Welcome to the sixth instalment of our new Meet the Bookstagrammers series. Designed to offer our readers a behind-the-scenes look at the life of a Bookstagrammer, this week we're chatting to one of our very favourite bookish accounts, Pauline from Pauline is Reading.
Instagram handle? @paulineisreading.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself? I’m a Melbourne-based avid reader who works in the fashion/retail industry as a Merchandise Planner. Having relocated to Australia as a teenager from Jakarta, Indonesia, I’m now currently living minutes away from the beach with my partner and gorgeous greyhound, Lulu, and love every minute of it! Besides reading, I literally have no other hobbies – that’s how I manage to get through such high amount of books 😉
How did you get into Bookstagramming? I’ve been familiar with the idea of Bookstagram for some time, having followed a number of Bookstagrammers through my personal Instagram account. I used to post reading updates / mini reviews on the stories of that account, until one day during Melbourne’s many lockdowns in 2020, I decided to start my own Bookstagram – and haven’t looked back since!
What do you love most about the Bookstagram community?Definitely the people! I was pleasantly surprised by how many like-minded and supportive people there are on Bookstagram who love books and reading as much as I do – both in and out of Australia. I’ve now made so many friends within this space, a few of whom I’ve also met in real life and do consider as my good friends. Truly the loveliest, most intelligent, and non-judgemental bunch of people that I’m so lucky to have connected with!
Which are you favourite bookish accounts to follow? This is such a hard question because I follow so many incredible accounts who give me endless recommendations! I’ll list a handful of people who have similar tastes to mine and whose opinions I trust wholeheartedly: @what.rosie.reads, @stephgetslit, @berleyreads, @nina.reads.books, @lavelle.reads, @readbookswitha, @elishas.library, @jordynlightyear, @anopenbookshelf, @thenerdybarista – but I could easily name fifty more, at least!
Do you stick to the same genre or try to mix it up? I do read from a wide range of genres but my go-to are literary/contemporary fiction, memoir, short stories, essay collections and general non-fiction. I also do like to pick up romance and poetry reads every now and again. I generally avoid a few genres too as I’ve come to know my own taste – like thriller, fantasy and historical fiction, but there are always exceptions to the rule!
Do you have an all-time favourite book? Another impossible question! I don’t have a single favourite book but some of my recent faves are Cherry Beach, Pachinko, Open Water, The Female Persuasion and Girl, Woman, Other.
Are there any books you thought were over-hyped? I absolutely hated The Silent Patient, and it’s one of the few books I’d rated as one star. But I know it’s very widely loved, on Bookstagram and beyond, so I definitely feel like an outlier! I also wasn’t a fan of Abby Jimenez’s The Friend Zone and thought parts of it was problematic.
Is there a book that you’ve been meaning to read forever but haven’t yet got around to reading? Yes – A Little Life! I was determined to read it before the end of the year, but not sure whether I would be able to now.
What would you perfect reading spot look like? I genuinely can read anytime, anywhere, but when I’m at home, I like to read either in bed or on the couch with a lo-fi/jazz youtube video playing on the TV, a cup of tea in hand and a candle lit in the background. A bit cliché, but foolproof!