By Annie Bostrom
College student, aspiring librarian and “nerd extraordinaire” (or so she says!), Stephanie Territo loves books. So much so, in fact, that she launched a blog (http://stephthebookworm.blogspot.com/) to showcase her clear skill for reviewing them. Since Stephanie’s favorite genres are “Contemporary fiction, literary fiction, women's fiction, suspense, chick-lit, memoir, YA, and horror,” there’s truly something for everyone to enjoy in her delightful blog.
We spotted her post “I Love Library”, a movie reference – not a typo! - and knew we’d found a perfect match for our I Love Libraries readers and fans. Stephanie graciously agreed to answer a few questions for us; about her life-long love of books and libraries, and her future as a librarian. Now, without any further ado, please enjoy getting to know Stephanie here – but don’t forget to check out her blog!
ILL: What’s the first book (or series) you can remember really LOVING?
ST: This is definitely an easy one for me. I have always credited my love for reading to both my mother, and my literary hero, Beverly Cleary. Her Ramona series changed my life, and was the starting point for my love of books. It’s my mother’s favorite series too, and I have memories of us reading the books together when I was young, and just laughing at all of Ramona’s antics. I was a shy kid, and I always felt like Ramona was my first friend. Now, when I’m in used book stores or at book sales, I snatch up any Ramona books I can find!
ILL: Have you ever wished you could trade places with a character from a book? (Who?) Or is there a character who you can really identify with?
ST: Well, as I’m sure many book lovers would say, I certainly wouldn’t mind trying on Harry Potter’s world for size! Other than that, yes, there are so many characters I can relate to, and I think that’s one of the big reasons why I love reading so much! Phyllis Reynolds Naylor has this awesome Alice series that I started reading when I was probably 9 or 10, and Alice was about the same age when I read the first book. Well, the series is still being written, and I’ve always been around the same age as Alice in the books as they are released, so I definitely feel like I’ve grown up with her. I also wouldn’t mind trading places with Mia from The Princess Diaries, or Jessica Darling from Megan McCafferty’s series. Jessica Darling fans will understand why, I’m sure, when I say… Marcus Flutie!
ILL: Do you remember when you first discovered the library? Was it at school, your local public library? Was it love at first sight?
ST: It was definitely the local public library that stole my heart when I was a kid.
ILL: When did you start reviewing books for others as a hobby?
ST: I began reviewing books when I started my blog in September 2009. I decided I needed to find someplace to gab about my book love and I definitely found it!
ILL: In your blog, you mention that you “can’t wait to go to Library School” after you finish your undergraduate degree – then what? What kind of librarian are you most interested in becoming?
ST: I’m interested in becoming a public librarian, in adult services. I love public libraries because of the great community feel and the fact that there is literally something for everyone.
ILL: What do you think separates book lovers from people who love books AND become librarians – what’s the extra nudge?
ST: I think the difference is that there are book lovers – these are the people that enjoy books and reading, and then there are librarians, and these are the people whose passion in life is books and reading, and spreading that joy to others. For me, I could never imagine a world without books… I don’t know what I’d do without them.
ILL: And now, look into your crystal ball – what’s your prediction on the next book fad? Who’s going to steal the spotlight from the vampire novels?
ST: Hmm. I’m seeing a lot of zombies, dystopian, and futuristic reads lately. I’m more into contemporary myself, but I try to keep an open mind when it comes to books!
ILL: So you call yourself a nerd, but we’re not convinced – what’s the absolute nerdiest thing about you, Steph the bookworm?
ST: Well, given the opportunity, I will always choose books over parties. In fact, I would almost always rather be reading!
ILL: Tell everyone what libraries mean to you.
ST: Libraries are just… awesome! They provide a world of books and resources and community… all for free! I’ve grown up with libraries, and they evolve and change to fit the needs of the communities in which they serve. In addition to our awesome and GINORMOUS collection of books, my library has tons of movies, CD’s, computers, laptops, magazines… everything! Most importantly to me, though, is that libraries enable everyone to become lifelong readers, and readers are guaranteed a lifetime of adventures with every new book they read. As Katharine Hepburn once said, “what in the world would we do without our libraries?”
Annie Bostrom is an Editorial Assistant at Booklist, a publication of the American Library Association. She has been working with I Love Libraries since 2009.