Not only did I not realize a major book-related event was going on a few blocks from my home, I also forgot about Armchair BEA — a way for book bloggers to participate in their own events and networking while Book Expo America is going on far far away (or just down the street…). It’s our own virtual convention!
So here are two posts rolled into one: introducing myself, and discussing aesthetics of books and blogs.
Day 1: Introduction
- What is the name you prefer to use? In the blogging and social media world, I go by Bee.
- How long have you been a book blogger? Off and on for a number of years, with a few blogs started and abandoned. This blog, devoted to books and creative writing? About 6 weeks.
- Have you participated in ABEA before? A couple of years ago under a different name, yes, but I was mostly a lurker and not really a participant.
- What is your favorite genre and why? I’m a sucker for a great mystery, particularly with a historical bent — either your classic whodunit, or even better, a novel that holds back something until near the end, and then blows you away with a twist that forces you to go back and reread the whole novel again with this new information.
- How do you arrange your bookshelves? Is there a rhyme or reason? Or not at all? I organize by nonfiction and fiction; and then the fiction is organized by “read” and “unread.” They’re also arranged by size (mostly): mass markets on top shelves, and hardcovers on the bottom. Otherwise, it’s whichever I grabbed first out of the box when I last unpacked.
- What book are you most excited for on your TBR? What are you most intimidated by? Excited: Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood), Portable Dorothy Parker (duh), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Mark Haddon). Intimidated: Infinite Jest (David Foster Wallace), Gravity’s Rainbow (Thomas Pynchon), Tom Jones (Henry Fielding).
- What is the most interesting thing that you have learned through your reading this year so far? That my love of reading has diminished, and I don’t know why. I’m on a mission to get it back.
- If you could choose three characters to have lunch with, who would they be and why? I’ve been wracking my brain and looking at lists of books I’ve read, and I’m not really sure there’s any I want to lunch with. The most interesting characters to read about are the ones you never really want to meet in person. I mean, I could say ones like Elizabeth Bennet, Hercule Poirot, or Anne Shirley, but Lizzie would end up trying to out-clever Poirot, Poirot would reset the table and redecorate my apartment to place everything symmetrically and in order, and Anne would either end up setting fire to the kitchen by accident or simply drive everyone batty with her overzealous imaginings. No thanks.
Day 2: Books & Blogs
The Books: How often do you judge a book by its cover? How often are you surprised by what you find? Do you strategize and make sure every book in your series has the same cover design (as far as you are able to) and type? How important is it for the visual art on the outside of the book to match or coordinate with the literature art on the inside?
I’m not a huge series collector. The last series I bought was Harry Potter; with the exception of the first two, the rest were first editions, bought when the book was released, and therefore match. Am I desperate to go out and find first American editions of books 1 and 2? Nope.
Overall, I do love a good minimalist cover:
But I’m not really particular about them. I do hold dear the covers of those books I fell in love with when I fell in love with them, but I’m not opposed to new designs.
However, when publishers change cover designs to something completely ridiculous, I will absolutely throw fits. Case(s) in point:
The Blog: As a book blogger, in whatever form that takes, branding is important. Your colors, your fonts, your style of review, all of these things come together to make the “brand” of your blog – something that makes your reviews and posts and websites, all your various content, immediately recognizable to the people looking for you. What do you do to create a brand on your site? Do you think about these things?
My blog is still very much a work in progress; again, I’m all about minimalism (at least, right now — I change my mind a lot) so I’m trying some things out to keep things even cleaner than they are at the moment. I have some ideas on what I want to do, as things progress (and when I finally bite the bullet and pay for the blog, instead of just sticking with the free WordPress options).