It’s my absolute pleasure to interview Trina from An Old Flame as part of Book Blogger Appreciation Week. Her blog is awesome, I’ve just come across it today, but it definitely will not be the last time I stop on by!
|Trina’s rockin’ header! Look at the drink! Totally my kinda blog 🙂|
1. Please tell me a little bit about yourself and your blog.
Once upon a time, I was a high school English teacher at an inner city high school, then I had a son and couldn’t bring myself to go back to work full-time. Generally, I teach writing courses at a state university, but this year I am home with my boys. My husband has been deployed in Afghanistan and being home seemed to be the best thing. Getting back to reading for pleasure was my way of keeping my spirits up during this rather challenging time. The blog seemed to be born out of a need to communicate my experiences with reading, perhaps because I’m not currently teaching. It seemed a way to be a part of a literary community again, one that is available at weird hours. I don’t get a lot of free time these days.
2. I notice you post about your Kindle quite a bit! Do you prefer physical books or ebooks? Do you think ebooks will ever replace physical books? Why or why not?
My Kindle was a Valentine’s Day gift from my husband and it took me a long time to learn to like it. I now love it and use it daily. I recently upgraded to the Kindle 3 and sold the Kindle 2. For me, the Kindle is about convenience. I am mother to two little boys and my reading time and book browsing time are very limited. The Kindle makes life very easy for me. I used to be able to spend hours in bookstores with a cup of tea or coffee, reading through books, deciding what to buy. I can’t do that now. But I can download samples to my Kindle, download books directly to my Kindle. I can carry two books at once without having to lug around two actual books, the boys’ snacks, cups, diapers, etc. And when I’m reading a physical book, my youngest always steals my bookmark without fail. I never know what page I’m on.
I should hope that physical books, as well as libraries continue to exist. The Kindle and other ereaders are not inexpensive and are not options for many, many people. I think we will continue to need physical books and libraries. I also think the cognitive processes for using digital books are different and I think there are times when we need physical books. For instance, when I do research I often need to have more than one book open and visible at a time. I don’t know, there may be workarounds, but I don’t know what they are. I like for my children to be surrounded by physical books, but I do like ebooks for myself.
3. There are a myriad of issues in the publishing industry. Which issue are you the most passionate about? Why?
I am passionate about many issues. One of them is plethora of books that are being published that seem to appeal to little girls, but the scarcity of similar books for young boys. When we go to the bookstore for my son, I worry that we are going to run out of choices on his reading level. I don’t know if there’s an assumption that the consumers are little girls or if the more consumers are little girls because there are not that many great books for little boys. So, there’s that. Then there’s the segregation of literature in the bookstore. It has always perplexed me and after doing a bit of research, I found out that others are perplexed too, including Pulitzer Prize winning author, Alice Walker. It marginalizes literature by writers of color and gay/lesbian writers, etc. and I don’t know why the system even exists. People assume there is an African American literature section in the bookstore to make it easier for African American to find the books they want to read. Really? I don’t know. Maybe. But a lot of people do not then go to that section, or the GLBT section of the bookstore.
4. If you could have dinner with any author living or dead and discuss any book with said author at the dinner — who would it be and what book would you discuss?
Right now, Kathryn Stockett. I want to really talk to her about her book ,The Help. There are some issues about it that bug me. There are some issues about her handling of the topic that bug me. She and I need to have a serious talk. I don’t know how pleasant it will be, but I really want to understand her true intentions.
5. How do you find time to read during a busy day?
Oh my. It isn’t easy. These days I sometimes read when my little one is napping and my older one is at school or in some sort of a lesson (providing the little one is napping. Sometimes I try to get up super early (5:30 a.m.), but lately the little one is on to me and he’s getting up too
6. Quick! You are trapped on a desert island and are only allowed to bring 5 books, 3 movies, and 1 TV show. What do you bring?
The Book Thief (I’m reading it for my book club and need to finish it. It’s urgent and I don’t have much time left.)
Mama Day by Gloria Naylor – It is one of my favorite books of all time.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – I really want to read this.
Some sort of great text on comparative religion – I think that would be thought provoking for me.
Shakespeare’s plays bound in a collection. I have always loved him and it would keep me busy.
7. What is your favorite type of cocktail?
Ah. Always the cosmo made with very good vodka. I haven’t had a drink in eight years because of babies, nursing, and mothering, but I will again and it will be a cosmo.
8. Recommend a great under the radar book that you think needs more attention.
One? I can’t. Most books by marginalized readers fail to get the attention they deserve. Books by “minority” authors of various races, sexual orientation, etc. do not reach audience that mainstream books by White/straight authors seem to reach. I love Gloria Naylor, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Sherman Alexie, Sonia Sanchez, Audrey Lorde, but there are so, so many more.
9. What was your favorite childhood book? Have you read this book with/to your children? Do you plan to?
Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh. I haven’t yet. I recently reread it. My oldest is seven. He’ll probably be up to it in a year or so. I don’t know if there’s enough “action” for him, as that’s what currently interests him, but maybe!