An interview with Caroline from Sparkles and Crumbs
The gorgeous, glamour loving Caroline runs the blog Sparkles and Crumbs, which is all about finding joie de vivre in the face of the everyday. She’s also a huge book lover and features a weekly column on her blog called Thursday Verse Day where she shares enchanting poetry. You can visit her blog or follow her on Twitter @SparklesCrumbs.
On your blog you write about your love for glamour, gumption and all things Old Hollywood. How does this fit in with your love of reading?
Ooh, Amy, these questions are so wonderful already! For me, the glamour of Old Hollywood is pure escapism; the opportunity to lose yourself in a world bursting with classiness, magic, true love and high adventure. The best books offer exactly the same thing!
As an admirer of leading men like Gregory Peck, you must have a favourite literary romantic lead or two…
Oh, more than two! I adore dashing characters with equal amounts of charm and good-heartedness, so I’ve always had a soft spot for Mr Knightley from Jane Austen’s Emma. I think he’s far more light-hearted and good-humoured than Mr Darcy [despite, you know, Colin Firth…!]. Richard Selwick from The Secret History of The Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig and Coronel from Once On A Time by AA Milne are also part of my dream harem. Henry De Tamble from The Time Traveller’s Wife is a wonderful tragic hero, too. Sigh… leading men are always better in books, aren’t they?
One of your regular features on Sparkles and Crumbs is Thursday Verse Day, where you post some beautiful poetry. How do you choose which poems to share and what inspired your passion for verse?
Studying for my English GCSE almost put me off poetry for life! Slumped over those depressing ‘anthologies’, having to discuss why the enjambment in a poem about ploughing [of all things!] mirrored how the plough would go up and down, up and down the field… Ugh! Fortunately, I discovered Rilke’s Duino Elegies soon after, and realised there were a lot more poems out there than the depressing offerings of our GCSE syllabus. Since then, I’ve followed a tonne of brilliant Tumblr poetry collections, and spent years filling notebooks with any poem that caught my fancy – so I’ve got plenty of material to pick from each week!
I now whole-heartedly agree with this wonderful quote by Janet Fitch: “Always learn poems by heart. They have to become the marrow in your bones. Like fluoride in the water, they’ll make your soul impervious to the world’s soft decay.”
You often write about your love of travel, especially to Rome. Is there a particular novel or poem that reflects your feelings for the city?
Funnily enough, very few books or poems have captured how I feel when I’m in Rome – it tends to be movies and music which conjure the right mood! Perhaps it’s time to write a Rome-set novel myself…?
Which books are you planning to read next? Do you have any that you secretly suspect you’ll never get round to?
I’m forever going on Amazon sprees and library trolley dashes to stock up on new titles – I get tres twitchy if I don’t have a nice, fresh stack of books to read on my shelf! I used to feel that it was morally wrong to not finish a book once you’ve started it, even if you’re not enjoying it, but I’ve weaned myself off that guilt now!
Would you ever be interested in writing a novel? If you could have written any existing book, what would it be?
I’m actually working on a novel – a frothy romantic escapade set in Cambridge – at this very moment. As to which book I wish I could have written, that’s a tough one… I’d say the Harry Potter series for the fame and fortune, and Letters To A Young Poet by Rilke or Niehls Lyne by Jens Peter Jacobsen for sheer beauty!
I’m terrible for buying books and having piles of them lying around the house waiting to be read. [Me too!!] How do you prefer to read: are you a Kindle addict, library regular or a paperback collector?
I’m an old-fashioned bibliophile! Although on a rational level I can see how useful a Kindle would be for a frequently-on-the-go, speed-reader like myself, I think Adam Kirsch sums it up perfectly: “The unadmitted reason why traditional readers are hostile to e-books is that we still hold the superstitious idea that a book is like a soul, and that every soul should have its own body.” After all, is there any nicer smell than a new book?
I’m a bit obsessive about my books and keeping them as undamaged as possible. Do you have any pet hates about the way other people read or treat their books?
People who never return books they’ve been lent are just unpardonable!
And finally, do you have any random/funny/bizarre stories about books to share with us?
Well, when I’m out and about, if I finish a book that I’m not absolutely head over heels in love with, I’ll leave it for someone else to pick up: on the train, on a park bench, on the windowsill in a busy café… I like the idea of the story being adopted by someone else, and besides, it’s good to travel light! However, this backfired one day when a waiter spotted my abandoned book and assumed I’d forgotten it; he chased after me for three streets to return it! I felt it would be rude [and also make me a look a bit mad…] to try and explain that I’d intended to leave it there…!
If you’re a blogger, writer or book lover and you’d like to take part in Space on the Bookshelves, get in touch! You can email me at amy(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)tenpennydreams.com