, but I will be the first to admit, that I am not the most romantic person in the world (unlike my hubby), and I do feel that this day is generally all about consumerism. I mean, how many of you know the true meaning behind Hallmark Day… er… Valentine’s Day?
Origins of Valentine’s Day
While some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burial–which probably occurred around A.D. 270–others claim that the Christian church may have decided to place St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to “Christianize” the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Celebrated at the ides of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.
To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would gather at a sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa. The priests would sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification. They would then strip the goat’s hide into strips, dip them into the sacrificial blood and take to the streets, gently slapping both women and crop fields with the goat hide. Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed the touch of the hides because it was believed to make them more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city’s bachelors would each choose a name and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage.
A Day of Romance
Lupercalia survived the initial rise of Christianity and but was outlawed—as it was deemed “un-Christian”–at the end of the 5th century, when Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine’s Day. It was not until much later, however, that the day became definitively associated with love. During the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds’ mating season, which added to the idea that the middle of Valentine’s Day should be a day for romance.
Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages, though written Valentine’s didn’t begin to appear until after 1400. The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. (The greeting is now part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England.) Several years later, it is believed that King Henry V hired a writer named John Lydgate to compose a valentine note to Catherine of Valois.
I don’t know about you, but that sure gave me the warm and fuzzies!
Anyway, whether you love pagan rituals, champagne and chocolate, or homemade cards from your kids, I think we can all appreciate these gorgeous shots (worst segue EVER lol). So take a look and be sure to check out and follow these fab bookstagrammers when you’re done!
First mine! I chose to regram this amazing pic, because I love this book, and the spirit of the image captures my ambivalence to the holiday perfectly!
How cute is this one? I love the book heart made up from many YA favourites, and the red aesthetic is as festive as you can get.
Ah, the classic romances! I love this one because both Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre are two of my favourite classic novels. The colour choices and the aged quality of the image is just lovely.
Chocolate hearts and loads of pink and red!
I liked this one because it is really tasteful without using the obvious Valentine’s Day accoutrements. Fresh and contemporary.
A classic book stack in pink and red!
I’ve been following Elaine for a while now. I really love her style. She generally features dried flowers and antique filters that always flatter the book she is showcasing. Valentine’s Day is no exception.
Another gorgeous stack! A little more elaborate this time and I love the use of Funkos. I collect them myself lol.
I just thought this one was super cute!
Another really adorable pic!
And last but not least, this awesome shot by another blogger from our community. Bookstagram isn’t always about novels. Manga, graphic novels, and comics are a huge part too!
Well I hope you enjoyed my little history lesson, but more importantly, these amazing images created by talented book lovers!
Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day, regardless of what you do or whom you spend it with, and go check out these bookstagrammers!
Please feel free to leave me links to accounts you think I might like, I would love to discover new feeds!