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12 Blogs of 2014: Mary Had a Little Book Blog

Every once in a while you get the honor of meeting someone who is fabulous and shares a lot of your passions. This person is someone that you just seem to click with and forever get to consider yourself blessed. For me, that person is Mary Hinson from Mary Had a Little Book Blog. Today I present you with 5 reasons to read Mary’s little book blog . . .

1. Learn About the Rich Book Culture in Texas, especially in the DFW area

There is a rich and edifying book culture here in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The Irving Public Library hosts a wide variety of author events that I frequent, often taking my entire family. Thanks to the Irving library system my girls have met a ton of authors and seen people get together and talk excitedly about books. And it was at one of these events that I first met Mary. And as an aside let me tell you that Mary laughed loudly when at a recent event the moderator – who was Mary coincidentally – asked if the audience had any questions and Thing 2, five at the time, loudly proclaimed: No!

Mary’s blog, Mary Had a Little Book Blog, focuses largely on YA and NA. Her blog is a great place for Texas people to find out about upcoming events, she is super organized in this regard. I just text her when I want to find out what authors are coming and when. And when there isn’t a local event that she is attending she can often be found on a Friday or Saturday night with me and my two kids at the local Barnes and Noble or Half Price Books. We once spent a Friday night putting all the YA series in order on the shelf. And yes, we do know how to party.

2. Learn How to Do a Book Conference Right!

Earlier this year I had the privilege of sharing a room with Mary as we spent the weekend at the Texas Library Association conference. She was with me when I met author Laurie Halse Anderson, a hero of mine, and got to discuss The #SVYALit Project with people from RAINN. After the conference the fam came down and spent the day with us in San Antonio.

So many books to get organized!

If you want to know how to do a conference right, you should follow Mary (@knoxdiver) on Twitter. That girl is organized. She has checklists of authors you wants to meet, schedules to help make sure she maximizes her time, and she takes suitcases full of books to get signed. She has to have the largest collection of signed books I have ever seen. And if you pay attention, you can probably win some signed books on her blog because she is always hosting giveaways.

3. Follow a New Paraprofessional on Their Journey into Library Land

Mary recently announced that she was going to join the world of library land as she was just hired to be a paraprofessional at the Irving Public Library working with Kristin Trevino to do teen programming. This was an incredibly smart decision on their part, Mary is in the know when it comes to YA literature and just has such an incredible passion for libraries.

I’m hoping in a few weeks when she starts her new position at Irving Public Library that she’ll blog more about library land (nudge, nudge) and her journey as a new paraprofessional. Lots of us having been doing this for a while now, it will be interesting to see what it’s like with new eyes.

4. A Great Example for New Book Bloggers

One of the great things about Mary and her blog, however, is that she is a reader. She blogs first and foremost as a reader and the core of her blog is books, books, and more books. Whereas I tend to read a lot of science fiction, dystopian and contemporary, Mary highlights lots of romantic leaning books, often sharing titles that I hear about first from her. She posts a weekly update where she covers events she has gone to, the books she has read, and highlights of her week.

Mary and author Laini Taylor

The other great benefit to Mary’s blog is that it is a really good example of a reader’s blog to share with teens who might want to start a personal blog. Mary particpates in a wide variety of weekly Memes that you will want to let new bloggers know about to help create a readership and dive into the online book community.

5. She Hosts a Lot of Giveaways

While it’s true that Mary has the largest collection of signed books I have ever seen, it is also true that she almost always gets 2 signed copies – 1 for her and 1 to give away on her blog. Mary hosts lots of great giveaways that you can keep for yourself or collect to use as teen prizes for various things. It’s a great resource if you’re looking for free signed books.

If you like Mary’s blog, I also recommend:

Jim at YAYeahYeah and YA Contemporary

Also, check out this post on Stephanie Perkins that Mary recently wrote for our YA A to Z project

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