Reader Interview: Rachel Cockrell

Today we are getting to know a bit about an awesome bookstagrammer that I follow. Her feed is always to bright and beautiful. She’s a super nice person and we share a lot of the same interests. Enjoy! 

Hi! My name is Rachel and I’m a high school English teacher in Arkansas. I have a book blog called The Must Reads that you can find at I love reading. I love talking about what I’m reading. And I love recommending books and sharing my love of reading with others. I would love it if you would follow me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, or Bloglovin’.


What book describes you best?

This is a tough question. I’m not sure which book best describes me, but my favorite book is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. I love Jane as a character. She is strong, independent, and integrity is important to her. I also love how this is a love story that isn’t really a love story. Jane is not defined by or driven by her love for Edward Rochester. She does love him, but she does not allow her love for him to control her life. She is her own person without him, and I love how Brontë shows us how Jane has a complete and fulfilling life all on her own. Jane is a character that I think girls should strive to be like.


What is the very first book you read that really stuck with you? How old were you?

I have loved books for so long that I legitimately cannot remember the first books I ever read. I’ve been devouring books since I learned to read, which I also can’t remember but I assume I must’ve been somewhere in the ballpark of 5 years old. My favorite book that my mom used to read to me when I was little is a book called The Treasure Tree by John Trent. It’s marketed as a book to teach children about personality types, but I just thought it was a story about 4 animals and their quest for the Treasure Tree. I loved it. Honey the Golden Retriever was my favorite character, but I’m more like Lance the Lion.


How many books do you usually read in a month? How do you pick what to read next?

I can usually fit in about 4 of 5 books in a month, unless one of the books I’m reading is a long one. This March I read 9 books, but one was an audiobook and my school has Spring Break in March, so I got a lot of reading done that week. It was an anomaly. For me, picking what to read next is based solely on my mood. I don’t do well keeping a strict, scheduled TBR list. After I finish one book, I go to my bookshelf and just pick another one based on what I feel like reading right then.


As a bookstagrammer, how long does it usually take to set up for a photo? Do you have a favorite that you’ve done?

It doesn’t take me too long to set up. I use a white background for all my photos, but there’s no backdrop or anything to set up. The guest bedroom in my house has a white comforter and pillows, so I use it to stage my #bookstagram photos. I use Snapsneed to edit my photos and I use the same filter on all of them so that the theme on my profile grid is consistent. I think my favorite photo I’ve done is this photo of my Harry Potter book stack.


What are your favorite genres to read?

I love reading almost everything. I’m not a huge nonfiction fan, but I’ve read a few memoirs that I’ve liked and I really like Erik Larson’s books. He makes nonfiction feel like fiction. Within fiction, I like reading fantasy, historical fiction, dystopian, sci-fi, or anything with rich and relatable characters. I’m not a huge fan of romance, YA or otherwise. I never could get into John Green (don’t hate me). But if you know of any books in that genre that you think could change my mind, I’m more than open to trying them.


Are there any aspects of books that irk you?

I know this is the stereotypical English teacher in me, but I can’t stand it when I find typos or minor grammar errors in books (that aren’t there for a purpose). It just makes the book appear unprofessionally made. That’s nitpicky, though, I know. I also don’t like it when books use overdone, predictable tropes. Like the “best friends turned lovers” trope is so played out.


What type of covers do you love? Which do you avoid and why?

I love unique and abstract covers that give the reader a peek into what they can expect from the book without giving away too much. I don’t love books with photos of people on the covers because I feel like that takes away from the reader’s ability to imagine the characters themselves.


It seems like you’re a Harry Potter fan too! Do you have a favorite book? Why that one?

I loved Goblet of Fire, but I think my favorite would have to be Deathly Hallows. I think it shows how the characters have grown and matured. Things aren’t as black and white as they were in the earlier books and Harry, Ron, and Hermione have to figure out the gray areas.


Which Hogwarts house do you identify with?

According to the quiz on Pottermore, I’m a Slytherin. I was frustrated at first, because everyone wants to be a Gryffindor, but I’ve embraced it now. Green has always been my favorite color.

I bounce between Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw. Pottermore says the former though! Dark green is my favorite color as well. 🙂


What book character would you like to sucker punch in the face? How come?

Dolores Umbridge. Do I really need to explain why?


If you could recommend us ONE book(or series), which would you pick?

Harry Potter. But since everyone seems to have read that one already, I think I’ll go with Eragon. I think this a book series that is seriously underrated and that may be due to the fact that the movie was absolutely terrible.

I love Eragon! I didn’t think the movie was awful but I wish it had done better. 


Which characters in the book did you like best?

My favorite character in this series is the dragon, Saphira. She’s just a huge badass (obviously…she’s a dragon). But she’s also kind, gentle, and loyal. She kicks ass when she has to, but she knows when she doesn’t need to.

Roran was always a favorite of mine besides Brom. I named one of my first horses Roran.


What other books by this author have you read? How did they compare to this book?

As far as I can tell, Christopher Paolini has only written books in the Eragon series. I think he just released a book that’s related to this series but I haven’t read it yet. He was only 19 when the first book was published. That’s crazy! I wish he would write another series.


How many physical books do you own? 

I have absolutely no idea, so everything that follows is my best guess. I have about 100 on one bookshelf alone, and I have two other bookshelves about the same size. One of them is full, but the other is only half full. So, I’m going to guess that I own about 250 or so? And that’s not counting the books I have in my classroom library at school. Teachers have to buy their own supplies (I could harp on this for days, but that is a conversation for another time), so I have about 85 or so that I keep at school.


Do you generally read traditionally published or indie books? Is there a reason? How can we help get more indies on your radar?

I mostly read traditionally published books just because those are easier to find out about. But I am always up for book suggestions and I would love to read more Indie titles.

This book was also recommended in THIS reader interview 

Do you prefer to shop in actual book stores or on Amazon?

I prefer actual bookstores. We have a great local used bookstore in my town called the Dickson Street Bookstore, and there’s another small used bookstore just down the road from my school called Once Upon a Time Bookstore. I also love Barnes & Noble. But I will shop on Amazon if I can’t find the book I want in my local bookstores.

Sirius and Remus are two of my favorites and I bawwwwwl every time.- J

Do you have any recommendations for IG account to follow besides your own?

  1. sincerely_reading
  2. beccathebookworm
  3. adifferentreadingview
  4. caffeinatedanddistracted

I followed them all! Did you? 😉


5 thoughts on “Reader Interview: Rachel Cockrell

Add yours

  1. This is amazing! Thank you so much for including me in your reader interviews. I had a lot of fun answering these questions and it was great to (virtually) meet you! Thank you, again.

    Liked by 1 person

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