Good morning, readers and writers! My name is Safiyya, my co-blogger is Hailey, and we are both very excited to embark upon this new journey!

We didn’t actually get tagged by anyone, but we are going to do the Book Blogger Newbie Tag all the same. It looks fun, it seems like a good way to meet people, and in all honesty, the set of questions is a great way to introduce people to this here book blog. I understand that the tag was invented by an author who has since deleted their blog, so I can’t provide the link for it, but I got the set of questions from The Bookaholic Dreamer blog, which you can find here. (And you should check it out, because Pauliina’s blog is lots of fun to follow!)

So here goes!

Questions & Answers

1. Why did you start this blog?

My co-blogger Hailey and I had been writing book reviews for a few years at this point, and we thought it would be fun to create our own website on which to post those reviews.

We also wanted a place to write our assorted musings and occasional rants about books. I can’t help thinking about the books I read, and when those thoughts overflow, I need to write down a nice long analysis to sort everything out again. Unhealthily obsessive, you say? Well, yeah, probably, but we all need a hobby.  — Safiyya

Safiyya and I have always bonded over books, I truly don’t know if we’ve ever managed a conversation without books or reading becoming involved somehow.  This past year, we started doing buddy reads as a way to connect during pandemic lockdowns and that evolved into the creation of this blog.  — Hailey

2. What are some fun/unique things that you can bring to book blogging?

Like, to the abstract concept of blogging? Um…

Well, I suppose the answer is ourselves. Every person will have a unique and different reaction to the books they read and the media they consume. But I also want to add some interactive elements to the blog, such as comments and opinion polls. And I can also offer you some very bad puns! — Safiyya

I think that a unique aspect of our blog is that it’s a collaborative effort so we bring more than one perspective to the proverbial table.  We’ll also be sharing our buddy read experiences so it will be fun to see how two people react to the same book.  — Hailey

3. What are you most excited about for this new blog?

I’m really excited about engaging with the book bloggers’ community! I had a book blog in the past, but for the most part, I didn’t really reach out to other bloggers. I plan to make this experience a bit more  community-oriented, amidst all my navel-gazing. — Safiyya

I’m excited about being able to share my love of reading with fellow book lovers.  While the act of reading is a somewhat solitary activity, there can be such a wonderful sense of community to be found through book clubs, book blogs and buddy reads.  — Hailey

4. Why do you love reading?

Reading is something that I have always done. Some of my earliest memories involve being entranced by bedtime stories. I love entering a new world of storytelling, meeting new characters, following new adventures. At this point, book reading is a fundamental part of who I am. — Safiyya

Like Safiyya, reading has always been an integral part of my identity.  I love being able to “visit” different worlds through books and I find something extremely beautiful about the written word.  Unlike movies or TV where everything is shown to the viewer explicitly, reading leaves quite a bit of room for interpretation and creativity on the part of the reader.  I’ve always thought of it as a sort of conversation or collaborative effort between the author and the reader.  — Hailey

5. What book or series got you into reading?

I honestly cannot remember. As I said in Question 4, I have been reading books. Some of my early childhood books include Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Enid Blyton’s various adventure stories. We also had a collection of the Worldbook Encyclopedia’s Childcraft series, which included volumes of fairy tales, short stories, and biographies…so I suppose that is my answer. Oh, and Robert Munsch! A lot of Robert Munsch stories. — Safiyya

Wow, that’s a hard question, I don’t think that there was really one book that got me into reading.  In all honesty, I can’t really remember falling in love with reading, it feel like something that has just always held true.  When I was small I would carry over a stack of books and my mom would sit and read with me for hours.  Some favourites were The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn, Danilo the Fruit Man by Amy Valens, anything Robert Munsch, Amelia Bedelia stories by Peggy Parish.  Some really memorable novels that I read as a child were Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, the Anne of Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery, vintage Nancy Drew and the Royal Diaries collection by Scholastics. — Hailey

6. What questions would you ask your favourite authors?

I would ask a ton of questions about their characters, the themes, the way the plotlines unfolded – was there a character that developed in an unusual way? Did they ever plan out a different ending? Why did they choose this POV for these chapters? (As you can see, my strategy is to just get progressively nerdier about the whole business.) — Safiyya

7. What challenges in starting a blog do you think will be the hardest to overcome?

Honestly, the hardest part has been the set-up and website prep work. The rest is just meant to be fun! — Safiyya

Oh yeah, I definitely agree.  The behind the scenes, technical work has been the hardest part.  Apparently our dashboard is not fond of paragraph breaks, so formatting has been erm… fun, we’ll go with that.  Also coming up with a name for the blog was surprisingly daunting. — Hailey

8. When did you start reading?

Again, I really can’t remember. Age 4 or 5, I guess? We all started reading pretty early in my family. — Safiyya

I’ve been read to since before birth (my mom read stories to me while she was pregnant), and my entire childhood was spent surrounded by books.  I know for sure I was reading independently before I started kindergarten at age 4, but I’m not really sure when the transition from having books read to me to reading them myself initially occurred. — Hailey

9. Where do you read?

Just about everywhere, especially since I started getting into ebooks and audiobooks — it allows me to smuggle my reading wherever I go. I don’t really need a special place to read, and I usually don’t have trouble losing myself in a book, no matter what is going on around me. It’s kind of surprising that I haven’t been hit by a bus, or eaten by a dragon, or stumbled into an intergalactic portal in the course of my reading. — Safiyya

Ditto, I read pretty much everywhere.  I take either a physical book or ebooks on my phone or kobo with me where ever I go “just in case”.  When I’m at home I’ll read curled up on the couch with a blanket and a cup of tea, and in the summer I love to spread a blanket on the grass or sand and read in the sunshine.  — Hailey

10. What kind of books do you like to read?

Fantasy, romance, mystery, science fiction, classics, collections of mythology, philosophy, various social sciences, children’s fiction, YA novels &c, &c. I have pretty wide-spread bookish interests, which can be good (never-ending supply of wonderful new books!) and also bad (my TBR list is massive and full of terrors. No, Hailey, I haven’t read The Night Circus yet. I’M SORRY.) — Safiyya

My favourite genres are fantasy, science fiction, mythology and mystery.  I think a good book is a good book so I’ll read anything regardless of age range – children’s fiction, middle grade, YA, NA, adult.  I also really love comics and graphic novels.  When I read non-fiction it’s usually about math, physics, healthcare, religious studies or feminism.  My TBR list can hardly be considered a list at this point, it’s more of a book in it’s own right!  Looks like I’ll be re-reading The Night Circus soon because it seems like a buddy read is the only way I’ll get Safiyya to finally read it.  — Hailey

Concluding Thoughts

I am so excited to start this new journey! I have a LOT of pent-up thoughts to unleash, so consider this a gentle warning. — Safiyya

In the words of the incomparable Neil Gaiman, “A book is a dream you hold in your hand”.  Thank you for letting us share that dream with you here at at Page and Prose!  — Hailey