The Art of Reading with April from Flourish Cafe

“Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” -Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll.

Okay, it’s no surprise that I am passionate about books and reading, but I am also a huge fan of art and great quotes.  I have a journal where I write down all of the best quotes I come across.  I love looking at it from time to time for a little inspiration.  That’s why I absolutely fell in love with the designs of April Starr from her Etsy shop, Flourish Cafe.  Take a look at her stunning artwork, photography and sweet quotes, and I dare you to choose just one that you can’t live without!  All it takes is one visit to her shop to tell that April is also a lover of books.  I’m sure you will enjoy her interview as much as I did!  Happy Reading!

Meet April….

Find April Here:  FlourishCafe: a place for those who love food, books and art

What creativity do you share with the world? I love to create illustrations and graphic design pieces based on things that inspire me – especially food, cooking, books, writing and reading. I sell these art prints in my shop, FlourishCafe.etsy.com, along with some recipes and select vintage items. On my blog, TheFlourishingAbode.com I share a wide variety of creative projects, from upcycling old records into side tables, to recipe ideas for serving tea, to my free illustrated planner printables. Basically, I like to explore a lot of different areas of creativity! Some day I hope to share my fiction writing with the world … but I’m not quite there yet.


  • Book OR e-reader? Book!
  • Buy OR lend from the library? Library, unless it is a book I or my family will read multiple times.
  • Hardcover OR paperback? Hardback all the way!
  • One book at a time OR several? One fiction at a time, but I may be reading one fiction, plus some non-fiction.
  • Skip ahead and read the last page OR be patient and wait? Wait!! As a writer myself, I know the work and skill it takes to craft a story leading up to the end and I want to enjoy the story as the author intended it. Don’t take a shortcut, the joy is in the journey!
  • Bookmark or fold over the page corner? Hm, does random scraps of napkins count as a bookmark? Anything but bending the pages!
  • Abandon a bad book OR stick with it no matter what? Abandon. There are too many other worthwhile things to accomplish and other great books to read to stick around in a book that I have no more desire to read.
  • Laugh OR cry? Laugh!
  • Cover Love:  I love the cover of antique books by just about anyone.

What is your favorite place to read? When I was a kid I came across an old poem that I simply fell in love with (and have since made into a print in my shop – it is my single most popular print, in fact) that I think answers this question pretty well:

“Oh for a book and a shady nook,
Either indoors or out,
with the green leaves whispering overhead,
or the street cries all about.
Where I may read at all my ease
both of the new and old,
For a jolly good book whereon to look
is better to me than gold”
-John Wilson 1785-1854

Do you have a book that you love so much that you re-read it periodically?  I don’t really re-read books very much, personally.  Much of the reason I like to read is the discovery of the journey of the characters. Once I read their journey, I rarely go back and read it again.  It’s not that I don’t love the book, it just feels rather like going to visit a friend and having the exact same conversation with them that you had the last time you visited.    This is probably why I am so drawn to books that are in a series, so that I can “visit” again with the characters, without repeating. So that being said, when I DO re-read a book, it has to be a very special book. One that I have read at least 2 or 3 times is Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen.  Marianne and Col. Brandon remind me very much of my husband and me.

Do you have a childhood favorite? Oh, I had so many childhood favorites. Perhaps my very favorite was Anne of Green Gables. Anne (with an E) is probably the literary character I have identified with the most. I loved her vivid imagination and her ability to have great intentions but still be able to make a complete mess of things. I seemed to do that type of thing a lot, too. I also have a very special place in my heart for Dr. Seuss. I still remember that the first book I ever read completely on my own was Green Eggs and Ham.

Do you have a favorite genre or genres?    I tend to dance around through a few different genre phases.  Every few years I seem to go through a stage of reading a lot of mystery, especially Agatha Christie.  Then I might go through a while where I read a lot of young adult novels, especially fantasy or dystopian pieces.  Then I’ll have period of time where I prefer to read classics and historical fiction. But usually I’m in one of those three categories, and they don’t really overlap much while I am in each one.

Do you have a favorite author or authors? In terms of fiction, Jane Austen, C. S. Lewis, Dr. Seuss, Roald Dahl, Agatha Christie, Edward Lear, Louisa May Alcott, O. Henry, Lewis Carroll.  What I love is how they can vividly take you into their imagination, simply and cleanly.

I’m stranded on an island, and I get to have five books.  They are:

- The Bible

- How-To-Survive-Being-Stranded-On-an-Island (or some such similar title)

- How-To-Build-a-Raft-and-1001-Other-Ways-to-Escape-an-Island (or similar)

- A blank book (so that I can write)

- Something lighthearted and humorous to keep up my spirits, like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

I vividly remember being read aloud to… My Dad used to read aloud to our whole family in the evenings.  One of my favorites was when he read to us from the “Little Britches” series.  It’s very similar to the “Little House on the Prairie” series in that it is based on a true story of a child in the wild west, but this series is about a boy, and happened about 50 or 60 years after Laura Ingalls Wilder’s time. It’s a well written and fascinating series about hard work, adventure, family and history. Plus my dad is really good at doing great voices for the different characters!

One of my favorite quotes from a book is:   Ahh, this is so hard to choose. My shop is full of prints I have made from different book quotes!  But perhaps one of my favorites is: “Sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” -Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll.

I love Lewis Carroll’s book Through the Looking Glass. For my senior project in high school, I adapted the book into a script, and directed and acted in our simple production of the book.  It may not have been ground breaking, but it was a lot of fun!

Thanks April for sharing your beautiful artwork and your love of words and books with us. Happy drawing, happy writing and of course, happy reading!