Coffee With Fay

Coffee With Fay: Bookpress

Today I introduce you to one of my favorite people on the internet. She’s a beautiful soul who gives the most extensive book reviews and has introduced me to so many new authors through her bookstagram. Grab a cuppa and enjoy the conversation, I know I did.

1. Tell me a little about yourself.

I am a delightful daughter to an inimitable woman, an irritating sister to two amazing siblings and a dear friend to a small group of fantastic individuals I have come to adopt as my extended family. I have an account on Instagram where I review and pair books I read with fragrances I own because “A good fragrance, like a good book, is really just a powerful cocktail of precious memories and emotions.” I am also an old soul, so reruns of old shows, books and movies from long ago and long talks with older ones bring me lots of joy.

2. What are you currently reading?

Book Monotony is a foreign concept I simply cannot comprehend. I am currently reading about 6 books, but don’t tell any of them; they don’t know about each other and I want to keep it that way. (‘Bunny Melon. The Life and style of an American Style Legend’, Elizabeth Gaskell’s ‘Vanity Fair’, The Penguin Book of International Women’s stories, ‘Their Finest’ by Lissa Evans, ‘My Word is My Bond’ by Roger Moore and ‘Cloth Girl’ by Marilyn Heward Mills.) Like I said, shhhhhhhh!

3. What’s your favourite genre and why?

I do not have one favourite genre. I have equal love for a wide range of genres like biographies/memoirs, humor, historical fiction, legal fiction, cook books,… it’s a rather long list. Genre Monotony is cruel and unusual punishment!

You pair your reviews with a perfume, why is that?
I touched a little on this in the first question. There are many aspects that explain the method to my madness. The short answer is I review books and pair them with fragrances that I believe embody the stories they tell. I also compare the notes that make up various fragrances with the writer’s style and diction while drawing attention to the many similarities prose has with perfume in relation to self-care and the positive impact it can have on readers.
The appendix to the short answer is, the notes found in fragrances and the stories found in books have more in common than many realise. Every perfume is made up of three parts, called notes: The Top notes, middle notes and base notes. These notes come together to give us the unique smell we associate with the contents of the bottle and depending on our body chemistry and other factors, we all react differently. We either love it because it smells amazing to us or hate it because ewww. Some make us feel powerful, confident, nostalgic and even hopeful, while others make us want to crawl out of our skin because urggh!! Stories follow a similar structure. There is always a beginning, the middle bits (for lack of a better expression) and the end. Depending on our personal preferences, our general mood and the writer’s skill we either love the book and can’t stop thinking and talking about it or we absolutely hate it because yaaaawn or yikes!!

4. Name 3 reading habits that you have.

  • When I really really enjoy a book I am reading, I take all the time in the world. I never want it to end. I read very slowly, welcome no distractions and dive very deep into it. I become mildly obsessed with it (especially if it is a true story). I do research, tell everybody about it, send voice notes to my siblings and select friends…it is intense.
  • I sometimes …interact actively with the book. This ranges from yelling at the characters to rolling my eyes at the writer for making poor choices like ending abruptly. I haven’t yet thrown a book against a wall…oh wait! I have. But it was one time and for good reason. (You promised you wouldn’t judge!)
  • The third reading habit I have is making entries of my favourite lines or quotes into a special book. I recently lost this book on a train. It had over a decade’s worth of entries in it. The crushing blow was like losing your favourite pet. I had to start all over again. It hasn’t been easy.

So, if you are reading this and you found a beautiful purple book with horrible handwriting but beautiful lines and quotes from books, poems and movies please return my jewel to me in exchange for a handsome reward.

5. Do you prefer tea or coffee? How do you take it?

Tea over coffee any day. I love tea! We are in a committed relationship. That being said, I must mention that I thoroughly adore the coffee culture: The smell of coffee shops on cold mornings, coffee merch, the tinkering of tiny spoons as people stir the contents of their coffee cups, what seems to be the art and science of ordering the perfect brew according to ones taste (“double shot, low fat, no foam latte!” Try saying that fast 10 times. Lol), the fact that the coffee shop is the the universally accepted public place of choice for both social and anti-social people! I love everything about the culture but not the drink. Is that weird? Lol

6. What do you think about the reading culture in Ghana?

The reading culture in Ghana is very much alive. Although we are outgoing and very hospitable, Ghanaians by nature are very private people. We seldom share what is going on in our lives except with close friends and family. Reading suffers the same fate. Although it is encouraged from a very early age by parents and guardians, it tends to become a private affair with time. As such you will seldom see somebody reading in public or posting about what they are reading on social media. This may translate to the uninitiated as there being a lack somehow. However, that is a gross misconception. It is shocking the number of Ghanaians who read wide and have impressive book collections. They are sprinkled all over the country. Everybody does what works for them. There are still many who have either dropped the habit of reading or never picked it up in the first place but even they are starting to come around.

7. What is one book you recommend to people?

Not to sound old fashioned but one book I will always recommend is the Bible. I marvel at the exciting masterpiece it is. It gives us information that we cannot find anywhere else. It has been translated into about 2600 languages and more than 90% of the people in the world can read it in their own language. You find every genre imaginable in that book as well as practical points to apply in your life daily. I always say that some of the craziest stories I have ever read came from the Bible, and these were real-life experiences of people who lived long ago and their relationship with the God of the bible, Jehovah. I can go on and on about this book. I will recommend it to everyone.

8. Where can we find you?

I am on Instagram as Bookpress and Twitter as Bookpresse

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