BBAW Day 2: Interviews!

Day 2 of BBAW is interview day!  I was partnered with Darren from Bart's Bookshelf. Together, we came up with a list of questions; here are his answers, and you'll have to head over to his blog to see mine. 

BBS: How did you get into book blogging? How long have you been doing it?
Bart’s Bookshelf, started when my original but just about defunct personal blog was in it’s last gasps of life. After a few years of really not reading as much as I would have liked, I decided it was time to do something about it and force myself to get back in to the habit of reading, and I was going to do this by setting myself some targets and reviewing what I read.
I also enjoyed (and still do) the work of tweaking and maintaining a blog, so this was a way of doing that.

BBS: Tell me a little bit about the name of your blog and how it came to be.
Longer ago than I care to admit, when I was still a teenager, I had a hairstyle that my friends decided looked like Bart Simpson’s (at least apart from the colour!) The nickname stuck the hair unfortunately did not!

BBS: What has been your favourite blogging moment?
I think it was when a bunch of us were reading The Chaos Walking books by Patrick Ness. At slightly different times, so for watching each other’s on reactions Twitter as we reached certain points (that part in book one for instance) in the stories was a lot of fun.

BBS: What is your favourite book shop in your area? What do you like about it?
I know I should pick an independent but I’m lucky enough to live in a town with some beautiful buildings and my local Waterstones (UK chain) is in one of the best.

BBS: If you could switch places for 24hrs with one character, who would you choose?
The toughest question on here,  and it's one of mine! What was I thinking? My immediate thoughts was someone in the Harry Potter series, but I wanted to picks someone a bit different... So then I though about Richard from Neverwhere, but really I think I'd do even worse than he does.
So in the end, I've picked Arthur Dent from The Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe, bit of space travel and a drink or three with Ford, sounds like a fun way to spend 24 hours.  (Jean says: Excellent choice.)

HF: Do we have any favorite books, or books read, in common?  (Looks like you might be a Gaiman fan, and have read Garner, for example, which I have too.  I read the Northern Lights by Pullman before I started the blog, but I have OPINIONS if anyone asks me)

After a quick glance down your review index, these are some of the ones that leapt to mind: Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, The Merlin Conspiracy by Dianna Wynne Jones, The Eyre Affair by Japser Fforde (love Thursday Next!), & The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson.

HF: Do you have a library around that you use?  What do you like about it?  What are your feelings about bookshops vs. libraries?
I do have a library, and I use it periodically, I don’t always read books straight away, so feel bad about keeping books checked out for a long time. And well the main library I used to use, always felt a little ‘cold’ I preferred spending time in bookshops.
It’s recently moved buildings though, and it’s a much more welcoming place.

HF: What are you preferred genres?  What kind of books do you read?
I’m much more a ‘character’ person than a ‘plot’ one so books that are strong on that, tend to make my favourites list. So, contemporary, fantasy, and YA books more that ‘literary’ masterpieces.

HF: Do you have a favorite author (or, presuming that that is too much like picking a favorite child, pick a favorite within a genre)?
Favourite author? That’s actually quite easy! Terry Pratchett. A constant presence on my bookshelves since I was a teenager. Don’t ask me to rank positions 2 to 10 though…

HF: Tell me a little bit about yourself, whatever you're willing to share online. 
Lets see. As well as having shelves bursting with books, I've also started building back up my vinyl collection (I go to a monthly record club). I'm also a terrible beer snob! ;)

HF: What book(s) are you reading now that you're looking forward to blogging about?
Well I’m not blogging about them in the traditional sense, but I am spending the month reading comics and graphic novels with some blogging friends and I’m really enjoying posting on my Instagram about them.

HF: I'm curious to know where you live, if you're willing to share.  We are currently planning a trip to the UK--my mom and I are taking my two kids.  In fact my mom ought to be here any moment, we have to plan out an itinerary.  So far it's "Stay in London a week and then rent a car for a week."
London is great, I love spending time down there when I can, but like most capital cities, it can be an expensive place. I live further north in the wonderful county of Yorkshire, you should definitely head up towards this end of the country if you can, and visit some of the villages in the Yorkshire Dales.


  1. Thanks for the great interview! it was fun! :)

  2. I don't know if I'd do well as Arthur Dent either. He kept getting in to so many bad spots. I totally agree with you about Pratchett though.

  3. Ha ha! I always wondered where the Bart came from. I really need to give Pratchett another chance. He didn't click when I tried him years ago.

  4. I too wondered where Bart came from! I just figured Darren had multiple personalities. ;) Fun interview!

  5. Great interview - I feel like I got to know you a lot, Darren.

    I'm with you on Waterstones being my favourite book shop. I feel bad saying that, given indie stores are so important these days, but I feel like the high street should be supported too - I'd be lost without Waterstones. Also, they do seem to be housed in such beautiful buildings. The one in Cardiff is pretty impressive.

    Reading With Jade

  6. I'd be terrified to switch places with Harry Potter OR Richard from Neverwhere OR Arthur Dent. I'd do absolutely appallingly as any of those characters, I'm sure -- much as I'd like to think I'd rise to the occasion. :p

    I've always wondered about the Bart's Bookshelf thing! And now I know!

  7. LOL, oh man. I love love love the origin story of the blog name. Bart hair? Epic.

  8. Love this - I'm a big fan of Thursday Next. I need to reread those books. Maybe just half a day as Harry or rather Hermione in my case or Ginny. I'm partial to Ginny.

  9. Like the two of you I really enjoyed the Rithmatist. Great interview and nice to know where the "Bart" comes from :) Jealous of both the living in the UK and the traveling there! Have fun planning!


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