Interview with a Book Blogger: Dee from Deelightful Days

One of the best things about blogging is the ability it gives you to connect with other people who love reading as much as you do. I’ve met some brilliant people from across the globe since I started my blog, and it’s always lovely when you strike up a conversation with someone who you’d otherwise never meet.

I’ve been blogging for over a year on Bookshelves and Biros now, and I’ve been privileged enough (I legit have no idea how) to have built a pretty decent readership, many of whom I’m lucky enough to call friends! The book blogging community has never been anything but incredibly helpful, utterly supportive and totally brilliant since I started WordPress-ing as a newbie in 2016, and I want to help other new bloggers to feel as welcome as I did.

In typical haphazard fashion, I’ve decided to extend an open invite for collaborations, guest posts, link-ups and other fun stuff to all of the booknerds out there who are new to blogging (or any of you oldies, y’all are always welcome here!) and want to connect with other bloggers. First up to bat is the lovely Dee from Deelightful Days, who I have been lucky enough to interview. Please do check out Dee’s answers below and then head straight over to her blog (which is v.pretty, I gotta say) to check out what she’s been up to!

If you’re reading this, and you fancy working on something cool together (Potter collaborations are always most welcome!) then drop me a line on bookshelvesandbiros@gmail.com or tweet me @booksandbiros.

Over to you, Dee!


Hello readers! I’m terrible when it comes to introductions, but here goes nothing. dee-deeightful-daysI’m Dee, book blogger over at Deelightful Days. I’m a junior in college, studying Creative Writing and History in hopes of one day fulfilling my dream of becoming a published author. When I’m not drowning in schoolwork, I like to read, write, binge-watch Netflix shows, and peruse YouTube. Thanks for reading! xx

Why did you decide to start blogging?
I’m a big fan of YouTube. I started watching beauty bloggers when I was a freshman in high school, but one of the girls I watched had a second channel where she posted book reviews. I noticed that those were the videos I most looked forward to, but at this time Booktube hadn’t really taken off. Once I realized that there were entire channels devoted to reading and books, I knew that this was something that I could do. However, the idea of sitting in front of a camera and posting videos of myself talking scared me (although I still think about starting a channel everyday) so I decided that I would start a blog of my own. Writing was always my forte, anyway. 😉

Do you have any super helpful websites, blogging resources or reading tricks that everyone should know about?
That’s a tough one. I’ve found that what works for other people does not always work for me in terms of scheduling and just how I work/plan/organize. Pinterest is a good way to find different methods and tips in terms of blogging, so I’d start there with some general searches and integrate them in a way that works for you. Anything that I’ve learned or incorporated into my life as a blogger has come from Pinterest. I have a whole board dedicated to blogging, and I recommend that every blogger regardless of what content he or she posts, should have a board dedicated to tips and tricks. As far as reading tricks, if you want to get yourself into a schedule, dedicate a short period of time (30 minutes to 1 hour) to reading everyday. I do this just because my life can get rather busy sometimes, so rewarding myself with that time to read is something I can look forward to. However, don’t force yourself to read if you don’t want to. The last thing you want is to have reading feel like a chore. I’d also think about reading multiple books at one time and in different mediums (i.e. audiobook, e-book, etc.) I’m almost always reading an actual book and listening to an audiobook. I like this because I can still engross myself in a story even when I have to be doing other things like walking to class, driving, or cleaning.

What’s been your favourite part of being a blogger so far?
Internet friends! Haha, but in all seriousness, I love the online book community! It’s great to have people to talk to about what you’re currently reading or what your next read should be. I never have a problem with finding a book to read because I’m constantly checking out what other people are reading. Receiving ARCs is really awesome, too, especially when you get a book that you’re really looking forward to!

Most anticipated books of 2017?
Ooh, I actually just wrote a blog post about this, but I’ll name a few. Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth, Once and For All by Sarah Dessen, and Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller. You can read my full list here.

What’s do you think is the best post you’ve created for your blog (your favourite)?
I think my favorite post that I’ve ever done is the Narnia tag! I’m a huge fan of tags—it’s so fun to read other bloggers’ answers and to spend time coming up with my own answers to the questions. Narnia is also one of my favorite book series, so that made it all the better.

What’s your Patronus (if you’ve done the test!)?
Of course I’ve done the test! I actually can’t remember off the top of my head–I’ll need to check. *logs onto Pottermore* Ah, an Irish Wolfhound. I forget if they provided a brief explanation of each Patrnous, but I can’t seem to find one at the moment.

Do you have any hobbies or things that keep you busy outside of blogging?
I’m currently a full-time student, so when I’m not blogging I’m in class or working on homework, papers, and projects. I’m a Creative Writing major, however, so luckily my work usually consists of hours of reading and/or writing, which I obviously don’t mind. 😉 After getting an apartment of my own, I’ve found that I really enjoy cooking (not a big fan of dishes, though). It’s a simple task, but it gives me an hour where I can just concentrate on what I’m doing and not have to think about anything that’s currently stressing me out. Plus, I usually listen to an Audiobook while making dinner, so it’s also a small sliver of time that I also get to read something that isn’t school-related.

Any blog goals or wishes for 2017?
I think my main goal is to create more content and perhaps get into a posting schedule. This tends to be a bit more difficult now with going back to school, but I’m slowly finding ways to dedicate time to blog posts and reading. I’d also like to interact with more bloggers in the book community!

Give me one of your favourite bookish quotes!
I recently read Unfiltered by Lily Collins and found myself identifying with the book in its entirety. My favorite quote, however, has to be “I am whole just as I am. I am defined not by my life experiences but by how I let them affect me and how I handle myself in each situation.”

What’s your favourite genre and why?
The majority of what I read is YA Fiction. Recently I’ve been most interested in science fiction/fantasy, although there are some contemporary writers that I enjoy such as Sarah Dessen, John Green, and Jennifer Niven. I’m a big fan of historical fiction as well, and that’s typically the only genre that I’ll read if it isn’t YA. I’m trying to branch out in terms of genres because I think it’s a good idea to expose yourself to a variety of topics/issues, so I’ll read memoirs/biographies from time to time!

You can find Dee’s blog at https://deelightfuldays.com/


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Awesome alternative Valentine’s Day reads

Not feeling Valentine’s Day this year, or perhaps any year? Maybe you’re not into the commercialisation of telling people you love them, would rather go out for dinner with your Mum or spend the evening in watching Netflix with absolutely no mention of heart-shaped chocolates or confessing your undying love to your secret crush.

Basically, is this you?

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For me, Valentine’s Day is a bit of a non-starter. I’m not a teddy bear kind of girl, and I tell the important people in my life that I love them all the time. Whether you hate Valentine’s Day in general or you’re just not feeling the ooey-gooey, lovey-dovey vibes this year, this list has lots of awesome Valentine’s Day reads that celebrate all of the love in our lives every day of the year, romantic or nah.


Recommendations from Bookshelves & Biros:

What’s A Girl Gotta Do? (The Spinster Club #3) by Holly Bourne

There’s a little bit of romance in this book, but What’s A Girl Gotta Do? by Holly Bourne is really about the bond between friends and how our interests and passions can be just as fulfilling and satisfying as our relationships. This is a love story, but not in the traditional sense. It’s about leaning on our friends, learning to love ourselves (even with all of our contradictions and flaws) and finding joy and purpose in the things we do outside of our relationships: the things that make us us. 

Matilda by Roald Dahl

Matilda is one of Roald Dahl’s best-loved and most famous books, and for good reason. The story of a super-smart young girl with a talent for telekinesis and truly awful parents, Matilda shows us all that true love and affection doesn’t always have to come from our families or relationships. Sometimes our friends and the people outside of our blood relations become our real families, and Matilda’s wonderfully sweet and honest relationship with Miss Honey, a teacher who celebrates her for everything she is, makes this book one of my all time favourites.

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White 

Usually dog is man’s best friend, but in E.B. White’s classic middle grade novel, it’s all about Wilbur the pig. Love can come from the most unlikely of places, and I can’t think of many books that celebrate the joy and tenderness of true friendship in a better way than Charlotte’s Web. Also, gotta appreciate a spider who has such a vast vocabulary, right?


Recommendations from some of my wonderful book blogger friends:

Amanda at Cover2CoverMom suggests…

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

“A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman has many different themes, but friendship is a big part of this book.  Ove, a curmudgeon is mourning the loss of his wife when he gets a set of new neighbors.  Ove is very stringent and thrives on order and routine.  When a pregnant “foreign woman,” her clumsy husband, and two daughters show up on his doorstep, it is safe to say that Ove is thrown for a loop.  It isn’t long before Parvaneh and her family force their way into Ove’s life and heart.  I love how A Man Called Ove shows us that friends can show up very unexpectedly in our lives and fill a void in our lives that we didn’t realize we had.”

The One-In-A-Million Boy by Monica Wood

“The One-in-a-Million Boy by Monica Wood includes the unlikely friendship between an 104-year-old woman and a 11-year-old boy.  Neither one has many friends as Ona has outlived many of her friends and the boy struggles to relate to other children his age.  There is just something so sweet about their relationship.  Both got so much out of their relationship.  This is a very heartwarming read.  The One-in-a-Million Boy teaches us that we are never too old to make a new friend.”

The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel

“The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel is about a boy named Fielding who befriends “the devil.”  Do I have your attention now?  Good!  This book tackles so many tough topics like racism, homophobia, domestic violence, child abuse, etc. but it also includes a beautiful friendship between Fielding and Sal. Sal teaches Fielding a great many things over the course of their friendship, and Fielding’s life will never be the same.  The Summer That Melted Everything highlights the fact that some friendships can impact the rest of our lives.”


Jess at The Mud and Stars Book Blog recommends…

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Wild by Cheryl Strayed

“Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, about her experience of hiking the Pacific Crest trail, all by herself, after hitting rock bottom, is my pick. It’s a gripping, emotional read about an awesome lady facing an enormous challenge, and kicking ass on her own! It’s one of those life-changing books which makes you feel empowered, inspired, and fills you with hope.”


Bonus alternative V-Day recommendations to bolster your ever-growing TBR

Featuring unlikely friendships, man’s best friend, family ties, unbreakable bonds, girl power, self-love and lust for life, these books are your go-to for awesome non-gushy Valentine’s Day reading.

  • The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (DUH)
  • Winnie The Pooh by A.A. Milne
  • Skellig by David Almond
  • Unbecoming by Jenny Downham
  • The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  • Watership Down by Richard Adams
  • Vicky Angel by Jacqueline Wilson
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
  • Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
  • The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants by Ann Brashares

Which books do you turn to celebrate love in all of its different forms? Let me know all in the comments!

Also, a huge thanks to Amanda and Jess for sharing their recommendations for alternative, non-romantic Valentine’s Day books with me! If you don’t already follow them, what are you waiting for? They’re both seriously great, trust me.

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9 Valentine’s Day reads to give you all of the feels

For the romantics of us, Valentines Day is one day in the year where you get to express in the gushiest of ways how much those we love mean to us. For everyone else, it’s a commercialised mess of saccharine sentiment, too much chocolate and teddy bears that will be relegated to the loft come the 15th February.

I fall somewhere in the middle. I’m not averse to the idea of Valentine’s Day, but by no means do I want stuffed toys (unless its this cuddly Buckbeak, obvs) and I think its silly to dedicate just one day out of 365 to expressing affection for those that we love the most, whether that’s a partner, a friend, a relative or even a pet.

To celebrate this divisive little day, I’ve got two swoon worthy lists for you. For anyone who can’t get on a good ship fast enough, or wants to snuggle down with a fluffy, tingly YA romance then this list is your bae. For everyone and anyone that feels mildly nauseous at the thought of slow dancing under the stars or sharing spaghetti, check out my alternative list of Valentines Day reads, coming next week! 

A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard

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Featuring a romantic relationship that is in turn totally cute and utterly realistic, A Quiet Kind of Thunder is a love story that is totally fit for the 21st century. I defy you not to fall in love with Rhys and Steffi as they navigate their lives, their disabilities and their relationship.

I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

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Packed with sparkly writing, gorgeous metaphor and two love interests to faint for, Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You The Sun is as swoon-worthy as they come.

Haunt Me by Liz Kessler 

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Ghosts, bullying, grief and drugs. Sounds romantic, right? Seriously though, this book manages to balance powerful subject matter and great character development with the sweetest paranormal romance. Think Ghost for the Instagram generation.

How Hard Can Love Be? (The Spinster Club #2) by Holly Bourne

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Holly Bourne tells it how it is. Amber is a British girl at a summer camp in the USA who falls for a quintessential American dude. It’s touching, slow-burning and laugh-out-loud hilarious.

The Next Together (The Next Together #1) by Lauren James

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Lauren James really had her work cut out with this one. A mash-up of the historical and sci-fi genres, The Next Together is a sweepingly romantic adventure set against the backdrop of major historical events and futuristic technology. In a fun twist, you can even find out what time period from The Next Together you should really live in. Thanks, Buzzfeed. We love you.

Delirium (Delirium #1) by Lauren James

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If you like your love stories with a dystopian flavour, then Delirium is a good place to start. In a society where people are ‘cured’ for life of being infected with ‘deliria’ aged 18, one girl does the unthinkable: she falls in love.

Noughts and Crosses (Noughts and Crosses #1) by Malorie Blackman

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Noughts and Crosses is one of the original and best YA dystopia books. It also features one of the most heartbreaking, soul-shattering, beautifully rendered love stories I’ve ever come across. This THE book to read if you’re a) a fan of the most powerful writing and social commentary and b) (on a more Valentines Day-friendly note) if you’re a fan of forbidden romance in a big way.

The Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

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The Bone Gap isn’t obviously romantic at first glance, but the writing and the development of the relationships between the main characters is so heady that you can’t help but become invested. Finn and Petey’s romance isn’t conventional, but it is beautifully and achingly realised.

The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare

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SWOON SWOON SWOON. Cassandra Clare, Queen of Ships, brings another two ultimate book boyfriend candidates to the table in The Infernal Devices series. Torn between her love for two very different boys, Tessa must decide to which her heart truly belongs whilst y’know, saving the world and slaying demons and being a general book-loving badass. If there was such a thing as a perfect love triangle award, this would win every time.


What are your favourite romantic reads? Is there anything that is crying out to be included in this list? Give me your swoon-inducing, book boyfriend/girlfriend-creating recommendations in the comments!

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