If you’ve been following my blog for a while you’ve probably heard me mention Emily from ACupOfWittea at some point – she’s one of my best friends both on and off the internet! Due to both having book blogs, we decided it was about time we did some sort of collab post, and what better post to choose than one which means you get to know more about both of us at the same time?! I feel like on the surface this tag seemed like one that had relatively straight-forward answers, but I soon found that I was having to think pretty deeply about some of them…
Hardcover or paperback?
Bex: This is possibly the easiest reading-related question I’ll ever have to answer. Hardcovers are such a pain: the dust jackets slide around everywhere and get torn, the corners dig into your hands, you can’t open them out fully or break the spine properly… Give me a paperback any day!
Emily: I had to think hard about this question… My answer would probably have to be a paperback as that is the main format in which I read books – mainly due to it being easier to hold! However, there is something so satisfying about a hardback, and those of which I own are usually books which I couldn’t wait to get my hands on, so for me hardbacks have such a feeling of preciousness about them!
How has reading shaped your identity?
Bex: Above anything else, reading has made me more of a creative and ambitious person. Fantasy novels in particular have allowed me to dream about far-away lands and creatures and magic, and these things have influenced my desire for adventure. I desperately want to travel in the near future, and while there are a number of reasons why, I would be lying if I said that characters journeying across ancient lands and encountering different ways of life didn’t spark at least some of that in me.
Emily: I would say that reading has made me more open and aware to family issues in particular. Thankfully, I have never had to deal with any serious issue in my family before, but reading has definitely brought to light issues of abuse, illnesses (both mentally and physically), and disabilities and how that can affect a family. Thus, I would like to think reading has made me a lot more sensitive and understanding to these sorts of issues. In addition, I think reading has definitely increased my passion and determination for doing something I love without fear of judgement; in my experience, reading is often viewed as a childish and pointless past time (particularly those of us who frequent YA), but the more I read and the more powerful characters I encounter, the more it fuels me to continue doing what I love.
What book do you read when you want to be comforted?
Bex: Without a doubt, one book that I will always turn to if I want a book that just makes me feel warm and cosy is Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. There is not a single book that I have read more times than this one and it just holds so much nostalgia and familiarity for me. There is nothing like a good Hogwarts Christmas scene to make you feel right at home!
Emily: Honestly, I’m not a re-reader of books. There are certainly numerous books which bring me comfort to think of, such as the GONE series by Michael Grant and Les Misérables by Victor Hugo, but these are just simply too long for me to re-read without purpose. However, Holes by Louis Sachar is a book which I read multiple times, and one which I will always come back to. Similarly, when I was younger, Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur used to give me so much comfort – a heart-warming end to a heart-breaking tale.
What book changed the way you saw the world?
Bex: I’d say possibly The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky opened my eyes to a lot of issues, especially due to the fact that I first read it when I was around fourteen. There are a lot of typical teenage issues that are explored in the novel, as well as some much darker themes, and I think this novel taught me about things that I had never seen portrayed in fiction before. I definitely think reading this around that age was exactly the right time for it, as I learned that people are often struggling with things that aren’t visible to the eye, but also that love and friendship hold a lot of power.
Emily: Hmm. The first book which particularly stood out to me is The Descent of Man by Grayson Perry, a non-fiction book I read earlier this year which looks at the issue of modern masculinity and why men act the way they do. It’s a truly fascinating read which I learnt so much from, and I still can’t help myself from spurting out facts I’ve learnt from it! Similarly, What’s A Girl Gotta Do? by Holly Bourne made me think much more about everyday comments which are so often passed off, but are actually rather misogynistic, and it inspired me to fight even further for the cause of feminism.
You can check out the other part of this tag, in which we answered the other four questions, here on Emily’s blog! I really hoped you enjoyed reading this collaboration – we had so much fun choosing which post we’d do and plan to do this again in the near future. Let me know your answers to these questions in the comments or, if you so desire, do the tag yourself and link it down below so I can read all of your answers!