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A Look Inside The Bookshelves Of Your Favorite Celebrities

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCF chapter.

The books, music, and movies that a person consumes say a lot about who they are. What is it about recommendations from people you trust or admire that influence your choices? Their seemingly legitimate knowledge that you will enjoy the same things that they did could be a way of connecting with others or simply creating buzz for good entertainment.

Anna Haynes, a 23-year-old book aficionado from Colorado, is the mind behind @CelebBookRecs on Instagram. Each post features a different celebrity surrounded by their publicly-recommended reads, along with a short description of the books and where the celebrity was found mentioning them. Currently, with over 66k followers, Haynes actively posts a wide range of celebrities for her rapidly growing audience.

We spoke with Haynes and got a behind-the-scenes look into the account and its creation.

Where does your passion for reading originate from?

“I’m an introvert, so reading is a great way for me to have time alone and recharge. I got out of the habit of reading in high school but got back into it in full force during the pandemic. Quarantining was so much easier with books to keep me company!”

What is it about the appeal of celebrities’ book preferences that draws readers in?

“I think that people want to feel connected to their favorite celebrities on a deeper level, and a person’s favorite books can tell you a lot about their personality, their values, and the way they relate to the world in general. Readers know this better than anyone.”

How has the increased popularity of @CelebBookRecs changed your life?

“The increased popularity of @CelebBookRecs made me realize that I loved sharing books with people and that I was good at it, which has changed my career trajectory. When I started the account, I was a senior in college about to earn my degree in journalism. I thought that I wanted to be a reporter. With the success of @CelebBookRecs, I decided that I wanted to explore the world of book publishing as a career path. After I graduated, I attended the Columbia Publishing Course and interned with a publishing house in its marketing department. In short, I found a passion and a skill in book marketing that I didn’t know I had!”

Who is the most requested celebrity that you’ve yet to post about?

“The most requested celebrity that I haven’t made a post about is Ariana Grande because I haven’t found enough recommendations from her. I also get Zayn, Tom Holland, and Zendaya a lot, but they don’t have enough recommendations either. Sometimes I won’t post about a recommended celebrity because they’re problematic but the main thing that prevents me from posting about a celebrity is that they just don’t talk about books.”

Sum up your taste in books based on any celebrities you’ve covered on your page.

“My taste in books most closely aligns with Elliot Page, Phoebe Bridgers, Lucy Dacus, and Anya Taylor-Joy. Like me, they all lean more towards literary fiction and classics, and Elliot Page especially reads more diverse books and nonfiction about social justice. In addition to literary fiction, I read a lot of feminist theory and things like that. My favorite publishing house is Verso Books.”

Who is a celebrity that has not written a book that you wish would?

“She already said she’s working on one, but I really hope Julia Fox publishes a book. She’s such a chaotic public figure but also incredibly intelligent and well-spoken. I’d also love a book from Anna Marie Tendler, who is John Mulaney’s ex-wife but also an incredible artist in her own right.”

With the ever-evolving trends in the literary media world, such as “BookTok” and headline-making memoirs from Prince Harry and Jennette McCurdy, new audiences are opened up to all forms of literature. In addition, many celebrities have even started their own book clubs to connect with their fans. It’s great to see small bookstores thriving and an audience of passionate young readers who are in search of their next favorite book, especially in an environment with so much digital access. 

Follow @CelebBookRecs on Instagram to stay up to date on your favorite celebrities’ top picks and compare them with your own bookshelf!

Gianna Aceto is a student at the University of Central Florida majoring in Integrative General Studies with focuses on Entertainment Management and Visual Arts. Her interests include photography, entertainment and writing. The topics she is most passionate about covering are mental health, entertainment and lifestyle.