Instagram Accounts to Watch: Meet Kate, creator of Kate Reads Books
There are some people that you meet as you go through life that you know are just special. There's just something about them -- a spark, a light, a joy that draws you to them and just makes you want to be in there presence. This is the case with today's feature account and it's creator, Kate of @katereadsbooks_ https://www.instagram.com/katereadsbooks_/?hl=en. I find her to be an honest, old soul who just happens to also be a 24 year old graduate student. She and I share passions for all things Christmas, for Hamilton, for Mexican food and cake, and of course for books. Her account is fairly new to Instagram (right at 6 months) and yet she has already gained a following of over 5000 bookish friends. Once you have interacted with her it's easy to see why. Her authenticity is a breath of fresh air and if I am having a bad day, I head straight to her stories for an immediate pick me up. They are hilarious (her discussion on retiring in Boca Raton had me in tears) and I am trying to convince her to meet me in Baton Rouge so we can stalk Tom Hanks when he starts filming his new movie in a few months. Huge thanks to Kate for taking time out of her busy day to answer some questions for me!
1) You started your account in August and have quickly amassed a following of over 5000 book lovers. What tips or advice would you offer someone who is just starting out in the bookstagram community?
I get this question a lot, and I honestly have NO IDEA how it happened! But here are a few things I've been doing these past few months: being active on my account, making friends / talking books with other bookstagrammers, and posting consistently. I know these are just a few small tips, but it's my best advice on how to really get plugged into the community!!
2) What do you do by day when you aren't reading?
I'm a graduate student by day! I'm working towards a Masters of Education in School Counseling, and I graduate THIS May!! I've been interning at a local high school this school year, and I've LOVED every second of it! I can't wait to graduate, and actually get a job helping students!
3) What's currently on your nightstand to read?
Currently, I'm reading an ARC of Two Girls Down by Louisa Luna which I received from Doubleday books! I'm also reading the 10th installment in the Inspector Gamache series by Louise Penny called The Long Way Home! I can't get enough of Three Pines and my favorite Inspector!!
4) What genre are you drawn to the most and why?
I'm usually most drawn to psychological thrillers! I love being confused by a book and trying to connect the dots of a plot to see what's really going on. I think my love of this genre also has a lot to do with my counseling background and my interest in understanding people and their motivations. Gosh, this makes me wanna read a great psychological thriller now!
5) What books are you excited to read in 2018?
There are SO many good books that are coming out in 2018, but I'm most excited to read Force of Nature by Jane Harper and the newest Fredrik Backman that is a sequel to Beartown. Force of Nature is a sequel to The Dry which was one of my FAVORITE books of 2017! Beartown was also one of my favorite books of 2017, so it looks like 2018 is hopefully the year for amazing sequels!!
6) How do you decide whether to review a book or not?
I pick books to review based on interest! I never want reading and reviewing to feel like drudgery, so I try to review books that pique my interest! I also only accept ARCs or any books from publishers that I think I would like or that I've expressed interest in. This helps to keep reading fun, and make it not feel like a job!
7) Do you judge a book by its cover? If you have, have you ever regretted doing so?
I TOTALLY judge books by their cover! I love pretty things, so sometimes I see a pretty book cover and buy it without even reading the synopsis. Embarrassing, I know! Most of them have ended up being great books, but I can't imagine all the AMAZING titles I'm missing out on because I didn't like the cover! Mental note: stop judging books based on their cover this year.
8) What are your goals for your blog/instagram account in the upcoming year?
This year I'm partnering together with Whitney from @theunreadshelf https://www.instagram.com/theunreadshelf/?hl=en and Cristina from @calsreads https://www.instagram.com/calsreads/?hl=en to host #theunreadshelfproject2018! We were all just getting so overwhelmed with the number of unread books we have, and we felt like a lot of other bookstagrammers were saying the same thing, so we created a 2018 project. The first task was to count your unread books, and I have 153!! So my 2018 goal is to make a dent in that stack of books, and I'm really excited to get some of them this year! We will be sharing different small challenges all throughout the year, so join us if you're interested!
9) The Unread Shelf project really took off on instagram and it has been a great motivator to tackle more of our TBR stacks. How are you going to balance reading your back log and reading new releases?
I'm hoping that by buying fewer books, and reading a few from my unread shelf every month, I can make a dent in that stack of 153! I don't want this to be a stressful goal (because reading should be fun!!), so I'm really just hoping to just end 2018 with less unread books than I started with.
10) What is something about you that people would be surprised to know?
I've always loved reading, but I think people would be surprised to know that I really only got back into it as a hobby in May of 2017. I always had books checked out from the library in middle school and high school, but I barely read anything other than textbooks in college. It wasn't until last year when I started following some bookstagram accounts on my person Instagram that I really got back into reading! (shoutout to Madeleine from https://www.instagram.com/topshelftext/?hl=en who was my inspiration!) Reading again and joining bookstagram are some of my favorite things about 2017, so I can't wait to see what 2018 will hold for our little community!
11) What are your other passions besides reading?
When I'm not reading, you can catch me eating out with friends or watching some hilarious TV shows/movies! Mexican food is a passion of mine, as well as cake. I'm currently in the midst of a New Girl rewatch, but I'm also in a 90s rom-com movie phase. So basically, I love all things entertainment! (And food.)