Howdy ho! Welcome back to our weekly series of “Who’s The Best Bookstagrammer Ever!” I’m just kidding! That’s a joke. But we are back to introduce you to another Bookstagrammer of the Week! This week, we’re here to introduce you to Matina of @breathing_pages. She’s Greek, she’s fabulous, and she runs the Bookstagram account that we can’t get out of our heads! Matina is also obsessed with bookshops and traveling, so really, she’s the whole Bookstagram package! Stick around so you can learn more about Matina of @breathing_pages.
If you aren’t familiar with our Bookstagrammer of the Week series, I’m here to explain the ins and outs of this magnificent collection of articles! Every week, Bookstr’s outreach team talks with Bookstagrammers all over the world that we just can’t get enough of! And every week, we interview those same Bookstagrammers and bring that information to you. We ask them about their experience on Booksta, their bookish origins, and even what characters they relate to the most!
This week, we’re realizing our Mamma Mia! fantasies and talking with Matina of @breathing_pages! We’re going to kick off our interview by asking an easy question! However, this is Bookstr so we find ANY WAY to make something bookish, so here goes nothing!
Where are you from? Do you have any favorite bookshop close to home?
I’m from Greece, a city called Larissa-close to Thessaloniki, but I’ve been living in London for almost 12 years now. In Larissa, I love a secondhand bookshop called Dinos Dervenis. The smell of the books is indescribable. In London, I always go to the Notting Hill Bookshop because it is close to my flat, but Hurlingham Books and Foster Books are some of my favorite places in the city.
Now anyone who reads the captions of Matina’s Bookstagram posts can tell that she has a specific fascination with bookshops! This is a common feeling among us book lovers. And as much as we would like to say we love all bookshops the same, we would be LYING! We all have our quirks and little things that we want out of our book-shopping experiences.
What is an element a bookshop must have for you to love it?
Bookshops are my safe haven. A place of happiness. I truly love it when there are reading nooks in a bookshop. Also, I appreciate the bookshops that have special corners for children. Speaking as a teacher, it’s very important to encourage reading from a young age. Fun reading corners are always great.
With that love of bookshops is a connected and subsequent love of books! It’s clear to see that all Bookstagrammers have an adoration of reading, but Matina in particular! As a bookworm, it’s safe to say that you’ve read your fair share of books!
What’s one book you would recommend for everyone to read?
This is always a difficult question because I love so many! Besides the LOTR trilogy, which is a must-read for me, if I had to choose just one, I’d recommend reading The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Historical fiction and a story within a story; poetic storytelling, haunting, atmospheric, mysterious, and gothic. I just love it so much. Gothic fiction and stories with elements of magic realism are my favorite genres.
I did mention earlier that we typically asked about bookish origins! Having a love of reading is something that is fostered over a person’s life—whether that be during a person’s younger years or later on is dependent on the reader!
It’s obvious that reading is a passion of yours, and we’re curious—when did you first get into reading?
Reading has been a passion of mine since I was a little girl. My dad used to buy me so many books; fairy tales in the beginning, and then Greek childhood literature, like books by Penelope Delta. Some of them are translated into English, too. After that, it never stopped. I started making lists of the books I wanted to read, and because I love theater, I started reading ancient Greek and Shakespeare’s plays, too. I couldn’t fall asleep without reading a few chapters. Still can’t. I thank my dad every day because he taught me to love books.
We’re about halfway through our interview with Matina! So I’m interrupting your regularly scheduled programming to remind you to follow Matina on Instagram! She’s always posting amazing bookish content and showing her followers the beauty of London and Greece! She’ll take you to her favorite bookshops, introduce you to her latest reads, and even give you bookish envy! You can follow her at @breathing_pages on Instagram!
I’ll be honest Matina, we’re thanking your dad too! Now let’s ask a fun question! After reading the massive amount of books that you—and many of our readers—have, it’s difficult not to find pieces of yourself in the characters you learn about.
Which fictional character do you feel most connected to, and why?
I always felt a special connection to Jo March and Elizabeth Bennet. I think both characters are free-spirited, stubborn, and trying to find their identity in a world where women’s opportunities in life are very limited. I guess I feel connected to them because I am restless like them in a way. I’ve loved them since I was a teenager, and I still do.
Many of our Bookstagrammers have a deep connection with Jo March! There are so many lessons that you can learn from Little Women or any books that you read! However, life lessons aren’t limited to just your reading repertoire! Bookstagram is a place full of lessons!
What is one thing your Bookstagram—@breathing_pages—has taught you?
I started this journey to explore my own love for reading and writing. On the way, I discovered a whole community. It may sound cliché, but it’s been amazing to exchange ideas, get to know people from around the world, and be inspired. Bookstagram has been a blessing.
This is our last question for Matina, but I promise it’s a good one! Now, we’ve talked about Matina’s love of books and bookshops, but one that we’ve yet to breach is Matina’s love of traveling. Anyone can see that Matina has an affinity for traveling! She even confesses her love in one of her captions!
This is a two-part question! Where is your favorite place you’ve ever been? And where do you want to go next?
Traveling is necessary for me. I believe that everyone should explore a new place once a year. Many places I’ve visited are special to me, but Edinburgh and Paris hold a dear place in my heart. The atmosphere in these two cities is just unique. I feel like I travel back in time when I’m there. I’ve only been to Europe, and my next adventure will be on the other side of the pond, NYC, Boston, and Salem. I can’t wait to discover new bookshops!
And that’s a wrap on Matina’s Bookstagrammer of the Week feature! We sure do hope that you’ve enjoyed every millisecond that it’s taken you to learn about her! Head on over to her Instagram—@breathing_pages—so you can follow along with her travels and all of her fantastic bookish escapades!
Also, be on the lookout for our graphic feature of Matina! We’ll be posting this on our official Instagram account—@bookstroffcial! Our Bookstagrammer specialist—Karly Kolehouse—has really outdone herself with the images that Matina has provided us with!
For more Bookstagrammer of the Week content, click here!