Book Blogger Q&A: Bibliophilia – Maggie’s Bookshelf

The 34th Book Blogger Q&A features Maggie from Bibliophilia – Maggie’s Bookshelf.

Here are her responses:

How long have you been a blogger?

I started a personal blog in March of 2009, which I’ve since taken down. It was more a sandbox for experimenting with blogging than any sort of public blog. Bibliophilia – Maggie’s Bookshelf has been up and running since August of 2009, though I’d argue I only started getting serious about in in the early part of 2010.

Approximately, how many books do you read every year?

My childhood average was 250-300, but since college and work and the entrance to adulthood in general, I’m down to about 100 or so.

What were your favourite books as a child?

The Harry Potter series (of course), the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman, Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, and the Boxcar Children series. Also, embarrassingly, the Star Wars: Jedi Apprentice novels.

What are you reading at the moment?

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion. I highly recommend it, even for non-zombie fans like me.

If you had to pick one, what’s the best book you’ve read in the last twelve months?

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King. There aren’t words in the English language that convey how much I love that book. I’m obsessed!

Who are your three favourite authors?

I can’t pick just three: it’s a four-way tie for first place between Octavia Butler, Barbara Kingsolver, Margaret Atwood, and Shirley Jackson.

Which book has had the greatest impact on your life?

Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler, I think, though The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman was fairly earth-shattering as well. Both changed my perception of what a novel could accomplish, not to mention what humans as a species can accomplish. That feeling of connection and being a part of the bigger picture is what I read for.

Also, my twelve-year-old self found The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory both enjoyable and educational, but for reasons much less lofty than those first two titles.

Which books are you most eagerly anticipating?

I have yet to get my hands on a copy of Divergent by Veronica Roth, though I’ve heard it’s very good. I’m also very excited for Goliath by Scott Westerfeld, Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King, and The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater.  The YA world is a-hopping, it seems.

Which book character is most like you?

Of course, I’d like to think Katniss from The Hunger Games, but I’m not quite that scrappy. Probably a tie between Vera from Please Ignore Vera Dietz and Lauren Oya Olamina from Parable of the Sower – kind of dorky and sometimes too intense and focused for my own good. Learning to be a little more happy-go-lucky would be nice. I’ve been told I’m a lot like Hermione from Harry Potter, but I think that’s just the books.

Now, a list of characters I wish I was more like…I could write a book of my own on that!

If you had to invite some book characters round for dinner, who would you choose and why?

Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games, because I admire her, but I’d probably be so obsessed with getting her to like me back that she’d get bored and/or creeped out and leave. Lyra and Will from His Dark Materials for the same reason (and probably with the same outcome). And, finally, Merricat from We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson, though I’d keep a close eye on the sugar bowl.

What advice would you give to new bloggers?

Network, network, network. Don’t do what I did and think that readers will come to you, especially on the YA book blog circuit. You have to show that you care about the community first, and I mean genuinely care, not just follow-back care. Be honest, write about the thing only you can write about, and most of all, be humble. Book blogging has become a machine and you’re only a tiny part of it, as I’ve found out the hard way!

Which other book blogs do you recommend?

Reading in Color, because Ari is incredibly sweet and well-spoken and just an all-around fantastic book blogger. I’m so excited to be on a panel with her at the ALAN workshop in Chicago this November! Forever Young Adult because they’re hilarious, Booking Through 365 and Dreaming in Books because Emma and John both tell it like it is, and, finally, The Story Siren, because I have no idea how Kristi does it all!

Many thanks to Maggie for taking the time to answer our questions.

Check out her great blog and follow her on Twitter.

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