Bookmarked with Alexis Reliford
One of our favorite bookish people shares her recommendations and rituals for reading.
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Welcome to a new installment of Bookmarked, a series where our favorite writers, readers, and other bookish people share their reading recommendations and rituals. This one features so many wonderful recommendations from writeron the pleasures of nighttime reading, knowing when to put a book down, her top recs, and more. We hope you enjoy! Have thoughts on one of her recs, or one of your own to share? Let us know in the comments. –Aliza
Alexis, please tell us about yourself!
I’m a writer and reader based in Los Angeles, CA. I write Feeling My Shelf, a bi-weekly newsletter about books, life, and well, life with books. I’m also currently working on my first novel, a contemporary rom-com.
You write the popular newsletter Feeling My Shelf. How do you find new books to read and rec?
I can frequently be found wandering through the stacks of a bookstore, judging books by their covers, and checking out staff picks. I also find recs on Goodreads and through authors and other bookish creators like Overbooked Mama, Biblio Blog, and Shawnaci Schroeder.
What advice has been most helpful to you in your writing process?
Ignore the audience and write for you. This advice has often helped me tap into my most creative self and ignore my inner people-pleaser.
Q&A - ON READING
What’s your reading routine or ritual?
Despite my best attempts to be a morning reader, I’m a nighttime reader through and through. I take a long hot shower, slather a few overpriced skincare products on my face, climb into my bed with a book, and read anywhere from 30 minutes to four hours straight. And yes, I have finished many books at 3 a.m.
What's your ideal reading setup?
In a cozy coffee shop with an iced matcha latte and a flaky pastry—most likely an almond croissant. Getting lost between the pages of a book while neglecting all other responsibilities—baristas hard at work and the low hum of conversations flowing around me—is what I live for.
What’s your favorite indie bookstore?
I don’t have children, but I imagine this is what being asked to choose between them would feel like. In Los Angeles, some of my favorites are Reparations Club (Black-owned!), The Ripped Bodice (romance!), and Vroman’s (a wine bar!)
How and where do you discover new books to read?
Besides the usuals (Goodreads, BookTok, Bookstagram, bookstores), I find new books through various media brands and book clubs including The Everygirl, Hello Sunshine/Reese’s Book Club, and Phenomenal.
Do you have any advice for those who want to read more?
Get good at DNF’ing books. (DNF is the bookish term for “did not finish”) It seems counterintuitive, but at the first sign of boredom, dislike, etc., put down what you’re reading and find something else. Something that you like, and that holds your attention and makes you want to stay up all night reading until you finish.
QUICK ROUND: BOOK RECS!
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