Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2011: An Interview with Sarah Sammis

Book Blogger Appreciation Week began in 2008 as a way to recognize the efforts of those who dedicate online time to reviewing and talking about books on a regular basis. Every September, reviewers are encouraged to talk about their process, and one of the ways of doing that is to do an interview exchange with other sites. Through the sign-up on the BBAW site, I was paried with Sarah Sammis, creator of Puss Reboots.

Sarah reviews a wide variety of books, and her content dates back several years. She's even taken the time to tag each review with genre or general category, which makes it easier at a glance to see what sort of books she often talks about. Here are my questions for her:

I noticed your page header mentions that your site has been around since 1997, which nearly makes you Australopithecus in internet years. How did you get started with book reviewing?

My web site back then wasn't a book blog. I was trying my hand at freelance web design. Although I eventually abandoned freelancing, I kept the site. I started using it as a blog in 2004 and started book blogging in 2006.

What were earlier versions of your site like, back in the days before easy Blogger and WordPress templates? Were you an Angelfire or Geocities kind of gal?

My site has always been hand coded, although the design of the site has evolved over time.

You have a wide range in the type of books you cover, but I noticed there's special emphasis on children's books, which one doesn't often see in online reviews. Why is it important to you to cover books for younger readers?

The books I review reflect the books I'm reading. In 2006 my youngest child was born and you'll see in those earliest days of book blogging I was reviewing a lot of board books. I don't review every single book I read with her or with my son, just my favorites.

What do you make of the current popularity of YA books with adult readers?

I'm old enough to remember when there was very little good YA fiction. I think it's wonderful that there's such a wide selection available now.

What's your policy on acquiring review copies from publishers?

I don't do book tours. I don't review kindle only books. The full policy is on my contact me form.

How has reviewing books changed the way you read?

Reviewing books hasn't changed my reading habits but being a library science student has. I'm starting to think about the effects books might have on readers and how they can be used as teaching devices. In the spring I took a very grueling materials for children 5 to 8 class that continues to influence how I write reviews and how I select books to read to my children.

What has been the best kids' book you've read so far this year? The best book for adults?

The book for children is The Secret Letters from 0 to 10 by Susie Morgenstern. The best adult book is Generation Loss by Elizabeth Hand. Neither book was published this year. I'm way behind on reading currently published fiction.

You love cats. I love cats. Tell me why cats are awesome. ;)

Cats don't slobber. Cats are beautiful. Cats like to snuggle.

Anything else you think I should mention?

I'm finishing up my last year of library school. By summer I can call myself a librarian book blogger.

To see my interview with Sarah, head on over to Puss Reboots.


  1. Great to get to know a little about Sarah, whose blog I've been familiar with for a while now. And I love what she has to say about cats -- so true!!

  2. Yeah, no kidding. I had various attempts at webpages in the late 90s, but didn't start anything with any real regularity until 2001 when Blogger made it easy. Then this site has been around about 4 years, so that's something, I guess.

  3. Thank you for interviewing me! Sorry I'm so late in responding. Library school is taking all my spare time this semester.