September 15, 2009

BBAW Interview: Eclectic/Eccentric

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Today's BBAW topic both tests my interviewing skills and highlights another book blogger on my blog. It's fun to shake things up a bit. I was paired up with Trisha from Eclectic/Eccentric. If you don't already know her blog, please visit soon. Trisha is a professor who makes time for her love of reading and blogs about it.

Big thank you to Trisha for her thoughtful answers!

First of all, as someone who was recently called an eclectic reader, I love the title of your blog. How did you come up with it and what does it mean to you?

When I first started blogging, I wasn't exactly sure what I was going to write about. At first it was more of a journal, recording events in my life and bits and pieces of information that I wanted to remember and share. Since it seemed I was going to be blogging about a wide variety of topics, “eclectic” seemed like an appropriate word. “Eccentric” came about for two reasons: 1) I've been called eccentric too many times to count, and 2) it also started with an “e” and who doesn't like alliteration?

Why did you decide to make your blog into a book blog? When did start blogging about books?

When I started blogging, I also started to keep track of the books I read. I was really interested to see how many and what kind of books I read, something I had never done before. Then, I started to write little comments about the books I was reading, add book quotes now and then, and eventually my comments and quotes became full reviews. After that it was a matter of following the path of comments to other book bloggers posts and so on and so forth. I stumbled into this community, and I've been loving every second.

How do you decide what to read?

My process is extremely not streamlined. I have no idea what I'm going to read until I pick up the book. Wait, that's not true. Sometimes I open the book and put it down one page later. So until I'm actually about 20 pages into the book, I don't know what I'm going to read. When I hear about a book that sounds like something I'd want to read, I add it to my To Buy list. And from time to time, I actually purchase a book off that To Buy list. I buy books on a whim, I read books on a whim.

Even though you have eclectic tastes, is there a particular genre you are drawn to?

I'm not particularly drawn to a specific type of book. I probably read YAL the most, but not because I prefer it. I read so many of them because they are easy reads. While I don't really a set genre, I do have a few authors I read consistently. Neil Gaiman, Nora Roberts, Augusten Burroughs, David Sedaris, the Brontes, and Jane Austen are a few of those authors.

Do you have a favorite book?

Douglas Adams Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is always the book that first pops into my mind when someone asks this question. I can't say that it's actually my favorite book of all time, but it is definitely one that I find consistently pleasing - even after reading and re-reading and re-re-reading and so on. I have a bad habit of my favorite book being the one I'm reading at the time (assuming it's a good book).

I've never read Hitchhiker's Guide. What is it about it that's so appealing?

Douglas Adams has a very unique tone to his writing, part social critic, part sarcasm, part joy in life. He adds in seemingly inconsequential details and descriptions are both extremely accurate and amusing. For example,
One of the things Ford Prefect had always found hardest to understand about humans was their habit of continually stating and repeating the very very obvious, as in It's a nice day, or You're very tall, or Oh dear you seem to have fallen down a thirty-foot well, are you alright? At first Ford had formed a theory to account for this strange behaviour. If human beings don't keep exercising their lips, he thought, their mouths probably seize up. After a few months' consideration and observation he abandoned this theory in favour of a new one. If they don't keep on exercising their lips, he thought, their brains start working. After a while he abandoned this one as well as being obstructively cynical.


You seem to have signed up for a lot of reading challenges, how do you find the time to juggle them all?

I'm not sure that I actually am juggling them all. Right now, it feels more like I've thrown them all up into the air and I'm waiting to see where they fall. So far that seems to be working for me; then again, deadlines are approaching faster than I thought.

What's your favorite thing about blogging?

Comments from other people. Seriously, I love reading other people's comments on my blog, and I love responding to those comments.

Least favorite?

A lack of comments from other people. It's an ego thing I'm sure, but I always want more comments, and I feel guilty for wanting more.

Comments are always great. Did you ever get a particularly memorable comment?

I posted about my great-great-grandfather's book of poetry for a Weekly Geek, and someone called PaulaG said: This may seem odd but this evening 06/24/09 my Dad gave me a copy of the book Homespun that was given to him and my Mom on their wedding day this was July 11 1953. The inscription reads:To Carol and Eugene with love and good wishes for your future health and welfare. ~Aunt Etta and Uncle Gordon I haven't been able to get ahold of her since, but it's obvious we are somehow related. I wish I could find her!

Do you have any advice for book bloggers just starting out? Anything you wish you had known before you started blogging?

It's difficult for me to answer this question because I feel like I still have so much to learn. I just fell into book blogging, and it has been a fun trip discovering the community bits at a time with no rhyme or reason. My personality lends itself to the process of discovery: I enjoy the mystery of not knowing exactly what's going on and the surprise when you figure it out. The best piece of advice I have is to go out there and read other people's book blogs. Not only will it give you great ideas for your own blog, you will also meet some amazing people.

Were you involved in BBAW last year? What are you looking forward to about it this year?

This is my first year in the book blogging community, so I didn't even know about BBAW last year. Still, I am looking forward to it. Mainly I'm excited about being introduced to even more book blogs. I love reading what others have to say about books and talking with others about what they read.

Finally, tell us one thing about your blog you really want people to know!

eclectic / eccentric is always evolving, and if you have any ideas, want to guest post, or just want to talk, please let me know.

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Now you know a little about about Trisha! Please give her a visit at Eclectic/Eccentric to get to know her even better.

14 comments :

  1. I love Trisha's blog too! And once again we're in complete agreement about Douglas Adams :D

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  2. Great interview! And I absolutely agree - comments are LOVE. :)

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  3. Thanks for the love guys. We really should have a group blog that does nothing but gush love for Douglas Adams. :)

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  4. I'm going to have to add Hitchhiker to my reading list since you all love it.

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  5. I must check out her blog. As you know, I love eccentrics. ;) Great interview!

    --Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

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  6. Great interview - I'm going to check her out and leave her a comment. ;)

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  7. I love the Hitchhiker series too and I adore her honesty about comments :) Off to check out her blog now...

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  8. what a story about the commenter - hope you can find her one day. have you tried asking about her at the Weekly Geeks blog?

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  9. Trisha's blog is a new favorite! It's a good thing she likes comments, because I feel like I'm stalking her.

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  10. I knew a guy in high school whose favorite book was Hitchhiker's. He was always referencing it in conversations and I had no idea what he was talking about.

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  11. Trisha's process for book selection sounds just like mine. Outside of reviews I'm scheduled to make when I dive into the old TBR for pleasure it's a total crap shoot.

    Also like Trisha I always keep a pen and paper handy as I'm reading through blogs so that I can write down books I want to add to my list.

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  12. Thank you for the introduction to Trisha, Chris! I was just over at her blog reading her interview with you. :-)

    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is so much fun. My husband drew me into science fiction with that series. Douglas Adams is one of my husband's favorite authors.

    Thanks for the great interview!

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