10 Questions for book blogger Amber of Book Geek Speaks.
Hi, Amber! Welcome to Zigzag Timeline. What got you into book blogging?
Thanks so much for having me! I got into book blogging about a year
ago. I really enjoy writing and had tried to start a blog multiple
times about various things, but either I didn’t have the time or just
lost interest. My friend Robin started blogging about beauty, she is a
makeup maven, and was writing about one of her passions and what she
knows. I thought hey I can do the same thing, write what I am
passionate about and have never lost interest in, which is reading. So
it has been a little over a year and I am still going strong!
Can you tell us about your blog? How did you choose its name, "Book Geek Speaks"?
There is no way around it, I am a geek, a nerd, a lover of all things
that are not supposed to be “cool”, and I always have been. I am a
daydreamer. I contemplate real life possibilities of things with my
friends and we even tried sliding over the car once in college. I love
comics and video games. I was talking about band camp before it was
mainstream. I love books and I have always carried them with me…
every.single.place. My favorite place growing up was our library. I
love old tv shows. And I am sarcastic, pretty much without thinking
most of the time, but I also tend to want to believe the best in people.
So my blog is a compilation of all of these things, of who I am.
A- booky- geeky- sarcastic- train-wreck- in-the-kitchen-kind-of-
girl. And book geek just seemed to sum it up perfectly.
I noticed that you're keeping a 2013 reading list, and
wow, you've already read quite a few novels! How much time do you spend
Not enough! If someone could pay me to read all
day it would be heaven, just lounging outside with a drink in hand and
just absorbing myself in the book. Books are just amazing and they are
the ultimate way to live a thousand different lives and experience
things that we may not get to.
Do you have a favorite genre?
It’s more about the story vs the genre for me. There are some out of
each area that I love that just reach out and grab me in certain
ways. There are some stories that transcend genres. I think if you
limit yourself to certain genres you miss the chance of a great story, a
chance to experience something new and exciting and rewarding.
Do you remember how you got into reading? Was there a particular childhood book that got you hooked?
No, I don’t, I just remember always reading. I was that girl that just
read all the time. I always won the most books read and reading
awards. There are two books that stand out as my first “adult” type
books. In second grade we had this amazing teacher who was big into
reading. She read us parts of the Hobbit (and we read parts of it out loud as well). She also got each of us our own copy of the full Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, taking turns reading out loud during glass. I still have that copy on my bookshelf.
What's your opinion on the quick rise of self-publishing?
I have two minds about this… I think on one hand it is amazing. We are
getting these wonderful authors and great stories out for the public.
There are these truly talented writers that don’t have agents or
publishers and don’t know how to get either but now with so many
advancements in tech they are able to share their stories. There are
some truly interesting ideas and concepts out there that are just
catching attention. And it’s a great avenue for people who love to
write and just want to share what they have.
Now we have the other hand. We have people who are publishing that
are not taking the time and effort to edit or put together a real
finished off project and just want to be the next big thing and jumping
on the what’s hot band wagon. There is a lot of regurgitating going on
and just slapping stuff together which is really doing the readers and
other writers a disservice. No one wants to take a chance on a new
unknown author when they have been burned by unfinished material. They
feel misled, and this affects the whole community.
Walking into a bookstore, virtual or brick-and-mortar, can be
overwhelming with all the options out there. How do you choose which
books you read?
I am a brick-and-mortar kinda girl at heart
with a side affair with the Kindle app. In the store, it is really
what I am feeling at the time and the book cover (and if I remembered to
grab my super long list of books to read). Those two together will
indicate what things I will pick up to look at. I usually read the
beginning of the book in the store after reading the back cover. If I
feel like I can’t get into it I will put it back. If I feel like I am
about to sit down and nest in the store then I am checking that bad boy
E-books are harder for me. I am at the stage that I don’t buy it
unless I have it on my list to read and it’s a good deal or it is
free. With the free books I read the summary and an excerpt if
possible after I see a book and title cover I like. Then I read the
Do you review every book you read? In your opinion, what should a book review include?
No I don’t. Sometimes I get on a roll reading and I forget to write up
the review and then I forget what some of the more important things are
about and writing a review that says... it’s awesome... read it
now...under the book title just sounds kinda lame. Sometimes it’s
because I don’t really know what to say. I just finished Animal Farm and I honestly could not think of what to say that others haven’t said better.
I think a book review needs to include a summary and the authors
thoughts and why. You don’t want to just say it’s awesome… read it… the
reader wants to know why you thought it was awesome, and if it changed
your life, then how . I also think commenting on the writing style is
important and I like to add who may like a book. I think the last part
is important because anyone can sell your own opinion about a book but
bottom line is people really want to know am I going to like this book, does it fit the style I enjoy.
Describe your ideal reading nook.
Cozy chair, blanket, pile of books, and butler service.
A lot has been said recently about how a very small number of
readers buy the majority of books. In your opinion, how can we get more
By finding them their book. It sounds
silly but I think there is a book out there for everyone. My niece was
not a reader when I use to work at a bookstore and I ended up getting
her birthday present from there. I randomly picked up a book series
that I thought she may like and gave it to her. She ended up loving it
and getting hooked on the series, so much that she started to save money
for the books and count down till the next one arrived. She also
started reading other books and becoming quite the reader.
I think it is important not only for readers to encourage others to
find their book whether it’s literary masterworks or trashy romance
novels, and support them. The written (or typed) word is powerful form
of knowledge and reading is a gateway to unspeakable depths of knowledge
and wisdom. It just takes one spark. One good book or story is enough
to get someone to start looking and realize that there are other great
stories, and other things to learn.