Sunday, March 04, 2012

Bookworm Gallery: Reading in Style

Fashion stylist, graphic artist, web designer, and award-winning blogger Alex Lapa is March's featured bookworm. Alex has styled for fashion shows, TV, and even movies but is currently doing more work for engagement shoots. She also works part-time with (a members-exclusive shopping site) as their web content manager and designer. This year she hopes to start her own business by designing and selling swimwear.

A geek at heart, Alex also helps her brother run his table-top miniatures business. When she has free time between all that, she teaches Science to kids, mostly in grade school. "But it's not the typical Science class, since it's more of a performance--like doing magic tricks, except they're actually scientific experiments. I know, most of my friends and family think it's totally out of character, but it's surprisingly fun," Alex shares.

With her busy schedule, it's no wonder that Alex juggles several book titles at once. Some books take her months (sometimes, even more than a year) to finish. But she shares a neat little habit when it comes to finding her place. "I still use bookmarks. Right-side faces the page where I stopped and the edge of the bookmark ends on the line where I stopped. I can't be the only one who does that, right?" I had to tell her that this was the first time I encountered it, but then again, I'm not big on bookmarks myself! Here's the rest of what Alex had to say about her love for reading:

1. How often do you read these days? What kind of books/genres do you often read?
I read everyday, but most of the time they're not really new material. I have e-books and audiobooks of my favorite reads so I listen/read them all the time. I also have this bedside book pile that keeps about 4-5 books in rotation--a mix of ones that have already been read and those that I'm still reading. Right now, I read a lot of fantasy and young adult fiction. Because I'm still not over my George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire phase, I now listen to the audiobooks instead so I can "reread" even when I'm mobile. The only problem is, I sometimes still get so absorbed as I would with a physical book--but I'm making that look of utter concentration without one (sitting very still and unblinking), so I think I just look weird.

2. Name three books that you feel would explain the kind of reader you are.
Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto, Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones and White Oleander by Janet Fitch.

3. Who are your favorite authors? Is there anyone on your auto-buy list?
I think I'd pick up anything by Diana Wynne Jones and Neil Gaiman. I'm so sad that the former passed away last year, I don't think she got enough recognition for her writing. She's amazing. I think Harry Potter and JK Rowling fans would love her work. I also like Nick Bantock's books--I was surprised when I learned that he was first an illustrator before becoming an "accidental" writer. I also enjoyed reading Lucy Maud Montgomery, growing up.

Leki gets caught reading in the middle of a shoot. Photo by her friend and fellow stylist Nio.

4. If you could emulate a fictional character's style for a day, who would you pick and why? How would you dress as?
I do plan on doing that Halloween this year! I'll be Delirium of The Endless. I've been trying to complete her costume for some years now, but I wasn't serious enough about it so I never completed it in time. But now I've got the same haircut, so it's too good an opportunity to pass up. I've almost got everything--I just need a fish balloon and colored contacts, and I'm set. I think it'd be fun to dress as her, because there's plenty of room to be creative, but readers of Sandman will still recognize it's her. And as you know, I'm a big fan of Neil Gaiman, so dressing up as one of his characters is in my bucket list.

5. You're also big on gaming and visual arts. Which book would you want to see done as a graphic novel or a video game?
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman would probably make a fantastic video game. London Below is an interesting setting for an RPG, and the costume design for the characters would probably be kick-ass.

I think one of the reasons that Alex's interests are so diverse and dynamic is that she is constantly embraces new things. According to her, that's the best thing about reading. "Reading introduces you to new ideas and other cultures that you probably wouldn't have known on your own," she says. "It's like going through school (except it's more engaging, haha) or traveling."


Tin said...

Hi! Love the unique bookmark habit! Yes to YA and Fantasy! And I love Neil Gaiman as well. So far I've only read 3 of his books and all made it as my favorites of all time. I've had my eye on Sandman but it kind of expensive. :D I've never read Diana Wynne Jones before, it looks like I need to do something about that. I also think I need to finally get into the Game of Thrones bandwagon. :)

Great interview Chris! :)

Alex said...

Thanks again for this opportunity Chris! :D I really love it. I like reading the interviews because I'm always curious about what friends and friends of friends are reading (which is probably why I still keep Shelfari; I'm nosy that way).

dementedchris said...

Alex and I are huge Sandman fans. (Actually, Alex and I have a lot of common favorites, from classics to fantasies.) I'm glad you enjoyed this, Tin! Hope you can visit Alex's blog, too!

Gosh, Shelfari. I think I've killed my own account by not giving it love and attention! But I'm always very curious to see what other people are reading. It always inspires me to pick up more things. :)

Alex said...

But I LOVE your Shelfari! I used to stalk yours and Chrissie's a lot haha. Many of the titles you read kasi, I've never heard them from friends or anywhere. I discovered new titles cos of you! <3 I log into Shelfari once in a while lang myself, but I still keep it.

dementedchris said...

Hay, naku! I quickly realized that I couldn't organize my visual bookshelves as neatly as my real ones haha. Na-OC ako if the edition I had didn't match the ones on Shelfari. LOL.