Colorful Positivity With Our Bookstagrammer of the Week: @what_rae_reads

Books, dogs, and Wes Anderson colored photos! Rae of @what_rae_reads, our Bookstagrammer of the Week, offers all this and more!

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Welcome to another installation of our Bookstagrammer of the Week series. We’ve been spending the past few weeks over the pond in the UK and that isn’t about to change today! I’d like to introduce you to our latest Bookstagrammer of the Week, Rae of @what_rae_reads. I do love it when Bookstagram accounts are straight to the point like that, don’t you? But that’s enough about me; you’re here to learn about Rae, our Bookstagrammer of the Week! Without further ado, I present Rae of @what_rae_reads!


Bookstagram | Goodreads | Storygraph

Two images side by side.

On the left, two books sit stacked on a white table. They are brightly colored pink and orange. The top book is a copy of Sayaka Murata's Life Ceremony. 

On the right, our Bookstagrammer of the Week, Rae of @what_rae_reads, holds her dog in her right hand and a stack of books in her lap as she leans on another stack of books beside her. 

cr. Rae / @what_rae_reads
cr. Rae / @what_rae_reads

Maybe you aren’t quite sure what we’re doing here, so let me give you a mini rundown. Every week, the outreach team here at Bookstr works tirelessly to find the best up-and-coming Bookstagrammers or they’re contacting some pretty successful accounts, all in an effort to bring them to you! We interview these Bookstagrammers and get the low down on their bookish life!

And today, we’re talking with Rae of @what_rae_reads! One of the best ways to get to know someone’s bookish life is by learning about their past. We can learn a LOT about a person based on their history.

So, Rae, it’s clear you have a passion for books—when did you first get into reading?

I got into reading in my late teens/early 20s and have been a pretty regular reader ever since. Once the pandemic happened and we were locked down, I got even more engrossed in the world of books and it’s through that renewed passion that I discovered Bookstagram!

I feel like many readers get into the activity later in life, and we don’t talk about them enough. Every reader, no matter their age, will find a home at Bookstr! Speaking of homes, Rae is from the UK—like many of our recent Bookstagrammers.

Where are you from, and do you have a favorite bookshop close to home?

I’m from Liverpool, which is in the North West of England. I love going into the city center and browsing the shelves in my local Waterstones as it’s so big! But we also have a wonderful independent bookstore I love called News From Nowhere that sells a lot of literature from feminist and  LGBTQ+ authors. 

If you’ve taken a minute to browse Rae’s Booksta, you can see that she has almost 250 posts! That’s a LOT of books! I guess that comes with the territory of running a Bookstagram account and being an overall bookish person.

Based on your vast repertoire of books, what is one book you would recommend everyone read?

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls is a memoir I read a few years back and its impact has never left me. It had such a significant effect on me & dealt with themes of family, hardship, and determination that I could personally relate to from my own life and childhood experiences.

By extension, even glancing at Rae’s profile, you’ll know that @what_rae_reads radiates a certain beauty. The colors are vibrant and pleasing to the eye. Almost as if Wes Anderson was running a Bookstagram account.

What is your special approach to making Bookstagram content?

I want people who come onto my profile to feel a sense of warmth. Hopefully, they’ll see something I post that will brighten their mood or inspire them to read a specific book. I try to keep my posts colorful and use lots of natural light! I also try to add a bit of my personality and style through clothing, flowers, and interiors (and my dogs, of course!)

Three images side by side.

On the left, four pink books lay on a pink throw blanket atop a white sheet. 

In the middle, our Bookstagrammer of the Week, Rae of @what_rae_reads, sits toward the camera. She isn't making eye contact with the camera. She wears a black tank top, blue jeans, and a black belt with a gold buckle. She is holding a stack of books. 

On the right, is five separate stacks of books. They range in color and amounts.

cr. Rae / @what_rae_reads
cr. Rae / @what_rae_reads

Let me stop fangirling for a minute to continue asking questions! Just as a warning and reminder, though, our interview with Rae is almost over! But you don’t have to leave her! You should follow Rae on Instagram so you can keep up-to-date with her bookish life!

Here’s a question that we’ve started asking because it always gets an interesting answer! Which fictional character do you feel most connected to, and why?

Matilda (specifically the 1996 film adaptation version!) as she is always lost in her imagination and the fictional worlds of books and stories!

Y’all, I’m still enamored by Rae’s content. I feel like so many Bookstagrams feel like they have to do dark academia, but seeing bright summery colors makes me excited for warm weather.

Your account is insanely colorful and prismatic, so if you had to describe one of your favorite books using specific shades of colors, which colors would you choose?

One of my favorite contemporary authors is Ottessa Moshfegh, I have read a lot of her books but my favorite is Eileen. The story deals with a lot of heavy stuff, but at the center is the desire to ‘escape’ the mundanity of the place you’re from. The colors I would choose are—blue, red, pink, and yellow. Blue for the cold winter setting and the deep inner feelings of Eileen. Red/ pink for the crossover desires of love, lust, and rage, and finally, yellow for its harsh brightness that reveals the reality and the banality of real life.

Two images side by side.

On the left, our Bookstagrammer of the Week, Rae of @what_rae_reads, holds a stack of orange books. She is wearing a white peasant top and blue jeans. She also carries a orange mini handbag that matches the stack of books.

On the right, our Bookstagrammer of the Week, Rae of @what_rae_reads, holds a copy of Lapvona in front of her face. She is wearing a light blue button down and white pants.

cr. Rae / @what_rae_reads
cr. Rae / @what_rae_reads

This is our final question for Rae, but as I said, you can continue to consume her dynamic content all on your own if you drop a follow on her page! Plus, we have a graphic feature coming out for her that is just awe-inspiring. Now being on Bookstagram must have provided you with more than a few life lessons.

What is one thing your Bookstagram has taught you?

Bookstagram has taught me that books are for everyone, no matter who you are, where you’re from, or what stories you’re into. There is always going to be someone within the community who is happy to talk books with you, suggest similar styles/authors, and generally just be really kind and helpful. Social media can be a challenging place at times and it can mess with your mental health, but when I joined Bookstagram, I felt such a sense of community and encouragement; it made me excited to share my passion and interest with other like-minded people.  

And there you have it, folks! That’s a wrap on our talk with our Bookstagrammer of the Week, Rae of @what_rae_reads! As I mentioned, we’re going to be posting a graphic feature for Rae on our official Instagram—@bookstrofficial! Our Bookstagrammer graphic specialist—Karly Kolehouse—has once again raised the bar and exceeded all expectations! As always, this has been a pleasure, and make sure you’re on the lookout for more from us!

For more Bookstagrammer of the Week content from us, click here!