Saturday, June 29, 2013

Meet the Shelf Inflicted Staff - Terry

Today's guest is Shelf Inflicted's superintelligent infant Terry.

How did you discover Goodreads?

Wow it seems so long ago I'm not sure I remember. Sometime around 2008 I think I was practicing my Google-fu and came across a website that purported to be a great social site for readers, sort of Bookface, combined with a library catalogue system. I joined, and tentatively posted some reviews, but seeing as I had no friends or followers at the time not much happened as a result. I came back in 2011 and learned the ropes a bit reviews, threw around some likes, made some friends, posted reviews of my own and got the ball rolling until it became the number one web addiction in my life that it is today!

What have been your most memorable Goodreads experiences?

I think the first few reviews that got likes (and comments) and motivated me to keep on reviewing, as well as my occasional cracking of the top 10 reviewers from Canada have been the most memorable to me. You'd probably have to add to that invitations from others to join groups, contribute to blogs and the's nice to feel loved and the social element of GR is what keeps me coming back. I haven't really posted any controversial reviews so I don't get troll-wars or long-standing comment thread discussions that might add a bit more spice, but I do have fewer burn marks and battle scars than some as a result which I guess is a plus.

Name one reviewer not in the Forbes 25 that people should be aware of.

Only one? I guess I'd give a shout-out to ex-pat Canuck Ben Babcock who's got some great reviews out there.

What was your initial reaction to Amazon buying Goodreads?

Trepidation. Was I going to be censored (though I guess given my lack of controversial reviews as noted above that wasn't likely to be too much of a concern), or lose ownership of my reviews? Also, given that Amazon is a megacorporation that only cares about the bottom line I was worried. As far as I'm concerned they don't have a good track record: after all they are the ones who bought out Lexcycle (the makers of Stanza, the best ereader app out there) just so they could kill it, and given that they seem to think that an example of a good review is one produced by the Harriet Klausner-bot I was not happy.

How many books do you own?

Probably somewhere around 1200-1300

Who is your favorite author?

Are you really asking this? Do you expect a real answer? My heart says Tolkien...I have a long and storied history with old JRRT and while I would have to admit that he may not be the absolute best author on my list (though I think he is a great writer...far better than his detractors will often give him credit for), he will probably always be my favourite. I will cheat by saying that I must also include Sean Stewart, David Mitchell, and Alexandre Dumas, père in this answer!

What is your favorite book of all time?

*sigh* Ok, make it tough why don't you?! The Silmarillion (and by extension the LotR), The Count of Monte Cristo, Watership Down, and a new one: Islandia (thanks for the push Richard!) are all books I could not live without.

Oh, um, can I also add Dune, The Name of the Rose, and Riddley Walker to that list? And maybe Engine Summer, Moby Dick and....(you get the picture.)

What are your thoughts on ebooks?

Love 'em. Keep 'em coming! How great is it to be able to port a 1200+ library in your pocket? I can safely say that I have done more reading in the last few years with my ereader than I ever did in any single period before. I still love the look, feel and esp. smell of dead-tree books, but my go-to version these days is of the e-variety.

What are your thoughts on self-publishing?

I think it's great that this exists as a viable option in our day and age given the technology to produce them and ubiquity of the web to promote and distribute them that we have. I don't read much (if any) self-published stuff, but I am not averse to it in theory...just make sure some kind of editor was involved and avoid rookie mistakes like spelling errors, punctuation and the like.

Any literary aspirations?

Don't we all? But I'm afraid my laziness and lack of self-confidence have had a strangle-hold on my throat (and writing arm) for most of my life. Now that I have two kids I have another excuse for why it's too hard to write. I think reviewing is filling some of that void, but I still mean to write a 'real book' one of these days! I will, damn it!

What is your ideal super villain lair?

Wow, so many choices? How does one choose? The classic panache of the abandoned castle on the moors? The accessibility and subterfuge of the volcano/hollowed out mountain? The mobility of the submarine? I think I will cheat and claim all three: an abandoned castle built on the edge of a hollowed out volcano located on a tropical island and accessible only via secret submarine!

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