Yes, just like those “specially marked” boxes of cereal that held a coveted prize when you were a kid, today’s blog post is “specially marked” with a bonus blogger interview! I’m excited to be interviewing Jenn from Jenn’s Bookshelves! I met Jenn at BEA, and we were both on Team Twinkie in our “Game on Diet” challenge. Jenn recently moved her blog to a self-hosted server, so check to make sure you have her updated feed address; she has so many books she has upgraded from Jenn’s Bookshelf to Jenn’s Bookshelves!
She is Too Fond of Books: When did you start blogging, and what motivated you to start?
Jenn: I started blogging in March of 2008. I’d been reviewing books for about 5 years at that time. Friends and family were always asking me for book recommendations, so I decided to create a blog as a place to house my recommendations for my friends and family.
SITFOB: Have your reading habits changed since you’ve been blogging?
Jenn: Definitely! I’ve been introduced to countless books and authors. I’ve also been reading a lot more. I typically read about 3-4 books a week. Before creating my blog, it was 3-4 a month!
SITFOB: We often say that the sense of community is a strong among book bloggers. I was fortunate to be able to meet you at BEA in May (although we didn’t get to chat nearly enough; make a note to change that in 2010!) Had you met any bloggers previous to BEA? Or since?
Jenn: The bloggers I met at BEA were my first! Since then, I’ve met three more: Swapna from S.Krishna’s Books, Deborah from Books, Movies, and Chinese Food, and Michelle from Galleysmith. We all live in the Washington DC metro area and decided to meet up once a month to discuss books and blogging!
SITFOB: I know you have two young boys; has Jenn’s Bookshelves impacted them?
Jenn: Yes, I think it’s impacted my oldest the most. I talk about this a lot, so I apologize to those that have heard it already. He was a reluctant reader. He has ADD and that impacts his reading quite a bit. He truly hated to read, he thought it was a form of punishment! Then, we discovered the Horrid Henry books. My son instantly fell in love with them. They are about a little boy, Horrid Henry, who truly lives up to his name. He’s downright horrid! Anyway, John read those books and hasn’t stopped reading since! He even did a review of one of the Horrid Henry books on my blog and has plans to review another in the next month or so.
SITFOB: I loved your recent posts about hand-selling, how we might talk up a book to a stranger in a bookstore (or on the street!). Have you always been this outgoing and approachable, or do you see it as an extension of your online presence?
Jenn: Oh no, I wasn’t always outgoing! I was actually quite shy! But I think having a blog and writing about books has given me more confidence to talk about books in the real world. I’ve discovered countless numbers of books that have changed my life and I want to make sure others are able to have that experience as well.
SITFOB: Tell us your favorite place to read?
Jenn: I have a few favorite spots: my reading chair, the couch, or in bed. I tend to shift locations pretty often.
SITFOB: What do you do when you’re not blogging, reading or Tweeting?
Jenn: Well, I do work full-time. I’m also on the PTO at my oldest son’s school so I spend a lot of time volunteering at the school. I’m addicted to Netflix. Weekends you’ll find me catching up on some “TV on DVD” series. The latest was Supernatural.
SITFOB: Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Jenn: Thanks for interviewing me, Dawn! I just wanted to remind everyone to participate in BBAW! Visit and comment on your favorite blogs. Do the suggested BBAW posts! Most importantly, have fun!!
(Jenn and I exchanged interviews as a backup when we were unable to get in touch with our BBAW partners – you know … life, work, school, stuff … they sometimes get in the way of blogging! We did both run the interviews with our original partners, but had these prepped and wanted to share them with you. Pop over to Jenn’s Bookshelves to read what words of wisdom I offer- ha! yes, that’s a little tongue-in-cheek commentary!)