For today’s BBAW Interview Swap, I’m pleased to introduce you to Teresa, of Teresa’s Reading Corner!
Her blog’s tagline is “so many books, so little time” – a sentiment we all can relate to! Teresa is a lot like me, in that she reads a variety of genres and generally gravitates towards fiction first. She also hosts the 2011 Audio Book Challenge. For our interview swap, Teresa and I simply emailed back and forth a few times in order to get that conversation-y feel to the interview. I hope you enjoy getting to know Teresa a bit and be sure to check out her blog!
Meredith: I put myself on a writing/blogging schedule, because otherwise I get too lazy and I won’t write. I also try to make things a little easier on myself by having a few regular features, like my Word of the Week or Book News. Those are easier posts to write, because there’s a simple formula I follow.
Teresa: I noticed your Word of the week while poking around your blog. I love that one! Are you open to sharing it?
Yes, of course! In fact, I didn’t even really come up with the idea myself. BermudaOnion’s blog has a Wondrous Words Wednesday meme that I borrowed and made into my own. Speaking of memes, I know some bloggers have a lot of memes they participate in or come up with regular features that publish every Tuesday, for example. Is that something you do? Is it even something you like or dislike? In terms of your own blogging schedule, do you write whenever the fancy strikes you or do you tend to stick to more of a schedule?
I’m not a huge fan of memes and to be honest, I often skip over them in my Google Reader. I did give It’s Monday What am I reading? a try recently. I haven’t decided if I’m going to stick with that one or not. Devourer of Books has a weekly audio book feature on Friday’s that I’ve started linking up to. That being said, I’m pretty sporadic. Until very recently, my reading and writing schedule was dictated by scheduled review dates and book tours. I’m slowly moving away from that. As a result I’ve gotten a lot more reading done, but probably not as much writing.
I think one of the reasons I try to stay away from accepting too many reviews or book tours is because I don’t want to be hampered by scheduling dates. I like to read what I’m in the mood for, you know? Especially now: I’m about six months away from my 30th birthday, and I have noticed that I’m reading less and less YA books. I think my tastes are moving towards older YA characters and more novels that are considered “adult literature.”
I think that is a completely reasonable progression. I’ve certainly noticed that my tastes have changed over time.
Good! I’m glad to know I’m not alone! I noticed that your reading tastes are pretty diverse like mine. Is that something you set out deliberately to do or are you more of a mood reader, reading whatever happens to appeal to you at that time?
It wasn’t really a deliberate decision. I am definitely a mood reader too. When I first discovered book blogs, I felt like I was in a rut. I was picking up a lot of books and not liking any of them. I turned to the Internet and found a lot of great suggestions. Between those and some suggestions from friends and family, I began to find a lot of different genres that I enjoy.
I also noticed that you read non-fiction occasionally. I’m very picky about my non-fiction, so I don’t end up reading a lot of it, but I always feel like I should read more. How do you end up choosing which non-fiction books to read?
Non-fiction is tough. So far the majority of non-fiction I’ve actually reviewed are memoirs. I think of other things that I’m interested and seek those out. For example photography, cooking, or quilting. Some of my desire for non-fiction has been sparked by something that I read in a novel. When I read The Confessions of Catherine de Medici by CW Gortner, I immediately set out to find out more about her.
I think that’s a great idea! A lot of authors do a lot of in-depth research to make their books come alive. It makes perfect sense to go back and find the source material. I definitely need to try to include more non-fiction in my reading “diet” because I tend to get stuck in “reading ruts” where I read just one author or just one genre for awhile.
I fall into this same pattern quite often. I’ll find that I’ve read a few Historical novels in a row and will make the conscious decision to pick up something a little different.
I’ve actually found that keeping track of what I’m reading, either here on my blog or on a site like Good Reads helps me remember to pick a different type of book. I’d be interested to know your thoughts on book-sharing sites like Good Reads. On the one hand, I like having a record of what I’ve read and what I thought about it, but sometimes it feels kind of redundant with my blog. And you can get a lot of spam from self-published authors or other readers inviting you to random online events. Do you think sites like Good Reads or Library Thing have some value that a blog doesn’t? Do you use either one yourself or do you have a different way of keeping track of what you read?
It’s funny that you should ask about tracking. I’m definitely redundant with my tracking. I began using Good Reads in 2008. It has been interesting to see how my progress and interests have changed over the last several years. I also love the ability to make lists. This has come in very handy lately with the addition of their Android App. I popped into the bookstore just a few days ago and referred to it many times. I completely agree with you about the emergence of spam via Good Reads. My solution was to turn off all emails so I don’t have to deal with them. So far, so good.
I tried Library Thing and found it to be too cumbersome for me. I still have an account with them, but I rarely use it. I also have a spreadsheet that I use to track my reading from year to year. It’s very simple and does much of what you can do on Good Reads, but I like it as a quick reference.
I didn’t know Good Reads had an Android app! (*disappears for a few minutes to go download it*) One of the things I do like about sites like Good Reads is that you can find similar books to the ones you like. It makes it just a little bit easier to recommend another book to a friend or family member. And that’s a good thing for me, since I often struggle with recommendations because some people simply won’t like the books I like.
It is so difficult to try and suggest a book to someone else since we each experience them in a different way. More often than not, I’ll tell them about something I’ve recently read and a little bit about it. I might ask if they have a favorite book so that I can try and make a suggestion based on that.
I’m usually just glad people want my suggestions at all. Otherwise, I can get somewhat annoying in my persistence to encourage people to read. Do you do a lot of “reading evangelizing?” Have you ever had someone say, “oh I just don’t like reading?” Being someone who reads actively and writes about reading, how do you even begin to counteract this strange idea that someone could actually not like to read?
Oh I know! It seems impossible to me that someone wouldn’t enjoy it. Of course I come from a family full of avid readers so reading has always been the norm for me. I’m sure that others find it extremely odd that I don’t really watch television.
When I come across someone who tells me that they don’t like reading, I don’t really try to convince them that they should. I believe that there is something out there for everyone and I would fall back to your tactic of remembering what you know about them comes in handy. I’ve also learned that just having conversations with others about my own passion for reading has been encouraging.
I like the idea of letting your own passion come through in conversations. It’s a much more subtle way of persuasion….I feel like we could completely go on chatting forever, but the interview has to end at some point, so just one last question: you host an audio book challenge, which I think is great. I used to listen to audio books all the time when I commuted by train to school and work. Have you noticed any difference in your experience with audio books versus “regular” books? Do you think the experience of an audio book (versus the experience of reading a book) changes the way you think about books in general?
I am a fairly recent fan of audio books. The experience does vary between audio books and print books. I think there are several things that factor into this. First and foremost is the narrator. If the narration doesn’t do it for you, the book is going to be difficult to follow. It also depends on what I’m doing when I’m listening.
There are certain books that I’m convinced are so much better when listened to. Specifically I’m thinking Bossypants by Tina Fey. So much of the humor came from her narration on the audio. I’ve also found that I enjoy chick lit on audio. They are super easy to listen to and you don’t have to give them a great deal of attention to know what is going on. It’s kind of like having the television on in the background while you are doing something else.
Audio books have opened up an entirely different reading experience for me. I don’t know that they’ve changed how I look at books other than I get to “read” at times that I wouldn’t ordinarily be able to.
I have Bossypants on my “to read” list, but now that I know Tina Fey narrates the audio book herself, I’m going to have to listen to it. I love her humor. Thanks, Teresa, for this great chat! It was a blast getting to know you!
Hey bookworms, isn’t Teresa great?! Be sure to check out her blog when you get a chance and consider participating in the audio book challenge next year. All this week, I’ll be writing Book Blogger Appreciation posts. Be sure to stick around to see what’s coming next!
[Photo Credit: BBAW website; Teresa of Teresa’s Reading Corner]