Sending positive thoughts your way; an interview with Beth Bartholomew
Who doesn't need a book full of sunshine to make you feel smiley and happy?? —Beth
In the middle of all that is going on around the world, we decided to bring to you some positivity and Pinterest-worthy inspiration via Beth Bartholomew. A bibliophile through and through, working in social media, creating content and reading whichever book is by her side. In 2019 she won the UKYA Blogging Award for "Most Inspirational"!
Her blog, BooksNest, isn’t just about books though, she is also very passionate about mental health and happiness, so a lot of her posts are dedicated to this.
She's as delightful as they come, and you'll see that for yourself as you continue to read and get to know more about her:
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in the south of England in the county of Berkshire in a town called Newbury. I loved where I grew up, it had a good mix of busy living, but also was in the countryside so it was easy to get away and escape.
What is that one thing that always strikes nostalgia?
I don’t know why this question took me so long to answer. I think I don’t often get stuck into the feeling of nostalgia because I don’t let myself feel it, my life now is very different to how it was as a kid. I’d maybe say weirdly seeing my dad gives me nostalgia. We don’t see each other as much as we did when I was younger, so going on our long walks always makes me feel like a kid again!
What is the inspiration behind your soul-satisfying (Instagram) aesthetic?
I think my feed has slowly shaped itself around my room decor. I have shaped the space around me to be a yellow, sunshine-y, bright and positive space and I think that vibes also reflects into my Instagram feed.
What do you like to do to unwind?
I like to take a bath with a Lush bath bomb, turn on my fairy lights, settle down with a book or a good film and spend some time just by myself without having to worry about anything or one else.
What was the first book you ever read? And how old were you?
I’ve been a reader since before I could read. My mum read to me as a baby and I took over when I could so I don’t know the exact answer to this question. But I know I used to very much enjoy The Magic Faraway Tree series by Enid Blyton.
How are you keeping your spirits up in this difficult time?
Honestly, I’m finding a strange sense of calm. I know the world is in crisis and I’m certainly not ignorant to that. But on a personal level I’m noticing I don’t have to rush about everywhere anymore, I can have the sleeping pattern my body actually wants and I’m able to work in the comfort of my own home. I’m still working full time so that’s occupying my days, but I think having my blog and so many platforms to create content on is massively helping to add some variety to my days. I’m also making sure to go for a minimum of a mile walk every day, which is really helping too. I’m also chatting with friends lots and making sure I’m staying social.
Tea or Coffee?
I don’t actually drink either, I wish I liked hot drinks, but I just don’t!
What are your 3 most favourite words?
Ohhhh, okay I’ve had to give this one some thought. Three brilliant words, in my opinion, are: Fallopian (yes I know that’s a weird word to like, but it just rolls off the tongue). I also used to really like the word defibrillator and I have no idea why. I’ll also throw the word sunflower in there because why the hell not, it’s a happy word!
What's your cosiest, most adored setting when reading?
I mostly sit in the armchair in my room with my fairy lights on and a blanket, but my favourite place ever to read is on the swinging bench in my garden. Ideally, the sun will be shining and I will have nothing to do but read. That’s where I get my most reading done. Failing that, poolside on an all-inclusive holiday resort would be of course amazing!
What makes you so passionate about the cause of mental health and happiness?
I’ve had my own struggles with mental health for about ten years now so it’s always been immensely important to me. I’ve spent a lot of time worrying about my own happiness and understanding how to achieve that balance in my life. I don’t really know what happened in this last year, but something clicked in my brain where I reached a general happy and bubbly state and since then I’ve been trying to spread that to others too. I know how awful our mental health can make us feel and I know what it feels like to think you’re alone, so I like to try and help people that feel the same in the content I create.
What's the first thing you'd like to do when the quarantine ends?
I want to drive to Bath and visit my three favourite bookshops there, have a drink and a read in the cafe in their Waterstones and go for lunch with a friend. I’d probably visit a few clothing shops along the way too. I’m so excited for the day I’m able to do this!
What fictional character would you like to meet in real life?
I’d love to meet Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter. Her outlook on life is amazing, she is such a free spirit and someone to feel inspired by, I think meeting her would leave you with a positive glow and she’s the kind of person that would give off such a good energy!
If you were an emoji, you'd be…
There’s no choice really, would have to be > 🌻
Which author would you like to meet if you could travel back in time?
If I was travelling back in time I would love to meet Enid Blyton, her books made up so much of my childhood that I think she would be such an inspiration to meet. She has an amazing brain!
What would you tell your 15-year-old self?
Oh my god so much! I’d tell myself that there may be some really bad times coming up, but they will get better and they will become really great times. Nothing lasts forever, that can relate to some of the good things and some of the bad, but generally all of the storm clouds will pass. Keep on trying, in fact, try so, so hard because now is exactly the time to make it count. Never doubt yourself and think you aren’t good enough. The more confident you are, the more likely you are to succeed!
What do you think of Now&Me?
This is the kind of service I could have benefit when I was going through some crappy times a little bit of time ago. I felt like I didn’t really have any directions to turn in and felt very alone. I think it’s brilliant to see more services like this, working together to make talking about mental health much less taboo.
Be prepared to be bowled over by Beth's magical world which is her Bookstagram: @booksnest