Well, things somehow find themselves even more uncertain this week but one thing’s for sure- it’s Friday, and it’s time to meet another bookstagrammer! Today I have the incredible delight of chatting with Becca from @beccatalksbooks!
Fun story: Becca was one of the winners of my first ever giveaways! Becca is such a kind, creative, and talented human being and it’s so honored to know her! Check out our conversation below!
Why did you decide to start a bookstagram?
Actually, I started a bookstagram because I wanted to be a booktuber. That’s why my username is BeccaTalksBooks: it would work for booktube as well! While obviously that goal has been put on the backburner, it’s still something I’d like to do at some point.
I had avoided Instagram completely for so many years that this account is my first ever, if you can believe it! I love this community so much, my only regret is waiting so long to join it!
In addition to starting a bookstagram, you just recently opened an Etsy store with your husband! What inspired you to open the store, and what do you hope to do with it?
My husband Benjamin and I are both artists (it’s a contributing factor to how we fell in love!), but we had both been working on independent pursuits. One day we kinda looked at each other and wondered “why haven’t we done anything TOGETHER!?” And thus Quinton Creations was born!
Quinton Creations is a paper shop. Right now we sell bookmarks and postcard-sized prints with original art, on high-quality paper. We also just released stickers! As we grow, we will expand into more products like larger prints and posters, greeting cards, and whatever else we can do (I’m hoping t-shirt and tote bags will make an appearance). We’re really looking forward to creating art together for years to come.
What does your ideal day look like (think of Miss Congeniality ;))?
Get up sort of early without being exhausted (this is something I really struggle with). Have a solid amount of productive creative time, drawing on my computer, with a few snack breaks sprinkled in. Spend time in the evening with the hubby, either curled up on the couch watching Netflix, or going out to dinner and a movie. Oh, and some reading time before bed!
*sigh* Yeah, that sounds like a good day.
What is your first book-related memory, and/or your favorite books as a kid?
Like most readers of my generation, it was Harry Potter that got me into reading. I had never realized before then that a book could transport you to another world and be such a wonderful experience. I have a lot of fond early memories of reading Harry Potter (and sometimes other books) at my grandparents’ cottage in the summers, or at school during silent reading times.
I became quite obsessive about reading at times… I have a hilarious memory of stealing a book from my sister (Inkheart) because it was so good, and hiding in my bedroom to read it until she found me and took it back!
I absolutely LOVED your Inktober sketches this past October- it got to the point that I looked forward to checking your account each day to see what you drew! What inspired you to participate in Inktober, and what were some of your favorite things to sketch?
Aw thank you! I actually only heard about Inktober a couple weeks before it started. A coworker who is also artistic told me about it. I had been wanting to add more drawing elements to my bookstagram posts, so as soon as I saw the prompt list I realized I could marry the two things! Before Inktober started, I chose a book to match each of the prompts, and took a photo of each book on a neutral background (brown craft paper). Once Inktober began, I drew every day, adding the drawn elements to each book photo. It was so fun to bring those two passions together: art and books!
I loved so much about Inktober, and I would love my whole booksta feed to look like that someday. I usually specialize in portraiture, but I branched out a bit during the challenge and I realized I really love drawing detailed things like the flowers in the post with Wicked Lovely, or the ornate frame with Jane Eyre. I’m also really proud of the dragon tail I drew for Priory of the Orange Tree!
I know you’ve said you work at a bookstore- what are your favorite things about working there and what are some things that happen there that you wouldn’t expect?
I tell customers almost every day that I can’t complain about this job because I get to be around books all day! It’s true, I really do love being around books, and getting to know about authors and genres I wouldn’t normally see or read. And of course being in a bookstore helps me stay on top of what’s new and hot in the book world!
The craziest experiences are when people expect you to find a book for them without knowing the title, author, or pretty much anything important about it! It is actually REALLY satisfying when you manage to find a book using very little info though…
Also when people are dead set that they are right about the title or author of a book but they are COMPLETELY wrong. I had a coworker who dealt with a customer looking for a book she thought was called “Me Maleelee”… she meant “I am Malala” but would NOT be corrected.
I could fill a book with this stuff, but if you read the comics by @customerservicewolf on Instagram, you’ll see the kind of experiences you can have working in a bookstore.
When you’re not reading, what do you enjoy doing (besides drawing of course)?
That’s a very hard question, because my life revolves around reading and making art right now… but I would have to say spending time with my husband, and watching movies and shows on Netflix and Disney+. We’re big MCU fans, so we always hit up the movie theatres when new Marvel flicks come out. My life is basically one big nerd fest!
[blogger note: okay this is so dang cute!]
I imagine my life as being accompanied by a pretty cool movie soundtrack so I gotta ask: if your life was a movie and had a soundtrack, what would your entrance song be?
I don’t know about my personal entrance song, but when my husband and I met it would have been “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Elvis Presley. Cheesy, I know, but if we were in a movie that would totally be our meet-cute song! (We also danced to it at our wedding.)
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 bookstagram?
Great question! A recent fave I read because of bookstagram was An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green – AMAZING! So worth the hype! (Kinda glad I waited on it though because the sequel is coming out soonish, so I didn’t have to wait super long.)
This Is How You Lose The Time War was also absolutely amazing. Never would have picked it up without bookstagram screaming about it.
And of course The Wayward Children series by Seanan McGuire! Bookstagram and booktube really conspired to get me on that hype train and I have NO regrets!
I know in the time I’ve been on bookstagram that I’ve gotten some pet peeves- do you have any bookstagram pet peeves and if so, what are they?
I don’t like when a post displays a specific book but the caption literally says nothing at all about that book. Like, I’m reading because the book caught my eye and I want to know what you have to say about it! Why are you talking about a different book or something unrelated??
I mean, y’all do you, and I’ll just be over here confused about these things, no biggie.
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?
Well I am an awkward introvert living in a small town, so finding friends is not the easiest thing for me… and on bookstagram I have found my community. I have actually found a few people through this community who I feel like I can call my true friends. We text and video chat and support each other, and I wouldn’t have met them if it weren’t for bookstagram. So thank you for the friends, bookstagram! ❤
Oh, also book clubs, read-a-thons, read-alongs, and buddy reads are all amazing tools from bookstagram that make reading a community experience!
What advice do you have for bookstagram/book blog newbies?
Well, when you’re starting something new like this it’s always a good idea to look around at other accounts to see what works, what looks good. But once you figure that out, don’t be afraid to shake it up and bring something different to the table. Let your true self shine through! And don’t forget to have fun with it! If you’re not having fun, what’s the point?
I know this is probably an impossible question BUT I’m still going to ask you: (to you), what makes a great book/read?
Woof, that is a tough question! For me, really beautiful prose pulls me in for an immersive experience. Think Victoria Schwab or Erin Morgenstern. But there is also something to be said about pacing. If it’s beautifully written, but terribly slow, I’m not going to enjoy it as thoroughly as something with a slightly faster pace. It’s gotta pull me in and keep me going with it, you know what I mean?
And finally, what are you currently reading?!
Well I just finished reading The Wicked Deep, which finally broke me out of my almost 2 month long reading slump! I’m also in a couple book clubs, so I’m reading New Moon for a Twilight Saga reread, and Mansfield Park for a classical women’s lit club.
Becca is seriously so inspirational and so talented, and I always love seeing her stuff on my feed! Follow Becca on bookstagram here, follow her and her husband’s Etsy shop (Quinton Creations) on Instagram here, and check out their Etsy store here! If you decide to purchase something in the store (seriously, so MUCH cute stuff!), use the code QUINN20 to get 20% off your order!
Until next time!