Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Introducing Christine at She Reads Books (Book Blogger Appreciation Week Interview)

As part of Book Blogger Appreciation Week, several of us have been paired up with another blogger to interview them and highlight them on our own blog. My interview partner is Christine from She Reads Books. Christine has a wonderful blog, so be sure to go check it out. Her interview of me found here.

And now for the questions I asked her:

How long have you been blogging?

I've been blogging on an on-and-off basis for about five years. I had a blog on Xanga for several years, but I updated quite infrequently... I think mostly because I didn't have any purpose or plan, but would just write whenever something popped into my head. It was all pretty disjointed, I think. Last year -- I think in December -- I started another blog on Blogger, but again it was fairly unfocused and didn't have much content. I got tired of it after a while, and a little frustrated too. While I liked the idea of blogging, I found it quite difficult to sustain my effort. Some days I'd have lots to talk about, but then I'd go blank for weeks.Finally I decided to ask myself: What's something that I could talk about every day forever? The answer (of course!) was books, and so I started a book-centred blog on WordPress. I liked doing that so much that I started self-hosting last month, at my own domain: http://shereadsbooks.org/ . It's terribly exciting.

What motivated you to start a blog?

Initially it actually wasn't because I had anything to say. My cousin started a Xanga blog when she went on a summer trip to Europe, and you had to register to post comments. Once I was registered, it just made sense to start writing as well.

What is your favorite thing about blogging?

The free books! Well -- partly. It's been really neat that I've gotten to interact with a lot of people involved in the book trade: publishers, authors, publicists, and the like. I've really enjoyed getting to know some of the book-blogging community as well. And I like managing my site design... and I like the free (!) books (!). I guess that's more than one favourite, but there you go: there's a lot that I like.

Do you work hard at driving traffic to your blog and if so, how?

I don't think that I work particularly hard at it. I do participate in some memes like Booking Through Thursday and Weekly Geeks, and those posts will get higher traffic, some of which I think sticks around. But other than having my address in my email signature and mentioning it from time to time on LibraryThing forums, I don't spend much time on promotion. I'm not looking to monetize my blog at the moment, and so I don't feel pressure to have huge subscription numbers -- and besides, I'd rather be reading!

What are some of the favorite books you have read and blogged about so far this year?

I've actually read some fantastic books this year! Here my reviews of the best of the best:

What are some of your all time favorite books and/or authors?

Oh gosh. Jane Austen tops the list, solely because of Pride and Prejudice. C S Lewis. J R R Tolkein. William Faulkner. Elizabeth Peters. Dorothy L Sayers. Timothy Zahn. Bryce Courtenay. Stephen Leacock. Elizabeth George. Stuart McLean. Robertson Davies. Margarets Laurence and Atwood. Jasper Fforde. Enid Blyton. Dekker & Middleton. Edith Nesbit. Robert A Heinlein. Wil Wheaton. Guy Gavriel Kay. P G Wodehouse. Garrison Keillor. I could go on all day....

What do you do in your "real life"?

In my non-computer life I am just beginning the fourth year of my undergrad. When I'm done in the spring, I'll have a Specialist BA(Hons.) in English Literature, coupled with a History minor. After that ... well, I'm not really sure. Right now I also have a part-time office job, but I don't think it's what I want to do for the rest of my career. Most likely I'll work for a year or two to pay off my debt, and then go back to school.

Do you enjoy memes, getting tagged and participating in challenges? (What challenges, if any, are you participating in?)

Yes and no. I do memes on occasion but I often don't respond to being tagged. I am actively participating in challenges. I just finished the 100+ Books Challenge, and now I'm working on the Book Awards II Challenge, the 2nd Canadian Books Challenge, and A Daring Book Challenge. I'm enjoying them; you can see my progress here. I'm also planning on hosting a challenge in January -- but the big announcement probably won't happen for about another month!

Do you see yourself blogging for a long time into the future? Or do you see it as something you'll be getting burned out with at some point?

I think I'll keep blogging for a good long time. I enjoy it.

What other hobbies do you have besides reading and blogging?

I also crochet, sing in a university choir, and don't pay attention in lectures. Though I'm not sure that last counts as a hobby per se.

If you had a whole day to do whatever you wanted, what would you do?

Honestly? I'd probably sleep.

Where would you go on your dream vacation?

There are so many places! I had the chance to spend a week in the South of England a few summers ago, and I'd love to go back there. I still haven't seen any of Canada's coasts -- I'd love to get out to BC, or down East to all the maritime Provinces. I haven't been as North as I'd like, either, so I might pick Iqaluit or Yellowknife or something.

If you could read yourself into a story/book, which one would it be?

Oh, I'd spend time in anything written by Jasper Fforde. Holy cow, are his books ever good.


Thanks, Christine, for the fun interview! It's been great to get to know you!


  1. "... fourth year of my undergrad."

    And she has time to blog? OMG! She's super woman!

  2. Great interview! Like Christine, I have discovered that book talk is a good niche for me when it comes to blogging. And free books are a nice perk, aren't they? :-)

  3. I would have loved to sing in a University choir. But while I am a good choir member, I am not great and thus...no. LOL But I do enjoy listening. Thanks for a great interview.

  4. I would like to say that getting to know christine has been great. I enjoyed this interview, and I am intrigued about her love of "Jasper Fforde" I have to go check out this guy and see what that love is all about.

  5. Fun interview! And I like your blog...I'll be back!

  6. Great interview, I enjoyed reading more about She Reads Books!

  7. No superwoman, I -- just criminally negligent of my course work. But you didn't read that here :)

  8. Great interview! As a stay-at-home-mom with two young kids I second the day of sleeping idea! It sounds glorious!

  9. I love discovering book bloggers who are also fiber artists!! I'm a knitter so anyone who enjoys yarn is cool in my book. ;)

    Great interview!! BBAW is a blast!

    --Anna (Diary of an Eccentric)

  10. Great interview! Glad to hear of another fan of Margaret Laurence!



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