With Helen from Helen's Book Blog!
This is Book Blogger Appreciation Week and I was lucky enough to be paired up with the fabulous Helen. She has such a good blog, with a really awesome Reading Challenge going on right now!
After you read the interview, head over to her blog and show her some appreciation!!
1. I see that you are hosting a Middle East Reading Challenge. What made you focus on this region of the world for your book challenge?
My ex-husband’s family lives in Oman so I have visited there a number of times, staying with family and getting to know “real” Arabs/Muslims and not just the culture that is portrayed in the media. I realized that what we learn about the region tends to come from sensationalized TV and news reports and we could all stand to learn and enjoy another side. Actually, I think this is true for all countries outside our own, I guess that’s why I was a World History teacher and why I read so many books set in countries outside the US.
2. You read a bunch of different genres. Is there any specific quality that a book has which draws you in?
That’s funny, I guess I don’t really have a specific genre that I stick to, though I am not a great reader of fantasy or paranormal books. I just want a plot that will pull me in from the beginning and part of that is characters that I can believe in and care about.
3. As a former teacher and now as a librarian, how do you feel books impact students’ lives?
Ah, the big question! On the surface reading improves vocabulary and grammar. I know that students of all ages who read more tend to do much better on standardized tests and classroom assessments. However, reading provides so much more such as awareness of issues, other cultures, and ideas that we may not have heard about from our family and friends. I love it when I finish a book and feel like I’ve been exposed to something “outside” myself, that’s what makes us able to empathize with others and become true citizens of the world.
4. Many of the book challenges you participate in seem to have a multi-national slant. Is this due to your love of travel or do you have a more specific reason?
As a child my family traveled a lot, including three months through east Africa and various Asian countries and I think these experiences definitely made me interested in people, countries and cultures outside my own. I am trying to give my daughter the same sense of belonging to a greater community. I definitely lean toward books and ideas that will introduce me to a wider world and I guess that shows in my choice of challenges!
5. You seem like a super busy person, being a single mom and having a full time job. How do you fit in book blogging to your already packed schedule?
How do I fit blogging in? My daughter will tell you that I am on the computer too much, but I am lucky that reading fits with my job as a high school Teacher Librarian; I can always say that I am “working” when really I am reading and blogging. I also have a blog for my school library where I post my YA reviews. And, I have summer vacation when I can read and blog a ton, things definitely slow down for me during the school year when I only read one or two books a week. I also get up at 5:15am so that I have an hour each day with no one else in the house awake!
Go check out the other awesome interviews at the BBAW site, and participate in BBAW if you can. It is, after all, a whole week in appreciation of us!!