Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Book Blogger Appreciation Week: Interview Swap Day with Amy of Amy Reads

Today is Interview Swap Day! I signed up to interview Amy of Amy Reads, a terrific blog that focuses on GBLTQ lit, African lit and more. Amy hosts Nigerian Literature Fridays and has started a database of Nigerian literature, among other neat projects. She's also started a project called The Real Help, to "to read the books recommended by the Association of Black Women Historians in their statement on The Help". She's a fantastic blogger who's doing some important work to advocate for the literature she loves, and I feel privileged to have interviewed her!

1. What motivates you to keep blogging?  
The community - it's all about the community! (And the books!) Every time I read a good book, especially a lesser known work, I just want to share it with others. And I often find some point or other in a book that I really need to discuss. 

2. How do you organize your time to make room for blogging among the other demands of your life? 

Ah this is a hard one! Or embarrassing ;) The truth is that I don't have a lot of balance. I suppose that because I travel so much for work it is a little easier for me - I know no one in the city, usually, and have nothing to do in the evenings other than work or read or be online working on blogging things. When I am home I am finding it more difficult now that I live in a city that actually has fun things to do (Toronto) and am still working on finding a balance. I often read blogs before I start working, during lunch break, and then in the evenings I devote a few hours to reading / writing posts / commenting. I try to schedule ahead so that when other demands do come, I don't fall too behind.  

3. Why is blogging about books important to you?

I read a lot (shocking I know!) but I never had anyone in real life with whom to discuss books. When I stumbled across the book blogging world in 2008/2009 I was so happy and couldn't believe such a community existed. When I finally started my site in 2010 it was because I wanted to take part and discuss the books that I was reading - that often no one else was. It's important to me to be able to share my love for these books and actually get the chance to talk about them with others who are equally passionate about books. 

4. What genre do you like the best? What are your favorite reads of 2011 so far? What are you looking forward to?

I love non-fiction best, but also African literature and GLBTQ literature. I've read so many fantastic books that it's hard to pick. A couple would be Arrow of God by Home and Exile by Chinua Achebe, IN DEPENDENCE by Sarah Ladipo Manyika, The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander, Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor, and A Million Nightingales by Susan Straight. The books that I am most looking forward to for the rest of the year are those I'm reading for my various projects - be it The Real Help, Year of Feminist Classics, or my Nigerian Lit Fridays feature. 

5. Who influences your choices when it comes to reading, and who influences the way you think about books? 

So many bloggers influence what I read, and that is really where 90% of any influence comes from. I often pick up books just on a whim, but if there was anyone who convinced me to read someone I can guarantee it was a blogger! Some of these bloggers are listed in my BBAW post yesterday.
Thank you Amy, for taking the time to answer my questions! If you'd like to see her interviewing me, you can go to her blog today!