It’s National Library Shelfie Day and we are fully booked with Jenna, Simone, and Regan, aka the Lit Girls! To celebrate this special day, we sat down with the literary trio for a page-turning, must-read interview that you’ll want to check out (library card not necessary). From book recommendations, to their all-time favorite stories, get scrolling, bookworms!
When did you all first fall in love with reading? How have you all cultivated your passion for literature over the years?
Jenna: "I’ve always loved reading. I remember going to the library as a child and bringing home stacks and stacks of books. Reading has always been a part of my life, but slowed down when I was in graduate school. The year after I graduated, I set a goal to read 52 books in a year for the first time. I’ve set the same goal every year since!"
Simone: "I feel like I’ve always been reading. My mom would drop me off at the library on Saturday mornings and I would browse the shelves for something to read. Funny enough, I didn’t really get into reading until I was an adult. From there, I started trying other genres and looking for the books that spoke to me. Fantasy was definitely one of those genres that intrigued me, but it took forever for me to finally accept that I love that genre. But it wasn’t until 2016 when I read books by Toni Morrison and Jesmyn Ward that I hit my stride for books."
Regan: "My family has always been big on reading. In fact, my mom worked at a bookstore when I was growing up. I spent a lot of time after school hanging around and reading books in the café in the store! Reading has always been something that has brought me a lot of comfort, and over the years this has transformed from a solitary hobby, to one that has provided me a community! I love chatting to literally anyone about books (I’m that weird person in a bookstore that will try to get you to read my fave) which was a major driver for me to actually start creating videos and content around reading."
Shop These Literary Looks! Simone: This Must Be Knit Open-Front Cardigan, Sweetly Sociable Knit Top, and Bookstore's Best A-Line Skirt. Regan: Trip to the Ice Cream Parlor Top, and Let's Share a Milkshake Swing Skirt. Jenna: Classic and Cozy Turtleneck Top, All Buttoned and Beautiful Mini Skirt, Delicate Details Tights, and Heel of Approval Ankle Boot
A good book can be life-changing! If you all had to choose, what would be your all-time favorite book and why?
Jenna: "It’s not for everyone, but I love A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. It was the first book that I posted on bookstagram - after I read it I just HAD to talk to someone about it, and didn’t know anyone else IRL who had read it. I love books that move me and make me feel a range of emotions - from hope to despair. A Little Life does just that, with beautiful writing and a difficult story. Reading it is an experience you won’t forget."
Simone: "The hardest question to ask any reader! My all-time favorite book is actually a children’s book called A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. It’s my favorite because it’s pretty much the only one that’s stuck with me over 15 years. I still fondly think of that spider crossing a length of thread and how that explained the fifth dimension. I reread it recently when the movie came out and it’s exactly as I remember it. My discerning adult eye noticed some gaps in the story, but I look over them because it’s a treasured favorite."
Regan: "The ultimate, impossible question to answer! I have to rely on nostalgia for this - I would say The Chronicles of Narnia and The Book Thief were both very fundamental to my reading journey. Both rocked my world and made me fall in love with Fantasy and Historical Fiction, respectively."
We’re always looking for new reads, especially during quarantine. What is a recent read that you would recommend to our audience?
Jenna: "I recently read and loved Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell. It’s historical fiction about Shakespeare’s family - sounds boring, I know, but it is anything but! It’s one of those books that had me googling everything - old England, the London Bridge, falconry, and more. Even though you know the outcome from the beginning, O’Farrell’s gorgeous writing keeps you invested. I recommend this to everyone."
Simone: "I would 100% recommend The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by VE Schwab. I would consider it historical fantasy. It’s a story about a young woman who made a deal with the Devil to live forever. The only catch is that she won’t be remembered by anyone she meets. And so, she goes on trying to live; stealing food and clothing, making her way through the world without leaving a trace behind. The only people who remember her are the artists she encounters in her life. They’re so taken by her beauty and presence that they’re inspired by her. She’s their muse! And the sad part is that she’s never remembered as the inspiration for their pieces. Until one day she meets a man in a bookstore that somehow remembers her. That’s when things start to get interesting."
Regan: "N.K Jemisin and Robin Hobb are two authors I have been loving! I am working through both of their catalogues, and honestly, their fantasy worlds are top notch. A great light hearted read is The House on the Cerulean Sea; it will make you cry happy tears!"
January 27th is Library Shelfie Day! How are you all planning on celebrating the day?
Jenna: "By signing up for a new library card! We just moved to a new state so I need to register with my new library. And Library Shelfie Day seems like the perfect day to do so!"
Simone: "I plan on reading! I actually need to reorganize my library space, so I’ll probably spend it taking books off the shelves, moving shelves around, and placing them back on the shelf. Of course, I’ll also be pretending to be a librarian while I do this."
Regan: "A good cup of coffee and a great book – I am currently reading Pachinko, which is a stunning historical fiction read I would highly recommend!"