Tuesday, September 15, 2009
As a part of Book Bloggers Appreciation Week, a number of book bloggers are interviewing each other and posting the interviews on their blogs. My interview partner is Julie of Booking Mama. (You can also read Booking Mama's interview with me.)
I've really enjoyed getting to know her better, and I hope you do, too.
Debbie: Tell us a little about your book blog, like when you started it, what types of books you review, and what other types of posts you have on Booking Mama?
Julie: I began Booking Mama in January 2008. I initially thought I would talk about book "things;" but within a week, I knew I wanted to do more so I started writing reviews! In the past 20 months, I have read hundreds of books and written hundreds of reviews. I consider myself to be a pretty eclectic reader, but I do tend to enjoy women's fiction and literary fiction the most. While the majority of books that I read are "book club" type books, in the past year and a half, I have also read and reviewed Christian books, cookbooks, memoirs, chick lit, self-help, Young Adult, Middle Grade, picture books, and more.
Besides my own reviews, I also occasionally have guest reviews on my blog. Booking Daughter, Booking Son, Booking Aunt, and Booking Pap Pap have all contributed their thoughts on a variety of books as have a few of my friends. I like that I can give others' viewpoints on books that I might not have read or just haven't had the chance to read yet. In addition, I also host guest bloggers (mainly authors) who have written features about themselves and their books especially for my blog. And every once in awhile, I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to ask an author a few questions!
I have also been fortunate enough to giveaway hundreds of books! I love that my blog has been a vehicle for me to share books and my love of reading with others!
Debbie: How is Booking Mama different from other blogs (i.e. unique features, etc.)?
Julie: I don't know if I'm all that different than a lot of blogs out there, but I hope I bring my own thoughts and feelings about the books I read. As a mother of a 10 year old girl and a 5 year old boy, I love to read to (and with) my children so I do feature/review a lot of middle grade and picture books. I also try to include my kids' thoughts about the books in addition to my own.
Another thing I hope that my blog does is appeal to members of book clubs. I do my best to let my readers know if the books I've read lend themselves to good discussions. I also try to include some of the topics and themes that occur in the book as well link to readers' guides. Since I am a member of three book clubs, I know how difficult it can be to pick out a book that will be a good fit for your group, so I hope I help a little!
Debbie: Let's get to know you a little better. Why did you start book blogging?
Julie: I'm not even sure where to start...I have always been an avid reader; but when I discovered that "Book Blogs" existed, I realized that there were a whole bunch of people who were an awful lot like me -- a community of people who shared a love of books! Within a week or so, I realized that I could maintain a book blog too -- it probably wouldn't be as good as most out there, but I loved the idea of having some place to write down my thoughts about books. So one night I just decided to give it a go. I wasn't completely sure what my vision for Booking Mama was, but I did know that I wanted to talk about books with other book lovers. I had no idea how much it would grow in just a relatively short period of time!
Debbie: What do you like most about book blogging? The least?
Julie: I think I most enjoy the camaraderie within the book blogging community! I can't even begin to express how lucky I am to have met so many incredible people through blogging! I attended BEA this year and actually got to meet so many of my "virtual" friends. I had such an amazing time, and everyone was even nicer in person. I also love getting feedback on my posts. There are few things as fun as hearing what other people think about the books I've read or the reviews I've written.
As far as the least thing I like about book blogging....I'd have to say the pressure! I know it's my own doing, but I tend to over commit to reviews and posts, and then I drive myself (and my family) crazy trying to meet all of my obligations. I sometimes forget that blogging is my hobby and that it's supposed to be fun! Like most book lovers, I have the constant frustration that there are so many good/great books out there and so little time!
Debbie: What's an interesting/unique fact about yourself that most of your blog follower might not know?
Julie: I really don't like writing and I don't think I'm very good at it! I have always thought that I was stronger in math than language arts; and despite my love of books, I am much more comfortable with numbers! I majored in Finance with a minor in Economics from Penn State; and I went to graduate school for an MBA at George Mason. I worked for the Federal Government for almost 15 years before deciding to be a full-time stay-at-home mom. While I have always read a great deal, I never in a million years thought I would spend so much time writing for fun!
Debbie: It has been wonderful getting to know you, Julie. Thanks!