Behind the Blog: Beth aka BooksNest

Behind the Blog: Beth aka BooksNest

Behind the Blog is a regular feature where you and I get to know the person behind the blog a little better!

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This months blogger is Beth who blogs over at BooksNest! I’m really happy to have Beth on the blog and am looking forward to seeing her answers to the questions I asked her. I hope you’ll all enjoy getting to know Beth through these questions too!

Hi! Introduce yourself – what’s your name? Where are you from?

Hi, my name is Beth and I’m from the South of England. I’ve recently moved to Wiltshire, but I’m still clinging onto my Berkshire routes!

Give us one fun fact about you!

As of recently I think I actually have an answer for this one, I have met David Attenborough and he was lovely!

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When did you become a reader?

I have always been a reader. My mum read to me as a little kid and when I was able to read myself, I took over. I remember I used to read past my bedtime and I was once in such a rush to pretend I was asleep that I bent the cover of my Jaqueline Wilson book.

What made you decide to start a blog and stick with it?

I’ve attempted a lot of blogs in my lifetime and never known what niche to write about. I was inspired by people on Bookstagram to look write about books as my niche. When I started my book blog it felt right and like the content would come easily to me. I think it was also a way to fill the gap of writing that university left for me.

How would you describe your blog in 4 words?

Books, Happiness, Yellow, Advice.

Which of your posts are you most proud of or one that you wish had gotten a little more love?

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I recently wrote a post called ‘Are we being too easily influenced by social media?’ that I thought would have got a bit more love. I wrote it in more of an easy format so it took me quite a while!

What tips would you give to someone looking to start a book blog?

Write about what you love, never force yourself to write about something that doesn’t make you feel passionate. If you can, create some sort of schedule to help you get into the routine of posting. I’d also say work on the appearance and branding of your blog now, it’s easier to sort this out when you’re just starting off than when you have a lot of posts to try and change to fit your branding.

Processed with VSCO with m5 presetWhat’s your favourite book/series?

This is such a hard one, I tend to pick a favourite book based on what I’ve been liking at the moment.

Which for me has been the Strange the Dreamer series by Laini Taylor and V.E. Schwab’s Villains series, so I’ll go with those ones!

Give us a book recommendation based on what you’ve read recently.

As it’s coming up to Halloween, I would recommend City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab. A supernatural book without any of the scary parts! I loved this one and read it in one sitting, it was fantastic.

Outside of reading and blogging, what do you do in your spare time?

There’s things to do other than reading or blogging??

My boyfriend and I have National Trust passes so we like to explore new places around us. I also like to draw if inspiration takes me. And I have a fluffy bear/dog that I like to take out on walks too.

Are there any blogs that you’d recommend?

I love Connie Reads, Pippa over at The Little Book Owl and Cat’s blog, Tackfiction.

Thank you, Beth, for participating in Behind the Blog for October! It’s been really interesting to read your answers and I’m so jealous that you met David Attenborough!

You can find Beth over on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Behind the Blog: Lauren aka FictionTea

Behind the Blog is a regular feature where you and I can get to know the person behind the blog a little better! For the month of September (also our guest bloggers birthday month), I got in contact with Lauren of FictionTea! You may know her from her super famous Instagram where she posts gorgeous pictures. I’ve known Lauren for quite a while now, meeting her at YALC 2017 and again at 2018, and she is absolutely lovely. If you haven’t checked out her blog before, then what’re you waiting for?

Hi! Introduce yourself – what’s your name? Where are you from?

Hello! Thank you so much for having me on your blog! I’m Lauren, although you may know me as FictionTea in the book blogger-verse. I reside in Glasgow, Scotland and have lived here my whole life.

Give us one fun fact about you!

I don’t know if this counts as a fact about me, but I’ve met Billy Boyd (Pippin from LotR) in my local grocery shopping store. But not only once, twice. I’ve met him there twice as he only used to live ten minutes from me, but I believe he lives on the other side of the city now. Oh well!

When did you become a reader?

I became a reader from the moment I could hold a book really. In my family baby videos, you can often see me running around in a diaper holding a book. However, my love for reading really started when I was around 6 or 7 when I began reading Jaqueline Wilson books and a book series called My Secret Unicorn by Linda Chapman. I was a reader from then on and I need to thank my Gran who always motivated me to keep reading whenever possible. She’s one of the reasons I’m still a reader today.

What made you decide to start a blog and stick with it?

Back in 2016, I really got tired of the limited word count on Instagram, which is where I usually do my reviews. I always had more to say and I thought starting a book blog would be the perfect way to do that. I will admit, I struggled for a while getting into the habit of posting, but once I did, it became a very fun and rewarding experience.

How would you describe your blog in 4 words?

Bookish, Informative, Anime and Travel.

Which of your posts are you most proud of or one that you wish had gotten a little more love?

Probably my posts based around YALC; My Guide to YALC, YALC 2018 Review, YALC Haul, etc. I work hard on those posts and cram as much useful information as I can into them without being too overwhelming. I really love knowing if the information I’ve gathered has helped readers in any way to prepare them for the event.

What tips would you give to someone looking to start a book blog?

From my experience, the first thing I’d say is, make sure you are determined and motivated to do this, or passionate about it. When I first started, I had no idea how hard blogging would be. I enjoyed it, but it takes a lot of time and effort and you need to be prepared for that, otherwise it will stop being fun very fast.

I’d also say to make sure you have a list of posts that you really want to do. I find having a list of posts that I’m excited to write really helps me stay on track.

What’s your favourite book/series?

If you know me at all, you know my favourite book series is The Bone Season series by Samantha Shannon. I’ve often been referred to as ‘Bone Season girl’ which, as you can imagine, I was thrilled about. I couldn’t possibly choose which book is my favourite in this series, because I love them all the most, but for different reasons.

Samantha Shannon also dubbed me as the number one fan, so…that made my life.

Give us a book recommendation based on what you’ve read recently.

Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. Read it now, have tissues at the ready and prepare to be pulled into the incredible adventure and life story of Achilles and Patroclus. They are two friends, who grow to have feelings for each other as the battle of Troy fast approaches.

If you love Greek mythology at all, or if you’ve just merely been curious about this book. Read it immediately.

Outside of reading and blogging, what do you do in your spare time?

I do quite a lot of freelance Graphic Design work. I studied Product Design in College and University and then went onto study Graphic Design in College again afterward so design is a big part of my life and I do it every day, whether it’s designing a bookmark or an item for a Fairyloot box (Reading Journal, Rune Scarf, etc).

Are there any blogs that you’d recommend?

Blogs I’ve been loving recently are; BooksNest (Beth), ReadingThroughInfinity (Kate), HollieBlog (Hollie), NorthernPlunder (Lauren), and AmyJaneAlice (Amy).

Of course, there are many more I enjoy, like this one!

Behind the Blog: Layla aka Readable Life

Behind the Blog is a regular feature where you and I can get to know the person behind the blog a little better!

For August, this months blogger is Layla from Readable Life! I’ve been following Layla on twitter for a little while now and have been reading through her blog posts for about the same amount of time. I met Layla for the first time at YALC this year though and she is super lovely. So I thought that I would invite her to be our guest for this months post! I hope we can all get to know our lovely blogger of the month a bit better!

Hi! Introduce yourself – what’s your name? Where are you from?

Hello! I’m Layla, and I’m a 25 year old blogger from London, United Kingdom!

Give us one fun fact about you!

Fun fact: I taught myself to draw when I was a teenager.

When did you become a reader?

I’ve always been a reader from a very early age, but apart from the obvious answer of Harry Potter, I became a reader from the age of ten when I started reading the Series of Unfortunate Events books. They were books that truly hooked me and I still love them to this day.

What made you decide to start a blog and stick with it?

Blogging was something I ummed and ahhed with for a while. My bestie spurred me on to making a blog to write about book related thoughts and ideas last year, but what kept me going as a blogger was being able to be free with my thoughts on a book. It’s quite thrilling to write a whole long page just dedicated to what I thought about a book.

How would you describe your blog in 4 words?

Thoughtful, Reviews, Passionate, Excitable.

Which of your posts are you most proud of or one that you wish had gotten a little more love?

I am most proud of my Those Beloved Books posts, where I’ll take a post to just entirely praise a series of books that have either changed me or have made me realise how much I truly love reading. So far I’ve covered Harry Potter and Six of Crows!

What tips would you give to someone looking to start a book blog?

Be yourself! Don’t try to copy other bloggers or pretend to be someone you’re not. If you’re true to yourself and enjoy what you blog about, then your blog will thrive.

What’s your favourite book/series?

Six of Crows duology!

Give us a book recommendation based on what you’ve read recently.

I’ve just finished reading The Darkest Minds so would happily recommend that! It’s a dystopian novel about a disease that’s wiping out kids, but the survivors are left with powers like telekinesis or mind control. It’s really gritty and fast paced too!

Outside of reading and blogging, what do you do in your spare time?

I love video games so I do end up spending a lot of time in front of a console! There are stories to be found in games as well as books which is why I love them so much. I also work in a bookshop, so about 80% of my life is spent around books!

Are there any blogs that you’d recommend?

Here are some of my absolute favourite blogs!

Kate at Reading Through Infinity
Hollie at HollieBlog
Helen at Watching Sparks
Charlotte at Charlotte, Somewhere

A huge thank you goes out to Layla for coming onto the blog and answering my questions. It was lovely to get to know Layla a bit more and I hope you feel as if you’ve got to know our August Behind the Blog blogger better! Stay tuned for another month of Behind the Blog at the end of September!

Behind the Blog: Hollie aka Hollie Blog

Behind the Blog is a new monthly feature where you and I can get to know the person behind the blog a little better! For the month of July, I thought I would enlist Hollie to be our guest. I met Hollie last year at YALC and she is a gem of a person. I really enjoy reading her posts and I hope once you’ve got to know her via this post, you’ll check out her blog too!

Displaying 4akgek5h.jpgHi! Introduce yourself – what’s your name? Where are you from?

Hey! I’m Hollie, I’m 25 and live in Wiltshire. I blog about books and travel at hollieblog.com and am a big reader of sci-fi and fantasy books!

Give us one fun fact about you!

I am a very nostalgic person. I love listening to music and watching films/shows that I used to love when I was younger. I’ve also visited places I used to live and I always get emotional. I just love the feeling of reminiscing that I’ll actively watch ‘Do They Know 2000’s Disney Channel Shows?’ videos on Youtube and listen to emo/punk music from 2004.

When did you become a reader?

I’ve loved reading ever since I was a kid and that continued through my teenage years with Twilight and a late introduction to Harry Potter. I stopped during uni because I just found I had no time, but since graduating my love of reading has returned with full force!

What made you decide to start a blog and stick with it?

As part of my uni course we gained credits for building an online ‘writer’ presence. So I created a Twitter and Tumblr blog to show case my writing. I found I didn’t like publishing my writing that way, and so instead started using Tumblr to post reviews and Twitter to interact with more readers. My blog has since evolved from Tumblr to WordPress to now self-hosted!

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How would you describe your blog in 4 words?

Really. Trying. My. Best.

Which of your posts are you most proud of or one that you wish had gotten a little more love?

I love my discussion posts, especially posts that discuss ‘current affairs’ in the book community. Those posts end up with the most comments either agreeing or disagreeing with me. It’s nice to talk to everyone about what they think!

What tips would you give to someone looking to start a book blog?

Start at the most basic level. I often looked at professional and popular blogs and wanted mine to look and feel just like theirs, but ultimately blogging is a bit of fun, and that should always come first. Use platforms that are easy and provide a lot of support, such as blogger, WordPress.com, and Tumblr. Don’t start with the challenging technical stuff otherwise it won’t seem like a hobby but more like a chore.

Displaying IMG_20180328_210002_679.jpgWhat’s your favourite book/series?

This is extremely hard! But one of my favourite series is The Conqueror’s Trilogy by Kristen White. It’s a historical retelling of Vlad The Impaler, re-imagined as a woman. I’m not usually a fan of historical fiction, but this felt like a fantasy (minus any magic!) with an anti-heroine and lots of LGBTQ+ and Muslim rep!

Give us a book recommendation based on what you’ve read recently.

I recently read Running With Lions by Julian Winters, which is a LGBTQ+ sports romance, and it was so lovely! I’d been reading back to back high fantasy, so it was great to get into a summery contemporary during this British heatwave. 

Outside of reading and blogging, what do you do in your spare time?

Ummm….??? Ok, I do other things, I promise! I’m learning to drive at the moment, that takes up a lot of time. But I also love photography, I take as many photos as possible when I go on little city trips throughout the year! I also watch a lot of Youtube and Netflix. Love a bit of Brooklyn 99 before bed.

Are there any blogs that you’d recommend? 

I follow a lot of blogs, but the ones that I end up reading every single time they post are Alice from Most Ardently Alice, Kate from Reading Through Infinity, and Silvia from Silvia Reads Books!

Behind the Blog: Kate aka Reading Through Infinity

Behind the Blog is a new monthly feature where you and I can get to know the person behind the blog a little better! For June, I have invited Kate from Reading Through Infinity to answer some questions so that we can get to know her more! Kate is a dear friend and such a sweet person so with that, I decided to pick on her to be one of my first guest posters.

Hi! Introduce yourself – what’s your name? Where are you from?

I’m Kate and I blog over at Reading Through Infinity. I’m from Newcastle originally, but I now live in Shropshire.

Give us a fun fact about yourself!

I lived in Japan for three months, where I volunteered at a Peace House and spent my free time exploring Kansai.

When did you become a reader?

From the time I learned to read, at about 4, I was a reader. I discovered new books and new worlds and there was definitely no going back.

What made you decide to start a blog and stick with it?

Originally, my blog started off as a film blog when I was a TV and film editor for my university newspaper, but I quickly realised that reviewing films didn’t excite me as much as reviewing books did, so I switched to that instead. And I loved it. Reviewing books allowed me to translate all my internal thoughts about a book onto coherent ideas on a page. Through blogging, I had found a platform where I could discuss books freely with others, share joy (or criticism) for novels, and give or receive recommendations. It was, and still is, bliss.

How would you describe your blog in 4 words?

Books, travel, Japan, TEA.

Which of your posts are you most proud of or one that you wish had gotten a little more love?

I was really happy with one of my recent posts about Why I Don’t DNF Books as I finally reasoned out my oddball thoughts about DNFing and it received quite a few comments from other bloggers saying they felt the same!

What tips would you give to someone looking to start a book blog?

Interact with other bloggers as much as possible, as they’ll become your peers and friends and you’ll gain so much inspiration from them. Try not to think about stats at first, and just write what you enjoy. If you’re writing posts you enjoy then you’ll want to keep doing it, and you’ll be able to grow your audience from there. I’d also say that social media and use of photos is important. A post that’s one long block of text isn’t going to appeal to your readers as much as a post that’s interspersed with photos of your books, and once you’ve posted something always shout about it on social media so that more people can find it.

What’s your favourite book/series?

A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Scwab. I adore this series and I can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s an adult fantasy trilogy about, Kell, an antari who can travel between four different Londons: Red, White, Grey, and Black. But when an evil starts leaking from Black London into the others, it could threaten the balance of magic and everyone Kell cares for.

Give us a book recommendation based on what you’ve read recently.

I’ve been reading lots of LGBTQIA+ books for pride month, so I’d recommend Autoboyography by Christina Lauren, and Superior by Jessica Lack. Both are m/m romance stories, but where one is a coming-of-age story of religion and queer identities, the other is a short-but-sweet tale of a superhero’s intern and a supervillain’s intern who begin to fall in love.

Outside of reading and blogging, what do you do in your spare time?

I do A LOT of sport. I go to a spin class, Zumba, a boxing class, and two circuit classes a week, and also go running in any free time. (I’m sorry, I just love sport, OK?) I’m also learning Japanese, and I bake and write for Stay Bookish Zine and MaximumPop! Books in my spare time. I used to play tennis and piano too, but a girl only has time for so much (sadly).

Are there any blogs that you’d recommend?

You’re going to make me CHOOSE? I stan so many blogs, but a few of my favourites are:

Behind the Blog

I’ve been wanting to do a feature like this for some time. Other than book reviews and unboxings, I wanted a new feature to add to my blog! Therefore, I’ve come up with Behind the Blog! I thought it would be a great way to get to know the people behind the blogs in the book community.

I thought I’d start off my little feature by telling you a little more about the blogger behind Hung Up On Books, which is me!

Tell us a little about you.

I’m Vicky and I’m from the West Midlands, England. I’m a History graduate and am a trainee accountant, so a little different! I’d love to become a published author one day, but you must actually write to even have a shot!

Give us one fun fact about you!

I have the same first and middle name as Victoria Schwab!

When did you become a reader?

My reading life has been very up and down. I have always loved reading and used to devour the Rainbow Magic books when I was younger. I drifted off a little in high school and college but found my love of reading again back in 2014. You can find out more about my reading story here!

What made you decide to start a blog and stick with it?

I actually started a blog in 2014 when I picked up reading again. I managed to keep up with it for about 6 months then posted occasionally once I discovered the world of bookstagram. I started this blog in March 2013. I noticed some bookstagrammers had blogs and so I decided to give it another go! I can’t say that my posting record has been the best, but it’s something I’m really trying to work hard on. I really love the blogging and book community and having this place to talk about books and book related things so that really encourages me to carry on!

How would you describe your blog in 4 words?

Fun, books, events, travel

Which of your posts are you most proud of or one that you wish had gotten a little more love?

One of the posts I’m most proud of is my post on Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco. I was lucky enough to receive an early copy of it which meant that I could finally get a little creative within my blog posts. It’s something that I’ve only done once, but I’d definitely like to add a little more to my posts in future!

What tips would you give to someone looking to start a book blog?

Don’t take it super seriously! When you start out, you may take it quite seriously and worry about followers and views, but try not too! If you’re having fun and posting about what you love, the rest will take care of itself! Also, don’t be scared to mix it up! Your blog is yours so post whatever you want! This blog may primarily be a book blog, but it’s not exclusively for books. I’ve also posted about some of my travels!

What’s your favourite book/series?

This is really difficult and even though I set this question for myself, I’m still finding it hard to answer it! My favourite series is Harry Potter. It’s one I’ve read countless times. I have quite a few books that I absolutely love but the one I will mention is Anna and the French Kiss because that is the book that sparked my love of books again.

Give us a book recommendation based on what you’ve read recently.

I finished The Smoke Thieves in April and was pleasantly surprised by it. My favourite read of 2018 so far is definitely Children of Blood and Bone though!

Outside of reading and blogging, what do you do in your spare time?

When I’m not reading or blogging, I’m either at work, studying or hanging with my boyfriend/family/friends. At this moment in time, I’m also discussing my next trip with my boyfriend. We’re trying to decide where to travel next!

Are there any blogs that you’d recommend? 

There are so many that I love and follow so I’ll just list 5!

readingthroughinfinity.com

hollieblog.com

ishouldreadthat.com

thereadinghijabsy.co.uk

afrolicthroughfiction.com

And that’s a wrap! Stay tuned for the last weekend of June for my first guest blog post!