Today, as part of of blogiversary celebration, I’m very happy to have Amanda from On a Book Bender on the blog! While the two of us talked back and forth about various guest post topics, Amanda thought it might be fun to host me on her blog for her Who Am I Stalking? feature, whereas I stole her feature for the day to post on my own blog, interviewing Amanda.
Amanda is a blogger, a reader, and a grammar nerd.
Who Am I Stalking? — Amanda @ On a Book Bender
I’ve known of Amanda for a long time, since the beginning of my new blogging adventure, about one year ago — but it wasn’t until a few months ago that I really started to get to know her. She’s super-fun, great to talk to, and a blogging inspiration! I feel very lucky to have her as a blogging buddy.
1. Describe yourself in six words.
Survival necessities: coffee, books, booze, boyfriend.
(Addendum: not necessarily in that order.)
2. What has been your most exciting moment as a book blogger?
Well, I’m going to cheat on this question. I’m sorry, but it has to be done. My exciting moments can be broken down into three different categories:
- When someone mentions me or my blog and talks about what they love about it. I’m always simultaneously humbled and excited.
- When I meet bookish people. And not just in person! (Though meeting book bloggers in person is really REALLY cool.) I love being able to connect with people all across the globe who share the passion for reading.
- When I go to author events. I’m extremely awkward at these events, but I like to meet authors and hear them talk about their books and their writing process. Every author is SO DIFFERENT.
3. What are the best books that you have read in 2012? The worst?
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray (the audiobook, specficially)
For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
Wicked Werewolf Night by Lisa Renee Jones (The only parts where I understood what was happening were when the characters were having sex.)
Virgin Hostage by Tiffany Towers (This was unbelievable, and not in a good way.)
Sex Magick by Laura Stamps (It was written in 3rd person present tense and made my eyes bleed. Not even the sex magick made up for it.)
4. Why is reading important?
Reading opens up your world and your imagination to new things. Reading can give us something to connect with, so that we know we’re not alone, or it can give us a new perspective on life that we never had considered before. You can travel the world (and even discover imaginary worlds) from the comfort of your own home. Reading also provides an escape from real life, and it is much more engaging than other activities, like watching TV. For me, being an avid reader made school easier for me. I read faster, understood more of the vocabulary, and even though I didn’t always enjoy what I read, I never struggled with it like some of my classmates. Basically, reading enriches your life.
5. What are some of your favorite reviews (or memes, features, discussions, etc) that you have written for On a Book Bender?
Uh… I have to admit that Top Off Tuesday is probably my favorite meme EVER. And not just because I enjoy finding the most ridiculous covers possible, believe it or not. (There are a lot of covers that just make me scratch my head and go “WTF?” and then rush off to show as many people as I can so they’re as horrified as I am.) The comments that I get on my Top Off Tuesday posts are HILARIOUS, and I often sit at my computer chuckling like a madwoman every Tuesday as I read and reply to comments.
6. Your blog has a definite flow to it, with the memes you participate in, a variety of features and discussions, guest posts and reviews, among many other things (including participation in events and the very popular Bout of Books read-a-thon). The idea of posting and scheduling for a blog can seem quite daunting to newbie bloggers, especially considering most book bloggers also want to fit reading time into their week — as well as time for blogging. I’m curious about your scheduling secrets and how your blog fits into your real life. How do you find time to both read and blog without feeling overwhelmed?
I think a big part of not getting overwhelmed with blogging is knowing how much time you can realistically invest into it and remembering it’s okay to walk away for a while if it gets to be too much. Blogging and reading are my escapes from real life stress, so I try not to make my escapes stressful as well. I don’t accept or seek out review requests. If I commit to an event, I usually try to make sure I have enough time to devote to it. If I’m not sure if I have time, then I either don’t participate or I make sure that it’s an event like Bloggiesta where you’re only required to commit as much as you can.
My main goal for blogging is being able to read my books and talk about them. And have fun. I’m here to develop relationships with other readers, and I try not to get caught up in a lot of the glitz and glam of book blogging. I’m not trying to be a big or popular blog. Whenever blogging gets stressful, I actually limit the time I spend on my blog (and the Internet in general). Fun activities should not be stressful.
I stick to a blog schedule because it keeps me on track and I can plan ahead (organization actually keeps blogging from getting stressful for me). I grab downtime wherever I find it and will use it to schedule posts ahead. Forty-five minutes until I leave for the boyfriend’s? I’ll use the time to schedule Top Off Tuesday posts for the next month or two. Wake up at 4am and can’t sleep? I go write a discussion post. For me, blogging involves capitalizing on the extra time I already have. Sometimes I’ll write my review, and then leave the rest of the formatting for another time because I keep getting distracted by other things. Sometimes you have to realize you can’t force it, and that coming back to it at a later time can actually streamline the entire process. (Spend two hours forcing yourself to get it done, or two twenty-minute periods? Yeah, there’s really no contest.)
When I get really busy, I tend to use reading as a reward or as me-time to recharge. In other words, I carve out time in my schedule to devote to reading. Grad school taught me a lot about how to manage my time, and how to manage my stress. Sometimes, no matter how much there is to do, you have to take time out for yourself and your mental health. I do that with reading. And when I have a lot of time on my hands, reading keeps me from getting bored. So really, reading is an all-purpose activity.
Thank you so much, Amanda, for doing this! I’m sure your answers will be inspiring to readers.
© 2012, Reading In Winter. All rights reserved.