Monday, February 28, 2011

Meet a Book Blogger: Tahleen's Mixed-Up Files

Meet Tahleen! She blogs at Tahleen's Mixed-Up Files, and also collaborates on The Broke and the Bookish, too. She's this month's Meet a Book Blogger guest, so read on to find out how she started blogging, why she loves it, and what her favorite books are...

1. When did you start book blogging, and what was your motivation?

I started blogging this past summer, in June. I had been thinking about starting a blog for young adult and children's literature for a while, since I wanted to use it for professional development (I am at Simmons College studying library science with a focus in youth services). But what really got me going was collaborating on a blog started up by Jamie of The Perpetual Page-Turner, called The Broke and the Bookish. Jamie is our moderator in the College Students group on GoodReads that I'm involved in, and she wanted to start a book blog with a bunch of us in the group. So we started up that one, and I started up mine. And here I am now.

2. How often do you post?

I try to post at least twice a week, but sometimes life gets hectic and I don't get to review things as often as I like. I feel accomplished when I do post that often though!

3. Which kinds of books do you like to review?

I review mostly young adult, middle grade and occasionally children's books. I also just posted my first movie review, of The Secret of Kells, a fictionalized story about the origin of the Book of Kells (and a fantastic film). I'll also review the occasional adult title if I feel it will appeal to teens.

4. Where do you get the books you review?

I work at a library, so that's where I get most of them. That said, I do own a TON of books already, since I also work at a Barnes & Noble, where I get most of the books I buy. And sometimes I'm lucky enough to be approached by publishers and authors who ask for a review, but that's not very often (but always exciting!).

5. Where do you find out about new books?

Mostly from other bloggers, but I also try to pay attention to Twitter and what publishers and authors are saying.

6. Do you read other book blogs? If so, which are your favorites?

I read a lot of other blogs, mostly YA ones, but I've got other genres in there too. I'll have to say one of my favorites is The Broke and the Bookish, not only because I collaborate on that one, but also because it's got the most diverse reading list out of all of the blogs I've seen, since there are so many reviewers. I also like April's Good Books & Good Wine, Steph Su Reads, and the always hilarious Forever Young Adult. I'd be here forever if I tried to mention all the ones I like to keep up on!

7. What’s one of your favorite books? How about the best book you’ve read in the past six months?

Oh, tough. MY favorites are probably To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle, A Voice in the Wind by Kathryn Lasky, and Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech. All children's/young adult (except maybe TKAM, depending on who you talk to), but all ones that I NEVER get tired of rereading. As for the best book I've read in the past 6 months, I'm going to have to put two down: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness and Diamond Willow by Helen Frost. Both very different from each other, but both fantastic in their own ways. I've got reviews of both on my blog. :) (Links: Knife review; Diamond Willow review.)

8. What’s the most enjoyable part of book blogging? What’s the worst part? Do you blog about other topics too?

I love this community—that's probably the best part. Everyone I talk with is just great, and I get so many good suggestions. Plus it helps me keep up on what's going on. I love having people to talk with about books and reading, since not many of my friends I know face-to-face read as much as I do. The worst part is probably trying to figure out how to conduct myself and do things a certain way on my blog, like ratings and the like. I'm never sure if what I'm doing is the right thing as far as etiquette goes—but no one has complained to me yet, and hey, it's my blog. I'll occasionally blog about topics in the bookish world, especially about issues that have to do with libraries, or censorship.

9. Do you have an ereader? If so, do you like it? If not, do you want one someday?

I do have a nook, which I love. It's great to not have to carry a giant book if what I'm reading is hefty in real life (like Tolstoy's War and Peace, which, yes, I have actually started to read). I also love being able to take out digital books from the library and read books from NetGalley for free before they're published, like Lauren Oliver's Delirium. Not to mention I got a ton of free books (mostly classics) over the past months while I was waiting to get a nook.

10. What do you do when you’re not reading?

I work two part-time jobs, both bookish (library and bookstore), and I go to school part-time. I also spend time with family and my boyfriend when I can, sing in a small a cappella group, and am an assistant leader for my town's middle-school Girl Scout troop.

Thanks, Tahleen, and all the best with your studies! We're always thrilled to see YA-lit-loving librarians. (I especially liked your recent post about teen areas in libraries!)


Tahleen said...

Yay, thanks Jo! Glad you liked my piece on teen space in libraries... it's something that's important to me, and I hope I will be able to make others see the value of teen space.

Jamie said...

I <3 Tahleen...she's a great blogger and I love having her as part of TB&TB and reading her personal book blog. She writes some of the best reviews!

April (BooksandWine) said...

Tahleen is awesome! And she always has something intelligent to say on her blog. Great interview :-D