Too busy to read? This KC bookworm begs to differ

Kansas City’s Patience Randle is part of the literary community known as Bookstagram.
Kansas City’s Patience Randle is part of the literary community known as Bookstagram. Submitted

If you’ve ever claimed you don’t have time to read, we’re calling you out. Patience Randle makes her living as a freelancer designing websites and taking photos, but it’s more likely that you know her by the Instagram handle @inkandfable. Ink and Fable has 13.6K followers, and it’s all thanks to her love of reading and talking about books.

She’s turning herself into a powerhouse in the literary community known as Bookstagram, all on top of her freelance hustle. In less than a year, she has become one of Kansas City’s top bloggers, starting with nothing more than a smartphone and a desire to use Instagram for something besides creeping. Think about that the next time you’re three months deep in your ex’s feed.

We caught up with Patience to pick her brain on her favorite pastime.

How does one come to be involved with Bookstagram?

So, I’ve had my regular Instagram profile since Instagram started, butI’ve always loved to read. I just started following these Instagram accounts that had books as their main focus and I was like, “Oh, you know what? I love to read, I love blogging.” And so I was like, “Why not try it out for myself? Kind of see what happens.”

It’s been a great experience so far, just meeting with a bunch of other bookworms and learning about books before they come out. And then when they come out, doing reviews. It’s just been an awesome experience so far.

I’ve seen on your Instagram stories that you get galleys, or copies of books that haven’t come out yet. How?

I’ve only actually ever requested one before. I guess publishing companies do the same thing as far as scouting other people’s Instagram profiles, and I think if they find that you’re interested in a certain genre, then they’ll ask if they can send you ARCs (advance review copies), and so most of the time I say yes. I won’t say yes to a book that I probably won’t read, because I don’t want to waste somebody’s time.

What do you do when you’re not running Ink and Fable?

So I graduated from college in 2013, and long story super short, I worked in a video production company for a few years in Nashville, Tennessee. I majored in mass communications, and I was like, “I kinda want to do my own thing.” I love reading, I love writing. My dream is to become an author full time one day, or a screenwriter. So I do that on the side, but obviously I don’t get paid for it. My full time job is web design and photography, so that’s how I make my money, but I would definitely love to do something book review related.

So you do freelance web design and photography from your home?

Yeah, it’s crazy all day. I like to work from coffee shops so I’m always scouting for new places to work from, and I’ll bring a tote bag of books to take pictures for my Instagram account It’s kind of like doing two things at once if I can.

What are your favorite coffee shops in town right now?

Monarch just opened like two months ago. Oh my gosh, the atmosphere that they have is so awesome. And then Thou Mayest—it’s in the Crossroads—because of the people. They’re so awesome, so nice. I’m always there. I call it the office.

What are you reading right now?

I am reading “Safe.” It’s a fast-paced heist book. It’s really good. If it were a movie, it’d be like an action movie. Also “Sing, Unburied, Sing.” I try to stay to two books at a time. And I will say that with Bookstagram sometimes, there’s pressure to keep up with what everyone else is reading. I learned that the hard way. I’m like, okay, I gotta focus on the genres that I really love, which is literary crime, and sci fi or dystopian fiction. Those are probably some of my favorites.

How much time do you spend per week reading?

On a week where work isn’t so crazy, probably like 30 minutes to an hour a day. But when work is really crazy, I’d be lucky if I get maybe like two and a half, three hours a week. But I try and do a book to two books a week. That’s kind of like my average.

I frequently hear people saying they don’t have time to read, which I don’t entirely buy. What advice would you have for them?

I feel like once you find your rhythm, I think that’s pretty awesome. So I try and get up a little early if I can, and read in the mornings. And I always have a book with me. So like if I’m stuck in traffic or something comes up unexpected, I can just pull out my book and read. I would say don’t focus on the amount of books you can read in a certain time period. Really focus on books that mean a lot to you. You can’t keep up with everybody who’s reading. Just read what you like.

How do you choose what to read?

Bookstagram is actually a huge influence on what I read. I have the people I follow—I kind of follow accounts that have similar tastes to mine. So when they recommend something, I know I’m gonna like it. I do the same thing like with researching online, so I read other people’s reviews, and from those reviews I can figure out if I’m gonna like it or not. And I always read little excerpts and stuff.

Is there anything else you think we should know about becoming a Bookstagrammer?

I think you just start a Bookstagram account to have fun, to meet people, fellow book lovers. I think the best thing about it is reading things I never thought I would have picked up before.

What should KC be reading, and where?

“The Book of Disquiet,” at Monarch Coffee

“The Fire Next Time,” at Parisi Coffee in Union Station

“Station Eleven,” on the patio of Thou Mayest

“The War of Art,” at Hammerhand Coffee

“The Secret History,” in a hammock at home