Friday, November 5, 2010

Meet a Book Blogger: Callista at SMS Book Reviews

It's November, and you know what that means: National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), Movember, and last but not least--time for another Meet a Book Blogger post! This month, I interviewed Callista, who blogs at SMS Book Reviews.

1. When did you start book blogging, and what was your motivation?
I started my book blog in 2003, but I started reviewing books in 1999. I started reviewing on my geocities website, then in 2001 I found and started reviewing on there. In 2003, they stopped letting you review there unless you had bought from there, so that's when I needed another place to blog. I found some book blogs and decided a blog would be perfect for my reviews. I wasn't an active book blogger in the community with regular posting till 2007, though.

2. How often do you post?
I don't have a regular posting schedule. I tend to post many times a week for a few months and then get busy with life or interested in other things for a bit and rarely post for a few months and then start posting again. I'm just finishing up a lag in posting right now. I love book blogging but sometimes I just need a computer break.

3. Which kinds of books do you like to review?
I mostly review children's books and nonfiction. I rarely do adult fiction, maybe one to three a year. As for children's, I like everything from picture books to YA, fiction as well as nonfiction. For children's fiction, I prefer realistic fiction.

4. Where do you get the books you review?
I started out with library books and books I owned but the last few years I've gotten most of my books through publishers, authors, and publicists. I've been trying to cut down on the amount of review books I get lately because it's hard to catch up and I want more time to read the books I choose out of the blue during library visits.

5. Where do you find out about new books?
I learn about some books from blogs but I also get catalogues from publishers and direct offers.

6. Do you read other book blogs? If so, which are your favorites?
Yes, I subscribe to more than 200 other book blogs. My top favs would be Maw Books, Caroline Bookbinder, A Striped Armchair, A Reader's Respite, At Home with Books, and Reading Through Life.

7. What’s one of your favorite books? How about the best book you’ve read in the past six months?
Quirkology: The Curious Science of Everyday Lives by Richard Wiseman is one of the best adult nonfiction books I've read. It was VERY interesting. Best book in the last six months? Writing for the Web by Crawford Kilian.

8. What’s the most enjoyable part of book blogging? What’s the worst part? Do you blog about other topics too?
I love helping others find books to enjoy that perhaps they might not have picked up on their own without reading a bit about it first. I especially like introducing people to nonfiction, which I don't think enough people read.

The worst part is keeping up the blog when you need a break. When you let it go, you lose readers, are behind on special community events, and get tons of spam. I only blog about books and reading/literacy on my book blog but I have another blog that I use for other topics.

9. Do you have an ereader? If so, do you like it? If not, do you want one someday?
No, I don't have an ereader. I'm reluctant to use them as I love real books, but they would be good sometimes for books only available on an ereader. I don't like that you can't just donate an ebook when you are done with it like a regular book, though. I prefer to share my books.

10. What do you do when you’re not reading?
I am a stay-at-home-mom of two girls ages three and four plus I am pregnant with another child due in April. I love listening to music and I'm a Girl Guide leader. I currently work with three different age groups: 5-6, 7-8, and 9-11.

Sounds like your life is full of children and books, how wonderful! Thanks for telling us the story behind your blog, Callista.

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