I came across one such blog that I was very impressed with. A Bookworm Belle is a fairly new blog, but you wouldn't be able to tell from the content. She created (among other awesome things) a four part series on how to encourage young readers. I don't have any kids yet, but I am for sure looking forward to reading to them when I do. A Bookworm Belle's advice really helped me think on some things that I hadn't thought about before and I will for sure be looking back on it when the time comes to read to my own "Young'n". Here's a link to the series:
Part 1 : the Do's
Part 2: the Dont's
Part 3: A Guide to Storytime
Part 4: Book Recommendations
And feeling that it would simply be inadequate to point you to these posts I reached out to A Bookworm Belle for an interview and she graciously obliged. I had a lot of fun coming up with questions and she gave some really good answers, so without further ado, Anya from A Bookworm Belle!
- So Anya, when did you start blogging and how did you come up with your blog name? - I started A Bookworm Belle recently, in June of this year. I wish I had started it much earlier! The name comes from my favorite Disney princess, Belle of "Beauty and the Beast". She was a bookworm like me, and I've always identified with her and her love of reading.
- What are some of your earliest bookish related memories? - I remember staying up late past my bedtime as a kid, reading Goosebumps books and Nancy Drew mysteries under my blanket with a flashlight. I pretty much still do that, I just read Stephen King instead of R.L. Stine. I also recall checking out Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret from my library when I was 12, and attempting the bust-increasing exercises detailed in the book. They seem to have worked, though not as quickly as I had hoped for when I was doing them.
- Do you re-read books a lot or do you mostly read a lot of books just once? - Most books I end up reading once, though MANY books are on my re-read list. I feel like many of the classics I hated as a teenager deserve a second chance through the eyes of adulthood.
- What advice would you have for people who have just started blogging or would want to start? - Stop putting it off and get started! I waited a YEAR before finally putting my plan into action, and I wish I had started earlier.
- What kind of books do you mostly read and review? - Hmmm, that's a tough question to answer. Technically, it's supposed to be classics. I'm attempting to read as many books from the 1001 Books To Read Before You Die list (which is mostly made up of classics) as I can and blog about my experiences. But I also read new releases, graphic novels, children's books with my son, and nonfiction. My to-read list is ever-changing, and the blog so far reflects that.
- What are some of your most anticipated reads for this fall? - Fevre Dream, by George R.R. Martin, and The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and The Real Count of Monte Cristo, by Tom Reiss. I've been wanting to read some G.R.R.M. ever since I got hooked on the Game of Thrones TV show, but didn't want to invest myself in yet ANOTHER epic series to read. A friend told me about Fevre Dream, and I added it to the to-read list as soon as I read "vampires on riverboats" in the reviews. The Black Count is the true story of Alexander Dumas's father, a man who rose above his station in Napoleonic-era France, despite being black. Monte Cristo is my favorite book ever, so this will be a real treat for me!
- What are some of your favorites that you've already read this year? 11/22/63, by Stephen King. He really outdid himself with that book, and I was sad to have finished it. Anyone who thinks his work went downhill after The Stand will re-think their position after reading 11/22/63.
- Do you have any quirky reading habits? I refuse to buy a book if it has the movie adaption cover! It cheapens the book, don't you think? I also have this thing where I can't stop reading a book just anywhere. If I have to stop reading and take a break, I have to get to the end of the chapter first. It bothers me to stop willy-nilly mid-paragraph!
- Do you do Audio books, e-books, or just the printed word? Mostly the printed word, but I do love my Kindle. It's convenient to be able to read a huge book about the French Revolution without having to carry a giant hardcover around. If I had to choose, though, gimmie a good ol' paperback any day. Old book smell is a musty perfume that I'll always adore, and no gadget could replace that.
- What inspired you to write/share the post about encouraging young readers? - My friends! I have had a few friends ask me how I got my 4-year-old son to love books, and what they can do to teach their preschooler to read independently. The answers are so simple that I thought I'd share them on my blog, so that anyone could channel that innate curiosity in their child into a lifelong skill and passion. I made the whole thing into a 4-part series in which I talked about what worked and didn't work with my child. how to make the most of storytime, and gave a list of recommended books.
Thanks so much for being so thoughtful with your blog posts Anya, and for sharing a little bit about yourself today!
You all should go and check out A Bookworm Belle, you'll be glad you did!