My 100th blog post: Q&A

I first started blogging about four and a half years ago, and now there are 100 blog posts on this site. I’m so pleased that I have continued with my blog and I look forward to more to come.

Thank you to everyone who follows my blog and to those who read my posts, it really does mean a lot.

For this special 100th post, I have decided do a Q&A because I quite enjoy them (I hope you do too) and I thought it might be nice for my readers and followers to learn a bit more about me. So, I asked for questions over on my Instagram account (@georgiaellenreads) and I am going to answer them below.

What inspired you to pursue your English degree? Would you ever have done something else?

I think it was at GCSE level that I began considering English as a subject that I wanted to continue studying. I loved my GCSE English teacher and I enjoyed the lessons and content a lot. This was when I began to realise that I had a real interest in the subject and actually enjoyed being passionate about it. I had the same teacher for A-level English and continued to love studying the subject. When I thought about what I wanted to do next, although I loved my other A-level subjects (History and French), I knew that English was the one I was most passionate about. I don’t think I would ever have done something else, if I’m honest. English was the one for me and I really wanted to study it further and I’m so glad that I took it to degree level.

Who’s your favourite Bridgerton character?

(no spoilers here, don’t worry)

This is a tough one. I have watched, and loved, the first series of Bridgerton, but I’m not sure that I loved any one character in particular. I think they all have characteristics and aspects that I like or admire. I love that Eloise is a strong, independent, feminist character, but I do also like Daphne and admire the way she carries herself and deals with situations. Overall, I think I could talk about the aspects I like in every character and I think they all have complexities, but perhaps I’ll just say that I like Eloise’s strong nature and leave it there for now.

If you could have any animal as a domestic pet (and it wouldn’t attack you), what would it be?

This is probably going to be a boring anwer, but I would choose a dog. I don’t think there are any wild animals that I would want as a pet, even if they wouldn’t attack me. But I have met some lovely dogs and I think if I could have any pet, that would have to be my choice.

Is there a book that you studied at uni that you wouldn’t normally read, but you’re glad you did?

One of my favourite things about studying English at university was that I got to read some books from further down my tbr or that I had not heard of before. Thinking specifically about books that were not on my radar before uni, I really enjoyed Herland and Ann Veronica and loved studying them both too. I also really enjoyed The Mere Wife by Maria Dahvana Headley. It’s a retelling of Beowulf and I thought it was so interesting and clever and I definitely would not have read it had it not been for uni.

If you could be a character from any book you have read, who would you be?

When I was a child, I really wanted to be Lucy from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. I still think she is one of my favourite literary characters and it would be incredible to go to Narnia. However, she does have some quite scary experiences, so perhaps I am not brave enough for that adventure. Although if I could actually be Lucy, in that I would have her bravery and courage, then that would be great – get me to Narnia!

Where is your favourite place to read?

Usually, I like to read sat on my bed or on the sofa because it’s comfy and I can get cosy. However, in the summer months or away on holiday, I do quite like reading outside in the warm sunshine.

Bookmarks or folding page corners?

I am definitely, and have always been, a bookmark person. Partly because I love bookmarks and I have so many of them! I am also too precious about my books and cannot imagine bending the pages. Even if I don’t have a bookmark at hand, I will still put something in my page to mark it rather than fold a page corner. I can’t count the amount of times I have wondered where my phone is and then remembered that I put it in my book to mark my place!

What was the first book that made you realise you had fallen in love with books / reading?

This is a tricky one because I don’t entirely remember the moment I fell in love with books and reading. I do remember loving Enid Blyton books and spending my summer days sat reading, so I guess maybe those books were when I realised I wanted to spend lots of time with books beacuse I enjoyed reading. It sounds like a cliche to say that I have always loved reading, but I think that I have, at least from as early as I can remember. Other books that I remember enjoying as a child were the Rainbow Magic series, The Lottie Project, The Family From One End Street and My Naughty Little Sister. I’m sure there were many more, but those stick in my mind.

If you had to write a book, what genre would it be?

At uni, I took a module called ‘Writing the Novel’ and our assignment was to write the opening of a novel. I chose to write a novel opening that I imagine would be classed as YA and I quite enjoyed that, so I think I would probably either write YA or romance.

Why do you think books have lasted hundreds of years without many changes?

I love this question!

I think that there are a number of reasons why books have lasted so long, and the format of writing on paper (or some kind of sheet or screen) is something simple that has been around for ages in one form or another. When we think of the novel, that is relatively new as it rose in popularity in the 19th century, but books and the written word have lasted and will continue I think (and hope).

One reason that books have lasted is that we have found a way to make them available and accessible. Types of libraries have continued to make books available to people and paperbacks also allow prices of books to be fairly low. Thinking of the UK, the availability of education means that more people are able to read and therefore books can provide pleasure or a way of learning.

Books continue to develop in format and materials as they were probably made from animal skins or something at some stage, and now we use paper but also have the digital format of ebooks. Another format is audiobooks, and whilst these are not a physical book, they provide the same narrative as a book and give an even wider accessibility to literature. They allow a kind of return to oral culture too as voice actors read and record the books. This updating and changing of format to suit the changing times keeps books physically relevant and allows us to continue to enjoy their content.

Going back to education, books are a useful tool for learning information, learning to read, and learning values such as empathy. One of the amazing things about books is that we can read them as though we are the characters and can really get into their shoes and have expereinces, visit places and see through a different perspective.

This links to the escapism that books provide. Being transported to a new place or new identity is educational, but it can provide escapism too. This is something we have seen particularly over the past year or so as more people have turned to reading, partly for something to do, but also to leave troubles behind and go somewhere else for a while, maybe even be someone else.

Considering that words on paper seems like a fairly simple concept, books really are quite amazing and powerful. To me, it is not surprising at all that they have survived for so long.

More than anything, I think that we love to tell and hear stories and that is why books have lasted.

(Sorry for the long answer – I enjoyed getting into that one a bit!)

Are you drawn to certain genres?

For sure! I try to vary my reading, but I am a definite sucker for a romance. I just love a good love story, it makes my heart so happy.

Thank you to everyone who asked a question, I really enjoyed answering them. I hope you enjoyed this Q&A!

G x

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