Sophomore’s incessant passion for books gains widespread following

Advith Natarajan, Staff Writer

Just a few months ago, sophomore Sonika Khosla reached a milestone only few could imagine: 10,000 followers on Instagram. A project which Khosla had started just over a year ago had now become an established platform for people to share their love of books and reading. 

“[10,000 followers] was really exciting,” Khosla said. “I felt really proud of myself because obviously I grew it from zero and it was just completely my initiative. It was not like I had to do it for something else. It was just something I did for myself and I was really proud of that.”

Khosla found her connection to reading through her older brother and has been a bibliophile ever since. Moreover, her enduring love for literature has also helped her appreciate the value of books, especially in a growingly technological world. 

“My brother always liked reading so I just joined the reading fun and it has just stuck with me throughout my whole life,” Khosla said. “I definitely got back fully into reading during quarantine because there wasn’t really anything else to do … I think books are just a good way to disconnect, but also be entertained in a different way.”

At the beginning of the pandemic lockdown, Khosla took interest in numerous book-related Instagram pages that gained notoriety. Seeing this, she decided to create her own “bookstagram.”

“​​I started following a few of these [book] pages because I noticed them getting popular,” Khosla said. “And then one day I was like, ‘well, why don’t I make my own?’ I thought that would be really fun.”

Khosla’s Instagram, @sonisbooks, covers primarily literature based topics ranging from a simple book feature or review, to more complex and aesthetic video productions. She also runs a blog, which focuses on book reviews and recommendations. Although her quality efforts weren’t noticed immediately, her posts soon started receiving widespread popularity. 

“Probably like six or seven months in [my Instagram started gaining more followers],” Khosla said. “So it took a lot of commitment to just keep posting even though it wasn’t getting a lot of traction.”

Throughout the journey, Khosla discovered the purpose of her work. 

“I think before it was getting followers,” Khosla said. “But now I don’t really care too much about that. It is more just making connections because I’ve actually made a lot of online friends from across the country and the world.” 

Furthermore, she was able to learn skills integral to photography, editing and composition. 

“I have learned a lot about picture editing,” Khosla said. “Lots of photo editing and photography techniques that make things look appealing to the eye.”

The influx of attention on her work has led to countless relationships. Through these connections, Khosla has established notable sponsors and partnerships with Goli Nutrition and Mapiful – a custom map website. She also works with a plethora of publishing companies, who ask Khosla to review their books. 

“It is kind of crazy because it is like ‘why me of all people would you reach out?’” Khosla said. “Publishers actually send me books before they are published for me to review. And that is such a big honor to get free books from a publisher … That is really crazy.”

Ultimately, Khosla wants her page to positively impact her followers. 

“I think spreading positivity [is important] because whatever sector you are in in social media, it is easy to get caught up in the negative aspects of it,” Khosla said. “So I just try and provide a welcoming place. I always tell people, my DMs are open, we can have conversations about anything. So just keeping my area of social media as positive as it can.”

In the future, Khosla wants to continue to develop relationships with publishers, sponsors and of course, her followers. 

“[My goal is] just continuing to work with more and more publishers, there are literally hundreds,” Khosla said. “I am also hoping to maybe write something on my own, so that is really exciting.”