Monday, June 4, 2012

Armchair BEA: Introductions First!

It's Book Expo America time! Since I didn't have the funds to head to New York myself for this conference (sad) I decided to take part in Armchair BEA! This gives everyone a chance to get a taste of BEA while staying comfortable in our favourite armchair (or couch, or bed, or beanbag get the drift).

Today marks the first day of Armchair BEA and it's the day everyone involved is introducing themselves. Once you read through my answers make sure you head over to the interview page and see who else is participating and what they have to say.

Without further ado, here's a little bit about me!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?
This is me! Hi!
My name's Kaley and I'm the voice behind Books Etc. where I've been blogging since November 2010. I was familiar with blogging because of my fourth year seminar in university (woo, Laurier!) called "Citizen Media and the Public Sphere." This is a confusing name for a class where we talked about media, the internet, Facebook, and the emerging social media phenomenon Twitter. Two of my major projects for that class were done in blog form (they're still live and you can see them here and here if you're interested) and I had a lot of fun doing them. Fast forward a year and a half and I'm at my first "grown up" job. I realized I wanted some sort of outlet for babbling on about books. After toying with the idea for awhile I finally dove into the blogosphere (again) and Books Etc. was born. I decided on the name because I didn't set out to talk strictly about books. Every once and awhile a movie or TV post will find its way onto my blog but for the most part you'll find ramblings and reviews about books, books, and more books.

If you could eat dinner with any author or character, who would it be and why?
This is a tough one but I think I'd go with Jane Austen (J.K. Rowling comes in at a close second). From what we've been able to learn from biographies and biopics, Jane seemed to have quite the sense of humour and I've love to have the chance to see that in person. You can tell from her writing that she had an interesting view on society and I think it would be so much fun to sit at a dinner party with her and gossip about the other ladies. We'll never have access to Austen through social media like so many authors these days so we don't get a peek inside her world. I'd love to hear about her journey as a female author. And, of course, I'd want to find out the real reason she never married!

What literary location would you most like to visit? Why?
I'm going to cheat a bit here and name two - one is a totally made up location and another is based on a real town.
1. Hogwarts
I really mean anything and anywhere in Harry Potter world but I figured you'd all understand if I just said Hogwarts. I just went to Universal for the first time in February and got to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Ah-maz-ing. It was so cool to step inside the world as Rowling saw it. Could you imagine how cool it would be to actually visit the real school? Or Hogsmeade? Or Diagon Alley? Oh, man it would be so awesome!

2. Colby
If you read Sarah Dessen's blog you'll know she loves summer and the beach. It doesn't come as a surprise to note that her books take place in the summer and almost always in and around the same beach town, Colby. Now, this town doesn't actually exist. Dessen modelled it after her home town of Chapel Hill in North Carolina. If it did exist, however, I'd be on the first bus there. Of course, the pull of the beach is strong but it also seems to have a lot of neat shops and restaurants. I'm a small town girl at heart so I'd love to see what this little town would really be like.

What is your favorite part about the book blogging community? 
I love that the book blogging community is just that - a community. Everyone works together and helps promote each other. When issues arise when one blogger is being attacked, for example, they will find many other bloggers in their corner ready to offer support. More experienced bloggers always seem to be willing to help out newbies and offer advice. It allows us to learn about new books and authors we may not have before. We find out about author events and signings and whose books are being made into films. And, of course, this community gives us the opportunity to talk at length about our favourite thing - books!

Have your reading tastes changed since you started blogging? How?
My first reaction to this question was no. My actual tastes have not changed. I've always been a chick lit fan and that isn't any different now.
What has changed is that I'm more open to trying more unknown and/or indie authors. Just because a book isn't published by a traditional or large publishing house or just because it's not a big name author doesn't mean the book won't be fabulous.
I'm definitely reading more now but I can't attribute that solely to my blog. I had just finished my fifth (and final, thank goodness) year of post-secondary school the April before I started Books Etc. so once all those boring textbooks were out of the way I had time to read more books. I do have deadlines now since I take part in challenges and tours but those give me even more opportunities to read more. More reading time = a happier Kaley. :)

Stay tuned tomorrow when all participants in Armchair BEA will be talking about their favourites of 2012. And if you're around later tonight there's a Twitter party happening. It's starting at 11pm EST and will wrap up at 1am. Make sure to follow @ArmchairBEA, the host of each of the events, as well as the #ArmchairBEA hashtag.


  1. A lot of bloggers want to have dinner with Austen. Me, I would pick a professional chef!

  2. I have a ton of friends at Laurier, but Trent is where it's at! My only problem with a smaller University is that we don't get a lot of classes like "Citizen Media and the Public Sphere".

    Jane Austen is a good choice!

    1. Laurier's not that big either! It really was a wicked awesome class :)

  3. I'm seeing this now - dinner at Hogwarts with JK! Can I come too????

    Thanks for participating!

    Here's my intro


    1. yes! let's get it arranged. it wouldn't be that difficult...right? :)

  4. Hi Kaley! Wonderful to meet you! The world of HP would be an awesome location. I need to read more about what Jane Austen was like, being from such a free time its hard to imagine what norms and mores she stepped on to be who she was!

    Hope to see you around ArmchairBEA

    1. Definitely read more on Austen! She was an interesting woman. :)

  5. I love your blog and your answers! Hope you have fun during Armchair BEA!

    Debz @ Debz Bookshelf

    1. Thanks Debz! I'm heading over to check out yours now :)

  6. Nice to meet you (outside of twitter)
    i am so excited about the number of Canadian bloggers! i wonder how many i can find this week :)

  7. Jane Austin would be a great conversationalist!

  8. It's great to meet you! We have lots of common answers! :) Happy ABEA!

  9. I named my blog after a book I was reading at the time that I was liking. If you haven't read it, you would have no idea that I was referencing a book. In hindsight, probably not the wisest decision on my part! lol

    Nice to meet you Kaley!

    Radiant Shadows

  10. I'm fortunate to live in Orlando, and we have annual passes to Universal/IOA so we'll go just to hang out at "Hogsmeade" and drink butterbeer, LOL!

    1. haha, that is AWESOME! I need more Butterbeer in my life :)

  11. I loved reading that tidbit of info on Sarah Dessen. :)


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