For this second interview in the series, we have Min, a bisexual Brazilian blogger with a love of books, hockey and history. She’s a lovely personality who posts about her bookish loves and gives a special important to queer and diverse reads on her blog.
Let’s start with the usual, what got you into blogging about your love for books?
I was actually a book blogger for a couple years when I was a teen, because I joined a reader group on MSN (yup, it’s been a while) and one of my friends there had a book blog and invited me to join her. I gave it up for a while after I got into college because I couldnt keep up with it, but now, five year later, I felt like I had the time and will to come back to it, so I did.
Your review policy clearly states that acceptance of a book, for you, heavily depends on the diversity of the main characters. Suggesting from this, how important is diversity for you in a book you pick up?
Very. I don’t think I’ve picked more than five non-diverse books to read this year. As a bisexual latina who is also mentally ill, diversity is a very personal topic for me. Considering that and my political views, which are very important to me, it became specially important to now only talk about how important diversity is as this theoretical concept, but to also really try my best to boost diverse reads and authors.
The reviews on your blog are both detailed and mini. Which are your favorite to write and why?
I really enjoy writing reviews in general. The ideal of dividing them between mini and detailed really is less of a personal preference and more a matter of what I think fits the book better, you know? With some books, you can really pic apart the details and talk about them each separately, but with others, it’s very hard to do that. Some of my mini reviews are bigger than some of the detailed ones, which is kinda funny to me.
With over 500 followers on twitter, how would you advise other bloggers to use it as the most efficient social media for their blog? Does a large following on twitter help a book blogger in certain ways?
I hadn’t even noticed I’d reached 500+ on twitter before I saw this email haha It’s unbelievable to me! I think the big benefit Twitter can bring to your blog is a sense of community. It’s easier to connect with others through it, I feel, especially because sometimes I can be really bad about replying to comments on the blog. So having a twitter account enabled me to make deeper connections and to meet some amazing people, and I feel that that really shows on the blog.
It’s been eight months since you started MinAndHerBooks. What is that one most important thing you’ve learnt in your blogging journey up till now?
It’s been eight months, really? It feels like I started yesterday! Anyways, what I think was my biggest lesson was to be true to myself, but also to do so while caring for others. You can be truthful and genuine, and that’s really the best way to go in life, but you also have to consider the impact of your words on others. We live in community, and it’s up to us to make that community a healthy and happy one.
You’re from South America, Brazil. As an international book blogger, do you find yourself at a harder place in the blogging community? How do you best use the available resources to work on your blog?
Yeah, it’s hard, and not only because of logistical things like ARCs and giveaways, which do make blogging so much easier, no matter what the bloggers that have easy access to those try to tell you, but really because the community itself is very US-centric, culturally. The bookish community centers itself around American values, and it can be very dismissive of other people’s, especially of people outside of the West/Global North, perspectives. There is very little wiggle room and nuance in culturally relevant discussions, so most of the time you either agree or you shut up, and your own experiences get erased or hidden. I think that’s really why some INTL bloggers tend to band together.
Do you prefer reading one book at a time or many at once?
I prefer to read one at a time, but I hardly ever manage to do that haha I usually read at least three books at once. I don’t really know why. It’s just how I roll, I guess.
E-books or paperback? ARCs or Backlists? Covers or Blurb?
Paperbacks, but I’m growing fond of ebooks! Depends on the book, really, but I’ve been trying to focus on backlist books lately, especially of indie publishers and authors. It hasn’t shown much on the blog yet, but it will soon. Covers!!! I’m a cover person, definitely. I don’t even need blurbs at all haha.
I have two reasons there. The first is a practical, financial issue. I could use money right now, and that’s a way to get it, you know? The other is that, as I said previously, I think diverse reads matter a lot, and I’d rather see good rep than just token rep for the sake of diversity points, or whatever. So, I decided I could try and help authors get the best rep possible!
Lastly, what is the best thing about this book blogging community?
The best thing are the people. I met a few awesome people on this community already. It’s lovely to be able to scream with them about the books we love, and rage about the books we hate. Be it fellow reviewers, readers or authors, there’s always someone interesting to have a good conversation with, and I’m a people-person, so it’s very exciting to me to have that kind of interaction with people.
Thank you so much, Min, for such specific answers. I’m sure all of them are of immense help to other bloggers and readers.
Those were awesome questions, and I had a blast answering them 😀 Thank you for allowing me to be a part of it.
Go and connect with Min through these links!