Thoughts on books, family, and life in one impressive package.
Image: Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2012 Button

Book Blogger Appreciation Week is upon us once again. I confess the week snuck up on me. Well, it didn’t sneak up on me so much as it completely blindsided me. As a result, I am not going to be participating in this wonderful event as much as I would like and as much as I have done in years past. One event I could not miss was the interview swaps. It can be overwhelming to try to find like-minded book bloggers or even to find new kindred spirits that belong in our individual, and smaller, blogger spheres of influence. This annual interview swaps are a great way to learn more about participating bloggers in one fell swoop. The interviews are as unique as the individuals and make for great reading.

This year, to my great surprise, I was paired up with a blogger with whom I have interacted and stalked for some time now. She is a predominantly YA blogger but doesn’t completely narrow her reading focus to that genre. She also blogs about her second passion, movies. Because this is not enough to keep her busy, she is also a full-time college student. How’s that for commitment to blogging? She has been blogging for about the same time I have, as we both started in 2009. Her personality shines through every one of her posts, and I know you will be as charmed by her as I am. This year, I give you Melanie from Melanie’s Musings!

Melanie's Musings

Q: So, why did you start blogging?

A: Peeta or Gale is an argument I’ve had many times.

Unfortunately, my friends’ reading taste don’t extend much farther than the outrageously popular books. When I discovered book blogs, it seemed like the perfect way to talk about whatever books I’m reading with a knowledgeable audience.

And I was right.

Q: Have you found that your focus on your blog has changed since you started? Why?

Somewhat. Although books remain my focus, I’ve started to include more movie reviews in the past year. I enjoy entertainment in book, movie, and music form and wanted my blog to be a representation of my tastes.

Have you seen Prince of Persia? That’s one of my recent favorites. Sarcasm and fantasy? Yes please.

Q: You and I started blogging in the same year. What is the one thing that has most changed in the blogging world? What is the most surprising thing about the blogging world today versus back when we started?

A: My answer to both is the same: the size. The book blogging community was just beginning to steadily grow in 2009, then it started exploding. It’s awesome, but it can be easy to feel a bit lost.

Q: Why do you review books? What makes you continue to blog?

A: Like nearly everything else in life, it has to do with relationships. I’ve met some really cool people and enjoy meeting new bloggers. It’s fun to have a place to chat about a hobby that’s important to me.

Q. I didn’t start blogging until after I finished with my Master’s degree. How do you manage to go to college and still find the time (and interest) to maintain a fairly active blog?

A: “Fairly active” are the key words. I used to stress out about posting everyday. Now, as long as I have one post a week, I’m good to go. It took me awhile to realize that worrying was killing my enthusiasm, but now that I have, I’m chill.

Q: How do you feel about negative reviews? Do you review every book you read?

A: For negative or positive reviews, I like them as long they’re specific. I personally don’t enjoy bashing or blatantly making fun of an author’s work but to each their own.

I review about one in three books I read, usually the ones I have the clearest feelings on. I do my best to review books before I forget the specifics.

Q: Do your friends and family read your blog? What are their thoughts on it?

A: No. No, no, no. That seems awkward to me. I’d feel weird about it.

Q:  Have you met any blogging friends in real life? Would you like to do so?

A: No. And yes! I’d love to. Someday, BEA and I will get to experience each other.

Q: Other than YA, what are some of your favorite books? Any particular genres that interest you more than others? Movies? Music?

A: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking not only has the coolest tagline of a book ever, it’s also a really fascinating look at how introverts can contribute to society because of (not in spite of) their personality tendency. Nonfiction can be fascinating, if you pick
the right topics.

I’ve already mentioned movies, but as far as music is concerned, I’ve fallen in love with Imagine Dragon’s first CD. “It’s Time” is my favorite:

Q:  What advice do you have for anyone thinking about starting a blog, whether it is specifically for books or not?

A: Plan ahead. It probably takes more time than you think to update regularly, so have a couple weeks scheduled in advance.

Q: Let’s play the ABC Game:

  • Apple or Android? Neither
  • Bed size? Twin, extra long
  • Chore that you hate? Cleaning showers
  • Drink of choice? Iced vanilla lattes (strong on the vanilla)
  • Essential item for every day use? Mechanical pencil
  • Favorite color? Hunter green
  • Gold or silver? Gold
  • Hometown? Tiny
  • Instruments you play? Piano and mandolin (a little)
  • Job title? Full-time student
  • Kids? Nope
  • Life is incomplete without…? Friends
  • Married or single? Single.
  • Nicknames? Mel
  • Overnight hospital stays? Thankfully none
  • Pet peeves? Toe-tapping
  • Quote? “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary
  • from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye.” Jim Henson
  • Right- or Left-handed? Lefties, ftw!
  • Season? Fall
  • Time it takes you to get ready? I’ll be ready in five minutes, I swear.  Fifteen minutes later…
  • Ultimate vacation? Backpacking through Europe
  • Vegetable you hate? Greens
  • Worst habit? Procrastination, baby.
  • X-rays you’ve had? None
  • Your fave food? Mac ‘n cheese
  • Zodiac sign? Cancer

Thanks, Melanie, for such insightful answers! Good luck with school this semester!

Check out more of Melanie at Melanie’s Musings!

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