Monday, June 4, 2012

#ArmchairBEA 2012: Introduction First!

Today in NYC lucky bloggers are walking through BEA (Book Expo America), but Bookchair BEA know not everyone can make it to NYC to experience BEA. So, three years ago Bookchair BEA got smart and decided to bring BEA to those of us staying at home and at work dreaming of one day going to NYC and meeting fellow bloggers. Be sure to check out their site because their awesome. Today at BEA people will be meeting and greeting, so we will too!

Introductions First!

  • Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?
       My name is Joy, and I'm a librarian in Louisiana. I've worked in libraries, July 2012 will make it 10 years. That's insane. I started working in one while I was in college, thinking I was going to be an English teacher, but I fell in love with the library instead.
       I only started blogging a little over a year ago when I was transferred into a Young Adult Librarian job and took over the teen blog. I was terrified at first. Well, pretty much the whole first month. I had never blogged before. I didn't even like to keep a diary of my thoughts, so why would I want to write book reviews and put them out on the Internet for all to see??? I sucked it up and realized I was giving book reviews everyday to teens as part of my job, they were just face-to-face. If I could handle that, surely I could handle people I would never see/meet reading them, right? I knew others could do it and were doing it, so I looked online for help.  I found amazing YA blogs that helped me immensely and still do.
       I was fortunate enough to be picked as a junior reviewer for the insanely great YA blog: Page Turners Blog. I still can't believe it. I've learned so much helping out with this blog monthly. I've contacted authors, interviewed authors (I know!!), held contests, all kinds of things I imagined doing when I filled out their form, but somehow can't believe I'm actually doing. I love working with this blog!
       As if this wasn't enough, I decided to start this one when I got promoted which meant I was no longer working directly with the library's teen blog. I know, glutton for punishment, but I love it now.  I have to share what I've read, or what new book I've seen on Goodreads, or the awesome cover/book trailer just released.  As a librarian, I spend my day promoting books, and I feel blogging is just a natural creative outlet.

  • What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2012?

  •    You do know how hard it is for a librarian to pick just one book, don't you?  I can't so I'm going with two:  The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley.  Love them.
       FiOS made me cry like a baby. I hate you John Green. But I love that book, and I love John Green. There not just one thing in the story I can point out as "the" thing I liked the best.  For me, FiOS is something you have to experience as a whole. The characters, the plot, the settings, the experiences the characters feel, what you feel reading it, what you feel after you finished it. It's a huge thing to take in, but I'm glad I did, and I would recommend it to anyone. Don't let the "cancer" thing turn you away. That is not what this book is about. It is about so much more.
       Where Things Come Back took me on a journey with some very unexpected twists. I love books that can do that.  As avid readers, we can sometimes become jaded and think we know everything a book is going to offer us. Well, I didn't see this one coming.  I need books to still cause me to pause and turn back pages to reread.  I need books to make me look up and think about what I just read because I didn't see it coming. That's some good writing.

  • Tell us one non-book-related thing that everyone reading your blog may not know about you.

  •    I love the movies. Action, comedy, romance, sci-fi. I'll  go see them. Yes, this may be book related, but I love when books are made into movies. When I read I am completely involved in this world the author has created. I can see the characters, the settings, everything. To see something I only imagined in my head on the movie screen, it's wonderful.  When a book is made into a movie and it is done well, I love it because people will rush to read the book.  I hate it when those movies suck, because then people somehow think the books suck. I try to tell them, "Don't judge a book on the movie!"

  • If you could eat dinner with any author or character, who would it be and why?

  •    I would love to have dinner with Maureen Johnson, but I think I would have to tie her down to her chair so I could guarantee she would stay the entire time.  I was able to meet (author stalk) her in New Orleans last summer for ALA (American Library Association) during the annual conference. She is addicted to twitter, you might already know this, and she tweeted she was at a certain location with copies of Name of the Star.  My friend and I tweeted her back to ask if anyone could come, she said "Sure," and we decided to go. Why not, it's Maureen Johnson, people?  Little did we know this "location" had 3 locations in New Orleans. I swear she did it on purpose. It was like Little Blue Envelopes, but for the silly librarians. 30 minutes and 3 locations later we finally found Maureen Johnson...and Sarah Dessen, and Harlan Coben, and Jay Asher, and Carolyn Mackler, and Brenna Yovanoff, and Ruta Sepetys, and more. Maureen Johnson failed to mention her book signing was a huge affair. Oh, but you can't fluster two librarians on a mission to meet Maureen Johnson. We walked straight up to her, said, "Hi, Maureen Johnson! We followed your clues and found you!" She laughed, signed copies of Name of the Star for us and told us to have a good time. Maureen Johnson is awesome!

  • Have your reading tastes changed since you started blogging? How?

  •  My reading tastes haven't really changed. I still read a cross of YA and adult, mostly paranormal, dystopian, sci-fi, romance, historical and contemporary (yes, that's pretty much everything). That really hasn't changed. I think what has changed is in January of last year I started using Goodreads to keep track of how many books I read and to see what other bloggers would recommend or were reading. It really is a great tool so I don't forget what I read. I always I knew I read quite a few books each year, but Goodreads puts it right out there. 220. That's how many books I read in 2011. The closed the end of the year got, the more determined I was to read more books.  Other bloggers were really helpful with excellent recommendations. If you haven't gotten on Goodreads yet, I really hope you do!

    *Be sure to follow on Twitter with ArmchairBEA, beabloggers, and BookExpoAmerica and check out tweets using the hashtags #armchairbea, #bookexpo, and #bea12live.


    1. Have a great week at bea, I know I will. The FIOS is so popular but I'm not sure I could read it, too sad :(

      My Intro

    2. Love that you use Lagniappe. I just learned the word last year when I was in Alabama. Love that Armchair BEA is getting us together!

    3. Good Morning and welcome to Armchair BEA! It is a pleasure to meet you! I wish that I had time to read 220 books in a year! Maybe some day!

    4. I think Maureen Johnson would be a hoot to have dinner with! Her tweets keep me entertained, so I can only image what conversation would be like!

      I hope you have a great Armchair BEA!


    5. I think being a librarian must be such fun!

      Good that you took up blogging and really got going. I posted my reviews at Shelfari (a community like Goodreads) for several years before I took the step to blogging.

    6. 220, what a huge number. I'm lucky to do a little over a hundred a year. Hope you enjoy the week!

    7. How did I forget Maureen Johnson for my imaginary blogger dinner party?! That is one seriously awesome story, by the way. I'm pretty jealous that you're a YA librarian, by the way. It's basically my dreamy dream job but I'm scared of all those years of schooling :P

    8. So you went from never writing a blog to writing for three. That is amazing! I check out all three and they are pretty amazing. :) Congrats on the great teen blog at your library/job. :)