Ahhh, my favorite part of Book Blogger Appreciation Week is the interview swap. I always come across such interesting blogs and love the personality that comes across in interviews. This year, we completely lucked out and got Rachelia of Bookish Comforts who is a completely fabulous, intelligent, and wonderful person with good taste in books and tv.
1. If you had to describe Bookish Comforts in a sentence, how would you describe your blog?
Bookish Comforts is a an eclectic little place where everyone is encouraged to be themselves and reconnect with one of the greatest pleasures in life – reading!
2. You are stuck on a desert island and can only bring 10 books with you, no kindles or ereaders allowed, what books are with you?
Ahh, such a tough question! Although, I guess it’s good that I can only bring physical books, since they don’t need to be charged like e-readers. After much consideration, these are the 10 books I’d want to have with me to read (in no particular order):
- Major cop-out but some sort of survival guide! Otherwise I would NOT survive, haha!
- The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (If I am on a deserted island, well no one can see me ugly cry at least!)
- Riding in Cars with Boys by Beverly Donofrio (I’m sure I’ll need a laugh and this book is hilarious)
- In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner (This book is absolutely beautiful and horrific, however, I’d draw upon the resiliency of the main character and the author)
- A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett (I LOVE this story. Plain and simple).
- Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (SO good! I’d draw upon the tremendous courage that these two fictional women displayed).
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K Rowling (It’s awesome, it’s big, and it will remind me of the rest of the books in this amazing series).
- Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2) by Suzanne Collins (Might be morbid because I’m on an island with no way off of it, but Catching Fire is full of excitement, and who knows, it may teach me something useful for survival!)
- This picture book that my parents had customized when I was a kid. It has me participating in a local parade with the circus. I just love it and it would remind me of my loved ones back home.
- Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (To keep my spirits up!)
3. Right now you are running The Sunnydale Project. Can you describe your love of Buffy The Vampire Slayer and what prompted this project?
Ahh, you opened a dangerous floodgate here, April! I could go on and on and ON about my love for Buffy – in fact, I just wrote a whole about it last week, haha. But what I love about the show is that it was fun, hilarious, had great writing, and because a lot of the monsters are metaphors for the challenges and horrors of young adulthood, it is also super relatable. As you can tell, I’m very enthusiastic (*ahem* obsessed) with the show, and I wanted to find someway to share my love of it with others. I also discovered that two bloggers whom I interact with regularly on Twitter and have come to consider my friends, Patricia from Patricia’s Particularity and Karen from Teen Librarian’s Toolbox, loved the show too, and well, we just sort of jumped head first into planning this crazy whirlwind 2 month long Buffy appreciation event that we are calling The Sunnydale Project! It has been a lot of work, but it has also been amazing to connect with other fans and find ways to bring together my passion for Buffy and reading.
4. How do you manage to balance book blogging and college? Do you have any time management tips for busy bloggers?
I have an anxiety problem which can lead to procrastination, so maybe I’m not the best person to answer this, haha? But I don’t try and push myself to have content on my blog all the time, and I make sure that I am still reading to enjoy books – otherwise you are just adding to your stress, and as college/university students we definitely don’t need more of it! I do try and plan a few reviews out and schedule them, and it’s always good to have a few “back up” reviews that you can just post if you don’t have time to read a book and write up a review. Also, I think it is important to know when you need to step away from your blog and go on a bit of a hiatus – I did this last April as I had about 100 pages of essays due in 2 weeks, so I took a month off from my blog, and all social media (I did a randomly generated password, and had my mom change all my accounts and hide the password until I was done all my assignments)! It was hard at first, but I became SO much more productive and it was actually quite refreshing after awhile.
5. What books are you an evangelist for? Can you tell us a little bit about them?
Well, there are the more popular books that I am an evangelist for, such as Harry Potter, The Fault in Our Stars, and Born Wicked but I wouldn’t be adding anything new to the discussions surrounding those books. However, some older or lesser known or discussed books that I can gush all day about are:
The True Story of Hansel and Gretel by Louise Murphy – this is an amazing retelling of the fairytale that situates the story in the context of WWII Poland. It is beautiful, and heartbreaking, and just downright amazing! The connections and allusions the author makes (especially in the last few pages) will just blow your mind!
The Jelly Bean Crisisby Jolene Stockman – I recently just read this amazing indie book, and it is SO inspiring! It provides a really healthy look at high school, how to manage pressure and figure out what you want in life. Every high school, university and college student should be required to read it!
Vagina Monologues (V-Day Edition)by Eve Ensler – This one might seem a bit out of left field, but I’m a proud feminist and believe strongly in women having healthy relationships with their bodies. This book is a collection of the monologues that are performed all over the country (and world), and they are extremely powerful – they made me laugh, and cry and is a great reminder to appreciate all bodies. I think if everyone could read this book, or even just a few of the monologues (or see it performed!), it could change the way women are treated, help end rape culture, etc.
6. The book blogging community is pretty vast and sometimes the smaller blogs can slip through the cracks. What are a few hidden gem blogs that you follow?
I completely agree – and these are some of the smaller (which I considered – 1000 followers) hidden gem blogs that I follow and love to pieces:
Patricia’s Particularity – she is awesome, and I love her enthusiasm for YA Saves books, I have found so many great ones through her!
A Daydreamer’s Thoughts – Faye is a sweetheart and reviews both books and movies. She contributes a lot to the community by highlighting bloggers with her Book Blogger Spotlight, and I just love her reviews.
Books and Sensibility – Jess and Kat are so much fun, and that really comes through in their blog, from their design to their reviews!
A Tapestry of Words – Danya’s posts are always fascinating, like her YA Through the Ages series, or her Psychtember event that is going on right now where she talks about mental health in YA!
Sash and Em – these girls are the greatest, and although they probably don’t know it, they helped inspire me to start my own blog!
7. Finally, what is one piece of advice you’d like to give all book bloggers reading this interview?
Hmm, well going off your great post about how blogging isn’t a competition, I’d like to say that as book bloggers we sometimes take things too seriously, put too much pressure on ourselves, and get waaay too stressed out. It’s important to always be stepping back, reflecting on things, and making sure that blogging is still fun. That’s why most of us started, and we shouldn’t forget that!