1. I started my bookstagram account @ink.and.pages on 28th July 2016, meaning I just had my first anniversary last month! I’m still really enjoying it and am hoping I’ll be able to maintain it in the same way for another year!
2. For the first few months of my bookstagram I didn’t post that often, but that all changed at the start of October 2016, when I had just started studying abroad in Augsburg, Germany. I was miserable and homesick and incredibly stressed by the university there being generally useless, and I also quickly grew to hate the place I was living in, and when I stumbled across the idea of monthly bookstagram challenges I decided to try it as a way to distract myself. I really enjoyed trying to fit in as many challenge prompts into one day’s photo, even though I had a very limited number of books to actually take photos of!
3. I have SO MANY bookstagram favs, so here are just a few I can think of now: @silkreads, @she.turns.pages, @deckledpages, @lunarfoxes, and @readingthieves.
4. My favourite booktuber is definitely Regan from PeruseProject – even though she reads way more than I could ever hope to, I think we share a pretty similar reading taste, and I just love watching her videos!
5. New favourite authors of mine that I’ve discovered since I started getting into Booktube and bookstagram are VE Schwab and Claire North – whose books I just adore.
6. This past month I took part in the 2017 Booktubeathon (a weeklong readathon with 7 challenges to try and complete) for the first time, and actually smashed it! The last 2 books I read were last minute changes to my tbr to make sure I’d actually finish 7 books in 7 days, but I’m still really proud of how well I did!
7. When I was a kid there was this summer reading initiative in my library (maybe it was a national thing? I’m not sure) where the challenge was for kids to read six books in six weeks to collect a certificate, and I never took part because I was already reading way more than that. I think I participated officially only once when I was 9 or 10 because I actually really wanted the certificate and medal that year, but the moment my name was called out in assembly to go and collect my “prize” with the others I instantly regretted everything .
8. My current read is the brilliant The Sudden Appearance of Hope by Claire North – it’s the third one of her books I’ve read and I get the feeling I’ll love it as much as the other two!
9. The number of books I currently own but haven’t read yet is 37 – which is a lot less than it used to be, but still not to zero I’d like it to be.
10. I think that the book I’ve owned the longest without reading is The Flame Alphabet by Ben Marcus, which I bought in a local bookshop shortly before I moved to university THREE YEARS AGO.
11. As well as my “main” shelves, I also have another bookcase that’s full of non-fiction things. The first two shelves are language / German / Germany related things, plus a cookbook, some notebooks, and a few other random books. The third, bottom shelf is my mythology and folklore shelf, which is organised geographically (eg. my book of Native American and First Nations mythology is the furthest left, my Norse books are in the middle, and my Hindu myths book is the book “set” the furthest to the East). But I also have a load of general reference books and collections of mythical creatures and so on, which take up a large portion of the shelf.
12. My bookshelves are usually organised into a rainbow pattern – but with a few notable exceptions. My top shelf is my designated Harry Potter area, with the series in its entirety, plus Cursed Child and my French and German editions, and I also keep my TBR pile in a massive heap on the top right. I don’t like breaking up series with different coloured spines, so as far as possible I try to integrate them into the rainbow together, but in cases where this just won’t work I keep them on my bottom shelves where they don’t interfere with the pattern too much.
13. According to a super scientific and not at all hasty study of my main bookshelves, the genre breakdown of the books I own is as follows:
Non-fiction = 11 books (4%)
Crime / Mystery / Thriller = 16 books (6%)
Contemporary / Literary fiction = 16 books (6%)
Historical fiction = 54 books (21%)
Science-fiction = 56 books (22%)
Science-fiction / Fantasy = 15 books (8%)
Fantasy = 92 books (36%)
14. In 2015, the year I started really getting into Booktube videos and tracking my own reading, I managed to read 47 books, and in 2016, the year I got into bookstagram and started my own account, I read 41. This year I’m only on 17 …
15. The best book I’ve read so far this year is Nimona by Noelle Stevenson, a graphic novel following the story of the shape-shifting sidekick to a supervillain. A close second is Kate Tempest’s poetry book Let Them Eat Chaos which (cliché as it sounds) made me cry and feel alive at the same time.
16. I don’t reread books as much as I used to, but this is something I’d like to change! Even though I have my pile of tbr books on my shelves watching me every day and exerting a low level but constant pressure for me to read them, I also want to revisit some of the favourites I haven’t read in ages! For instance, sometime this year I’d love to get to Mighty Fizz Chilla by Philip Ridley, Shadowmancer by GP Taylor, and the Lady Grace Mysteries.
17. I am, perhaps, slightly too obsessed with documenting my every book on my Goodreads. My aim is to add on every single book I’ve ever read, so it’s a bit of a long ongoing process.
18. I’m not scared to give up on a book I’m hating (a recent case in point: The Paper Magician), but I still like to know exactly what happens at the end of the story – to get some kind of disappointing closure, I guess. So I’ll skim read the rest of the book to skip over all the terrible characters, plot and writing, and get to the ending. And usually this ends up just reaffirming that I made the right decision
19. I get travel sick when I try and read in cars or buses, and it’s the bane of my life! If only this didn’t happen who knows how many more books I could have already read in my life. But on trains and planes I’m fine!
20. I don't hate audiobooks by any means, but I don’t think I’ve ever listened to one all the way through (except for the classic Stephen Fry Harry Potter audiobooks). It’s just that I usually find the narration SO INCREDIBLY SLOW, so if I’m listening to one on Youtube I’ll have to put the speed on x1.25 or x1.5 just to make it slightly more bearable.
21. I’m having an ongoing crisis when it comes to my Hogwarts house – I’ve always wanted to be Gryffindor, and have long considered myself one (because my favourite colour is red, lions are my favourite, and it’s clearly the best house to be in, right?) but when I take any kind of Sorting Test I’m nearly always sorted into Ravenclaw, and then just the other day my sister said she could 100% see me as a Slytherin, which to be honest I can also kind of see (except that I’m not very ambitious or traditional). So basically all I’m sure of is that I’m definitely not Hufflepuff!
22. This isn’t a bookish fact, but my current favourite tv shows are Doctor Who (but most definitely NOT the most recent series, sorry Bill), Brooklyn Nin-Nine, New Girl and The Flash.
23. Another non-bookish one, but my three favourite films are probably: Inception, Star Trek (2009) and Treasure Planet (which I watched again today for my birthday and adored as much as ever).
24. I’ve never read any Agatha Christie books, but me and my family are obsessed with the Marple tv series and have seen all the episodes! However my sister has started reading the original Poirot and Marple books and keep nagging me to read them too.
25. Having said that, just this morning my sister got me tickets to see The Mousetrap here in London for my birthday! It’s based on another Agatha Christie mystery and even though it’s been on in the West End for 64 YEARS at this point, there’s still a huge sense of mystery around it, and the reveal of the murderer at the end! So let’s just say I’m very excited to go see it tomorrow!