Taylor Jenkins Reid author photo
August 2022

Taylor Jenkins Reid spills the tea on her book-loving life

Interview by
So many books, so little time! The bestselling author of Carrie Soto Is Back discusses bookstore rituals, her devotion to cookbooks and more.
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First we met Evelyn Hugo in The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Then came Daisy Jones of Daisy Jones & The Six, followed by Nina Riva from Malibu Rising. Author Taylor Jenkins Reid brings her quartet of novels about fictional female celebrities to a close with the highly anticipated Carrie Soto Is Back, about a tennis player’s major comeback. In anticipation of its release, we volleyed over a few questions about the author’s favorite bookstores and libraries.

What are your bookstore rituals?
I seem to have a habit of hitting up the front fiction shelves, then making a beeline for the cookbooks and then hitting up fiction again. It’s very hard for me to leave a store without a novel or a cookbook. Not sure it’s ever happened.

What is your ideal bookstore-browsing snack?
A very fancy—perhaps even artisanal and overpriced—flavored black iced tea.

“I love literature but also deeply love architecture. Libraries are such a beautiful way of exploring both.”

What’s the last thing you bought at your local bookstore?
One of the volumes of the Bad Guys series by Aaron Blabey. My daughter absolutely loves that series, and it is such a treat to take her to the store and let her buy a new one. I love watching her come home and go right to her bedroom so she can devour it cover to cover.

Bookstore cats or bookstore dogs?
I love all animals, but my heart belongs to dogs!

How is your own personal library organized?
By color and sections that make sense only in my brain. To me, the organizing principle of a home library is “How will you best remember where the book is?” and so I do that by color of the book and a general “vibe” that defies logic but works every time for me.

While writing your books, has there ever been a librarian or bookseller who was especially helpful?
When I first started writing, I was trying to absorb as many of my contemporaries as I could. I was voracious. At the Beverly Hills Public Library, they had a Friends of the Library store, and that store would have a used book sale two times a year. I used to go in there and ask the volunteer behind the desk what books I should get and come home with a stack of 20. It was such a lovely way to read outside of my own taste, picking those used books up for a dollar or two each.

Tell us about your favorite library from when you were a child.
The library at my elementary school felt like such a special place. We only really went there during specific free periods or during the coolest, most magical time of the year: the Scholastic Book Fair. That sense I still get in a library or bookstore, that there are so many books I want to read and so little time, started right there.

Do you have a favorite library from literature?
I’m forever intrigued by Jay Gatsby’s library—all real books and none ever read. 

Do you have a “bucket list” of bookstores and libraries you’d love to visit but haven’t yet?
Oh, absolutely. I love literature but also deeply love architecture. Libraries are such a beautiful way of exploring both. I was blessed to go to college near the Boston Central Library, which may have formed my taste in libraries. It is such a gorgeous building. 

I hope one day I get to see some of the libraries at Oxford, the Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial in Spain and the George Peabody Library in Baltimore.

Photo of Taylor Jenkins Reid by Michael Buckner.

Get the Book

Carrie Soto Is Back

Carrie Soto Is Back

By Taylor Jenkins Reid
Ballantine
ISBN 9780593158685

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