Hi! Have you missed me? You’ve gone a whole week without me suggesting a Bookstagrammer that you should follow! Don’t worry, I’m back again with another account for you to check out! This week, we traveled to Portland, Oregon to talk with our latest Bookstagrammer of the Week. Carly of @carly.simone has a knack for posting content riddled with mysticism and a few book-lover staples–coffee and wine. There’s something so homey and cozy about Carly’s Bookstagram feed that it’s easy to find yourself getting lost in it. Without further ado, let’s talk to our latest Bookstagrammer of the Week!
If you aren’t familiar with our Bookstagrammer of the Week series, allow me to bring you into the fray! This is a series of articles that each feature one Bookstagrammer account that we can’t get out of our heads. Our fantastical outreach team–shoutout to them, they’re the real ones–talks with these account runners and sets up interviews with them. After that, we’re able to introduce them to you–our loving audience–because who doesn’t love meeting new people? And there you have it! Now really, let’s meet Carly.
One of the best ways to get to know someone is by learning about where they’re from and how they got to where they are. However, this is Bookstr and we make everything bookish, so we want to know about their bookish beginnings.
So Carly, where are you from? And do you have any favorite bookstores close to home?
I live in Portland, OR and I’m fortunate to have a number of incredible bookstores around! My favorites are Powell’s and Wallace Books. Powell’s is the largest independent bookstore in the world, and Wallace Books is a charming little house with books stacked floor to ceiling. It’s like wonderland for book lovers.
We’ve heard of Powell’s! We adore being able to support indie bookstores! I want to know a little more about you though. It’s obvious that you love reading–it’s a passion of yours, one could say.
When did you first get into reading?
I’ve loved books and stories since I was little. My mom read to me every night, and I remember spending countless hours at our local library, wandering the stacks and choosing my next read. So I’ve always enjoyed reading, but I don’t think I considered myself a reader (or prioritized it as a hobby) until high school when I read—and loved—both Twilight by Stephenie Meyer and Invisible Monsters by Chuck Palahniuk. The juxtaposition of those books opened my eyes to the reality that I could enjoy a wide variety of genres, and that’s when I started reading for pleasure more regularly.
If you’ve taken the time the scroll through Carly’s Booksta feed, you’ll see that her feed is gorgeous! And one of our favorite things to ask our Bookstagrammers about is their content inspiration.
How do you find the motivation and creativity to make such stunning content?
Oh wow, thank you! I usually let the books inspire me, as cheesy as that sounds. I love bringing the general vibes of a book (or my current feelings) to life. My motivation/creativity comes in bursts, so when inspiration strikes, I run with it. I don’t have a posting schedule or a photography schedule for that reason, but I do try to take advantage of sunny days here in Portland! Good lighting is so important, and a little bit of sunlight is usually enough to get my creative energy flowing.
Do you have any bookish resolutions for 2023?
To be more intentional with my reading choices, work on my backlist, and prioritize the library over buying new releases. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of what’s new, but I have so many unread books on my shelves that I know I’ll love. The new books aren’t going anywhere, and I need to remind myself that it’s okay to slow down and enjoy what’s in front of me.
Being intentional with your readings is definitely something that we should all strive for! Despite having probably an overflowing TBR–you’ve got to have a few that stick out right?
What is one book that you loved so much that you wish you could read again for the first time?
Cantoras by Carolina de Robertis is the first that comes to mind. Her gorgeous prose, coupled with a vibrant cast of characters who are dynamic and beautifully layered, made for an enchanting reading experience that left me both satisfied and emotionally spent. I think about that book all the time.
One of my personal favorite things about reading is finding characters that I relate to and connect to.
Which fictional character(s) do you feel most connected to, and why?
That’s a tough one! I’ve connected with so many characters and stories over the years. Our emotions, our joy and pain, that’s a universal human connection. I read not only to find those emotional connections but to (hopefully) grow and be changed by the books I read.
One of my favorite things about reading is getting to learn from someone else’s perspective, and I don’t have to connect with a character to love, understand, or appreciate their story. That said, there are a few characters that stand out as a reflection of my innermost fears, traumas, struggles with mental health, etc: Martha from Sorrow and Bliss, Dani & Zaf from Take a Hint, Dani Brown, Henry from The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, and Mara from Girl Made of Stars.
Carly has over 13k followers on her Bookstagram, so clearly she’s doing something right! Bookstagram is a community that allows you to grow and share books that you love. Our time with Carly is, unfortunately, coming to an end, so we have one final question for her!
You’ve probably received a whole notebook of advice–do you have any that you’d like to impart to aspiring Bookstagrammers?
Post what brings you joy and have fun! One of my favorite things about this community is the friendships I’ve made with other Bookstagrammers. Just be yourself (as trite as that sounds), initiate connections & conversations, and your people will find you.
And there you have it! That’s our interview with our Bookstagrammer of the Week, Carly of @carly.simone. Make sure that you follow her on Instagram to consume her content all year round! Plus she’s still working on the Books in their Red Era–a series in which she features books in different Taylor Swift eras!
Also, be on the lookout for our graphic feature for Carly on our Instagram–@bookstrofficial! Our Bookstagrammer specialist–Karly Kolehouse— makes the most beautiful graphics for our Bookstagrammer of the Week series that you’ve just got to see!
Want more Bookstagrammer of the Week content? Click here!