Today on Books Spark Joy we have a guest who really needs no introduction, but here it is anyway…
Rachael Johns is an English teacher by trade, a mum 24/7, a chronic arachnophobic, and a writer the rest of the time. She rarely sleeps and never irons. A lover of romance and women’s fiction, Rachael loves nothing more than sitting in bed with her laptop and electric blanket and imagining her own stories. Rachael has finaled in a number of competitions, including the Australian Book Industry Award for General Fiction in 2015 for THE PATTERSON GIRLS. Her latest book, Just One Wish is currently flying off the shelves and take it from me, it’s a book you won’t want to put down. Coincidentally Rachael also happens to be on the podcast I co-host (Writes4Women) this week so click here if you’d like to hear all about Rachael’s writing process, and get some great writing tips.
Over to Rachael …
I have books ALL over my house – in actual bookshelves that are dusty and crammed too full and also in piles in my office, in my bedroom and even on the kitchen bench. It’s drives my husband crazy and every now and then he’ll sweep through the house collecting all the books and dump them all back in my office.
I’m a compulsive buyer of books and purchase way more than I’ll ever be able to read. I have fantasies about finally getting to read them all in my nursing home, but instead every now and then I have a rare Marie Kondo moment and have a MASSIVE de-clutter. I’ll go through my shelves and find books that I bought ten years ago and have never read and no longer have any inclination to read. These books I offer up to the mums in my youngest son’s class at school – I think they love it when I have a clean out.
Even after a clean out I wish that I can say I then make sure what’s left on my shelves is wonderfully ordered, but that would be a lie. I love the posts on Instagram where people show the way they order their books by colour, but sadly, I’m far too lazy for that. My books are not alphabetized and authors aren’t even always grouped together. I simply buy a book and put it in one of my piles or one of my shelves until I can read it.
Saying that, I do have all my favourite novels on a special shelf in my office – books on my keeper shelf include I HAVE A BED MADE OF BUTTERMILK PANCAKES by Jaclyn Moriarty, SOUTHERN RUBY by Belinda Alexandra, and of course BRIDGET JONES DIARY by Helen Fielding. There are certain books that I will never give away because I fantasize about rereading them, although I never seem to get time as there are always new books I want to read. I guess these books provide inspiration in a way as I write – I aspire to write a book as good as them.
Reading is my most favourite thing to do and so even while I’m deep into a manuscript of my own, I always find time to read each day. My fave genre to read is crime because its so far removed from the genre I write in that I can relax and just enjoy reading it without analysing every little sentence. So as you can imagine, in addition to rural romance novels and women’s fiction books, there are a number of crime books lying around my house waiting for me to read them.
In an aim to organize my ridiculous To-Be-Read pile a little better, I recently bought a book cart (check out the hashtag #bookcart on Instagram) and put all the books I hadn’t read yet but wanted to get to soon in it. It’s actually great and now I no longer spend ages working out what to read next but just pluck the closest book on my book cart. And they look fab too!
I guess I’m addicted to buying books but I figure there are worse addictions. Saying that, if I had to get rid of all my books except one, I’d keep BRIDGET JONES DIARY as this is the book that inspired me to write a book I wanted to read rather than a book I THOUGHT I should write.
Oh my goodness, I think I’ve rambled on too much about books but the problem is… books spark so much joy in me that I have a tendency to go on a bit when I talk about them. I hope whatever book you are reading now, it is bringing you much joy!
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