Belletrist is an online platform that celebrates great books and the people who read them.

It’s a home for us to share some of the books we’re most excited about and a place for you to share your experience with each book through a connected community of readers. Over the next few months we will continue to roll out exciting features. We begin with an exclusive interview with one of our favorite authors of all time, and we ask you to join us on this journey as we discover different ways to experience a book together.

From photo and video sharing to live discussions, Belletrist will grow as our community’s needs and dreams evolve. We invite you to read with us, to share what moves you, and, of course, to pass along what you’ve been reading too! This is our way of connecting around the books we love, a way to make sure that books have a life after they are read; that their “shelf life” lasts far beyond the first read.

If a book falls into a pile and nobody discusses it, how do we know it’s been read?

Emma & Karah met in New York almost 10 years ago, but became friends when they realized they both suffered from the same condition: tsundoku. Tsundoku is a serious affliction that affects readers of all ages. Quite literally it is the Japanese word for pile of books, but it also describes the compulsive habit of buying books and allowing them to pile up on shelves, dressers, under the bed, in the oven (in Karah’s case), in the car (in Emma’s case), and in totes and purses you never use (both guilty!) Over the course of their friendship, Emma & Karah have realized that there is really one way to manage this obsession, and that is to talk about what they are reading with one another.

Books are our common ground. A good book gets you out of your head. A good book gives meaning to life. It gives you the language to describe what you experience. A good book will make you understand why you are in pain after heartbreak. It will make you miss your stop on the subway. A good book will fight your heavy eyelids, demanding that you stay awake for one more chapter. In a time where there is so much out there commanding our attention, it provides a reason to focus.

When we finish a great book we can’t wait to talk to our friends about the experience, to pass along the thing that moved us so much. Sometimes we even find ourselves initiating a conversation with a stranger who’s holding our latest read. We love that books give us the opportunity to connect and we wanted to create a space that fosters that connection for readers around the world.

Emma Roberts Photo

Emma Roberts

Emma is an actress & producer known for her roles in films such as We’re The Millers & Nerve, and the television series Scream Queens & American Horror Story. Born in New York, but raised in LA, Emma now splits her time between both, but prefers New Orleans. When she was 5 years old, Emma wrote a wish list, and at the top of it she wished “to own all the books in the world.” As of 2017, the wish has not been granted, but not for a lack of trying. Emma was recently stopped in airport security for carrying too many books on the airplane. Her favorite books are Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier and Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan. Despite her career as an actress, she will argue that the books are always better than the movies. You can find her, on her days off, reading short stories out loud to whoever will listen.

Karah Preiss Photo

Karah Preiss

Karah is a writer/producer living in New York City. She has produced a number of short films, and was a video producer and host at The Huffington Post. She is now producing independently and recently wrapped filming on the upcoming feature film In A Relationship. While most people have a hard time leaving a grocery store without buying anything, Karah feels this way about bookstores. Karah’s favorite books are The Hours by Michael Cunningham, and in her less literary moments, The Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg. On most Saturday and Sunday afternoons you will find her pacing the stacks of Strand Bookstore and/or McNally Jackson making sure she has purchased every title in the respective weekend’s New York Times Book Review.

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