Book Blogger Appreciation week is full of many ways to celebrate the community. One of the activities was a Book Blogger Interview swap.
My assigned partner is Chris at Cloud of Witness. This blog is a very different kind of book blog than mine, showing some of the breadth of the community. I thought that was really cool! I’ll let you get to know him by reading our interview below, and by checking out his blog.
- Give a quick summary of your blog.
At Cloud of Witnesses I blog about theology, philosophy, and writing, and many of my posts focus on books on these subjects, but also articles and other blog posts. I try to pass along news about new books and other media that I think the readers would be interested in.
- How long has this blog been running? Is it your first one?
Yes, this is my first blog, and it’s relatively new, since March of this year. In my work as an editor I’ve been reading more and more blogs, so I was inspired to create my own and hopefully share some insights and knowledge that will be helpful to people with similar interests.
- What made you decide to start?
As mentioned briefly above, I felt like I had something to contribute to people who are interested in theology, philosophy, and writing. For more personal reasons, I enjoy having a creative outlet that forces me to write on a regular basis and to stay engaged with current events and ideas. Some people are very good at keeping journals and diaries for writing practice, but I have a hard time doing that unless I have a deadline and know that I have to produce something.
- Do you have goals, either for your blog itself or what you personally hope to accomplish by writing it?
Mainly I hope it will be helpful, informative, thought-provoking, and to some degree inspiring. I enjoy passing on helpful resources – like interesting articles, free e-book downloads, good posts from other blog, and the like. And since many of my readers are Christians, I try to communicate material that will encourage them to grow in their faith and think more deeply about it. I have an academic background in philosophy, and I believe it’s a great tool for helping us to arrive at the truth about important questions. That’s one reason I include a “philosophy word of the day” each day.
- Do you have any changes you are planning to make to your blog in the next year?
Yes, I’m hoping to have more guest writers, which keeps things interesting. There is strength in diversity, and it’s beneficial to hear a variety of voices and viewpoints.
- Do you blog about everything you read? If not, what are your criteria on what to include?
I try to focus on what will be most interesting and relevant to my audience. Sometimes I’ll go completely outside of the box and post on something I never write on. I ask myself if I would be interested in reading about this or that, and use that as a starting point.
- What are your favorite genres to read? Favorite authors? Any
guilty pleasures? Authors that you have a hard time with but are
always glad you made the effort?
I love a good story, but rarely read fiction. I always think I should, but hardly do. For the most part, movies fill my story-cravings these days. The best nonfiction, in my opinion, incorporates good storytelling techniques, so I guess there’s some overlap in the genres.
Some of my favorite authors are C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Dallas Willard, Gary Chapman, and Max Lucado. Most of the philosophers I read I have a hard time with, but find it’s worth the effort.
When I just want to relax, I’ll pick up something funny – like an old Far Side book, or Calvin and Hobbes.
- What are your preferred formats? (paper vs. electronic; audio vs.
Overall, I still prefer the printed page. I read some articles and blog posts on my iPhone, but for a full-length book, I’m partial to the real thing.
- If you use (or are thinking about using) any electronic device for
you reading, tell me about it (e-reader, MP3 player, etc).
I think the e-readers are still too expensive and have too many limitations. Once they get down to between $100 and $150, I’ll take them more seriously. It’s difficult to make notes with them, you can’t share or lend the books, and most only handle a proprietary format—although that’s beginning to change with the new Sony Reader that supports the more flexible epub format.
- Tell me a little about you: Age (you don’t need to be specific),
occupation, family, pets?
I’m 37 years old and married to my lovely wife, Naomi, who is originally from Tokyo, Japan, and I’m a developmental editor with Moody Publishers in Chicago. Besides blogging, I like to play racquetball, watch good movies, spend time with friends, and listen to interesting lectures on my iPhone during my long daily commute.
- How have you interacted with the book blogging community? Any further plans for the future?
One of the best things about having a blog is getting to know other bloggers who write on the same topics. I’ve recently gotten in touch with a couple of guys whose blogs are similar to mine and we’re beginning to talk about how we can collaborate and help each other. Writing about books is a great way to meet people with similar interests and a way to encourage others and be encouraged in your reading and writing endeavors. As a favorite Scripture verse of mine says, “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed” (Proverbs 15:22).