Armchair BEA: Introductions First!

I’m participating in Armchair BEA this year, a virtual conference for book bloggers who can’t attend Book Expo America in New York this week. So all week long, you’ll see me posting according to the daily themes for Armchair BEA.

Today’s theme is “Introductions First!” Participants were given a list of 10 questions and asked to answer 5 of them, so that we can all get to know each other a little better. So 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?

My name is Lauren, and I live in the vicinity of Nashville, TN.  I am a stay-at-home/work-at-home mom (I’d tell you what my job is, but every time I do that, I see eyes roll into the backs of heads). I have two beautiful little girls, 3 and 6 years old, and am happily married to my best friend. He’s a Web developer, which is good, since I use him as free tech support for my site.

I’ve been blogging for just a little over two months, which just seems kind of bizarre to me. I feel like I’ve been doing it so much longer! I started blogging for a few reasons. First, I love to read, but kept falling out of the habit of regular reading because I didn’t have anything to keep me motivated. I thought a blog would keep me motivated, plus help me help me with the “what should I read next?” problem.

Second, I always am itching to discuss the books I read after I finish them, but never have anyone to talk to. I have a couple friends who are avid readers, but we’re often not reading the same things anywhere close to the same time. I wanted somewhere where I could get all my thoughts out, and someone would actually read them.

And third, I’ve gotta be honest, I thought the concept of free books was pretty awesome.

What is your favorite feature on your blog (i.e. author interviews, memes, something specific to your blog)?

I co-host the Throwback Thursday meme along with Mandi at Never Too Fond of Books. I love being able to introduce others to older books that I loved, and I’ve also added a bunch of books to my TBR list. Book blogging tends to focus a lot on new releases, but there’s a ton of books from the pre-blogging days that are amazing!

Which is your favorite post that you have written that you want everyone to read?

The post I’m probably the proudest of (and the Review that’s gotten the most traffic) is my post about why everyone should read The Princess Bride by William Goldman. It’s one of my favorite books of all time, and so many people don’t even know it exists.

What is your favorite part about the book blogging community? Is there anything that you would like to see change in the coming years?

I love how friendly and welcoming everyone is. I was (and still am) a newbie, and just kind of thrust myself into the center of activity, hoping people would like me. And no one told me that I was too new to play, or that I was being annoying (even though I probably was). On the contrary, I’ve “met” some great people and discovered some awesome new blogs and authors.

I can’t think of anything I’d like to see change in the blogging community, except maybe some way to consolidate all the different subscription options on blogs into one central place. Some bloggers prefer GFC, or RSS, or Linky…I think I’ve got 6 different ways I subscribe to blogs, and it’s hard to keep track!

Have your reading tastes changed since you started blogging? How?

Yes! I already knew I enjoyed YA books (there’s just something so exciting and fresh about them), but I’ve totally embraced it since starting my blog. I read much less adult fiction now, although I still squeeze one in here and there when I feel like it.

Also, I’ve discovered the awesomeness of indie authors. I didn’t realize how many great books were out there in indie world! So I’ve read some amazing books I never would have stumbled upon if I hadn’t started blogging.

Thanks for stopping by and allowing me to introduce myself! I look forward to “meeting” you!

158 thoughts on “Armchair BEA: Introductions First!

    • Thanks so much! My husband kept trying to make me change the color, but I was a firm believer in purple :-)

      Glad you like the Throwback Thursday concept! I’d love it if you’d come play along with us sometime!

  1. I love The Princess Bride, but I STILL haven’t read the book, can you believe it? I keep meaning to pick it up, but alas I have failed so far. Some day soon though!

    • It would be awesome if you followed or participated in Throwback Thursdays! Thanks so much!

      And indie authors are so much fun! I’m sad it’s taken me this long to discover the wonderful world of indie! Better late than never, huh?

  2. Hi Lauren! Nice to meet you. :) Throwback Thursday sounds like a lot of fun! I’ll have to keep my eye out for it. I agree that older books can be so much more fun than new releases, just because less people are talking about them. I love it when I find a book reviewed that I have not already seen 10-20 posts about over the past month.

    And… I really think I need to read The Princess Bride. I love the movie, and if we follow the normal formula, the book is way better.
    Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl recently posted..Armchair BEA 2012: Meet That Artsy Reader Girl!My Profile

    • I’d love for you to participate! There’s so many more older books than new releases out there that people simply aren’t looking for anymore, but they SHOULD because they’re GREAT. Plus, older books are cheaper at the bookstore and more likely to be available at the library :-)

      And the book IS better than the movie, although the movie is still fabulous!
      TheHouseworkCanWait recently posted..It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (June 4)My Profile

  3. Hi! Nice to meet you! By the way, props for educating the world about how The Princess Bride was a book first! Every time I try and talk to people about it they think I’m talking about the movie and it’s so annoying! I agree with you about the how to follow issue, it’s so hard to keep track of all your favorite blogs when there are so many different following programs!
    Have a great Armchair BEA!
    Bennji @ The Non Reluctant Reader recently posted..Armchair BEA: InterviewMy Profile

  4. Hi Lauren! I totally agree with you on the book blogging community. It’s truly a fabulous place, isn’t it? And The Princess Bride is definitely on my to-read list. I have to admit that I didn’t know it was a book for a long time, but I would love to read it, especially since you enjoyed it so much!
    Natalie @ Mindful Musings recently posted..Armchair Bea: Introductions!My Profile

  5. I love the Throwback Thursdays idea. I really like when I find out about a great book that has been out for awhile and isn’t plastered across every blog in my reader. I have a 4.5 yr old and a 22 months old so I know how crazy it can be trying to blog, raise the kids and everything else. Hope you will stop by my introduction post. BTW, i think this is a Safari only thing (or maybe just my computer) since it looks fine in Firefox but there is a random wide blue column that goes down the middle of your posts.
    Debbie’s World of Books recently posted..Armchair BEA IntroductionMy Profile

  6. The Princess Bride is one of my favorite movies, but I haven’t read the book yet. I’m going to go to your post now to see what I’m missing out on.

  7. Hi Lauren!!! a lovely book blogging mama <3 isn't that sweet to know you're married to your bestfriend ahhh Happy Ever After, I wonder if ill have that XD lol what am I saying?

    I never heard of The Princess Bride before… I'd probably check it out since it's one of your favorite 😉

    Everyone is welcome in the book blogging community <3 I'm glad you're part of it and I hope you enjoy every minute of it!

    Throwback Thursday sounds like a fun meme 😉 i'd love to join sometime!

    Jay
    We Fancy Books

    Jay @ We Fancy Books recently posted..#ArmchairBEA IntroductionMy Profile

  8. Okay, how do I not know you? I live in Nashville too! Donelson specifically. Anyway, welcome to the wonderful world of book blogging. Yes, it is a good motivator. I started blogging mid-year in 2009 and only read 25 books that year. In 2010, I read 50 and in 2011, I read 58. See…I’ve increased my reading every year since I started blogging. :) I still have my eyes on the prize of 100 books in a year and I’m hoping to do it this year.

    I know exactly what you mean about the subscription deal. My Google Reader is so ridiculous. I’ve started following most blogs via email because it’s just easier for me. I don’t know if there will ever be an answer.

    Anyway, fellow Nashvillian, I’m now following you. Lovely to ‘meet’ you!
    Michelle @ The True Book Addict recently posted..Armchair BEA: IntroductionsMy Profile

    • LOL, Nashville’s a big city! Maybe we will meet at one of the many local bookish events someday? (I’m trying to work out being able to attend UtopYA in July!)

      I actually haven’t been keeping track of my books yet this year, although I definitely should. I think I’ve already passed last year though!

      Great to “meet” you too!
      TheHouseworkCanWait recently posted..It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (June 4)My Profile

  9. Hello Lauren! :) It’s great to meet you!

    “He’s a Web developer, which is good, since I use him as free tech support for my site.”

    ^ Haha that’s so awesome! That’s actually quite similar to me. I’m a web designer and I love designing and making websites, but my boyfriend is a web developer so he helps me out with the PHP and functionality! It’s awesome, isn’t it??
    Ashley recently posted..Armchair BEA 2012 Blogger InterviewMy Profile

  10. Hiya, I too am a first time participant of ArmchairBEA and I have to sayI love the idea of the Throwback Thursday meme. There are so many great books that I first read years ago and would like to get into again not to mention series I have never gotten round to reading.

    Hope you have fun this week and I am now a new follower :-)
    Nikki Sapphireddragon recently posted..Armchair BEA Day One: Introductions FirstMy Profile

  11. Everyone *should* read Princess Bride! Too many people don’t realize that there even *is* a book.

    Oh I didn’t think of the subscription thing! I decided not to answer that one because I couldn’t think of anything to change, but you’re right – we need a way to follow that can work for everyone, so we don’t have to have 6 different things for different sites.

    Have fun with Armchair BEA!
    Anne recently posted..Armchair BEA kick-offMy Profile

  12. Welcome to the book blogosphere! I absolutely love the title and the header picture for your blog–it’s fantastic.

    I’ve seen the movie adaptation of THE PRINCESS BRIDE, but I’ve never read the book. It has come up a lot in conversation with different bloggers lately, so I’d like to read it after I’ve knocked my TBR pile down a bit.
    Heather recently posted..Armchair BEA 2012: An IntroductionMy Profile

  13. Your website looks great for being so new! I’m glad you’ve joined the book blogging community and found it to be so positive! One recommendation for your subscription problem is Google Reader. If you have a Gmail account you can subscribe using that. I had the same problem and my techie boyfriend told me to use that and I’m much more organized now!

    • I actually do use Google Reader too, but so many bloggers have other preferences and I like to try to abide by those – hence being subscribed in so many ways. If there was just one way, and everyone had the same preference, my life would be simpler :-) Thanks for stopping by!

  14. I’m so glad you found your way to the book blogging world! Your Princess Bride review is one of my favorite reviews I’ve read all year :-)

    I completely agree with you in regards to managing subscriptions. I really need to figure out a better way to get all of mine organized… That’s on my to do list for the future. Which means maybe I’ll get to it by the end of the year? *sigh*

    I’m so glad to have “met” you a few months back!
    Sarah @ Breaking the BInding recently posted..It’s Monday! What Are You Reading June 4?My Profile

  15. Wow- you’ve accomplished so much in 2 months! How exciting! I started blogging for similar reasons (I was beginning to lose track of all the books I read!).
    So glad to meet you and can’t wait to check out the rest of your blog!

  16. When I first started blogging, there was a Throwback Thursday meme…and I loved it. I have a lot of “oldie” books that I enjoy sharing. Then the host dropped it…and I lost track.

    I’ll have to find yours.

    I agree about the subscription options. I prefer subscribing to blogs by e-mail…although I’ve joined the GFC on some sites. But I don’t like reading in Google reader, which is why I prefer e-mail subscription.

    I love the name of your blog! It drew me in…and even though I don’t really worry about housework much anymore, as I live alone, I do recall the days when it seemed to grab at me and steal my favorite moments.

    Here’s MY ARMCHAIR BEA POST
    Laurel-Rain Snow recently posted..AUTHOR’S HOME PAGEMy Profile

    • I did some research when I wanted to start Throwback Thursdays, and couldn’t find anything more recent than 2010, other than Mandi’s feature on her blog. So I asked her if she’d ever considered turning it into a meme, and thus Throwback Thursdays was born! I’d love for you to participate sometime!

      And I’m glad you like the name! Thanks for stopping by!
      TheHouseworkCanWait recently posted..It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (June 4)My Profile

  17. I am made so many friends in the blogosphere! It has really kept me going! I do agree with you about all the following stuff and Blogger took away GFC from non-blogger blogs like mine in March. I love sharing my thoughts and am just thrilled people stop by and read them :)

    I will see you again this week I am sure!

    Dollycas
    lori/dollycas recently posted..Armchair BEA – Day 1 – The InterviewMy Profile

    • It’s not a big mystery, just most people think it’s dull, so I don’t go into the details anymore! I edit and do internal QA for corporate financial earnings calls. Basically, all publicly traded companies have to report earnings for their investors once a quarter in the interest of full disclosure. I go through the audio and transcripts for the calls and make sure everything is accurate, plus I do internal QA for my company to ensure we’re putting out a good product.

      See? Did you REALLY want to hear about that? :-)

    • Thanks so much! That’s actually me! Hubs did a good job with Photoshop, didn’t he?

      I went into detail on my boring job (I actually like it, but most people think it sounds frightfully dull) in the comment above :-)

    • We used to live out towards Murfreesboro (Smyrna), but we’re over in the Brentwood/Franklin area now. I agree, my husband and I are both originally from the Northeast US, but middle TN just called to us. We love it here. Glad you stopped by!

  18. You had me at your blog’s title. The subhead is just too good. My favorite refrigerator magnet is “A Clean House is the Sign of a Wasted Life.” Here’s to reading.

    • Nonsense! I always enjoy your blog. If anything, I’m the fat kid playing catch-up to all these bloggers who have been around for so much longer than me!

      Maybe we’ll find ourselves at some of the same events in the future, since we live relatively close!

  19. Hey, Lauren! Wow! A lot of your answers and reasons are similar to my own. I don’t know if you knew this already, but my little girl is 3, as well, and I got into book blogging for much the same reason. My reading tastes changed much like yours, as well.

    I love that you did a Princess Bride post. I read that book several years ago and really enjoyed it. Great book and great movie!

    Looking forward to seeing what else you have to share for Armchair BEA. :-)
    Marla @ Starting the Next Chapter recently posted..Armchair BEA Day 1 – Who Am I? An IntroductionMy Profile

    • 3-year-olds are so fun! Mine is currently putting on an entire show for herself using My Little Ponies. Shalena would be proud :-)

      It was great to meet you a couple weeks ago, and I’m going to go check out your post now!

  20. I’m jealous that you have live-in tech support. My husband knows a little about computers, but most stuff I’ve had to learn on my own or I’ve asked other bloggers – one of the great things about this community is that everyone is willing to help you out!

    I love the idea of the Throwback Thursdays meme. There are so many books out there that I want to read and some are definitely not considered new anymore.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and I hope you have a great week!
    Kristin @ Always With a Book
    Kristin T. recently posted..Armchair BEA 2012: IntroductionsMy Profile

    • Yes, I am VERY fortunate! I have to bake him cookies sometimes in appreciation :-)

      And I’m glad you like the idea of Throwback Thursdays! I hope you can come play along sometime! Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you have a great week too!

  21. I didn’t even know there would be free books when I started! How lucky that you found out about that perk so quickly!

    For only having a blog for about 2 months, you sure have established a presence. I hope your blog continues to grow and be awesome. :)
    Alissa recently posted..Armchair BEA: Introductions first!My Profile

    • The first time an unexpected box full-o-books showed up on my doorstep, I was FLOORED. I nearly exploded in excitement. It’s only happened a couple times since, and each time it’s like Christmas! I love it!

      Thanks for liking my blog! I’m still in awe of established bloggers with their massive followings and hundreds of publisher ARCs and author contacts. It’s intimidating, but I’m liking my little corner of the blogosphere pretty well :-) Glad you could stop by!

  22. It’s very nice to meet you, Lauren! 😀

    You know, I have The Princess Bride on my shelf actually. I haven’t read it yet though, but it’s definitely one I’d like to one day. :)

    That is an awesome point about consolidating all the ways to follow! It would be amazing if they could do that. I don’t use Linky Followers just because I really don’t want an additional way to follow blogs. GFC/RSS in my Google reader is enough for me…it’s even hard to keep up with those blogs, but it would be nice if all the ways to follow kind of meshed together. :)

    Thanks for sharing a bit about yourself with us! :)
    Ambur
    .Ambur. recently posted..Armchair BEA: Day 1 – Introductions!My Profile

  23. I’m a SAHM as well, but I have two boys, ages 6 and 4. While I’m a recent addition to the blog, the other ladies have been around for a little over 10 months, so we’re still relatively new.

    I love the idea of Throwback Thursday.

    It’s so nice to “meet’ you!

    ~Christina & the other Litbrarians
    Christina from The Book Hookup recently posted..Armchair BEA IntroductionsMy Profile

  24. I’ve also discovered a lot of indie authors through blogging! :)
    And I *love* the Princess Bride! Have you read his other one – the Silent Gondolier (?)? I want to, but haven’t gotten around to it yet — I hope it’s as great a read as Princess…
    Welcome to the blogging world, and you’ve got an adorable site to be so young :) Kudos to you!
    RivkaBelle recently posted..Armchair BEA: Introductions First!My Profile

  25. I totally agree with you, The Princess Bride is a must read. And it’s scary how many people think it’s just a movie! It was one of my favorite reads when I was younger (the commentary by William Goldman about the pages of tree descriptions always has me in stitches), I still pick it up when I need a little extra fun.

    Wonderful blog and happy BEA!
    PS – new follower
    Jessi recently posted..[Features]: Armchair BEA: Introducing Jessi and Otherwhere.Co #featuresMy Profile

  26. I need some newbie advice! How to start a successful book blog and how to meet other bloggers, as well as how you got your name out there for the free books to review etc. If you have time, PLEASE help me! I am a stay at home mom as well, which I would also say is a full time job! If not a 24/7 job! I can’t wait to meet new people through blogging! Also, enjoy Graceling and Fire… let me know what you think!

    • Oh gracious – I’m still so new, I feel rather silly giving advice! The main things I’ve been doing are doing meaningful commenting on lots of blogs. Whenever I see a post that strikes my interest, I comment! I’ve met some great bloggers that way. I also have discovered a bunch of blogs through memes. My favorites are Top Ten Tuesday and Feature & Follow Friday.

      Other than that: Twitter. Bloggers and authors are really active on Twitter – there’s a whole community out there that’s a lot of fun!

      And for free books, those will come. I’ve gotten several from indie authors in exchange for review. Join NetGalley and request and review titles on there. Books from publishers take the longest – I’ve only had a couple publishers who have been willing to send books to a new blogger, and even then, I needed to have stats to support SOMEONE was reading my site.

      Check out all the posts in the linky for Top Ten Tips for New Book Bloggers. Those bloggers have far more (and better) advice than me! Good luck!

  27. Fun intro post!! Two months does seem short at the moment… I must’ve started following you at the beginning. I agree. There are way too many ways to “follow” – it’s hard to keep track of ’em all!!!

  28. “The Princess Bride” is one of my favorite books as well, and I recently wrote a review for it since we were reading it for book club. I’ve read it at least 3 times, and I have bought a total of 5 copies. Two were for me, the rest were given as gifts.

  29. Oh my GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is like WOW!! I haven’t even…
    Well. First thanks for dropping by BookPics 😀
    Can I CANNOT believe you only have 2 months blogging!! Your blog certainly doesn’t look so 😀
    Oh noes ¬_¬ don’t give her the eye-roll people!!

    And, blus- I haven’t heard of that book either…so I’ll have to look it up.

    Again, completely agree with the people here!!! I LOVE how everyone is so welcoming AND even more so…when they don’t tell me I’m annoying when I’m most definitely am!! >..<
    Alba @BookPics recently posted..Armchair BEA-Introductions First!My Profile

  30. Hi Lauren!! I myself am a fan of Throwback Thursday! I love the concept of spotlighting the older books ~ that’s all I used to mostly read b/c I just started really reading in the last 2 years!!

    And yay, SAHMs! That’s me, too. I’m super curious what your work at home job is (it’s not sex-phone operator, is it???!!! lol!! that would get an eye roll or two!!). Actually, I can kind of guess what you do… 😀
    Kristin Clifton recently posted..Armchair BEA: Introductions First!!My Profile

  31. I agree it’s hard to keep up.. it used to be so much simpler, and even now the commenting gets technical on us.
    I’ll have to read your Princess Bride post, I never really thought about reading the book =)
    And LOL at the occupation/eye roll… same thing here.. I’m a bookkeeper for a construction company which really entails a lot more than it sounds!!

    Here’s my Intro post. Nice to meet you!
    Marie recently posted..Mailbox MondayMy Profile

    • Yes, all I meant was that describing my job tends to put people to sleep, so I just don’t bother anymore :-) Blogging is a lot more interesting! (Although I actually do like my job…but I think I’m weird). I described it a few posts up if you’re curious.

      Thanks for visiting, and I hope I can convince you to try TPB :-)

    • I do use Google Reader, but I also like to subscribe in a way that shows up on the blog itself, so the blogger knows I’m subscribed and can include me in their follower count. And it seems every blogger has a different preference, and I always try to abide by their preferences. Gets confusing! Thanks!

    • It’s amazing but true! Hopefully there’s fewer of them out there since I made it my mission to educate the WORLD (or at least the tiny portion that reads my blog)! Thanks for stopping by!

  32. Hi Lauren,
    Thanks so much for visiting me at Stiletto Storytime and welcome to book blogging! I love you blog name by the way…it’s something I need to learn to tell myself and believe on a regular basis. I loved your answers by the way. We have a lot in common. We seem to share some book genre tastes and both are SAHMs…so glad I found your site. Maybe we can do some book chat in the future as I too love chatting about all things bookish and use the web as my outlet. It’s great to meet you again and have a great Armchair BEA week!

    Courtney
    Stiletto Storytime

  33. I’ve never gotten a chance to read the Princess Bride. I enjoyed reading your post about it. I like the meme too, Never Too Fond of Books, I look forward to following it.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog too. Hope to stay connected. :)

  34. Pingback: Armchair BEA: Networking…In Real Life?! | The Housework Can Wait

  35. Pingback: Armchair BEA: Beyond the Blog | The Housework Can Wait

  36. I never would have guessed your blog is so new….you already host a weekly feature and know a lot of bloggers…Great job!

    I knew The Princess Bride is a book but I haven’t read it yet (sorry!) It is on my tbr and I’m looking forward to the experience and also hoping it’s as funny or funnier than the movie.

    It’s very cool your husband is a web developer…and useful!

    It’s very nice to ‘meet’ you Lauren!
    Amy recently posted..Armchair BEA: Beyond Your Blog!My Profile

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