I don’t know if you guys have noticed, but there are a ton of Jennifers in the blogosphere. I’ve also seen variations on the theme, Jen, Jenn, Jenny. Well, I was lucky enough to be paired with another Jennifer, who goes by Jenny, in the BBAW Interview Swap. Jenny’s blog Take Me Away is a real treat, and it was completely new to me. Now I’m even more glad I participated. She reviews a really wide variety of books, which of course I love. Head on over there and check her out, but first check out our interview:
- Your blog is so cheery. I love the background and the title. When did you start blogging? Did the name of your blog just come to you? How often do you get an itch to switch things up?
Thanks! I started blogging in July of 2008. But really, if you look at the entries back then I posted very sporadically and wrote only one or two lines. I think I posted so infrequently because I felt like I didn’t have much to say. It was probably a year after that when I started doing more with the blog. As for the name, I wanted something unique that explained what books do for me. I think they “take me away” sometimes to another world/place in the book, but also take me away from the stress and issues in real life as well. I’m usually pretty complacent when I have something I like. The only thing I’ve been itching is to change my layout to one with real photographs, but I probably won’t do that for a while.
- I love your profile pic. So you have a nook. Do you love it? Why did you switch over to an ereader? (Ok, this is selfish since I don’t have one and am really curious).
Yes, I love it!! It’s funny though because I didn’t really “switch over” to an e-reader… I just have it in addition to my many other books! We are into technology and new things in my house so that was probably one of the reasons we had to get one. Then my hubby tried out reading a book on there and liked it so now we each have our own, lol! I love that you can buy books for cheaper and get them whenever you want. Middle of the night and want to buy that book you’ve been dying to read? Okay! (Not that I’ve ever done that, but still). I find the e-readers much easier to hold because I’m always moving around and re-adjusting when I read a regular book. And it’s convenient to carry with me (especially if I’m reading a big book b/c it always weighs the same on the nook!) I really don’t think I necessarily like one form of reading better than another… they’re two totally different experiences and I enjoy them equally on the e-reader or with regular books.
- What is the funniest/strangest place you’ve ever been caught reading?
Hmmm… I’m not really “caught reading” anywhere interesting… maybe I’m nowhere interesting in the first place, lol! I’m sorry… I’ve thought about it and I can’t really think of anything really funny! I have read in the kitchen while cooking or in between stirring, lol, or while sitting at a red light. I’ve read waiting in line places. But in general, I don’t like reading when I’m out and about because I don’t like when people try to talk to me about it, hahah! JR: Full disclosure: reading while cooking and in between stirring IS pretty interesting. I guess as readers, we just think of it as normal. 🙂
- Do you have a favorite book? If so, what is it and why?
This is a tough question (even though I know I asked you this in like 3 different forms, lol!) It changes frequently. Right now I think A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Anyone who reads my blog knows about my /obsession/ for all things NYC so books that take place there (past or present) I love. I just really loved the characters in this book though. It’s essentially just about a girl growing up in early 1900’s Brooklyn but it’s so heartwarming. For a long time I considered Wuthering Heights my favorite which is so completely different. But what I liked about that book was the passion I felt it has. For more contemporary books I love Lisa See’s Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and Shanghai Girls. I also loved I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb but I think I need to re-read that one of these days to confirm because it’s been a while. =)
- Do you think the books we read define us? If so, what do you think your reading list would say about you?
I don’t necessarily think the books we read define us, or at least not in an obvious way. I read so many different books/genres too that I don’t know how someone would use that to define me. I do think, though, that we often are drawn to certain types of books/stories that we can relate to at that moment or that we have certain reasons for wanting to read what we do. My reading list would probably say that I have varied interests, I want to learn about all different types of things, but I also want to find others to relate to. It might also say that I use reading as a form of escape from stress!
- Lily, your Jack Russell, is adorable. I have a Yorkie who can be a bit jealous of my reading time. What does Lily do while you’re reading?
Lily is funny. Usually she just lies next to me or my hubby on the couch. She’ll cuddle up right next to my leg so I pretty much can’t move once I get into position unless I move her too. Or sometimes she’ll want attention and she’ll bring me her ball to throw. (She’s small enough that we can get away with playing fetch in our tiny home, lol). Then she’ll bring me the ball over and over. LOL
- On the tail end of that last question, are the people in your life readers? Is your husband a reader? If so, do you guys have similar taste in books?
Most of the people in my life /are/ readers but it’s funny because it wasn’t always that way. My husband always has a book he is reading… though he doesn’t read as many books as I do, he certainly reads way more than the average person nowadays. He really just started reading more in the past few years. Both my parents are readers and I am their library (for real, lol) and even though they both enjoy reading, they never really read a lot when I was growing up. And my sister is a big reader (she is a language arts teacher in middle school) but she doesn’t specifically make time to read as much as I do.
- How has blogging changed you as a reader, if at all?
Blogging has changed me as a reader in that I am /usually/ more conscientious of what I’m thinking and feeling while reading the book instead of waiting until I’m done and not being sure what to say. I’ll remember key things I want to point out or mention in my review. I also am learning what elements of a book I like and don’t like whereas in the past I would have had a more difficult time identifying that piece. I tend to read newer books nowadays too. But I’m also trying to scale back a little and not read so many books for review and focus more on just what I want to read and when because the last thing I want is for my reading/blogging to become a chore!
- I read in one of your posts that you were a fan of the Babysitter’s Club series. So was I! Have you read the new book that is out? It’s supposed to be a prequel to the series.
Yay! I loooved the babysitter’s club! I actually have not read the prequel yet… I’ve only read two reviews for it — one was good but one was bad. I may get around to it, but I think I’d be more interested in re-reading some of the series. JR: I’ve read mixed reviews, too. I really wished Murray would have written a book about what the girls would be like now. THAT I’d read.
- Blogging is time consuming. (My poor readers may have noticed I have not posted in forever). How do you balance life and blogging? Any tricks to newer bloggers like me?
Ah, yes… I wish I had the secret… balancing life and blogging is something I’m constantly working on. I see blogging as more than just reading a book and writing a quick post. It is staying on top of bookish topics, networking/building a relationship with other bloggers specifically through reading other blogs and commenting, maintaining some type of consistency to my posts, etc. It’s rough and sometimes it gets out of hand and you have to scale back. Then at other times it seems like nothing is going on. The month of August was rough for me reading-wise so I feel like I didn’t post much. I keep a google calendar for reviews that have to go up (like blog tours) and it’s a good visual for me to see how often I’ve posted and what type of posts they’ve been (reviews, discussions, etc.) I currently have 5 reviews typed up and ready to go and I’m thinking that’s the way to do it, but that’s the first time I’ve had that many. I think it’s really about changing things up and trying different things but always keeping in mind that life comes first! I also keep a to-do list for blogging and everything else in general (on a weekly planner) and it helps me stay on top of everything I need to do.
- Lastly, working for CPS is, I am sure, rewarding as it is demanding. Does your job ever dictate the type of books you will or won’t read?
Yes, it can be! It really doesn’t affect my reading much at all. I know some people in this field who won’t read anything remotely related to the stuff we deal with because they want that escape. Even though reading is often an escape for me, I will still read books about child abuse or other related topics etc. I think it’s helpful too to look at things from another point of view (like the family) more so than I would when I’m working.
Thanks so much, Jenny! It was really fun doing the swap and not only learning more about you but discovering your blog. There is so much out there in terms of individual bloggers, I hate knowing I am missing the good stuff. It was so nice to (virtually) meet you.