Hello lovely readers! I can’t believe that this is already Part 9 of my Sunday Morning Book Chats series. It feels like only yesterday that I started, and now it’s been running for a whole nine weeks! I want to thank everyone who has encouraged me and participated in this series. You’re all wonderful and I love you very much. 🙂
Now, on to this week’s guest! Today I’d like to welcome the lovely Charlotte from @what.i.read to my blog, a bookstagrammer from London who has over 29,000 followers. Charlotte has some of the most gorgeous photos on bookstagram, so I’m really excited that I got to chat with her for this interview. Without further ado, let’s get to the questions!
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.
Hiiii! I’m Charlotte from @what.i.read, I live in London, work as a digital report editor, and when I’m not reading I’m generally just hanging out with my friends and housemates, looking up my next holiday destination, going to galleries or museums, and eating too much whilst moaning about how I need to lose weight!
2. How did you discover the bookstagram community, and what you made you decide to start your own account?
I started out following some bookstagram accounts on my personal IG account (@chxrlottejane) and decided that I wanted to be part of the community, so set up my own account and here I am two years later, still going strong!
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 would have to say that being asked to write book reviews for a couple of online magazines, and being invited to some incredible events, such as those hosted by Pottermore and Warner Bros in July, and the #bookstameet breakfast with Vintage Books and Waterstones Piccadilly, as well as being part of the amazing Everyman’s Library 25th anniversary campaign, and going to dinner and hosting an IG takeover for Michael O’Mara are some personal favourites! And I love being a brand rep for Lit Emporium. My absolute favourite has to be meeting some truly amazing people through my bookstagram account though, and spending a few days with some of them in Paris earlier in July!
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 just counted and there are currently 12 books in my currently reading pile, but I’ve kind of put them all aside for the moment because I’m reading The Muse by Jessie Burton and as with The Miniaturist, I cannot think of any other book until I’ve finished this
2. What are you currently reading, and what books are you excited to start reading soon?
Haha, well as I just mentioned, The Muse, but also in that pile is Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, Mathilda by Mary Shelley, and Jane’s Fame by Claire Harman (a book about the enduring popularity of Jane Austen), all of which I am ready to dive back into after The Muse. I’m also looking forward to reading Slade House by David Mitchell, Public Library by Ali Smith, and After You by Jojo Moyes soon!
3. On a scale of 1-10, how intimidating is your TBR pile?
Oh god, 1000?! SO intimidating! It’s not even a pile it’s a whole bookcase and it’s spilling over. I’m terrible for needing to buy some books as soon as I discover them or as soon as they’re out, which is the worst habit and leaves me perpetually poor.
4. Who are your go-to authors?
Jane Austen, John le Carre, JK Rowling, Arthur Conan Doyle, Ali Smith, Jessie Burton, and Oscar Wilde.
5. You’re hosting a tea party and you can invite three famous people, either living or dead. Who do you invite and why?
Ohhhhh difficult! Jane Austen, Jessie Burton, Stephen Fry, a weird, eclectic mix!
6. Let’s talk about reading slumps: do you get them, and if you do, how do you get yourself out of them?
I think we all get them! Life gets in the way or you just can’t concentrate, it happens! I think for me the only way out is either an old favourite, such as a Harry Potter, Pride & Prejudice, or Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, or hoping and praying that you come across the perfect book for your mood soon (and it does happen!)
7. What are five books you think everyone should read and why?
- The His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman – It will present your heart to you on a plate and make you watch as it is sliced open; it’s brilliantly written and honestly you will think about this trilogy for the rest of your life after you’ve read it.
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – It’s enduring, it’s timeless, it’s witty, it’s flawless, and it gets better with every reread.
- The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro – I read this book earlier this year and just could not put it down, nor could I stop thinking about it for days and days afterwards. It’s a medieval love story that involves a noble quest, a mist that makes people forget, knights, dragons, love, friendship, endless symbolism. I’m not gunna lie, it also made me feel clever when I figured certain things out as well haha.
- The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton – I read this in one 9 hour sitting on Christmas Eve of 2014 and just could not put it down. I’m a sucker for a historical novel and for Amsterdam, so this was basically my kryptonite, plus the descriptions of food will make you weak at the knees! My mum got pretty angry with me for not helping to get everything ready for the next day because I was so absorbed in this novel, but I think it was best all round that we didn’t subject everyone to my failed attempts at making mince pies again!
- Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie – This was my first Poirot and I just fell in love with the odd little Belgian with the egg shaped head and funny moustaches. I love a cosy murder mystery and this is honestly one of the best. There’s a reason it’s so popular.
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?
Ahhhhhh SO HARD. I think it has to be Darcy’s speech from Pride and Prejudice. As soon as I read “you must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you” I just melt. Plus Matthew McFayden reciting that speech, dripping wet from the rain in the 2005 version is one of my favourite film scenes ever.
Speed Round! What is your favorite…
Movie? Dirty Dancing.
Reading spot? My parent’s sofa back in Hampshire, it’s the cosiest place in the world!
Ice cream flavor? My mum does a great chocolate orange flavoured ice cream.
Song? Wanna Be Yours by the Arctic Monkeys (originally a poem by John Cooper Clarke so it has a literary history!
Fictional character? Elizabeth Bennet. Or George Smiley. Or Ron Weasley. TOO HARD
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?
Thank you for having me! Hmm, I would say just be really enthusiastic and show your passion! People will respond well to that! Also, engage! Comment, follow, like, don’t hesitate to ask questions, just get your name out there, everyone is so friendly it’s impossible not to feel loved and welcome!
A massive thank you to Charlotte for taking part today! Go check out her gorgeous bookstagram account over at @what.i.read, and make sure to join us next Sunday for an interview with Carole Ann from @booksnourish_caroleann. 🙂