Today I am featuring Isaac from Tower of Stories. Isaac is a relatively new blogger, but who has lots to offer and I have enjoyed reading his blog. I hope you all check it out.
I love hats. Ever since I was a junior in high school I've been wearing hats whenever possible. Usually they're flat caps or my leather driver's cap, but I also have a fedora and I got a bowler hat for Christmas from my girlfriend of which I'm quite proud. I'm wearing it right now, in fact.
What was your favourite book as a child or young adult, and why?
I read "The Hobbit" by JRR Tolkien when I was in fourth grade and it made a big impression on me. I loved immersing myself in the story and its world. Two years later I read "The Lord of the Rings" and loved that, too. I loved adventures and epic tales of warriors and wizards, and these books by Tolkien werere the best I'd ever read then or since.
Why do you love to read?
I've always loved to read because I love to use my imagination and to immerse myself in a story. The phrase "get lost in a good book" is a bit of a cliché, but it's a good phrase for what I like to do with books. The sign of a really good book or story to me is that when it's finished I feel like I've just come out of a good dream and get that slightly disappointed feeling you get when you wake to realize that it didn't really happen. That experience motivates me to seek it out in more books and stories.
How do you choose your books?
There are a variety of reasons why I choose the books that I read. Sometimes it's the book's reputation and things I've heard or read about it that make me think it will be a book that I'll like. Sometimes it could be written by an author I've liked before, or one whose books I've heard I should read sometime. Other times it could be plain curiosity. I recently reviewed a book of short stories just because it was by Gene Wilder, one of my favorite actors growing up (he is not, I discovered, one of my favorite writers). These are all things I take into account when choosing a new book to read. Plus, since my blog is dedicated to short fiction, I been reading a lot of that so I can review it.
What are you currently reading and what's been the best book you have read in the last 6 months?
Right now I'm dividing time between a number of different books. "The Stories of John Cheever" is taking up most of my time. I'm also picking my way through "The Graveyard Book" by Neil Gaiman, and "Rabbit, Run" by John Updike. I'm on a bit of a hiatus from "All the Pretty Horses" by Cormac McCarthy, "The Swimming-Pool Library" by Alan Hollinghurst, but plan on returning to those sometime, and I'll start in on another book of short stories to review soon. The best book I've read in the past 6 months would have to be Gaiman's "American Gods." He is one of my favorite authors, and this is my favorite book that I've read by him. A true classic.
When and why did you start your blog?
I started my blog in late June. I'd been doing a lot of reading as I worked on my dissertation, and I thought that doing a blog would be a good way to talk about the books I was reading and my thoughts about them. Also, my friend Liz of Consumed By Books had a blog that I enjoyed reading, so I thought 'Why not?' I've had trouble in the past with keeping journals and blogs, but I thought that since this one is about reading, which I do a lot anyway, that would keep me motivated to write more often. Also, my blog focuses on short stories because it's a form of writing that I love and there aren't many bloggers who write about it. So I read and review short fiction to help fill in that gap a bit.
How did you choose your blog's name?
Originally my blog was going to be "The Tower of Books" and make a play on the word tower as both a tall structure and someone who tows things, like in a wagon. Then, after looking around for blogs about short fiction and not finding much, I decided to focus my blog on short stories, and changed the name to "Tower of Stories," which also carried the clever wordplay, since usually people usually think about the height of a building in terms of how many "stories" tall it is. The tagline "Standing Tall with Short Fiction" just came to me, and is meant to be a bit humorous because I am not a tall person.
What do you love about book blogging?
I love talking about books and stories and recommending them to people, or warning them away as the case may be. I've also really enjoyed getting to know other people in the book blogging community. It's been great getting comments from people, reading other's blogs and commenting on them, participating in memes, and everything else. It has just been a lot of fun.
What tips do you have to offer to other book bloggers?
I haven't been doing this for very long and could certainly use some tips myself, but my advice to other newbies would be for them to just be as active as they can be. Write often. Comment on other blogs. Take part in things hosted by other blogs. And, of course, read often, too. There are those who say you should read outside your comfort zone in order to be a better reader, and there are those, like me, who focus on the kind of literature that appeals to them. You alone know what kind of balance you want to strike. Just go for it, and have a good time.
I read The Hobbit when I was about in year 4 as well and it had a very big impact upon me. It is the first book I remember reading and being totally wowed by it. I didn't move onto the Lord of the Rings so quickly, but I will always remember The Hobbit fondly for really helping me to realise the fun and joy of reading