My guest today is none other than Andrew from Okay So Booksically! Technically he isn’t a book blogger, but I am super excited to be interviewing him because he’s become such a good friend to me on this bookish journey. I’ll never forget the very first time I saw one of his BookTube videos. His energy was so uplifting and I remember feeling happy that there were more and more South African book bloggers, bookstagrammers and booktubers sharing their love for books. So much so that it lead to a Bookstagrammer meetup in January where I got to meet Andrew and many other awesome bookish folks. I even did a little book shopping/browsing with him. It was lovely, and I am thrilled to be getting to know him a little better today.
So, let’s get the obvious question out of the way – who is Andrew? Tell us a bit about the book lover behind the booktube channel.
I am a twenty-six year old South African Booktuber. I love reading, and consider myself a writer. Oh, and I’m a ginger!
Everyone has a story and I’m positive you do too. What inspired you to start your channel? And how did you come up with the name for your space?
I never even knew something such as booktube existed. I accidentally stumbled across it when I watched a video on YouTube about a ‘Travelling Book Tag’, and I thought the idea was amazing. I searched around on YouTube a bit and discovered Booktube – a space to talk about books! My main goal in joining was to reach more, and I have certainly reached that!
My channel name is ‘Okay So Booksically’, which is inspired by the saying, ‘Okay So Basically’, which happens to be a line I use quite often, especially with my best friend living abroad. We would stay in touch on the daily by sending voice notes, and the stories will always start with: “Okay, so basically…”. I created my brand around Okay So Basically, and when I decided to join Booktube, it seemed like such a natural choice.
As a book blogger, I know how much time goes into crafting a post that you feel comfortable enough posting for the world to see. Looking back, what video did you enjoy creating the most? (You may list more than one if you want and add the URL so that I can link back to those videos)
My videos aren’t necessarily that crafted – it is basically me sitting in front of a camera talking about books. I rarely ever jot down so much as a couple of notes, as I really just speak from the heart. The editing however takes some time. But if I had to choose some favourites…
The first would be my ‘Book to Music’ video, where I match songs to books. I love music, it is such a big part of my life, along with reading.
I also really enjoyed making my NaNoWriMo Vlog videos last year during November:
Getting a lil personal; what is your biggest achievement to date? Is there a moment you are especially proud of when you look back on all you’ve accomplished so far?
This might seem minor, but to me it was quite something. In 2016, after discovering and joining BookTube in April, I joined Goodreads as well and randomly set my reading goal to 30 books. Never have I ever! Yet somehow I managed to read 31 books from April to December. To me, that was a pretty big achievement.
Do you have a bucket list stashed away somewhere with some daring (or more subdued) activities that you’d like to complete? Name 5 items on your list.
I don’t really have a bucket-list, if I’m being honest. I’m a lover of travel, so naturally I would love to visit many different cities and experience different cultures. I suppose one of the biggest things on my bucket list is to have a book published.
Name one of your most cherished life experiences.
I was fortunate enough to travel to England and Scotland for my 25h birthday, with my two best friends. It was my crown birthday as I turned 25 on the 25th and to top it all off I got to see Adele perform live on my birthday for her album 25!
However it was during this trip that I got to visit the house of Beatrix Potter. I have always adored her, and Peter Rabbit has been apart of my life since I was a kid. To walk around in her little house, her garden, and just take in the beauty of the Lake District is something I will carry with me for the rest of my life. As a writer is was one of the most surreal moments of my life!
What’s some of the best advice you’ve received and who was the wise human who shared this bit of wisdom with you?
“ I may not be like you, but at least I know who the f*ck I am!” – Lady Gaga. I heard this when I saw her performing live in Cape Town and it has stuck with me ever since. The world will always want to shape and form you into something resembling the imagine they prefer, which ultimately steers you away from your authentic self. Know who you are and stay faithful to that person!
“Hakuna Matata – it means no worries, for the rest of your days.”Do you have a motto in life? If yes, let us know what it is.
“We’re almost there and nowhere near it. All that matters is we’re going.” – Gilmore Girls. Always keep chasing your dreams, always keep learning and growing. When at times you have no idea what you are doing with your life or in which direction you are headed, just remember that the important thing is you just keep swimming!
Let’s talk books for a bit… How did reading become such a big part of your life?
I was never ever a big reader growing up, although my poor mother tried her hardest! Having always had a love for telling stories, and discovering my love for writing, it would seem only natural for me to be a lover of books and reading being a big part of my life. Don’t get me wrong, I very much enjoyed devouring a book every now and again, but nowhere near the extend as I do now. I will admit that in all honesty, one of the reasons, and one of the books, that really got me hooked was Twilight. Say what you will, you probably secretly agree with me and know exactly what I am talking about. I simply couldn’t put down that series, I was obsessed. We however won’t get into talking about the movies too much.
What would you consider your “most reached for” genre? And is there any special reason for this preference?
If I have to go on the immediate history of my reading life, it would have to be Young Adult. I would have to say that this is largely because of BookTube, as it is quite a popular genre on there and watching book hauls and review you get drawn into it and interested in many of the books. This doesn’t mean that is my favourite genre however.
On the other side of the spectrum, what genre do you hardly reach for and why?
Thrillers/Mysteries. I have no idea why, because I enjoy them so much. I want to bring more into my book selection. I love the process of sitting on the edge of my seat trying to figure out the secrets and answers to questions the writer and characters ask.
As a major book nerd, I know how overwhelming– or let’s just call it IRRITATING – it can be when someone asks you what your favourite book is because there’s never a black ‘n white answer. So here’s my question: What is your ideal ending for a book?
For me it is important that the ending of a book suits the story, and that doesn’t always mean that there’s a happy ending. I despise a soppy, happy ending that is purely there because ‘the book has to end on a high note’. I have read books with ending that wrecked me – and those are the best ones. Life doesn’t always have happy endings, and neither should books. Sure, it is nice, it gives you a warm fuzzy feeling inside, but I’d much rather have a more realistic ending than a fabricated piece of sh**!
What are some of your most cherished quotes from books?
“You won’t understand what I mean now, but someday you will: the only trick of friendship, I think, is to find people who are better than you are—not smarter, not cooler, but kinder, and more generous, and more forgiving—and then to appreciate them for what they can teach you, and to try to listen to them when they tell you something about yourself, no matter how bad—or good—it might be, and to trust them, which is the hardest thing of all. But the best, as well.”
“…things get broken, and sometimes they get repaired, and in most cases, you realize that no matter what gets damaged, life rearranges itself to compensate for your loss, sometimes wonderfully.”
What bookish franchise do you tend to fan and fawn over most?
I wouldn’t really describe myself as a fangirl. Never have been. I love Funko Pops, and every now again I get my hands on some bookish goodies. I will admit that I do get a little tingle inside when I see anything Harry Potter or Game of Thrones!
If you’re anything like me then you’ll have a long list of bookish pet peeves. Can you name one of your biggest bookish pet peeves?
I think one of the biggest problems us bookish folk face is our never ending TBR pile that gets longer and longer no matter how many books we tick off as ‘read’. What book has been on your TBR the longest?
The Dexter series by Jeff Lindsay. I absolutely LOVED the TV series and have been sitting on the first book for YEARS! I am dying to read it, but somehow it has taken a backseat to my ever growing TBR! (Dammit, I really need to read that book!) I think part of the reason I have been putting it off is because it is a series. We all know the struggle with starting YET ANOTHER series and then instantly adding another six books to your TBR pile.
Stressed Reader or Relaxed Reader?
Favourite Subject in school?
Quiet night in or a night out on the town?
Paperback or EBook?
“Suit up!” or jeans and T-shirt?
What advice do you have for anyone who would like to get into your field of work?
Read, read, read! Say goodbye to your social life and all your life savings – because once you join BookTube you will have so many books to read and buy, it seriously becomes all consuming!
About Okay So Booksically: This is a space where I share my love for all things books, telling stories, and remembering my favourite tales ever told. Join me on this adventurous literary journey on my way to reading new books, talking about it, and much more. I fancy myself a writer, and I love nothing more than reading a good book — but I want to grow my love for reading even more, so here goes nothing…
Thanks so much to Andrew for taking the time out of his busy schedule to answer these questions. I hope you’ll go ahead and check out his awesome channel and social media platforms, his just incredible!
If you would like to have me feature your blog on A Cuppa with a Book Blogger, please drop me an email so we can talk more. Don’t forget to come back next week Monday to meet another Book Blogger Friend!