Sunday, June 07, 2015

Caragh from Loaded Shelves (Celebrating British Bloggers)

Welcome to another edition of Celebrating British Bloggers in which I ask a bunch of awesome bloggers some difficult questions about books and blogging!

Today I'm very happy to have Caragh from Loaded Shelves take part in this feature. I have followed her blog for awhile now and I finally got the chance to meet her recently at an event hosted by Mira Ink. She's lovely and if you don't already follow her blog or her on Twitter, I really suggest that you do so!

Firstly, can you tell me something about yourself and your blog?

Hello! I'm Caragh from Loaded Shelves - though very few people actually call me that! I'm usually just known as Cazz. I’m 27 and like all of you, my life revolves around books!

How did you begin being a book blogger? 

I started blogging in 2009 which coincided with my first year at university. I studied English Literature at Bangor University as was reading on average around 6-10 books a week. That sounds great, I know! But in reality it meant that the books jumbled together and I had difficulty separating them out. Additionally I would lose track of what books I hoped to pass on to friends because I couldn't remember plots or authors etc! So to simplify things, I started recording everything I read...and then never really stopped!

What is it about books that makes you excited to talk about books on your blog?

I have always got my kicks from books. Absolutely always. I’m also one of those people who likes to keep the conversation going but unfortunately, I don’t really know anybody that reads quite like I do so it’s really fun getting involved in a community that understands my need to shout from the rooftops about a great book.

What would you like to have known about book blogging before you got started that you didn't know beforehand?

I’d love to have known how guilty blogging can make you feel – in loads of different ways! When I haven’t read a book for a while I feel guilty for neglecting my blog. It’s also really difficult being honest too. When you've read a book that wasn't your cup of tea and you have to go out there and tell the world that you didn't like it – it makes me feel awful as that is someone’s hard work being criticised!

When you're not reading or blogging, what do you do with yourself?

I work the backshift for my company which means that I start work in the middle of the afternoon until late at night! It doesn't really give me a lot of free time but when I’m not filling what little time I have with reading or blogging, you can usually find me cleaning the house. Sounds really lame but I’m a cleaning-fanatic! I drive my boyfriend bonkers.

What type of things do you champion on your blog? What would you like your blog to be known for?

Honestly, I’d just like it to be known for what it is. A book review site where anything goes! I don’t have a specific genre that I review or anything. One day I’ll be reviewing Shakespeare and the next I’m fawning over Percy Jackson. I guess at Loaded Shelves, I just champion honest reviews.

What has been the best experience of being a book blogger so far? 

To begin with, the best experience was the first time I got sent a book for review. I was so happy! That’s when I really realised how hard it was to be totally honest when reviewing. I was so happy to have been sent a review copy that I wasn't expecting to have to give a bad review. Since then though, without a doubt it was attending the Mira Ink blogger event for Maria Snyder. Everyone was so lovely and it felt amazing to physically be a part of something bookish.

What is your biggest struggle as a book blogger? 

Reading enough. I used to read over 100 books a year and never struggled for something to talk about on the blog. However last February I landed myself with a full-time job and a full-time boyfriend and time to read became a huge struggle. I’m finally started to manage my time better now but I still struggle referring to myself as a book blogger when sometimes I barely manage a book a month!

You can do it, what is your absolute favourite book?

There are 3 that I simply couldn't ever choose from.

1.      Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn
2.      The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
3.      The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

They’re all so different to each other but all hold a piece of my heart. Each one of them just has something that encompasses the person that I am – including flaws. Of course I could list a million more for the same reasons but those are the 3 that I would say are top.

What books or authors or series would you like more people to be aware of? 

Before the past few years I would have said John Green, but after TFioS I think the smallest, darkest corners of the earth are familiar with him. I’m going to have to say Maria V Snyder. Purely because I didn’t realise how many people don’t know of her work! People were asking which author I was going to meet and I was always met with a confused look. To me, she’s huge!

Name your top 5 UK book bloggers!

I’m a terrible blogger and can’t even think of 5 right now! My top 3 are easy though so I’ll just stop there.

Misty @ The Book Rat
And of course, Michelle :)

If you could meet your favourite author, who would it be?

Oh wow that IS hard. Probably David Levithan. No reason, I just think he’d be pretty cool.

What would you like to see more or less of in the books you read?

More female-lead ass-kicking of course :)

And finally, who is your ultimate book crush?

Shane Collins from Rachel Caine’s Morganville series. Rachel wrote a message from Shane in one of my books and I still swoon and get gooey-eyed when I think of it.

Thank you so much for those wonderful answers, Caragh!

Do let Caragh and I know what you think of her responses in comments! Agree or disagree with her answers?

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