How exciting to be assigned to interview a blogger that I have actually met in “real” life! Though HOW exactly we began the conversation to meet, I don’t quite recall, I do know it was facilitated by Boston’s Book Festival. Maybe – read on to find out. (Her memory is way better than mine.)
LAURIE of Bay State Reader’s Advisory!
Here’s the proof:
It’s blurry – can’t find the original original. Laurie on the left, I’m on the right and my ever-so-wonderful friend Holly in the middle. (hi Holly!!) The year was 2012. The place was the Boston Book Festival. We had a great time, I remember that.
MY QUESTIONS / HER ANSWERS:
Q1 from Care: Laurie, I’m embarrassed but I don’t remember how we first got introduced?! Can you jog my memory? Let’s compare notes! (Thankfully, she remembers and sadly, I do not!)
A1 by Laurie: Our first contact was on Twitter, back in the spring or summer of 2012. I had a librarian/personal Twitter (@lacavanaugh) before adding a book blogger one (@baystateRA). I tweeted something about the Wareham Gatemen, a team in the Cape Cod Baseball League, and that’s how you knew we were located in the same area of Massachusetts at the time and that’s how we learned that we both had book blogs. You came and introduced yourself to me at the reference desk of the library in Wareham, where I was working at the time. The group selfie you took is from the Boston Book Festival in October 2012; we were both planning to go anyway, and you invited me to meet up with you and your friend Holly there. I was late, of course, but found you and cut in line to join you for whatever author program we were waiting in line for! Ok, I *DO* now remember when I walked up to you at the Wareham Library and introduced myself! I loved that library…
Q2 from Care: How many of virtual book friends have you met in real life?
A2 by Laurie: I attended one BEA Book Bloggers Conference and I was extremely shy about introducing myself to people and no one had ever heard of my book blog anyway! I sat with Mandy Boles, who at the time blogged at “The Well-Read Wife” (now http://MandyBoles.com) and her husband, but the only other book blogger I remember actually going up to and saying hi to was Sheila of Book Journey. It felt like meeting a celebrity! Goodness – it wasn’t 2010, was it? Because I went to BEA BBC in 2010!! I roomed with Celebrity Sheila; along with Kim the Sophisticated Dork and Esme of Chocolate and Croissants!!
Q3 from Care: I know that as proponent of all things library, I sense a bit of a disdain for goodreads. Would you like to share why you don’t do Amazon? I get it, and I sympathize but I just have SO MUCH LOVE for Audible because it is 3000x easier than downloading any books from the library. I just don’t get why it is so freakin’ hard. Multiple signins, inane searching, I can’t ever find what I want to listen to.
A3 by Laurie: Oh, oops! Does it seem like I have disdain for GoodReads? Yikes! That makes me a bad librarian, as we are supposed to be extremely open-minded and not snobby. I do prefer LibraryThing to GoodReads, but maybe not just for highbrow/snobby reasons! It seems more indie and less commercial to me than GoodReads, which is now owned by some megalomaniacal monopoly or other. Is it Amazon or Google? I usually favor the underdog, and LibraryThing is definitely the underdog! It’s a haven for book nerds who don’t want drama.
Audible is a great temptation, and I do use the Audible app for gift audiobooks. I actually had a problem with having two accounts, and the customer service people were very helpful in getting me access to all of my Audible content again finally. Although I did have to talk to one of the reps on the phone instead of being able to take care of it online, I do appreciate that it was good customer service! Amazon is trying to take over the book world — retail, publishing, and lending — and that worries me. Amazon doesn’t play well with libraries. When it looked like library users were starting to choose Nooks over Kindles because of OverDrive, which used the ePub format — Amazon decided to “lend” KindleBooks through OverDrive, but Kindle users had to borrow their OverDrive books from Amazon directly. If you have not tried the new OverDrive app for audiobooks on your phone or iPod, you need to give it a new chance! It is so much easier to use now, and the searching/browsing is better! For libraries to purchase ebooks and e-audiobooks, it’s much more expensive than for consumers to purchase them, so that is why the selection seems limited. Many libraries in Massachusetts are now offering additional ebook and e-audio lending options, too, such as Commonwealth Ebook Collections and Hoopla.
OK, Laurie, I’ll commit to another attempt. I will have to GO in person and ask a real librarian because I just spent an hour or two online this past weekend trying again. It was totally annoying – search capability didn’t have title nor author options (WHA?!?!?) It wanted to only recommend choices by genre. It wasn’t Overdrive, either. Anyway, I’ll shut up.
Q4 by Care: What is the ONE biggest positive you can name for blogging?
A4 by Laurie: The online community! Back in the early Internet days, listservs and online bulletin boards were how people with shared interests connected online. I did a lot of that back then, but book blogging is much friendlier, somehow. Maybe because book bloggers are not as anonymous. Maybe because the book blogging community is mostly women? Or maybe because readers in general –male or female!
Q5 from Care: Are you surprised with how blogs have evolved to include Twitter and Tumblr and Facebook, etc?
A5 by Laurie: Short answer = yes. Long answer is yes and I hope we don’t spread ourselves too thin over too many platforms. We only have a finite amount of time in a day! I keep hearing that blogging is passé now, but I hope that’s not true. There are so many book blogs that I would love to keep up with more regularly, but I know it’s impossible, so I do the best I can. I do wish everyone would use WordPress for their book blogs to make it easier for me to read, follow, and comment! I wonder if all the Blogger users know how easy-peasy it is to switch to WordPress.com and how helpful the WordPress happiness engineers are during the process? Oh yes, I love WordPress and have not had too many problems or issues to deal with. And I love Twitter. And Instagram… and even have a ton of Facebook friends from blog-world.
Laurie is a fabulous librarian – extremely knowledgeable about books and very involved with the Massachusetts literary scene. She rec’d a book to me last year, The Orphans of Race Point, and I’ve been successfully recommending it, too. REALLY good. Laurie often features recipes on her blog and I also happen to know that she is quite a dancer. If you don’t know Laurie yet, go meet her!
I answer some of these same questions at Laurie’s blog (CLICK HERE) and a few other questions she threw to me: Like, how/why I named my blog and where I might be taking it in the future. (CLICK HERE) And, what’s with the PIES?! and, other things. Visit her today. (CLICK HERE).
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