Wednesday, April 17, 2013

BLOGGER INTERVIEW: Amber of Book Geek Speaks

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…   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 reading?

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?

Not really.  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 out!

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 reviews.

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 people reading?

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.

1 comment:

  1. We're all looking for that dream job, reading all day and getting paid lol.
    I also think all it takes for someone to start reading is finding a book they love. It's like an addiction