The BBAW Interview – with Jana of Will Work For Books!

image credit: edited in Picnik

Please welcome Jana of Will Work for Books to The 3 R’s for the BBAW Interview Exchange! Jana’s blog is new to me, but it’s been around since early 2008, and it features a variety of bookish content. I like the rating system she has devised for her book reviews, and the inclusion of book-related news in her content mix. Jana really has “worked for books” in various capacities, and she still does.

Our interview was conducted via e-mail, and I’m posting our Q&A here with just a little editing. (And since it’s an interview exchange, please drop by Jana’s blog to see how I answered her questions for me! You can also find Jana on Twitter and GoodReads.)

Your profile says you live in Nebraska – have you always lived there? What kind of work do you do? Any children? Pets? Favorite pastimes aside from reading and blogging?

Let’s see . . . I’ve lived in Lincoln since I came here for college in 1987. I spent most of my childhood in a suburb of Chicago but moved to Omaha in high school. I currently work as the IT Manager at the University of Nebraska Press, but I started at the Press as a production coordinator. For a book lover, it is of course a thrill to work in publishing! I do still sometimes miss working in bookstores, though: seeing all of the new titles come in and creating interesting displays.

In addition to reading and blogging, I like to knit and crochet but I’m not very productive. Every once in a while I try to enforce the rule that I can’t start a new project until I finish one, but it never sticks. πŸ™‚

How long have you been blogging? What made you decide to start doing it?
I’ve been blogging since February 4, 2008 (yes, I had to look that up). I read a lot of blogs and I’d been thinking about starting one of my own for some time. However, I have to admit that I was heavily under the influence of cold medicine when I actually set up my blog! As I said, I’d been thinking about it but it took the cold medicine to convince me.
(I suspect quite a few blogs have begun under the influence of something…)
The tagline of your blog lists the things you’ve done with books: “I’ve sold books, stocked books, cataloged books, digitized books, and coordinated the production of books.” Is your blog more focused on publishing and the industry, on reading, or is it a mix?
It’s a big ole mix. At the beginning I also wrote some non-book posts, but now it’s pretty much anything about books, publishing, or reading (including design and ebooks).
What regular/recurring features do you have on your blog?
Oh. Wellllll . . . I have good intentions in terms of recurring features, but my follow-through needs work. Some I’ve done in the past (and need resurrection) are: book lover interviews and “Judging a Book by Its Cover”.
(The interviews sound like fun!)
I noticed that you have a co-blogger. How do you know each other? Does each of you have her own special-interest topics to blog about, or do you both post about whatever you like?
Beth is my main co-blogger. We met as coworkers but quickly became friends. We don’t plan or coordinate anything–we each just post what we want when we want. My pal Tammy also posted a review and I’d love it if she’d do more (hint-hint).
(Tammy, are you reading this?)

Has blogging about books changed your reading habits? How – the kinds of books you read, the amount of time you spend reading, the things you pay attention to while reading, and/or some other way?
Not really. I’ve always loved to read and I read every day for at least a couple of hours. When I write a blog post about a book, I’m thinking about what I would tell a friend about that book.

Which books that you’ve read this year have made the biggest impression on you, and why? It doesn’t have to be a good impression, by the way – did you read something memorably awful?
Hmmmm. Life Sentences, by Laura Lippman, made me think about how each of us has our own version of our life’s story and how much it can differ from even those who share it with us. And how unrealiable our own memories are. I find these ideas really fascinating and loved this book.

I just finished Plum Lovin by Janet Evanovich and I did not like it at all. I’m not sure why I even picked it up–I don’t like romances so I just normally don’t read them. However, I do like the Stephanie Plum mystery series and was looking for something to tide me over until the next one.

What are some of your favorite places to hang out online, other than your blog?
Oh boy. I read a ton of blogs. Most of the book blogs that I read most often are more publishing-focused (rather than featuring book reviews): Book Covers Anonymous, Caustic Cover Critic, Follow the Reader, mediabistro GalleyCat, Publishing Insider, The Book Deal, The Intern, TeleRead, and Up the Mast.

One of the things I like about BBAW is the opportunity to learn about new book blogs. I’m going to have a whole bunch to add to my Google Reader.
(I think that’s something we all love – and hate – about BBAW!)

Ask – and then answer for yourself – one interview question that you wish I would have asked, but didn’t.

 I already mentioned this above: Is there a genre you don’t read/review? Yes, romance.
(Something we have in common – me neither!)

Thanks for participating in the BBAW Interview Exchange with me, Jana – it was great to get to know you, and I’ll be seeing you around the blogiverse!


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  1. Gautami – Glad you like the interview. I love them as a BBAW feature, but I don't feel like I'm very good at them.

    And definitely check out Jana's blog!

  2. Thanks for being my interview partner, Florinda! It's been fun getting to know you and your blog. I'm hoping you'll be a good influence on me. πŸ™‚

  3. Jana – Back at you :-). It was fun! I'll try not to steer you down the wrong path…

    Jeanne – Yes, she does. Almost as good as yours!

    TexasRed – Good :-). I hope you like what you find!

    Kathy (Bermudaonion) – It is a great title, isn't it? I think many of us would do the same :-).

  4. Thank you for the introduction to Jana, Florinda. My most favorite parts of BBAW is the interviews. I'm probably going to be reading them for weeks to come.

    I can relate to having good intentions when it comes to recurring features but not following through. LOL That is so me!

  5. Wendy (Literary Feline) – It's my favorite part too. It worked out pretty well this year for me, as far as finding new blogs; most of the bloggers I read were paired with ones I didn't know yet, so there was a lot of visiting to do :-).