May 2024

Executive editor's letter

"Sinking into a good book is a genuine delight. To be honest, even sinking into a not-that-good book makes me happy because it is less about the story on the page and more about the luxuriousness of reclaiming my time."

Our Editor-in-Chief is currently 35,000 feet up in the air, on the way to shoot the next cover of InStyle, so I’m stepping into the hot seat for this issue’s Editor’s Letter. Hi!

Growing up, my mum had a ‘present drawer’. It was a place she kept all the random things she’d bought because they made good gifts – stuff like ‘pamper packs’ with bath bombs and loofahs (the ‘90s equivalent of self care), scented diaries (also surprisingly popular back then) and Barbie dolls. You could pluck all manner of obscure treats from the present drawer, but two things you would never find were fragrances and books. To my mother, both were simply too personal of a thing to be given as gifts.

With this as my foundational credo, I’m amazed to see how recommendation culture has come for the written word. In my time as a Culture Editor, I recommended plenty of books to readers; the best beach reads, classics that hold up and newness worth the hype. Even now, I passionately steer friends in the direction of a book I think they’ll enjoy (I took great pleasure in getting my best friend, a notorious non-reader, onto Donna Tartt’s The Secret History after she admitted she was a bit into mystery books now).

"But books are still deeply personal; they can say so much about who we are or aspire to be."

But books are still deeply personal; they can say so much about who we are or aspire to be. The explosion of BookTok, the inescapable rise of celebrity-led book clubs and the meta-ness of fan fiction, especially when it inspires a book that becomes a movie that is apparently kind of good (see: The Idea of You) is something that could have only happened in the present moment. Books, those things that have been around for centuries, somehow found a place between the spheres of influence and internet that none of us totally expected. 

In this digital edition of InStyle, writer Maeve Galea dives into the ever-expanding world of books – the genres that are redefining the medium (like romantasy and fanfic) and the ways we’re consuming them now (with a fat stack of post-it notes at the ready and maybe a tongue-in-cheek slogan tee on). Reading Maeve’s piece inspired me to explore outside my usual genres, so I downloaded A Court Of Thorns And Roses for some light weekend reading. I can’t say I see a long and devoted future for me and the ACOTAR series, but knowing enough to keep up with the work conversation around Feyre and her, ahem, many adventures at least made me feel a little bit relevant (especially since none of them have bothered to ask me about my latest read, a biography about Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton that I am getting through at a glacial pace).

Sinking into a good book is a genuine delight. To be honest, even sinking into a not-that-good book makes me happy because it is less about the story on the page and more about the luxuriousness of reclaiming my time. But if time isn’t on your side, or you’re in the habit of reading one page on your Kindle and then falling asleep (me), then I think this issue of InStyle will deliver all the good reads and dreamy inspiration you’re craving.

Love,

Laura

Read more from this issue

Ellie Cole's new era

For 16 years, Ellie Cole's life was dictated by the pool. Now, she's taking the reins and already unstoppable. By Courtney Thompson

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For the love of books

These high-brow texts have become the status symbol for those aspiring to be seen as not just hot, but clever. By Maeve Galea

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Go it alone

Solo travel was once associated with backpacking, ‘finding yourself’ or being single (and therefore sad and alone). Not anymore

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Fluid form

For power or joy, sensuality or comfort, the best way to get dressed is without boundaries

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Editor-in-Chief
JUSTINE CULLEN
Managing Editor
ELLE GLASS
Executive Editor
LAURA AGNEW
Creative Director
HANNAH MARTIN
Fashion Director
RACHEL WAYMAN
Commercial Director
NICOLE CORFE
Associate Editor
KATHRYN MADDEN
Digital Editor
COURTNEY THOMPSON
Market Editor
ANNIE DOIG
Content Writer
MAEVE GALEA
Content Writer
NONI REGINATO
National Partnerships Manager
ANNIKA ROSE
National Sales Manager
ANALISE GATTELARO
Client Services Manager
GRACE HANNAH
Junior Advertising & Sales Executive
JULIE WILLIAMS
Editorial & Advertising Coordinator
DELANEY ASHTON
Publisher and
CEO
SIMON BOOKALLIL
COO
DAVID ASTWOOD
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