Today we're whisked away by Yuri Hobart, the 26-year-old Berkeley, California, blogger behind Bookswept. The site has two parts — a blog, or "Notebook," where Yuri reflects on books interspersed with food posts and author interviews; and the main collection, in which she posts original photos paired with quotes from whatever she's currently reading. While both sections are thoughtful, it's the latter that grabbed my attention so long ago and has kept me coming back. It is through Yuri's selection of a quote and the photo she's paired it with that I understand her attitude toward the book in question. Her approach is poetic in its minimalism, and extremely thoughtful. I'd let her curate my home library.
Read on to get to know Yuri!
What is your all-time favorite book?
J.D. Salinger’s Nine Stories.
What meal do you love to cook?
Any and all pasta dishes, due to both my limited skills in the kitchen and that it is genuinely my favorite thing to eat. My favorite pasta dish includes whole wheat pasta, fresh tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, basil, and an abundance of Thai chili peppers.
What is your favorite food scene from a book?
Franny and Lane’s lunch date at Sickler's in J.D. Salinger’s Franny and Zooey. They begin the meal with multiple martinis, and while Lane orders snails, Franny orders a chicken sandwich and a glass of milk. Salinger packs endless symbolism into the scene, and the conversation over the meal is honest and existential and very Salinger.
Coffee or tea?
I'll have both, please.
What is the last book you abandoned?
F. Scott Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise. It’s a really good book, right? I can’t figure out what the problem is, I’ve abandoned it at least three times.
Author you'd most like to meet for dinner, and your order?
J.D. Salinger and a bottle or two of red wine.
Where do you go to find new recipes?
I think I stumble rather than find my way to new recipes. I usually come across something new when I’m perusing the news. The New York Times’ Dining section once featured a great tomato sauce and NPR has a good Recipes section as well.
Where do you go to find new reads?
Any book that I happen to be reading always, somehow, naturally leads me to my next book. I might choose to read another book by the same author, I might read a review of a newly chosen book and then learn about another new book, I might browse Amazon's “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought,” etc. I wish I had a more efficient system.
Tell us about your blog — the inspiration for it, why you blog, and your favorite aspects.
Bookswept is a chronicle of the books that I read, captured through quotes and photos. I love the idea of isolating a particular line or passage from a book and pairing with an image to add details or create new meaning. Bookswept also has a Notebook section, in which I tune my readers in to what I'm reading, what I've read, and anything else that they may want to read or that I pretend they may want to read.
My mission is to elevate books, to spread a love and reverence for reading by sharing my own love and reverence for reading.
What are your favorite blogs, and why?
Natalie Off Duty is a fashion blogger who lives in New York City. It’s a fool-proof formula. That’s Chic is also a fashion blogger but seems conflicted over the fact that she's a fashion blogger, which is pretty cool. Both of these bloggers have really great photos and even better style.