Thursday, August 27, 2015

Book Bloggers Talk: Kate Sowa

Today I’m excited to have blogger Kate Sowa on the Book Bloggers Talk. Kate is the owner of the book blog Ex Libris. This is a fun book blog filled with lots of reviews, weekly posts about new books and much more bookish stuff. Ex Libris is definitely a book blog you should check out. Come and let’s get to know Kate Sowa.

The Talk:

Tell me a little more about yourself?

I am a mother of two living in the Houston area and I am originally from a small town outside of Austin, Texas.  I taught music for 6 years, then transitioned into Human Resources. My husband and I both work for NASA contractors.  I have a pet hedgehog named Mrs. Prickles.

When did you learn about your passion for books?

I have always been an avid reader.  My grandfather was an English professor and there were always books everywhere.  I guess I just got used to it!

Which book was your childhood favorite?
Kate and the ladies of the Fierce Reads Tour

There were many books, but I loved Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, and Little House on the Prairie the most.

Which book (or books) is your favorite right now?

Right now, I am loving the Remnant series by Mary Pearson.  I also just finished Pretending to Be Erica by Michelle Painchaud, which was very good, and I loved Devoted by Jennifer Mathieu.  I am telling anyone who will listen to read The Martian by Andy Weir.

What’s your favorite book genre?

I am always a sucker for time travel or historicals.  I guess I basically want to live in the past, but still have my iPhone and hot showers.

Do you prefer paperbacks or eBooks? And why?

I am very equal opportunity.  I have many of both and it just depends on where I am reading. 

How many books do you read in a week?

I really depends.  Sometimes I am reading 4 books a week and sometimes just one.  It depends on the book and on the week.

If you could live inside one book world, which world would it be?

I would live in any Jill Shalvis book because they are all set in the mountains and I would love to live in any book where I got to time travel.

When did you decide to become a book blogger? And when did you start your book blog?

I had a personal blog for a long time and decided that I wanted a place just to talk about books.  So, in June of 2011, Ex Libris was born. 

Tell us a little more about your blog ‘Ex Libris’?

When I was a kid, my mom but book plates in all of my books.  I remember they had artwork from Alice in Wonderland and they said "Ex Libris" which is Latin for 'of the books'.  It's a common thing to find on book plates and since that memory really stuck with me, I decided to name my blog Ex Libris.  It is mostly YA.  I real in a variety of genres, but since YA is so big right now, I find that these are the reviews people are most interested in reading.  Ex Libris has allowed me to become an advocate for teen lit through my volunteer work at The Texas Teen Book Festival and the Houston Teen Book Con, which has been very rewarding.
Kate and Judy Bloom

What do you love most about book blogging?

I love the community and the friends that I have made.  I am lucky to be in Texas, which has such a strong community of authors and bloggers.  Some of my best friends today are people I met through book blogging.  Nothing is better than finding people who understand your love of books!

How do you plan your time for your blog? And how much time do you spend on your blog?

I have a Google calendar that helps me schedule reviews and keep track of tour stops, etc...  I usually write reviews at night after the kids are in bed.  I couldn't tell you how much time I spend.  It really depends on what is going on in my book world....

You’re a mom. Are your children also readers and do you inspire them to read?

My kids are still pretty young, so they are early readers, but they definitely enjoy books.  We go to the library a lot and their book shelves are stuffed, so I guess that's a 'yes'!

In the last couple of years reading became less popular than it was (according to the media),and children these days don’t read as much as earlier generations did. What do you think of this development?

I'm not sure I really agree with those stats.  I think the way that kids read has changed, but both teen book festivals that I attend each year keep getting bigger and bigger.  So, I would say that perhaps pleasure reading is going down, which is a shame, but not surprising given the testing environment in the schools. 

Kate and Sarah Rees Brennan
If you could change one thing about the blogging community. What would it be?

I think I would like to tone down the drama.  People will always make mistakes, but I truly believe that we should first extend grace before the insane dog pile of hate begins.  Behind our computers, we are all human beings with families that love us and feelings.   Of course, this doesn't apply to situations where someone feels that their personal safety has been compromised.  That being said, I think that we are a great group, overall.  I see much more good than bad in the book blogging community.

Some book bloggers out there are also aspiring writers. Do you also write?

Nope, just a reader.

What would you advise be for beginning book bloggers?

Do your thing and don't measure your worth by comparing yourself to others.  Expect to work hard if you want ARCs or publishing contacts.  Don't be afraid to reach out to other bloggers in order to create a community for yourself.  And most importantly, blog because you love books.



Curious about Ex Libris? Please visit the blog here.

You can also visit Kate on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.

I would like to thank Kate for being a part of the ‘Book Bloggers Talk’.

Are you also interested in being on 'Book Bloggers Talk'? Please sign up here.

Thank you for visiting Maureen's Books! 

Maureen's Books


  1. Replies
    1. You're very welcome! Thank you for being a part of the Book Bloggers Talk!!


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