Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Shay from Required Reading

Today please welcome Shay, who blogs at Required Reading!

What's the meaning behind the name of your book blog?

When I find a really good book, I often say that it is so good that it should be required reading.

How long have you been blogging?

Required Reading just celebrated its first birthday.

Tell us a bit about your book blog. What makes it unique?

I'm an eclectic reader, and I include both fiction and non-fiction, as well as adult and young adult books and graphic novels, so I've got something for everyone. I also try to review the books in such a way that even if I didn't like a title, those who would enjoy it can recognize its appeal factors.

What genres do you write about most, and why?

A significant number of the books I read get tagged as speculative fiction, which encompasses everything with even a touch of the supernatural from science fiction to fantasy to magic realism.

What's your earliest memory of reading?

I can't remember a time when books and reading weren't a part of my life, even when it meant asking my parents or my grandmother to read aloud to me because I couldn't read to myself yet.

What was the first book you read over and over, or the book you've reread the most?

I read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire so many times that my first copy fell apart and I had to replace it, but the entire series is a touchstone for me, and I reread it frequently.

Writing in books: Yes or hell to the no?

I generally only write in textbooks or books I'm reading for school, and even then, only in pencil, never pen or highlighter. I keep a review notebook for writing down my thoughts about books I plan to blog about. However, sometimes when you're doing a lot of intense close reading for school, it is just to much trouble to copy everything over.

What's your favorite place to read?

Anywhere that contains me and a book. Bonus points if there's coffee.

Finish the sentence: My bookshelves are...

Overflowing. My husband had this crazy idea that if he didn't let me buy any more bookshelves, I would stop buying books.

My TBR pile is...

Overflowing, just like my bookshelves. It seems like barely a day passes that I don't find a new book I want to read. I have piles of ARCS, piles of library books, and piles of books I've bought or been given. I recently suspended all the holds on my library card because I have so many books out at the moment! 

One book you like that no one else seems to, or vice versa?

I've learned the hard way not to waste my time on best sellers if they don't sound appealing to me. I'm always tempted to see what the hype is about, even when premise doesn't grab me.

To DNF or not to DNF?

It kills me not to finish a book. I have two books on my currently-reading shelf on Goodreads that have been there for over a year, and I can't bring myself to admit defeat and create a DNF shelf. 

What's one book that intimidates you?

Anything by David Foster Wallace. Everyone is always talking about how dense and impenetrable his books are.

If you could go to any literary destination, where would you go?

Until recently, I would have said the Lakes District, or possibly Scotland, but having visited both those places this summer... I'd probably just go back to the UK and see some of the places I missed, like Oxford. 

How about non-book related hobbies? What do you do when you don't feel like reading?

Hiking in the summer, and crocheting in front of the TV in the winter, but reading is by far my biggest hobby.

What's your favorite book to movie adaptation?

I am fascinated by adaptations even though I am frequently disappointed by them. A&E's Pride and Prejudice miniseries is fantastic, and I love what the Game of Thrones TV series is doing with A Song of Ice and Fire. I think in many cases, TV is a better medium for adapting books. 

What are 3 of your must-read blogs?

What is your reading personality? (via quiz at http://www.bookbrowse.com/quiz/)

Apparently I'm an Involved Eclectic, and I enjoy the thrill of the hunt, which might explain why my TBR pile is so huge. I'm always looking for new books, even when I really shouldn't be.

Thank you for joining us today, Shay! Remember to check out Shay's blog, Required Reading, and leave a comment or question.


  1. Nice to meet you Shay. I love your blog name and agree that there are bonus points when coffee is involved. I am reading the Harry Potter series for the first time and just finished the first book with my book club. Goblet of Fire was my favorite of he movies so I hope the same from the book!

    1. The Harry Potter books started getting LONG with Goblet of Fire, so I think you will find lots of awesome stuff in the book that just didn't make it to the film.

  2. Ha! We got rid of a lot of my bookshelves when we moved this last summer, but the books stayed. My husband made multiple comments about all those boxes of books and I told him he should know better!! :)

    Huge fellow fan of Harry Potter!!

    1. Our last move was into a third floor walk up. I think our movers hated me.


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