Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Armchair BEA: Blogger Interview Fun!

I had the very great privilege of interviewing Laura of Tattooed Books.  It was so fun to peruse her blog and see what she has to say about books.  But, it was even more fun to ask her some questions and get to know her more.  So, here we go!

Tattooed Books Button

Tell us a bit about yourself, including when and why you started blogging about books and about your librarian training.

My real name is Laura, but my handle is Loreleimarsh. I started Tattooed Books in July of 2009 because I needed a creative outlet for my bookish opinions. I have kept a detailed journal with book reviews & ratings for years, but my blog allowed me to share them with more people than just those fortunate enough to know me in real life.

Interestingly enough, I am not currently in school to become a librarian. For those who don’t know, in order to truly be a “librarian” you must obtain a Masters in Library Science (or some variation thereof). Honestly, I just love libraries! I was raised on books & started working in my high school library my junior year. I have worked in libraries ever since (9 years total). Though I must say that the best & most important training one can receive in this field is taught hands-on by those who have a passion for it.

I sure wish I'd kept a detailed record of what I'd read.  I kept nothing but my brain, which has proven iffy at best.  And, as one who did do the official "training" I completely agree that hands-on is twice as important as by the book.

What do you think is the best part of working at a library? What is the worst part?

The best part is customer interaction. Whether I am doing a teen program or helping people find the book they’re itching to read, the patrons are what make it great.

The worst part is definitely the bureaucracy. I work in a county-run (read funded by taxes) library & a lot of very important decisions are being made by higher-up folks who have forgotten what it is like to work with the public.

How do you balance your time in order to contribute to your blog, enjoy time with family and friends, and find time for reading? Do you have any tips for those of us who still struggle to find this balance?

Honestly, I am the worst person to ask! :D My balance waxes & wanes like the moon. I read when I can, which is mostly on breaks at work & in the evening at home. While I am married, due to the craptastic economy, my husband has been living 800 miles away for the last year. He really keeps me balanced & helps me make the most of my time. I’ve been in a bit of a funk, so I’ve been taking time off every few weeks & I think that is the best thing to do. Blogs are not a chore; they are a release & if it starts to feel like a burden, then step away. That has been the absolute best way to keep things in perspective.

I agree 100%!  Mind you, just because I know that I need a break, doesn't mean I take it :)  

What is one of your greatest passions in life, aside from reading?

French. My BA is in French & I even got to study abroad for a semester where I met some of the most amazing people ever! I love the sound, the culture, the food, & most certainly the people. J’adore le français!

I have fantastically fond memories of my short visit to Paris as a teenager.  And oh, the food!

Have you ever tried assigning ratings for books you review? Do you like reading reviews that use ratings of this kind?

I did that in my notebooks & I use it on Goodreads, but I just didn’t want the hassle of trying to make it work on a blog. If the blogger is serious about their ratings & uses them judiciously, then I enjoy them on blogs.

What's the strangest request you've received as a librarian?

If we could accept several boxes of pornography as a donation to the library. Talk about awkward.

Awesome!  That must have been quite interesting :)

If you didn't work at a library, what job would you like to do instead?

I think I would like to be a Human Resources educator (teaching classes like the 7 Habits & Effective Communication) or an Academic Adviser in a university.

If you could meet any three authors (dead or alive) for lunch, who would you choose and why?

Rachel Vincent, Mary Oliver, Corrie ten Boom

Rachel Vincent is an AMAZING writer. I love her characters & her realism she brings to an urban fantasy world. Mary Oliver is one of the most memorable poets I have ever had the fortune to read & I would just love to hear her read a few lines. Corrie ten Boom was the narrator of one of the most influential Holocaust memoirs I ever read. I still re-read The Hiding Place often.

What a diverse group!  Having just re-read The Hiding Place myself, I wholeheartedly agree that her story is just so uplifting and powerful.  I haven't had the chance to read the other two authors yet, but I'm intrigued now.

What is one talent you wish you had?

I wish I could just pick up my guitar (I have both an electric & an acoustic) & play without having to work so hard at it.

What YA books do you recommend to adults (family, friends, strangers) the most and how do you sell it to them, especially if they are reluctant to read "below" their age level?

The biggies that I recommend (depending on who I’m selling it to) are The Hunger Games, Delirium, & The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. I remind whoever I am recommending the book to that just because it’s in YA, doesn’t mean that there was any less thought put into the story development. There may be a bit of teenage angst & whining in many YA books, but looking past that (like I turn away from more graphic scenes in adult books) allows you to enjoy a plot that you would have otherwise missed. And the story is all that matters.

Well said!  Thanks very much for answering my questions, Laura.  You can find Laura (aka Loreleimarsh) at her blog Tattooed Books and on twitter

If you are interested in seeing my responses to a fun interview (and possibly a deep dark secret) visit Molly at The Bumbles Blog.  

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. Okay, that bit about the pornography donation was just hilarious!

    I loved reading Corrie ten Boom's Hiding Place when I was young and have been hooked on WWII memoirs ever since.

  2. These are some fun questions you came up with. And I agree with Alyce, the pornography story was funny.

  3. Meeting people has been one of my favorite parts of blogging. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    Girl Who Reads

  4. Thank you so much for the wonderful interview. You came up with some GREAT questions!

  5. Great interview!!!

    I interviewed Bob @ The Guilded Earlobe. Check it out? Thanks!

    Mickey @ imabookshark

  6. OH! I see that you checked out the interview Bob did with me! Glad you enjoyed the interview. We had a good time! Perhaps we should get in touch since we both live in Surprise, AZ! :o)

  7. Hello! I read your interview by Molly. As soon as I learned that you had just moved to AZ, I knew I had to stop by. I moved to Phoenix two years ago this June. :)


  8. Alyce, that book can really change people I think.

    Jenny, I'm just glad I've never had that experience :)

    Donna, amen to that! And there's always someone new to meet.

    loreleimarsh, thank you for making it such a fun interview!

    Mickey, I did see your interview and I was super excited to see such a near friend! I'd love to meet up sometime.

    jehara, ooh I'm so glad to meet more local bloggers here!


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