Hello readers! Can you believe that it’s already August? It feels like only a week or two ago that summer started, and now in just around a month school will be starting again! Where has the time gone???
Anyways, today is the seventh of August, which means that it’s time for Part 5 of my Sunday Morning Book Chats series. This week’s guest is the lovely Mathilde, a French university student who has been a part of the bookstagram community for two years. Her account, @relationsheep, is one of my absolute favorites, and I’m so excited to have her on my blog today. Without further ado, let’s get started!
The General Questions
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself: where you’re from, how long you’ve been on bookstagram for, and what you like to do when you’re not reading books, photographing books, or just generally thinking about books.
Hi, I’m Mathilde, I’m 21, a student and a leo. I live in Paris with my cat Bobby but I’m originally from good ol’ Brittany. I have a BA in English Studies and I’ll be studying online marketing next year. I’ve been on Bookstagram for two years already (god, that long!) When I’m not reading or doing any book-related business, I’m usually chilling in bed watching Netflix, drawing or walking around Paris.
2. How did you discover the bookstagram community, and what you made you decide to start your own account?
Two summers ago, I discovered the magical world of Booktube. I’ve always liked reading but with university, I sort of stopped reading a lot — thankfully, Booktube motivated me to read more. I then ordered this beautiful Penguin Clothbound edition of Jane Eyre and thought it was way too pretty not to be photographed — so I took a picture of it and posted it on Instagram. And then I discovered the wonderful Bookstagram community and here I am, two years later.
3. In all your time on bookstagram, are there any moments in particular that stand out to you or any experiences you’ve had because of bookstagram that you’re particularly grateful for?
I think my favorite thing about Bookstagram is how easily you can make friends! I’ve met so many lovely people from all over the world, and for that I’m very grateful. Interacting with publishers and authors is another thing I love — I remember my heart skipped a beat when Penguin Books UK started following me (I’m easily happy.)
A Bit More Specific…
1. Are you the type of person who likes to read multiple books at a time, or do you like to pick up one book and stick with it until you’ve finished it?
I’m a strict ‘one book at a time’ type of gal — although I’ve been cheating on The Little Friend recently with other books — but otherwise, I usually stick to one book.
2. What are you currently reading, and what books are you excited to start reading soon?
As you might have guessed, I’m currently in the middle of finishing The Little Friend by Donna Tartt. I’m planning to read Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell this month and in August, I’ll be reading The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov.
3. On a scale of 1-10, how intimidating is your TBR pile?
Oh boy, I’m waaaaay past 10. My TBR is out of control. I’m weak. Please send help.
4. Who are your go-to authors?
Donna Tartt, Shirley Jackson, Angela Carter, Gillian Flynn, Megan Abbott, Nancy Mitford, and the only man on the list: John Wyndham.
5. You’re hosting a tea party and you can invite three famous people, either living or dead. Who do you invite and why?
Do these people have to be writers? If so, I’d say: Arthur Conan Doyle because I want to speak Spiritualism with him; Nancy Mitford so we can gossip; and Jane Austen so that I can ask her this one question about Mansfield Park and Fanny ending up with her hypocrite of a cousin Edmund: ‘How dare you.’
6. Let’s talk about reading slumps: do you get them, and if you do, how do you get yourself out of them?
Oh boy, do I get slumps you ask? Slump is my middle name. I was stuck in this huge reading slump for some months months because university was sort of depressing me but as soon as things got better, I felt like reading again. If you want to get out of one, you could maybe reread a favorite book but my advise would be to just let things play out. Reading should only be for fun, so the moment you have to force yourself to read a book, what’s the point? You’re just gonna end up hating the book.
7. What are five books you think everyone should read and why?
(I’m trying not to put all my favorite books because they can be quite similar. Please appreciate this superhuman effort.)
- The Secret History by Donna Tartt because it’s gorgeous writing at its finest and it’s my favorite book so everybody should read my favorite book.
- Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier because this is a real page turner and I’ve never met someone who didn’t like this book.
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte because it’s such an iconic story and has one of my all time favorite literary heroines. Plus you gotta love all the Gothic elements.
- Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, because it deals with a very disturbing topic but is beautifully written.
- The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath because if you’ve ever deal with depression or anything akin to it, you’re going to emotionally relate to the book’s heroine. And also because it’s Plath’s only novel and the reminder that she could have done great, great things.
8. I know how bookstagrammers love a good literary quote, particularly for the captions of their photos, so can you share one of your favorite literary quotes with us?
“Does such a thing as ‘the fatal flaw,’ that showy dark crack running down the middle of a life, exist outside literature? I used to think it didn’t. Now I think it does. And I think that mine is this: a morbid longing for the picturesque at all costs.” — The Secret History by Donna Tartt (surprise, surprise)
Speed Round! What is your favorite…
Movie? Love in The Afternoon by the excellent Billy Wilder.
Reading spot? My bed.
Ice cream flavor? Vanilla (I’m boring) or salted caramel (#Brittany4ever).
Song? Berimbau by Astrud Gilberto.
Fictional character? Oh god, oh god let me think — Sally Jay Gorce from The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy.
Thank you so much for joining us on Sunday Morning Book Chats! Before you go, do you have any tips for anyone looking to start their own bookstagram account?
Here are some of my tips:
- First of all, post about the books you want to post about. I truly think it’s important to be sincere — so you should post about the books you’re reading. You can always feel when someone never reads the book they’re posting about.
- Try to take nice pictures and have one ‘style’ or two (for instance, flat lays, minimalist pics, books with your pet, etc)— so that people can recognize your pictures easily. You don’t need a fancy camera, just some natural light and creativity!
- Also, engage with people! Always answer people’s comments and of course comment on other people’s pictures. You’ll see, making friends is easy on Bookstagram.
- Don’t hesitate to put hashtags in your caption (like #bookstagram, #igbooks, etc) and lastly, choose an easily recognizable username! And of course, have fun! 🙂
A massive thank you to Mathilde for taking part today! Do go check out her account (@relationsheep), it’s absolutely stunning. Also, make sure to join us next Sunday for an interview with Minh from @cassandrele179. 🙂