BOOK’D: CINDY ALLMAN aka BOOKOFCINZ

I started following Cindy Allman aka BookofCinz first on goodreads because she’s the top reviewer for Trinidad and Tobago! It’s not easy to find readers in the Caribbean on goodreads, so I was very excited to find her. Even more so, when I discovered she’s also on Instagram! I enjoy her reviews and she reads a wide array of books which is always a good thing.

In this interview, she shares the book that altered her reading philosophy, how she maintains a fierce dedication to reading, and what good books do to her! Also, if you’re curious about Caribbean lit, get yo pen and paper for this one, because Cindy has all the recs!


1. What are you currently reading? Do you usually read more than one book at a time?

I am currently reading “The Heart’s Invisible Furies” by John Boyne, re-reading “Wonder”  R.J. Palacio and “Miguel Street” by V.S. Naipaul. Depending on my mood and the book I am usually reading between 1-5 books at a time.

2. Have you always been a reader? What is the first book you remember ever reading? What drew you into reading/why do you read?

Since I’ve known myself, I have always read. My father worked for a book store, so growing up I always had access to books. Also, my mother was always reading. I think the first book I ever read or tried to read would be a Danielle Steel or Sidney Sheldon book- only because those were the books left lying around the house.

Cindy Allman aka BookofCinz on BOOK'D - afoma umesi

My father worked for a book store, so growing up I always had access to books. - @bookofcinz Click To Tweet

3. What is your philosophy on reading? (for example, some people have to finish every book they start)

My philosophy on reading was, “you have to finish every book you start” that’s until I started reading “Fifty Shades of Grey“. That book broke my philosophy. Now I go with, finish every book you start, unless it is as bad as FSOG.

4. How often do you read? And how do you fit it into your day?

I read daily for at least 2-3 hours depending on the book or day. I usually start my day early so I get 45mins in before work, and at least 90mins or 2 hours before bed.

I read daily for at least 2-3 hours depending on the book or day. I usually start my day early so I get 45mins in before work, and at least 90mins or 2 hours before bed. Click To Tweet

5. Where do you like to read? Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever read a book?

I generally read anywhere, but my favorite places would be my bed, couch or at the beach. The weirdest place I’ve read was outside a party in a parked car. Sometimes, I regret leaving my house so I always take a book with me. Once, I ended up leaving a party to go read in the car.

Cindy Allman aka BookofCinz

6. What makes a good book, in your opinion?

A good book must speak to my soul. It is hard to explain a good book but it is one that makes me laugh out loud, cry, get enraged, teaches me something new and has me feeling like an evangelist because I cannot shut up about it.

A good book ...is one that makes me laugh out loud, cry, get enraged, teaches me something new and has me feeling like an evangelist because I cannot shut up about it. Click To Tweet

7. Who are your favorite authors to read?

Wow, I have so many but I’m seeing that Caribbean/West Indian Authors don’t get a lot of feature I am going to say, Marlon James, Anthony C. Winkler, Lorna Goodison, Earl Lovelace, V.S. Naipaul and Roxane Gay.

8. What is a book or who is an author you wish more people knew about/read?

There are a lot of authors, mainly Caribbean ones that I wish more people knew about or read. One would be Anthony C Winkler, “The Lunatic” which was such a funny read for me.

9. E-book, audiobook or paper? How do you feel about making notes/highlighting books?

I am currently between my Kindle and Paper. My Kindle I use during the night because its got light and my paper in the day. Also, my Kindle is so small I can take it with me everywhere, sometimes the paper books are hard to carry around. Well, most of my books are from the library so I cannot make notes  -the downside to being thrifty. However, I do take photos and write the notes in a journal.

Cindy Allman aka BookofCinz

 

10. Fiction vs Non-fiction?

Both. but based on books I’ve read it seems I mainly do fiction. Fiction can be too sad and real, I need an escape.

11. What happens to you when you read a good book? (at the beginning, during and after the experience?)

Oh wow- at the beginning I literally start getting excited. I spend ALL my time reading it, while I am at work I fantasize about getting home so I can read the book. It is ALL I talk about. During, I usually harass my bookstagram followers with posts about the book and how great it is going. After the experience, I basically become an evangelist for the book- I tell everyone I meet about it.

12. Do you reread books? Why?

Its funny you ask this questions because I dubbed April the month of re-reads. I have been re-reading some books because I felt I didn’t give them a fair chance when I read them the first time. Perhaps, I was not in the mood so I gave the book a low rating. Also, I re-read just to make sure the 5 star rating I gave a book was actually 5 stars. Then, sometimes I just want to return to the familiar.

I re-read just to make sure the 5 star rating I gave a book was actually 5 stars. Then, sometimes I just want to return to the familiar. - @bookofcinz Click To Tweet

13. What book do you wish you could experience again for the first time?

Wow, there are so many but I would say:

The Lunatic by Anthony C Winkler

A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi

14. What was the last great book you read?

The Heart’s Invisible Furies

15. If you had to choose three books that everyone should read, what would they be?

The Bible

The Alchemist

A Little Life

Cindy Allman aka BookofCinz

16. What book(s) are you embarrassed to have read? What books are you embarrassed to still not have read?

So embarrassed I picked up “Fifty Shades of Grey” I wish I could get that part of my life back. Not sure if there are any I am embarrassed to have not read yet. I usually get around to it.

17. How do you feel about ‘classic’ literature?

I think they are mostly okay. Some I love, others I feel are a bit overhyped.

18. How do you feel about book clubs?

I’m not opposed to them, I find that I read too fast so most persons cannot keep up. Also, people usually cannot commit to a meeting time so that makes it hard. I am however taking part in my first bookstagram buddy read and I love it.

19. What book(s) have remarkably changed your perspective on a given subject or life in general and how?

These books come to mind: The Bible, Talent is Overrated, The Four Agreements, The Alchemist, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari and The Purpose Driven Life.

20. How do you choose books to read?

I usually choose books based on the author, if I see it a lot in my Goodreads newsfeed/Bookstagram feed, if someone recommends it to me or if I get a Netgalley. Click To Tweet

I usually choose based on the author, if I see it a lot in my Goodreads newsfeed/Bookstagram feed, if someone recommends it to me or if I get a Netgalley. Even then I still go on Goodreads and read the reviews before I decide to read it. I commit to reading a book so I generally ensure it is one I won’t give up on.

21. What books are currently on your to-be-read list?

Laugh out loud- Let me send you my Goodreads “Want To Read” list because that list is never ending and is constantly being updated.


Caribbean Girl reading the world. When I don’t have my head in a book I’m busy figuring out how to travel the world and get paid for it!
Instagram: @bookofcinz
Twitter: @bookofcinz
Goodreads: BookofCinz
Book’d is a weekly bookish interview series seeking to foster conversation on books and reading. Read our last interview with Nigerian illustrator, Ojima Abalaka here.