Today I have another great book blogger for you to meet. Victoria from Off The Shelf Books.
Victoria is a freelance health journalist with over 20 years’ experience of writing about health for consumer magazines and pharmacy publications. She is also one of BUPA’s freelance health editors. In her spare time, she loves reading fiction (especially crime and psychological thrillers). She launched her book reviews blog to share her recommendations. She is a member of Lovereading’s Reviewer Panel. When she’s not working or reading, you will find her on Twitter. Her own book, Allergies: A Parents’ Guide, was published by Need2Know Books in 2009. She is currently writing her own novel.
Welcome to the blog, thanks for stepping away from yours for a few minutes to answer some questions about book blogging.
We’ll start with the easy questions and then see where we go from there.
How long have you been book blogging and what prompted you to start?
I started book blogging on 30 December 2014. I already had a health blog that I used for work (I’m a health journalist/editor), and thought that I would review health books on a book blog as well. I found myself reviewing fiction instead. My book blog was far more popular than I expected and I soon closed down my health blog as I didn’t have time to keep both of them running.
Tell us a little bit about your blog, what will blog readers find there?
My blog is called Off-the-Shelf Books (it used to be Off-the-Shelf Book Reviews, but I dropped the ‘Reviews’ a while ago). I review mainly crime fiction, but also some historical fiction, contemporary fiction and sci fi when I need a break from all the darkness. Plus I have author interviews and author guest posts. I have recently launched a new feature for crime authors called ‘Best of Crime’.
What’s your favourite part about book blogging?
I love sharing my ‘Book Love’, supporting authors and meeting a wide range of people – especially through social media.
What has been your highlight since you’ve started?
All of it, I guess. But probably going to book launches and other events (e.g. First Monday Crime) to meet like-minded book lovers. I’ve discovered a whole new world away from home. I’m going to CrimeFest in May for my second time.
If you could carry on blogging but could stop doing one thing (that’s maybe a necessary part of the process now) what would it be?
Panicking over my TBR pile. I have so many books to read! Although now I’m far more relaxed than I was, as it’s a hobby not a job (I already have one of those).
What advice would you give to anyone who is considering starting a book blog?
Just enjoy it. Don’t turn it into a job or a chore. Read what you want, when you want. Don’t feel guilty if you can’t read all the books sent/offered to you – and don’t feel guilty if you don’t like all of the books either.
How much time does it take up?
Not as much as it used to as I’m now taking a more relaxed approach. At one point, I was posting something on my blog 5/7 days each week. Now though, it’s more like 2 or 3 times a week on average.
What are your reading habits like?
Erratic. It depends on work and family life – which vary from day to day, week to week and month to month. But I do make sure I read for at least half an hour before I go to bed each night – whatever time it is – and for a lot longer on a weekend
What state is your TBR (To Be Read) pile in?
I can’t bear to think about it. Probably around 200 print books and another 200 e-books. Maybe more.
What do you drink while reading?
I don’t eat or drink anything while I read. I just focus on the book itself. That’s probably why my books remain in pristine condition and most don’t look like they’ve been read.
Where’s your favourite place to read?
I’ll read anywhere – on the settee, in bed, on a train, in a shop or café…
What book would you recommend, that gets little attention, that you haven’t really seen talked about? And why, what is it about this book that you love?
This is a difficult one, as most of the books I read are popular crime/psychological thrillers that get a lot of attention everywhere. Last year, I read The Other Side of the Mountain by Fiona Cane. This beautifully written story of three women in Haiti at a time of political turmoil really touched me.
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer these. It’s been a pleasure having you.