GB: Jenna, thank you so much for agreeing to do this!
JC: Yeah of course!!
GB: When or how did you first get into reading?
JC: I actually hated reading when we first learned it in elementary school. Like, to the point where I couldn’t even handle reading the tiny like 10 page booklets they made us read. However, in third grade I had a teacher who made us do book reports and then I was hooked! I know it sounds weird, but we had to do creative projects with our book reports so that made them fun. I started reading the Magic Treehouse series and as a result, I ended up doing so many extra credit book reports because I was having so much fun. I guess I’ve always been a nerd.
GB: When you were growing up which fictional character(s) did you relate to? Which characters do you relate to now?
JC: I mean I think most girls related to Hermione Granger from Harry Potter, so that was one of my main ones. And even though I do still relate to her to some degree, I think the main character I relate to is Tash Zelenka from Tash Hearts Tolstoy by Kathryn Ormsbee. She identifies as heteroromantic asexual and she’s also a YouTuber! And that’s basically me in a nutshell, so I felt super well represented in that.
GB: If you were stranded on an island and could only have one book series with you which would it be and why? P.S. the author of that series is also stranded with you.
JC: WOW what a question. But also it’s kind of not a question because wouldn’t everyone pick Harry Potter? That’s like the only way I’d ever meet J.K. Rowling, so I would take that chance for sure. Also Deathly Hallows is my favorite book so I gotta have that with me.
GB: If you could only read books in one format for the rest of your life which one would it be and why? Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook or eBook?
JC: I think probably ebook. Even though it’s not always my ideal format (mainly because I love owning hardcovers), I don’t think I could survive without them. They’re easier to carry around and sometimes you just need to read a book on your phone.
GB: When did you start your Booktube channel and how has it changed your life?
JC: May 2013 is when I posted my first book review (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin, please do not go watch it haha). Oddly enough, without booktube, my life would be drastically different. I have made so many friends through booktube, but more than that I’ve received so many opportunities and experiences that I never would’ve gotten beforehand. I also believe that my resume would look kind of sad without the section that says I have over 9,000 subscribers. More than all that though, Booktube has opened my eyes to new perspectives and critical thinking I never would’ve imagined beforehand. It has definitely made me more open to equality and diversity and other things that I never cared about growing up. And most of that is because of the people in the community. People like Marines and Christina Marie and Monica have all been really kind in sharing their experiences as people of color and it’s helped me check my privilege! I don’t know what I’d do without all the people in that community.
GB: If you could have dinner or coffee with any author, alive or dead, who would it be, what would you want to talk to them about (after fangirling of course cause that’s what I would do) and why?
JC: If I was cheating, I’d probably say Lin-Manuel Miranda because he would be a great dinner date. Of course, he’s only barely written the Hamiltome so I don’t know if he really counts. As for regular authors, I think I’d say C.S. Lewis. I would love to be able to talk to him about his faith and some of his deeper theological views because I know that conversation would probably blow my mind.
GB: If you had to give someone who wanted to start a booktube channel what would it be?
JC: My best advice comes in two layers. Number one, be yourself. Don’t try to copy what other people are doing, and try to find your specific niche in the community. You’ll get much farther if you do something specifically from you that’s creative and new, and you’ll also have more fun that way. Number two, make friends. Whether it’s in the comments or on Twitter, the only reason I still do booktube is because I have so many friends in this community. They’re like a second family to me, and even though I don’t see them all the time, I wouldn’t know what to do without them. It can be hard to start a booktube channel because it feels very isolating at first, but if you make friends you won’t care so much about your subscriber count or how your content is doing.
GB: Thank you so much for agreeing to do this with me!!
JC: Of course! Thank you for all the great questions!