Instagram Accounts To Watch: Meet Diana, creator of Owls Library
It is a well known fact that Instagram is my happy place. One of my favorite things about it is that there are so many amazing people there. I love connecting with others who share my same passions and I am constantly looking for great accounts. While Instagram does show us a quick glimpse of what we are reading, eating, enjoying etc., I am always so curious about the people behind the accounts. So one of the things I decided to do more on my blog in 2018 is to spotlight accounts that I love and get a little more in-depth with their creators. One such account is Owls Library https://www.instagram.com/owls_library/ . I have been following Diana's account for quite awhile now. Her pictures are absolutely gorgeous, her reviews are incredibly detailed and insightful, and she reads across a wide variety of genres. She enjoys traveling the world with her husband when she is not working and she loves food as much as I do! We recently found ourselves chatting until 2 am about everything from books to work to life in general. I feel like she is a kindred spirit and I am so happy that I have gotten to know her. Her blog is https://owlslittlelibrary.wordpress.com/about/ and it is one of my absolute favorites. Diana kindly agreed to answer some questions for me, please read on for her interview.
1) What do you do by day when you aren't reading?
I have an office job at a skincare company so I work a lot. (Can someone hire me to be a professional reader please??) But during my free time, if I am not reading, I like to binge-watch Netflix (currently watching Agents of Shield) while I write in my journal, blog or read other blogs- finance, book, and travel. Since I live far away from my family, I do spend a good chunk of my time on FaceTime :) If time and funds permit, my husband and I LOVE traveling!
2) What's currently on your nightstand to read?
Oh gosh.. Too many. I'm currently reading Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Interpreter of Maladies.
On my nightstand, I have
- Snow Falling on Cedars
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
3) What genre are you drawn to the most and why?
In the past, I read a lot of Historical Fiction. I jumped onto Goodreads to see the list of books I read in 2017, and I realized a lot of them were Contemporary Fiction. And most of them were by authors of color. I'm originally from a very white State so moving to Texas has really pushed me into reading and learning about other cultures, and I've been fascinated since. So I think now, I gravitate more towards books by authors of color more rather than the genre itself. I don't want the book to be just about race /ethnicity, but it's important that diversity is a component of the book. As far as genre, I am not the biggest fan of Sci-Fi, and Fantasy (excluding Harry Potter of course), much to my husband's dismay as those are his two favorite genres.
4) What books are you excited to read in 2018?
I'm usually not up-to-date with newly published books. I am a Book of the Month member and a rep for My Lit Box, both that come out with newly published books on a monthly basis so I rely on them to read new books! I also have a HUGE TBR list (sound familiar?), and want to tackle it too.
5) How do you decide whether to review a book or not?
Every author has a purpose behind the book they wrote. They try to prove a point by crafting words into a beautiful story. Once I am done with a book and I found it to be inspiring, powerful thought-provoking, or even a learning lesson, I'm prompted to review the book. Just like the author used words to share a powerful message, I, too, use words to freely express how the book has affected me. If a book has affected me in a negative way, I do feel obligated to share it as well. Sometimes, when a book is a quick and light read (more known as brain candy), I may share my thoughts on it but not provide an in-depth review (i.e., Shopaholic series).
I usually do not review light chick-lits or sci-fi and fantasy (since I never read them).
6) Do you judge a book by its cover? If you have, have you ever regretted doing so?
YES, I sure do. I dislike talking about books that I did not like, but I did pick up the UK edition of Fate and Furies by Lauren Groth because the cover was stunning. However, I did not like the book at all. I found it to be a bit depressing and too anti-marriage. So, I sold it to Half Priced Books! Hopefully, someone else will pick it up (and I know someone will since the cover is stunning) and unlike me, I hope they will take a positive message from it.
7) What are your goals for your blog/Instagram account in the upcoming year?
I hope to write more reviews and share some personal thoughts on my blog. Since English is not my first language, I'm a bit self-conscious with writing, but since it’s something I LOVE, I do hope to put more effort into it.
As far as my Instagram, I am trying my best to make sure I enjoy it! There have been times when I felt pressured to read more, post more, participate in book challenges, and etc. I personally found it exhausting. So, I will make it my personal goal to remind myself I do this for fun and connect with other bookstagrammers!
8) What is something about you that people would be surprised to know?
I was born with seven heart problems! My heart problem has been my biggest trial and biggest blessing yet!
9) What's the best advice that you have ever received regarding bookstagram?
Use Bookstagram as a platform to show what "I" love and stay true to myself. Be me!
It's easy to get caught up and start comparing your account with others. You start purchasing more books and props and compare numbers. Once, I was a bit burnt out from Bookstagram - I felt as if I wasn't reading fast enough and it soon felt like a chore. Also, the pressure of feeling the need to post was exhausting. I even thought about closing my account. However, after some pep-talks from other insightful bookstagram friends, I decided to focus on sharing what I love. Once I detached myself from things that were causing me stress (numbers), I fell IN LOVE with it. I've met amazing people that share my passion and it's been great. Don't worry on numbers, themes, how often you post, share your honest opinions (agree to disagree), and most of all, engage with the community! You're doing Bookstagram for fun. If you're not enjoying it, take a step away from it and figure out WHY. Sometimes, disconnecting from it helps too!
10) What are your other passions besides reading?
Does eating count? Just kidding! I do have a slight obsession/ passion (if you will) with chocolate. But, other than reading, teaching! My calling in life is to teach. My parents are both educators so it's in my blood. I also have a B.S in Education. Though I do not currently teach in a school setting, I am fortunate enough to work a job that requires my teaching skills. I hope to fulfill my dream job and become an ESL teacher one day if no one hires me to become a professional reader!
11) How do you balance work, reading and life? What's your best organizational secret?
Prioritize and when I do something, give it my 100%.
I do have a planner and make a to-do list on tasks that need to be accomplished FIRST. Then, I have a list of items that must be dealt with but aren't as important. When I do something, I give it my 100%. I'm not the type that will read when I work out. These days, people think a busy schedule equates to a productive and successful life. But, I'm the opposite. When I work out (if I ever do), I work out. When I read, I read. When I write, I write. When I work, I work. You get the idea..
With being on Bookstgram, sometimes I feel the pressure to read more. But, I have to remind myself I read for fun and I never want it to feel like a chore. So, if I'm unable to read due to a busy day, I'm not going to try and squeeze in 30 mins of reading just so I can say I did it. The company I work for often reminds its employees to "slow down to go fast," and I wholeheartedly believe in that saying. If you prioritize and focus on one thing at a time, overall, you will lead a much more productive life and will have more free time. And more free time means more reading!
One thing I'm working on starting from 2018 is turning my phone off for a few hours in the evening. I've only tried for a few days, but it's helped tremendously!
Huge thanks to Diana for taking the time out of her busy schedule to chat with me. Please head over to her blog and Instagram and check her out!