Armchair BEA is an online conference that runs in conjunction with Book Expo America (BEA) in New York City.
Participating was a shotgun decision because despite knowing I was going to be busy this week, I still wanted to join in on the ish of BEA fun times.
Part 1: Introduction Questionnaire:
1. What is the name you prefer to use?
Joey (because how brilliant is it to let your older son (my brother) name your little brother (me).
2. How long have you been a book blogger?
At this point, who’s even counting? (Like 2.5 years if we’re getting specific; about 2 years since I actually “started” taking blogging more seriously.)
3. Have you participated in ABEA before?
I did! Last year.
4. If you could recommend one other book blogger, who would it be and why?
I’ll have to divert your attention to this list of male book bloggers I curated. I haven’t updated it in a while but there you’ll find 30~ voices within this community you can follow. Because yes, there are dudes in this community — we are not some mythical entity.
5. How do you arrange your bookshelves? Is there a rhyme or reason? Or not at all? (#ABEAShelfie)
Recently, I took out my clothes in two of my drawers and placed my books in there. I call it a #bookdrawer:
6. What book are you most excited for on your TBR? What are you most intimidated by?
Many of the books I’m excited to read are also the ones that seem the most daunting in length. I read sporadically and super slow (mainly on commute — but even then, I fall prey to the zzz’s) so once a book has that benchmark of 500+ pages, my mind rationalizes it as “but I can read 2-3 books in the length of that one book…”. YES, I AM SPEAKING TO YOU, SANDERSON’S WAY OF KINGS.
7. What is the most interesting thing that you have learned through your reading this year so far?
I think there’s always this continual reminder that I title myself as a book blogger even though I prioritize everything else prior to reading and blogging. I can’t help the need for immediate gratification, okay? (re gaming and spending copious amounts of time on Youtube)
I’ve also either become increasingly stingy with what I expect from books and/or the books I’ve read this here have just been terrible; like I’m some magnet for bad books. Probably the latter.
8. Do you have a favorite book? If you cannot choose a favorite book of all time, pick your favorite book today – just this second.
I can’t give you a favourite book like I can [easily] give you the name of my favourite human author thing in Patrick Ness. (Bonus: if you follow Eurovision Song Contest, you should seriously read his live tweets. They’re hilarious!)
Part 2: A Community’s Voice
On publishing industry and diversity in books: Whose voices do we see? Whose voices do we need more of? Where do we find representation lacking and what can we as bloggers do to address that? What about negative or stereotypical representation?
The only answer I can provide for this is ‘everyone’.
But let me just take this from a blogging perspective:
Dare I say that we need more healthy environments for black sheeps to thrive? This might sound terrible, and you can chirp me out for saying this, but so much content feels rehashed (notwithstanding memes, but even then…). Even writing up those questions above made wonder, “hm, well, this feels like every-other-questionnaire-or-tag-or-award-ive-done-before”.
Point is: yes drama is/can be annoying but I just feel as though sometimes, in this community, we preach of this freedom of speech but become so easy to take sides or dismiss the thoughts of others so much that we project being part of this community of holding hands and flailing about the same YA franchises that it funnels and inhibits the possibility of other dialogues to cultivate.
So in relation to publishing where I mention “everyone’s voice” ought to matter, much is the same with this blogging community. And at the end of the day, just take a seat and listen (read?).
Or just don’t listen to me and do you. Actually, always do you.
You have gained nothing from this questionnaire — and that makes me happy.