Welcome to a new feature Coffee With Fay, a weekly post where I chat with, readers, bloggers and authors with an aim to connect, learn and share more about books.
Today I have Ashleigh, the face behind afrolicthroughfiction. She’s one of my favorite bloggers out there with her engaging blog posts and beautiful pictures to boost!
1.Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Somehow, this is always one of the hardest questions ???? But simply put: I’m Ashleigh, a booktuber and book blogger currently studying literature at university! My entire life basically revolves around books in one way or another, and has since childhood. Besides that…I’m forever fascinated by history, adore singing, and strive to be cosy at all times.
2. What are you currently reading?Thanks to university, I’ve always got multiple books on the go. At the moment I have to read Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf for one of my classes, but I’m also currently reading two books of my own accord – Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke, and The Truth About The Harry Quebert Affair by Joel Dicker! It’s weird because while I have to read my uni books in a day or two, the other books I choose to read will take me a good month or more to finish alongside work. So those last two have been on my currently reading list for awhile!
3. What is your favorite genre and why?It’s funny because one of the most common comments I get on my videos is about how varied my reading is ???? I’ll read pretty much anything, but my favourite genres are definitely fantasy, classics and historical fiction (in that order). With fantasy, I just love how there’s literally no boundaries to the story. The author is free to create whatever they wish, and I just find it so fascinating how people can create their own world, characters, laws, language, everything! As for classics and historical fiction, that without a doubt comes from my love for history.
4. What do you think about the reading culture in England?
Reading is generally encouraged, as far as I know. It’s hard for me to judge, since I always forget that reading isn’t that popular of a hobby in the general public since my own life is so overwhelmed by books. But it’s always encouraged, and I see so often that reading is a hobby people strive towards – especially as people get older. I don’t know whether this is actually the case or whether it’s from me just becoming more aware of it, but I feel like reading has grown vastly over the past few years too. The bookshops tend to be busier. If I ever mention books to people at random, I’m often met with them telling me about a book they read, whereas before it always seemed to be “oh, I don’t read”. And the courses for English studies at universities still seem to be amongst the most popular. So I feel like it’s definitely something people strive to do. Of course, there’s always those people who criticise. There’s an ever growing number of newspaper articles slating people’s reading choices (as if it matters), but it’s nowhere near as strong as people’s positive outlook on reading.
5. Name 3 reading habits that you have.
- I keep reading logs everywhere. Goodreads is probably the easiest one, and I love tracking my progress on there. But I also have pages drawn out to track the books read per month in my bullet journal, and I also keep a specific reading journal that I update every so often where I list the books I read and their ratings. There’s a “books read this year” thread on my twitter page that I update every time I finish a book. And I suppose the reading wrap ups on my channel act as a sort of reading log too. I’ve no idea why I do it.
- I used to dedicate my reading time to the evenings, but now I just read whenever I have chance. Evenings are still my preferred time, but more often than not I can’t do that now so I just read anytime anywhere. I used to hate it because it genuinely makes me feel a bit weird when I don’t finish on a chapter break, but now I’m more in the mindset of “one page further is better than nothing”.
- Taking notes! I fell out of this habit a bit over the summer but I’ve recently started doing it again because they help so much with my reviews and youtube channel. When writing out the subtitles for my videos I realise how often I repeat phrases like “I love it” and barely go into detail, so having the notes means I can give my opinion in a way that might actually be more helpful to people.
6. What is the one book you recommend to everyone?
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon! It’s a mystery/crime novel translated from Spanish which is heavily influenced by the main character’s love of reading. It’s dark, the writing is gorgeous even through translation, and I just love the story.
7. Where can we find you?
Basically everywhere ahaha! We have…
1. My Booktube