Posted by: Jill Potts Jones | September 14, 2010

Media Specialist Kathy Martin loves books and reading

In celebration of Book Blogger Appreciation Week, I interviewed Kathy Martin, book blogger at Inside of a Dog.  Kathy is from Southeast Minnesota and has been a librarian/media specialist in Minnesota schools since 1976.  Her favorite genre is paranormal and YA books but also enjoys mysteries, thrillers, romance and science fiction.  Her favorite authors are Lois McMaster Bujold, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, Nora Roberts and Jayne Ann Krentz (as well as all of her pseudonyms).

You will enjoy visiting Kathy’s blog as it is informative and very well written.  She is well-versed in her favorite authors and has a desire to share her love of reading with others. 


 I asked Kathy several questions about herself.  See her answers below:

1  Have you ever considered becoming a writer?  Are you in the process of writing a book, short story, etc.?  If you haven’t written anything but would like to, what’s stopping you? 

People ask me that all the time because they know I love to read and read all the time. I have always said that I am a consumer of literature and not a producer. I have never had any desire to write. I am in awe of those authors who have the skills and talent to write but know that I do not. It seems that every author I have ever met has had a great visual memory. So many children’s and young adult authors can remember their childhoods in great detail. My memory is awful.

2.  If you could be any character in one of your favorite books, who would you choose and why?

This is a hard question to answer because the answer changes depending on what I have read lately. Having just finished a re-read of the Miles Vorkosigan books by Lois McMaster Bujold, I really want to be Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan. She is brave, intelligent, adventurous, and above all honorable. She is an excellent wife to her husband and a mother who sets high expectations for her sons.

3.  Why do you like to read?  Have you always had a love for books?

I like reading because I like exploring vicariously and traveling without the hassles of packing or leaving home. I prefer to read about adventure and trauma and dangerous situations rather than to actually live them. I find reading relaxing and entertaining. I have been an almost constant reader since I was in fourth grade. My love of reading is what made me decide that I wanted to be a school librarian in the first place. In addition to the adult books I read, I read a lot of young adult books and I love sharing the great books I find with my students.

4.  How did you get started blogging about books?

I actually began my blog as a project for a class on web 2.0 tools that was started by our State Library groups.Since everything possible is served on a stick at the Minnesota State Fair, the librarians decided to call our project to become familiar with Web 2.0 tools 23 Things on a Stick. I thought it sounded like fun and learned lots. After I completed the class though, my blog sat almost unused until I discovered the world of book bloggers and thought that I would like to tell people about the books I was reading too.

5.  Do you have other hobbies in addition to reading?

No. I do spend some time on the computer but these days that is mostly keeping up with the blogs I follow and writing and posting on my own blogs. I am a fan of the Atlanta Braves baseball team and do enjoy watching their games on my computer. I will also cheer for the Minnesota Vikings (if their games don’t conflict with my Braves baseball games). 

6.  I noticed on your blog that you re-read books–which ones are your favorites to re-read and how often do you re-read them?  What makes a book re-readable?

I like to re-read books because it gives me a chance to reconnect with favorite characters or stories. It is hard to say what makes a book re-readable. I like stories that touch my heart and emotions. I like interesting characters in interesting situations. Some favorites I will read again at least once a year. Sometimes I will re-read a series when a new book comes out. Sometimes I am just in a mood to revisit a book.

There are some authors that I find I can read over and over again. Their style just appeals to me. I love the Science Fiction authors Lois McMaster Bujold for her Miles Vorkosigan series and also Sharon Lee and Steve Miller for their Liaden Universe books. I like the mysteries that Dick Francis wrote. I like the historical romances written by Amanda Quick and the futuristic romantic mysteries written by J. D. Robb.

Some one-off titles that I re-read at least once a year are That Man Cartwright by Ann Fairbairn and Sunshine and Shadow by Sharon and Tom Curtis.

7.  What would help you decide to read a book outside of your favorite author or genre?

I already read in a wide variety of genres. I think that a strong review from a blogger who has shown me that our tastes are similar will encourage me to add a book to my TBR stack to read “someday.” There are usually so many books coming out in genres I already read that I can’t keep up as it is. I have over 800 books at my home or on Kindle that I have not yet had time to read. I really should go through the stacks of new Young Adult books and donate the ones that I don’t think I will ever get to. I usually donate them to my high school media center for my students to read. (And, if I ever run out of things to read, they will still be available for me to check out.)

8.  Which author would you like to have coffee with and what would you discuss?

Being a rather shy person, I am afraid that I am more likely to listen to a favorite author than have a discussion with them. Lois McMaster Bujold is rather frighteningly articulate in person but I have enjoyed meeting and spending time with her talking about the big ideas in her books.

She tells stories that explore what might happen to society as a result of some of today’s scientific advances. Her most recent book talks about cryogenics and what would happen to society if a majority of people didn’t actually die but chose to be frozen until some specific future.

Oh, and let’s skip the coffee and pour me a Diet Pepsi instead.

9.  What is your favorite quote and why?

“Some prices are just too high, no matter how much you may want the prize. The one thing you can’t trade for your heart’s desire is your heart.”

Lois McMaster Bujold, “Memory”, 1996

Sometimes we need to be reminded of our priorities and be aware of the consequences of our decisions.

10.  What is your personal life philosophy?

Do no harm. Treat others with respect and kindness.



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