Armchair BEA – Day 1: Introductions

Armchair BEA

Armchair BEA is for those people who cannot visit Book Expo America but still want to join in the fun. This week, June 4th to June 8th, there are celebrations for those who stay at home rather than make it to New York. Look out for a new post every day from me!

Today, Monday, is about getting to know each other. Armchair BEA has made some interview questions that I’ll answer below.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?

Although I call myself Leeswammes, I’m not Lee, as some people think: I’m JudithLeeswammes is a word I made up from two Dutch words and means something like “lazy person reading”.

Yes, I’m Dutch, from the Netherlands. I read books both in English and Dutch and I also have a Dutch book blog, De Boekblogger (“The Book Blogger”).

I have been blogging for two years. I was already reviewing books on Shelfari (it’s a reading community like Goodreads) but I wanted a place of my own to keep track of the books I read and share with others.

What are you currently reading?

At this moment, I’m reading a book a day! Yes, starting yesterday (when I read The Cottage at Glass Beach by Heather Barbieri), I’m reading a book per day (and won’t go to bed until it’s finished!). Am I crazy? Possibly! But also, I like to challenge myself.

Today I’m reading The Sisters Brothers, a relatively short book, in Dutch. I should manage that, I’m sure.

Tell us one non-book-related thing that everyone reading your blog may not know about you.

Although I live in the Netherlands, I spent 15 years in England after my university degree. These days, I have a slight preference for reading English books. But when it comes to it, I can read a little faster in my native language, Dutch.

What literary location would you most like to visit? Why?

I would love to visit Alaska, the setting of several books that I’ve loved: The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey, Caribou Island by David Vann, Away by Amy Bloom, Robopocalypse by Daniel Wilson, Into the Wild by John Krakauer, Raven Stole the Moon by Garth Stein.

I like the idea of a beautiful, rugged place, with unspoiled nature, sparsely populated, and quite different from what I’m used to.

Have your reading tastes changed since you started blogging? How?

Since I started blogging, I’ve become much more aware of the variety of books that is around. How? Because I visit other people’s blogs and discover all kinds of books that  might not have heard about otherwise. Because of that, I sometimes get books from the library that are not in my standard genres, or I win them in giveaways. For instance, Horns by Joe Hill is a book I won. I was curious about it but it’s not at all in my genre. I read and enjoyed it very much. The same is true for the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger.

My reading tastes have not exactly changed, but are extended to books that I would not have read before I started blogging.

What about you?

Let me know your answer to one of these questions! 

I’m curious! 🙂

About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

68 Responses to Armchair BEA – Day 1: Introductions

  1. “lazy person reading” – awesome! I love that, it would apply to me most of the time.

    I would also love to visit Alaska, it’s some of the most beautiful landscape I’ve ever seen. Books like Caribou Island really help ram home just how isolated and depressing it can be though, that is one book that has stuck with me, the way it used the surroundings to tell so much of the story.

    • Leeswammes says:

      1girl2manybooks, indeed, Caribou Island is actually quite depressing. But I still like to go to Alaska, to see for myself. Maybe with a group tour – not on my own!!

  2. I’ve always wanted to visit Alaska. I’m going to try to get there next year. I’ve always adored your blog name, it’s unique. And I’ve been jealous for some time that you can read in two languages. I need to pick up a second language. I hadn’t heard of The Cottage at Glass Beach, so I look forward to your review.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Wow, hope you’ll be able to go to Alaska next year, Lena, wouldn’t that be fantastic?

      Yes, I’m lucky that I can read in two languages, but it also means there are even more books on my wish list!

  3. Laura says:

    Oooh, new information! I didn’t realise you’d lived in England for 15 years, how cool! (Well, I say cool, I suppose what I mean is whyyyyyy hehehe). Also I’ve wondered for aaages what Leeswammes was all about, so thanks for clearing that up for me! 🙂

    • Leeswammes says:

      Laura. Why? Because after my degree there was a job going at the University of Sussex (UK) that was just my cup of tea. And that’s what they thought too, so they employed me.

      It was only for 3 years but then I met my husband… etc. 🙂

      You should have asked about Leeswammes! No need to be shy. 🙂

  4. Tesney Ap says:

    First I thought Leeswammes was your second name 🙂 It sounded pretty and I thought there were people with that name. Anyway, nice to know what it actually means 🙂

  5. Wow, a book a day is a lot. Love the meaning of your blog name 🙂

  6. bibliosue says:

    Given your recent activity, I’d hardly call you a lazy person reading!
    I wish I could read books in a different language, I’ve tried some in French but my ability is just not good enough to complete them.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Suzanne, I’m not really lazy about reading, it’s just the rest of my life that doesn’t seem to be happening. But I’m not complaining.

      I would love to know French better, it’s such a beautiful language!

  7. Very nice to meet you! I love Dutch words. I play alot of video games and tend to name my characters in a foreign language to me. My favorites are Dutch and Swahili. I have a World of Warcraft priest name De Genezer (the healer) and a bunch of Swalhili characters but my favorite is Kifo Malkia (Death Queen).

    Here’s my Armchair BEA post for today!

    • Leeswammes says:

      Hi Cozy Reader, what a fun idea to use Dutch words for your games. Now you can use Leeswammes too (although it doesn’t really mean anything, it’s made up).

  8. I totally agree on the huge variety of books out there! I had never heard of so many books that are now on my TBR list, and the world of blogging opened my eyes to them!

    Also, one of my best friends from high school was Dutch, and I always loved listening to her talk to her family members. I can’t speak a lick of Dutch (she taught me a few phrases, but I’ve since forgotten them), but it’s just such an neat sounding language.

    Pleased to meet you!

    My Armchair BEA Intro Post.

  9. I had always been curious as to what Leeswammes meant…

    I hope that I can someday visit Alaska as well, maybe on a cruise with lots of fun excursions. I also would love to visit The Netherlands as well…. I got close once, but ran out of flexibility on my EuroRail ticket. (had already been to too many countries) Someday!

  10. loricaswell says:

    I am loving this getting to know each other better! I have hopes to be able read a book a day. I am up to 4 a week right now which is better than last year. You are definitely not a lazy reader! 🙂

    Have a great week!!

    • Leeswammes says:

      Thanks, Lori. I think 4 books a week is pretty good. I wouldn’t be able to read a book a day forever but this week I’m giving it a go.

  11. You are my reading hero!

    Can I join you on a trip to Alaska? My parents brought out son on a week long Alaskan adventure when he was in 7th grade. What a special trip, I’m envious still. The blue glaciers!

    I look forward to reading about your BEA reading challenge. Cheering you on!

  12. Becky says:

    I love your book a day goal, good luck!

  13. Ryan says:

    I keep meaning to read Horns but never manage to do it. Hope you have a great week.

  14. shelleyrae @ Book'd Out says:

    I envy your ability to read in two languages, I always thought that would be pretty cool. I am sure you will have no problems with your book a day goal. I hope you enjoy them all!

    Thanks for stopping by Book’d Out earlier!


    • Leeswammes says:

      Thanks, Shelleyrae. I know you can finish more or less a book a day and you’re way busier than I am. So, I’m giving it my best shot.

  15. Amanda says:

    Awesome blog!! I would love to learn another language! Happy BEA week!

  16. Jae says:

    I’m so glad I found your blog! You seem cool and I’m totally jealous that you can read a book a day! I’m thinking of doing a novella a day challenge one month, but definitely not an entire book. How are you enjoying The Sisters Brothers? It’s one of my favorite books that I read this year. I look forward to reading more on your blog and going through all your previous posts! 🙂

    • Leeswammes says:

      Thanks for all the compliments, Jae. I am reading short books but not quite novellas. The first one was 320 pages, today’s is 290 pages. But I have a few longer and shorter too.

      I’m enjoyed The Sister Brothers – it’s fun somehow, although lots of people end up dead.

  17. I knew you were Judith. 🙂 Alaska would be a great place to visit.

  18. Leslie says:

    Just stopping by to kick off Armchair BEA. Good luck with the book a day.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Thanks, Leslie. I’ve been doing a lot of commenting. Didn’t realise as a commenter, not only do I have to comment on other people’s blogs, I also should make an effort and visit the blogs of people that comment on mine. What a lot of (fun) work!

  19. It’s so great to meet you!!
    Hope you have a great Armchair BEA week!
    Here’s my post:

    xo Stephanie

  20. Kristin T. says:

    I love your blog name…lazy person reading is what I want to be everyday!!!

    I love visiting everyone’s blog to see what they are reading. I’ve found some really good reads that way!

    Here’s my Armchair BEA Intro Post.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Kristin, the problem with looking at people’s blogs is that your wish list gets so big and then you get stressed because you really, really want to read all those books and then you end up trying to read one per day and… it’s difficult! 🙂

  21. Your blog name is amazing and wonderfully creative! I have a lot of friends who were born in Holland and moved to Canada. They keep trying to teach me some Dutch, but apparently I’m not too good at it.

  22. ibeeeg says:

    Oh…I really like how you came up with your blog/username. I like the meaning too. 🙂
    Good luck to you on reading a book per day. Currently, I am lucky to read 5 books in a monththese days.
    Have fun this week. 🙂

    • Leeswammes says:

      Thanks ibeeg, it’s hard to read a book a day and I don’t even have to go to work/school or anything.

      Hope you are enjoying ArmchairBEA too.

  23. Amanda says:

    Yay another book-a-day reader!!! I think I already said that on my blog in response to you, but I’m the exact same way!

    Alaska would be fun to visit…as long as I could stay as warm as possible. I’m a wuss when it comes to cold! I’d love to see it, not to feel it. 😉

    Thanks for stopping by mine!

    • Leeswammes says:

      Good point, Amanda. I have to be warm in Alaska otherwise it would be a disaster holiday. I don’t actually like winter – but Alaska must do some form of summer, I hope.

  24. I would love to visit Alaska, and I hope someday to get there. I have two well-traveled coworkers, one has been to Alaska and one has been to Antarctica (just for the heck of it!) and I’m jealous of them both. 🙂
    Thanks for stopping by!

  25. I always wondered whether or not Leeswammes was a name. Lazy person reading – awesome.

    I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone a bit, thanks to blogging, too.

    Happy Armchair BEA!

  26. Wow a book a day!!!! I thought I was a fast reader that but is insane 🙂 I’m actually part dutch too – my mum was born in the Netherlands and her family moved out to Australia when she was 4!

    Hope you enjoy Armchair BEA 🙂

    • Leeswammes says:

      Hey Philippa, you’re almost family. No, even in the small country of the Netherlands we are not all cousins twice removed. Lots of people moved to Australia in the 1950s and 1960s I think. I’d love to go sometime!

  27. curlygeek04 says:

    Enjoy Armchair BEA! I really enjoyed The Sisters Brothers, and wasn’t expecting to. My husband and I visited Alaska a few years ago, it is truly an amazing place.

  28. I’ve always wondered what “Leeswammes” meant. Thanks for sharing.

    It’s interesting to learn new things about the bloggers we regularly “see” each week. And your description of places you’d like to visit sounds wonderful.

    My blogging has changed in the ways yours had: expanding to books I might not have otherwise read.

    Thanks for visiting my blog…and as for the Jane Hamilton book….I’m not sure how I’m going to like it, since I haven’t started it yet. But I did begin it a few years ago, and obviously put it down. Now I’m hoping to finish it, at least!

  29. Amy says:

    I initially thought your name was Lee but then I find out you were Judith and adopted a “nickname” for yourself. I love what Leeswammes means although I have yet to see any evidence that you’re lazy! lol You read books in more than one language.

    Alaska would be a fantastic spot to visit. I think I might like to stay there!

    I think it’s great that you can read books in Dutch as well as English.

    Enjoy your week, Judith!

  30. Wow, what an interesting person you sound like! I wish I could learn a language well enough to read books in that language. Imagine how many more books would be available to me – makes my mind almost implode. And a book a day? You are crazy and awesome!

    • Leeswammes says:

      Well, that’s right, Melissa, the more languages you can read in, the more books you can read. As if there aren’t enough in one language. Thanks for calling my crazy, I deserve that.

  31. I really like the meaning behind your blog name. 🙂 And I, too, discovered The Parasol Protectorate series on a blog – and have loved it! I’ve read the first three so far. 🙂

    • Leeswammes says:

      I also read the first three, Carrie. It is something I definitely wouldn’t have picked up if it wasn’t for blogging but I really enjoyed the series.

  32. Care says:

    Hello! I just read (rather, listened to) Into the Wild; I’ve been to Alaska (and failed to see a moose which means I hope to go back) – the only two US States I need to visit are Hawaii and Mississippi. I would LOVE to see your country again, too. I’ve been to France, Belgium, Germany and one afternoon in Maastricht. I think I’m spelling that right. My hub has traveled to Amsterdam for work but I have yet to make the trip.
    Happy Armchair BEA.

    • Leeswammes says:

      Care, I have no particular goals for going to Alaska. Just being there would satisfy my curiosity. Seeing a moose is not required! 🙂

      You have been to a lot of States. I can only claim Arizona and a stop-over in the twin cities (Minnesota?). Maastricht is more Belgian than Dutch so you really have to come back for the real experience!

  33. stacybuckeye says:

    A book a day? Very ambitious. There used to be a blogger named Angie (don’t know if she’s till around) who read a book a day FOR A YEAR! I was so impressed.
    I’d love to visit Alaska one day too.

  34. I think I might be a “lazy person reading”. I love reading, but sometimes it takes me a bit to get going. I seem to fall into slumps often. LOL

I love comments! Let me know what you think.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: