Welcome to Day 2 of Book Blogger Appreciation Week! Today is one of my favorite BBAW events; we get to interview a fellow book blogger.
My interviewee is Adam from Roof Beam Reader. I had a lot of fun getting to know him as I’m sure you will as well.
Sure! My name is Adam and I am the man behind Roof Beam Reader. I have been blogging for about ten years, now, but I have been blogging exclusively about books for just about four years. Book blogging became a side-project for me when I was in graduate school. It helped me keep track of my thoughts about certain books that I was reading for my classes, but I soon realized that it was a great way to keep track of everything I was reading, and to remind myself of books I had read & loved (or hated). It wasn’t long before I discovered there was a “community” of book bloggers out there and it has been full-speed ahead ever since! Aside from a book blogger, I am a full-time student, currently pursuing my Ph.D. in English with an emphasis on American Literature (having already earned my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in English). I work in university Student Affairs and also as a college English instructor. It seems like I continue to get busier & busier as the days go by!
2. What is the best part of blogging for you?
It is, without a doubt, the community. As I mentioned before, the original intent was just to keep a journal-like record of my reading experiences. But I have met so many great people, so many people who are passionate about books and reading, so many people who are as crazy as I am - who spend all their free time and extra money on books! These people make me feel somewhat sane, and that is a huge feat! I love participating in events (like this one) and have even hosted a few (Austen in August, last month, and the upcoming “The Literary Others” event happening in October). There have been great discussions about censorship, plagiarism, and all sorts of other bookish-related issues . . . so it has truly become about more than just “reading” or “loving books,” but instead, it is about experiencing and engaging in a deep, complex, and diverse literary universe.
3. If you could be a particular book character, who would you be?
Ha! Oh, this is an interesting question – and a tough one. I suppose I would want to choose someone who “has it made.” Let’s see – who out there in the literary world has it all: looks, character, money, family… it’s like a “three wishes” question in a more interesting form! The easy answer would be “Prince Charming” or, more realistically, Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice. But they’re not really my style. Okay, if I had to pick, I think I would choose Huckleberry Finn! Why? He is one of the noblest characters in all of literary history. Sure, he makes mistakes and he says and does some silly and stupid things but, ultimately, he comes to the right conclusions about human nature and friendship. At the end of the book, he leaves “society” behind to strike out West on his own, because he knows he needs to be true to himself.
4. Is there a particular book or series you could read over and over again?
I have read and will continue to read the entire Harry Potter series many, many times. I know this is an easy and expected answer, or maybe it isn’t, considering I read primarily Classic Literature and Literary Fiction. But, I find this series both brilliant and entertaining. Also, it grows in maturity, depth, and complexity, not just in terms of plot, but also characterization, prose, and structure. Rowling created in incredible imaginative world and mirrors it with a beautifully and masterfully constructed narrative. Breathtaking!
5. What book have you just read, are reading now and are about to read?
The book I completed most recently is A Lost Lady by Willa Cather. I’m currently reading The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (for the third time) as well as Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (also for the third time). Up next will be The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (for the second time)! I’m actually not that much of a re-reader (though I do love all of these books), but these texts are actually required reading for the doctoral seminars I’m taking right now, so that’s why they’re coming up again. As far as what I’m reading next “for fun,” that will probably be J.K. Rowling’s A Casual Vacancy, which comes out later this month!
6. What is you favorite bookish moment?
I think my favorite recent bookish moment would have to be participating in World Book Night this past April. I received 20 copies of Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried to hand out to people who considered themselves “non-readers” or “reluctant readers.” I had read the book a few years ago (on the urging of my brother-in-law, who adored it), and I really enjoyed it. So, it was a lot of fun to go out into the neighborhood, talk to people about books & reading, and not only recommend to them a great book, but give them a free copy, too! I definitely plan to participate again next year.
7. Is there a particular review or post you have done on your blog that you are particularly proud of?
There are a few posts/reviews that I am proud of . . . to make it easy, I think I will just provide a short list here, and anyone who is interested can click through.
1. I’m From: An Autobiography. This post is, quite literally, all about me. It’s a creative autobiography about who I am, where I’m from, and where I hope to go in the future.
2. Darknessand Light. My take on the argument that some Young Adult fiction is “too dark.” This is where I support the authors.
3. Book Review: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. Probably my personal favorite review, of any I have written. I was so surprised by how much I loved this book.
4. The Empathetic Reader & the Effective Reviewer. My thoughts on responsible book blogging and the standards I try to uphold.
5. Three Years, Thirty: A Reflection. An introspective post on what the past three years as a book blogger and last thirty (almost) years of life have taught me.
Thanks for having me!
Thank-you so much to Adam! It’s great to learn a little more about Roof Beam Reader.
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About Book Blogger Appreciation Week:
“Book Blogger Appreciation was started by Amy Riley of My Friend Amy in an effort to recognize the hard work and contribution of book bloggers to the promotion and preservation of a literate culture actively engaged in discussing books, authors, and a lifestyle of reading.
“The first Book Blogger Appreciation was observed in the fall of 2008 and occurs every September. The week spotlights and celebrates the work of active book bloggers through guest posts, awards, giveaways, and community activities. Book Bloggers are encouraged to register their participation for inclusion in a database of book bloggers.”