My Catchphrases

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Saturday Spotlight : Blogger Interview: Jenny from Wondrous Reads

We all know the world famous, much quoted; wonder that is Jenny from Wondrous Reads. (See the pun)

Just for the record please tell us a little about yourself.

I’m 23 from Stockport, near Manchester. I used to work as a bookseller at Borders. I love Buffy, Twilight, vampires, movies, TV, and music. And books, of course!

How does it feel to be quoted?

Pretty amazing! Every time it happens, I get really excited and ring my mum straight away. I never expect it, but it’s really cool that publishers do that.

I have to add the Jenny recently attended John Green's event in London - when it was Jenny's turn the man himself said 'Are you Jenny the famous blogger?' Wow - how awesome is that. Check out Jenny's post here.

You used to work for Borders, how do you feel about the book retail business in this country at the moment?

Obviously it could be better because, since Borders closed at Christmas, there are now only 2 big chains that sell books – Waterstone’s and WH Smith. WH Smith seems to be expanding their book sections, which is great, and Waterstone’s are the same as always. I miss Borders a lot - I think it’s the best job I’ll ever have.

Update: Jenny has a job for the Christmas season at WH Smith. Well done Jenny, I for one am hoping they realise what a terrific asset you will be to them and offer you a permanent position. GOOD LUCK.

I miss Borders too :(

How would you like to see the book retail industry develop in this country? I really think they should hire you as a buyer.

Ha! Thanks. I’ll send that comment to some people really high up in the retail business! I don’t personally think the UK will see much of a growth in book retail, as the Internet is taking over everything. If a new company set up, it’d probably end up in the same situation as Borders, and I wouldn’t like anyone to go through that. Maybe more independent bookshops are the way forward – they seem to work really well in the US.

I am hoping to interview some local indie book store owners so I will let you know their thoughts.

Have you always been interested in reading? What got you seriously started?

I’ve always read, ever since I could. I started with picture books picked by my mum (ones with lots of tiny talking animals), and then moved on to things like The Famous Five. I still love those books even now, Enid Blyton is amazing. From there I just carried on reading, all through secondary school and college. My mum and dad always encouraged reading, though it didn’t work with my younger sister – she’s only read about 3 books in 20 years! I can’t ever imagine not reading… how weird would that be?!

It always amazes me how different siblings are. I hear a lot about incentives for reluctant readers but I think it is an individual thing like sport, you either like it, are indifferent or hate it. Most importantly you need to try it before you make that decision.

How would you encourage others to read if you were in my position within a school library?

Recommend as much as you can, and start book clubs! I ran a teen book club at Borders, and it was really good – we talked about books and just generally promoted reading. I imagine school libraries are quite tricky, as not every student will want to be there. But with your knowledge, you can strike up conversations and get them talking about books they love.

Fab idea about the book club - Thanks Jenny.

How do you feel the blogging community is developing? I have noticed an influx of bloggers since I started in January.

From a UK perspective, there seems to be a new blogger every other week. It’s great! When I started blogging in January 2008, I think there were only about 4 or 5 of us from England – Sophie from So Many Books, So Little Time. Chicklish, and Liz from My Favourite Books are who stick in my mind most. Since then, there’s been a lot of new bloggers, and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know them all. Blogging is definitely getting more popular in the UK, and I think we’re getting more recognition for what we do.

Always a good thing. Plus the benefit to the authors and publishers with the extra publicity/promotion for the books.

How did you get started in the blogging world?

How did I get started? Good question – I’m trying to remember! I just randomly came home from work one day, and wanted all my reviews (that I was posting on Amazon) to be in one place. So I started Wondrous Reads. From there I just wrote lots of reviews, followed loads of US blogs and got to know other bloggers through commenting. Then I joined Twitter in July 2009 (I think), and got talking to more bloggers and authors that way. And the rest, they say, is history!

You are very organised – do you have any organisational tips?

I might seem organised, but I have a huge list of reviews to write – about 14, I think. That would be my tip, actually: make lists. I have lists everywhere – on my phone, on paper on my desk, in my head… lists of reviews I need to write, books published in a certain month, titles I want etc. I’m quite an organised person anyway; I don’t really know any other way to do things!

Brilliant idea - will make a list of the lists I need to write : D

For those that don't know Jenny, she is the worlds number one Buffy fan, her collection has even been featured in Sci-Fi magazine. So I set her the hard question....Buffy in no more than 5 words?


Twilight books or movie? I would go for both. Mainly because *hangs head in shame* I didn’t read the books until after I saw the movie.

While I do love the films (a lot – I live in the cinema when they’re out, and I go to 2 conventions a year). I prefer the books. I don’t think they’ve quite captured the feel of the books on the big screen, and it’s always usually the same – books are better than the films. I first read the books in September 2007, around 15 months before the movie came out, and so they’ll always come first. I know some people hate them, but I’m not ashamed to say I absolutely LOVE them!

Oh me too. The Twilight Saga is the reason I got back into reading after having the children. So really Stephanie Meyer changed my life : D

Another hard task for Jenny - Vampires in no more than 5 words?


Jenny - I love the way you write.

When did the vampire love begin and why?

Oh, this is an easy one – with Buffy! Well, actually, I suppose you could say it started when I read Goosebumps: Vampire Breath when I was about 10. Then in May 1998, when I’d just turned 11, my dad told me Buffy was on Sky TV. It was Season 2 Episode 7 – ‘Lie to Me’ – and I loved every minute. I quickly got completely obsessed, and it’s never gone away – I collect everything I can, and have seen every episode well over 100 times each. Don’t get me talking about Buffy, or I will be here forever!!

Around the same time, my dad gave me his 1970s copy of I Am Legend by Richard Matheson read Jenny's review here. At the time, it was the best book I’d ever read (it’s still in my top 3 now) and it really cemented my love for vampires. They’re fascinating!

Is there someone you really admire and why?

Well, aside from my parents, I’d have to say Markus Zusak. I admire him for writing a story like The Book Thief, and for showing people a true vision of WWII and the Holocaust. I also admire Joss Whedon cause, y’know, he’s a genius. Oh! And Sarah Michelle Gellar, ‘cause she’s a phenomenal actress.

That is wonderful that you admire your parents (you made me fill-up). I see a theme with Joss Whedon And Sarah Michelle Gellar, lol.

What would you ask yourself in an interview?

Argh, that’s a hard one. Erm… who would win in a fight between Angel and Edward Cullen? (For the record, my money’s on Angel - he’s a badass vampire, even when he’s got a soul. Edward may look pretty, but he’s no match for the Whedonverse Vamps!).

Ha, ha that is funny but dont forget that Edward would be able to read Angels mind : D

Do you have any tips or advice you would like to share?

If you’re a blogger, make sure you enjoy yourself. Try not to get stressed out with it, and just do what’s right for you. And if you’re not a blogger, here’s my advice to you: If you haven’t yet seen them, buy or rent the Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel DVD box-sets. You won’t regret it, and you can thank me later. ;-)

Thanks for having me, Emma. Grr Argh!

Wow Jenny. Your answers to my random questions were just amazing. Thank you so much for letting me harass you. I giggled and almost cried while editing your interview.

If you havent yet visited Jenny's blog then you MUST do so NOW!!!!


  1. This is wonderful and I loved reading it. Jenny is a star! (And I agree on Buffy...) :)

  2. Thanks for interviewing me Emma, it was a lot of fun! :)

  3. Great interview! Both of your blogs are brilliant :)

  4. Great interview! I love Jenny's blog and it was really interesting to hear her thoughts about blogs and books :)

    I've never watched Buffy before but I might give it a try now!

  5. Excellent interview, dudes! Loved it. That Buffy collection is awe-inspiring.

  6. This was a great interview with Jenny! She actually has my first book for review I believe. I liked watching Buffy too, and I would have to say that Angel would win hands down in a fight between him and Edward Cullen! If you are interested or have the time I tagged you in a game of tag on my blog. Hope you are having a great weekend!

    The Delusional Diaries

  7. Aww. What a great interview. I think my job at Books Etc/Borders will be the best job I ever have as well. I think I'll pick up I Am Legend one of these days.. Also, excellent suggestion for a book club in the library!

  8. I loved Buffy/Angel as well. I've read quite a lot of Buffy & Angel books & comics and I love David Boreanaz he was the best vamp ever lol. I was one of those girls that walked around with the buffy watch and phone cover and ring, I even had a velvet Buffy bag which I still have lol, some people thought I was mad. This was a great interview. :)


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