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©2018 Mike Chapman

22nd December 2018

 Interview with CtinaLoves2Read

Good morning - thanks very much for your time. Could you tell us a little about yourself?


Sure thing. Well, I was born and raised in New York City in the Bronx. I’ve been married to my amazing husband for 16 years. I enjoy reading, photography, shooting Youtube videos. I have a channel on youtube called “CtinaLoves2Read” where I do book reviews and discuss any kind of bookish topics.


Until a friend told me recently, I wasn’t aware that BookTube was a thing! What do you think it brings that something like a text review doesn’t?


That’s a great question. I enjoy Booktube for reviews because for one thing you can see the expression of the person giving the reviews. You can hear the inflections in their voice and it’s an enjoyable experience. I’ve read many different books off of the reviews of other people in the Booktube community on YouTube.


You said that you started a BookTube channel to explore new cultures, new worlds and new ideas. How do you feel that’s going?


So far, I’ve been really into the fantasy worlds. I really wasn't into those kinds of stories before I started my YouTube channel and became part of the Booktube community. I feel I have so much more to explore: it’s never ending and I’m forever curious to read about what’s out there.


I want to thank you for the opportunity to share my love for the Booktube community and reading in general.


What do you need to think about before you start assembling a video?


I definitely have to plan my videos ahead of time because thinking up ideas for a weekly channel can be challenging. So I have to plan whether I’m doing a tag video, which is answering bookish questions on different topics, it’s really fun. Or just doing a vlog style video where I take the camera with me shopping for books, or just doing a review or discussion…. So yes, a lot of planning.


I’ve read some news articles about YouTubers feeling under pressure to continually generate new content. Is that your experience too?


I agree that there may be some sort of pressure especially if you’re a content creator and this is something that you are consistently doing, so yes. I believe there is some pressure but you know what? It’s pressure that forces us to come up with ideas and dig deep sometimes to give the viewers what they want to see. There are many ways a person can get inspiration to come up with ideas as well and that’s been helping me too. I can watch other peoples Booktube videos… come up with discussion videos and things so there are ways to handle the pressure as well and I don't see it as a negative thing.

Do you have a preferred genre to read?


I enjoy reading Young Adult books, Fantasy, Psychological thrillers, Nonfiction... Honestly, it really depends on my mood.


Do you have a favourite book?


I thought you’d never ask. =) I have a few favourites actually and I don't know if I can list them. The way I determine my favourite book as a book that has given me some sort of emotional feeling or had fun reading. My favs are YOU by Caroline Kepnes, Fir Lodge by Sean Mcmahon, Jack the Ripper live and uncut by Matt Leyshon, One Way by Jeff Lane and The Hating Game by Sally Thorne these are all books that I love and would love to reread just to experience it all over again.


Sean McMahon - friend of the Saturday Interviews and International Man of Mystery? (Hi Sean, if you’re reading!) Let’s use that one as a case study. How did you come to review Fir Lodge?


You know that’s a funny thing, I actually won a contest he was running on Twitter… he sent me the book and I just found him to be so very brilliant. After reading Fir Lodge I just admired his creativity and him as a person. He’s really cool. And we’ve just been connected ever since. He’s actually grown to be a good friend of mine. You just never know who you’re going to connect with on social media.

How do you select which books to review?


Usually, the books I review are usually the ones I find myself annotating. Books that I want to talk about because so much has happened within the story. I also select books that give me feelings...whether it made me angry, sad, happy or excited. If I get any sort of feeling from reading a book... That’s usually the cue for me to review it because I would have a lot to say about it. If a book really is just hard to follow... Or I’m bored reading it. I would DNF the book… DNF stands for “DID NOT FINISH”


Do you review books that you DNF?


I don't review books that I’ve DNF’d because I don't know the whole story. Hopefully one day I can go back to them and give them another try.


Without naming names, could you describe the book that you gave up on most quickly? What sank it for you?


Oh, that one is easy. It’s a book about a couple of teenagers going through a breakup and at the same time there’s an intergalactic war going on. A lot of people say it’s really good but it’s too science-y for me and I couldn't really follow the story. I'm definitely going to give it another chance. I’m all about second chances. =

At its core, what do you feel makes for an enjoyable book?


I think the writing and the way the author describes certain places, people and things of importance. If I can feel or see the place in my mind. I would find it more enjoyable. I have to want to know more about the characters. My curiosity definitely has to be sparked.


It feels like I’m asking a trick question, but which do you prefer reading: paper books or e-books?


I have to be honest it really depends on my mood. I really enjoy both because I’m old fashioned in the way I enjoy just flipping the pages of a good but… but I like E-readers because I tend to finish books faster on it. Wow, that’s tough… I’d have to go with paper books…

Outside of reading and being a successful YouTuber, what are your other passions in life?


Oh, I love to travel. I was thinking about starting a travel vlog in future travels. I’ve been to a few places that I love to visit. I’m also a photographer as well. So I guess the two can go together. =)


Do you think that Booktubing and...uh...Traveltubing(?) require similar skills or are there particular challenges to each one? (Traveltubing?! - I am so out of touch since I had kids!)


Hehee! I like the term traveltubing, but it would actually be called travel vlogging. I mean -honestly, I really don't know how to travel vlog. I have tried to create a few but none that I can call successful projects. I’m really quick learning things like that so I’m sure I’ll get it if I really made it a goal. So I have no idea what challenges I would face or how similar or different they would be as far as creating a successful channel.

Do you take submissions for a book review? If a reader of this interview would like you to take a look at their own work, how would they go about that?


Firstly they can email me at CtinaLoves2Read@gmail.com and we can go over the details as far as time frame and things like that.


If people want to interact with you online, what’s the best way to do that?


The best way to get in touch with me would be through email or Twitter. I’m always available that way. My twitter name is @CtinaAlvarado


Thanks again for your time. CtinaLoves2Read's YouTube channel can be found here.