Y’all, first off can I say how excited and honored at the positive response I received at the first post in this #MeettheBookstagrammer series (featuring one of my best gal pals Megan from @queenbee_reads here)! I’m so happy that people are enjoying this series just as much as I am. This week, I wanted to highlight this little ray of sunshine in the bookstagram community, Erin over at @_everysecondbook!
I became familiar with Erin because I participated in a reading challenge she put on earlier this year with a bunch of other amazing bookstagrammers called Fat-a-Thon (read about my progress on the challenge here) and I’ve been a big fan of hers ever since! Since then, she’s hosted Comic-a-Thon (read my progress on that challenge here) and opened an incredibly cute Etsy store! Without further ado, here’s my little chat with Erin!
Why did you decide to start a bookstagram?
I’m going to be really corny here and say it came to me in a dream. It sounds a lot cheesier than it was, honestly. I loved bookstagram from afar for a while and never thought it was something I could do; I just didn’t think I was talented enough. Then I had a dream about how to theme it and voila, a bookstagram was born. (Even though I hate that theme now and all the posts are archived).
What inspired you to start your very cute Etsy store (spoiler alert: I’ve definitely stocked up on bookmarks for me, friends, and family there)?
Short answer: peer pressure from my sister. Long answer: I love lettering, it’s one of my favourite things to do. And once I was able to do it digitally (after a bit of a learning curve), there seemed no reason not to sell them. But mostly, it was peer pressure from my sister.
A lot of people choose their username to include their name, but you didn’t (and I love it)! What was the thought process behind your username/blog title?
My username is directly derived from my personal instagram name. Basically, I had inadvertently created a theme using coffee and the bookclub I was in suggested I change my instagram handle. That was @_everysecondbeverage. Then I just changed beverage to book. Clearly going for a brand here.
[blogger note: her store is @everysecondbookmark, so branding is v clearly something Erin is amazing at!]
What is your first book-related memory, and/or your favorite books as a kid?
Be prepared for a long answer friends, but I have two memories I have to share, one is quite funny.
The first book related memory I have is from the second grade. My teacher suggested I read Anne of Green Gables, as it was one of her favourite books. I read it, I loved it, I read the other two books that I knew of (it took a very long time before I knew there were like, seven books), I watched the movies. I LOVED that book. But the best part of this memory is the fact that my family planned a trip to Prince Edward Island (I lived in Newfoundland so it was a couple of ferries, nothing crazy) for the summer of second grade and I got to see Green Gables when I was still obsessed with that book.
The second story comes from my parents as I was far too young to have any memory of this. Apparently I loved this Sesame Street book about Cookie Monster and a witch. Apparently it was a silly witch who did silly things. Apparently I loved this book so much my parents got sick of reading it. So sick of reading it that they hid the book from me. Naturally I couldn’t just read ANOTHER BOOK so I ran around the house asking “Where’s that silly bitch? Where’s that silly bitch?” (Where’s that silly witch).
What is your favorite bookstore or book-related place to shop?
Honestly, I buy most of my books online but I have some cute, local used bookstores. So shoutouts to The Book Man, Nuggets, and Heminway’s!
I know you and I have talked about our identities- you being pan and me being ace-and I have to ask: what are your favorite queer reads, ESP those with good pansexual representation (because I assume like asexuality, there isn’t a ton of great rep out there in books)?
Well if ANYONE has any good pan rep could you let me know?! Because I honestly don’t think I have any recs with confirmed pan rep. I loved A Lesson in Thorns (but it has since been confirmed that all characters are on the bi spectrum) and that’s the closest I can think of to good pan rep even though there isn’t any.
I’ll try and steer clear of the ones that are always rec’d but queer reps in general: Autoboyography, The Music of What Happens, Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts), Girls of Paper and Fire, Lumberjanes. And a webcomic that I literally cannot recommend enough: Finding Home.
This is admittedly a weird question, but ~whatever~. I envision my life as being accompanied by a movie soundtrack; if your life was a movie and had a soundtrack, what would be your entrance song?
“Like a Girl” by Lizzo.
[another blogger note: yes QUEEN!]
You are a reading challenge QUEEN! I first got to know you and your account because of your Fat-a-Thon challenge earlier this year (what a fun time besides the bumps in the road), and we just completed Comic-a-Thon! What inspires you to put on these reading challenges, and what do you hope to do next?
Fat-a-Thon was honestly one of the best (and worst) experiences of my life! And Comic-a-Thon was so fun! I found myself thinking of readathons that I wished existed, then I realized that I could just create them. As I am currently up to FOUR readathons a year (stay tuned for an announcement coming very soon) I’m not really actively trying to create from scratch anymore, but I am always willing to co-host with others, so who knows what’s next. But if I see a readathon hole that I want filled, I’ll probably try to fill it.
Okay, back to bookstagram! I don’t know about you, but I’ve found some pretty great books through my fellow bookstagrammers! What are your favorite books that you’ve found through this community?
There are so many books I’ve read and loved because of this community but a few that stand out are: Daisy Jones and The Six, Girls of Paper and Fire, Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts), Vengeance Road, Scythe.
I know in my short time on bookstagram that I’ve gotten some pet peeves- do you have any bookstagram pet peeves and if so, what are they?
My number one pet peeve when it comes to bookstagram has to be when a post has a picture that features a book and then the caption has literally nothing to do with that book. I think this is because I go to bookstagram mainly for reviews so when the post doesn’t clarify if they’ve liked or disliked or even read the book, it’s just not meeting my needs.
While obviously there’s some negatives of bookstagram, it’s also an amazing community of people. What is/are your favorite thing(s) about bookstagram?
I am so grateful for the friends I’ve made through this community. I feel like that is the obvious answer, but I honestly can’t think of anything better. I have made true lifelong friends through bookstagram. I am also incredibly grateful for the opportunities I get because of bookstagram. I have gotten to do so many cool things that I don’t think would have ever happened if it hadn’t been for this community and the people in it.
What advice do you have for bookstagram newbies?
Just start taking pictures and post. That is the only thing you need to do to have a bookstagram. You don’t need a theme, or fancy props, or cool backdrops, or anything like that. My first theme was a blanket and fairy lights that I already had, and, personally, I need a theme keep me grounded, an open feed is too much pressure for me!
Also engage! Literally everyone wants to talk to other people, it’s why we’re all here. The easiest way I’ve found to slide into those DMs is by responding to stories, that way you have a conversation starter.
I know this is probably an impossible question BUT I’m still going to ask you: (to you), what makes a great book/read?
I think a great book has both fully developed characters and a followable plot. Add in some good rep (preferably some that we don’t already have libraries worth of) and some good relationships, which do not have to be romantic.
And finally, what are you currently reading?!
Quinn you’ve caught me. I haven’t read a damn thing in two months… I am hoping my next read will come soon and I think it’ll be my ARC of Reverie.
[final blogger’s note: I have an ARC too Erin-we should buddy read!]
Y’all, Erin is a real treat and I’m so thankful she was willing to participate in this series! Follow Erin over at bookstagram at @_everysecondbook and @everysecondbookmark, and check out her Etsy store Every Second Bookmark for all your bookmark and holiday gift needs!
Until next time…