Colleen Hoover
October 2022

Colleen Hoover secretly signs her books in bookstores

The reigning queen of BookTok reflects on her life among the stacks.
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Colleen Hoover writes romances that are emotional roller coasters and thrillers that keep readers up into the wee hours of the night, and they’ve made her one of BookTok’s biggest success stories. Her novels (Verity, It Ends with Us and many more) are among the app’s most recommended reads, racing up the bestseller list years after their initial releases. It Starts With Us, the eagerly awaited sequel to It Ends With Us, arrives October 18, and to mark its release, we asked Hoover a few questions about her bookstore bucket list and most cherished library memories.

What are your bookstore rituals? For example, where do you go first in a store? Where do you go last before checking out?
I always check out the new releases first to see what I might not have. Then I check sections that might contain my own books so I can secretly sign them. I browse for a while and then love looking at all the nonbook-related stuff near checkout. I’m a sucker for journals and pens. 

Tell us about your favorite library from when you were a child.
My school library was my favorite. We were only allowed to go as a class once a week, but I’d have my books read hours after visiting. I’m pretty sure I read every book in that library multiple times. 

While writing your books, has there ever been a librarian or bookseller who was especially helpful?
When I first started writing, I’d write in the coffee shop of our local Hastings. The staff there were always so encouraging when I would come in to work. Unfortunately they closed a few years ago, but I did a lot of my early writing in that store and remember it so fondly. 

Do you have a favorite library from literature?
The Midnight Library! 😉

Do you have a “bucket list” of bookstores and libraries you’d love to visit but haven’t yet?
I’ve been lucky enough to visit or sign at my dream stores on tour. The Strand in NYC was a big bucket list place to sign, so when it finally happened, it felt very surreal. 

How is your own personal library organized?
It used to be organized alphabetically, but now it’s by color. 

What’s the last thing you bought at your local bookstore?
I actually founded our local bookstore, The Bookworm Box, which is a charity bookstore where all the books are donated and signed by the author, and all the proceeds go to charity (usually a different one every month). The last thing I bought was a set of my books for a girl who came by after hours when I happened to be there. 

Bookstore cats or bookstore dogs?
Cats!

What is your ideal bookstore-browsing snack?
You don’t eat food while touching new books! That’s a no-no.

Picture of Colleen Hoover © Chad Griffith.

Get the Book

It Starts with Us

It Starts with Us

By Colleen Hoover
Atria
ISBN 9781668001226

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