Well, following on with my occasional series of interviews with really interesting people, here we have another amazing interview. But this time it is not with a blogger or an author. It’s with the one, the only, Omar the YA Librarian at my local library. Doesn’t everyone wish for that amazing YA librarian that you can talk to, joke with, learn about books, and just have an overall good time with? Well this is Omar. He has all of the jokes down pat. He knows his books inside and out, and he is just in general a great person.
How many librarians do you know, who know your book preferences so well, know books that you may enjoy, so that when you arrive at your library, you already have a book on hold for you, hand picked, by your librarian? Well, I only know one. And that one is none other than (drum roll please) Omar. Now without further adieu, I would like to introduce you to my amazing librarian.
Well thanks to this lovely YA librarian, my library card is about to wear out – the poor thing is about to snap in half.
What made you want to become a librarian?
I always loved books and movies and stuff, and I always liked being around other people who loved books and movies and stuff. I love talking about stories and introducing people to new stories they may not have heard about. What better place offers all those things more than a library? My first job when I was a teenager was working as a page at a local library and I did that until the first year of college. During college, I was a student librarian at my school’s library and I really enjoyed it, but dummy me didn’t realize I could make a career out of it until I graduated. After a few years of doing small jobs, I went to grad school for library science. And after that, I lucked out and found an opening for a YA librarian. And here we are.
What were your friends’ reactions when they heard you were going to be a librarian?
They were all really happy. For a lot of them, they knew me since I started working at my college and public libraries, so they always associated me with libraries. They figured that I was finally able to find doing something I loved to do, and now they wouldn’t have to listen to me complain about fielding customer service calls during Christmas and New Years. That’s a whole other story, by the way.
What is the best thing about your job?
Far too many. If I could narrow it to just one thing, I would say the people. The people I work with are intelligent, unique, and quite experienced, be it in the library world or just in general. I always learn from them, and they’ve always helped me out. And let’s not forget about the patrons. The library takes all walks of life with their own wants and ticks, and I love helping them out. There is nothing better than seeing someone walk out of a library happy.
What is the worst thing about your job?
Not having enough time to read everything! The young adult scene is filled with all types of genres and unique perspectives from a wide assortment of writers. There’s always something interesting in this field, but there’s never enough time to read it all.
What are you currently reading?
Right now, I’m reading “A Storm of Swords” by George R.R. Martin, the third in his “Song of Ice and Fire” series, as well as Kim Newman’s “Anno Dracula.” I also have a book on writing I’m picking through, and a few pre-release copies of YA books (I’m gonna keep those a secret, come to the library to find out!).
And there’s also a ton of graphic novels and manga that I’m addicted to — seriously, I gotta stop buying those — but those I can finish in a snap, so no harm right?….Right?
What new YA book would you recommend?
There are a lot of good/new books out there, so I’m bound to either forget a couple or wind up mentioning too much. So I’m just gonna throw out a few quick recommendations:
“When a Monster Calls” by Patrick Ness is really good, especially if you
want something that’s a mix of creepy and sad. For fans of romance and drama, there’s “The Future of Us” by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler, “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green, and “Stay With Me” by Paul Griffin. The relationships in those books are realistic but they also have room to play around with interesting fictional ideas. For excitement I recommend “The Scorpio Races” by Maggie Stiefvater if you’re in a fantasy-mood, and “Legend” by Marie Lu if you’re feeling science fiction-y. Finally, for a mix of science-fiction, adventure, and romance, there’s “Cinder” by Marissa Meyer.
What are your top 5 favorite books?
Off the top of my head, “Blood Meridian” by Cormac McCarthy; “The Count of Monte Cristo” by Alexander Dumas; “Dune” by Frank Herbert; “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain; and “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams. I read all of those at different points in my life and culled different meanings out of them. Also, they were pretty entertaining too, that helps.
What are your top 5 favorite movies?
Off the top of my head, I’d say “The Seven Samurai,” “The Godfather,” “Casablanca,” “Brazil,” and “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.” Those are movies I’ve watched numerous times, and can watch several more times. I also have books on these movies and their film makers, as well as numerous other books on film. What can I say? I’m a film junkie.
What, in your opinion, are some of the best books to movies ever?
It’s funny, some of the best movies that were based on books were based on books very few people ever HEARD OF, let alone READ! Everyone remembers “Psycho” and “Jaws,” but few people remember the books! Guess it’s kinda hard to replicate a sinister-sounding violin in a book. Other movies I can think of are “Dr. Strangelove,” “The Godfather,” “First Blood,” “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” (Really!), “Rashomon,” “The Thing,” (I liked John Carpenter’s version more than Howard Hawks’) “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” “Planet of the Apes,” and — of all things — “Die Hard,” which was loosely based off a book called “Nothing Lasts Forever.” And all of those are movies that I love.
What is your favorite soundtrack(s)?
I’m probably gonna get laughed at for these, but I love, LOVE Basil Poloudoris’ soundtracks for “Robocop” and the original “Conan the Barbarian.” I love anything that sounds “epic” and Poloudoris’ music was the definition of epic…at least in terms of cinema. I also have a soft spot for Joe Hisaishi’s music. If you’ve ever seen movies like “Spirited Away,” “Princess Mononoke,” or “Howl’s Moving Castle” you would have heard his music. Most of his compositions can flux between whimsical and grand, but they’re always fantastic.
Describe your favorite reading spot.
I have this old arm chair in the corner of my bedroom. My desk is on one side, my book shelf is on the other, and behind me is my window. I like sitting their and reading with my feet resting on my desk chair, usually with a cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate.
If you could meet any book character who would it be and why?
Can I say Winnie the Pooh? He was just such a silly ol’ bear; always found something interesting in the world around him. I admire that. Even if he was such a dummy. Tarzan is another one. The idea of someone living in the jungle and making friends with animals has been a boyhood dream of mine. Same with Conan, but he might be a bit too intense. I guess Sherlock Holmes and Jay Gatsby would be cool, but I have a feeling that they’d be too infatuated with other stuff.
If you would be transported into one of your favorite books, which would it be and why?
Oh no! You’re not gonna trick me that easily! I’ve seen/read “The Pagemaster,” and getting transported into a book can kill you! Any place I’d love to visit in a book, I can only imagine horrible things happening. “The Lord of the Rings?” I don’t wanna get caught in a bloody war with medieval-era weaponry flying around. Same with “The Hunger Games.” “Dune?” A desert planet? I can’t even stand going to beach, let alone an ENTIRE planet made of sand. “Neuromancer?” Okay, cool computers everywhere, but the crime rate is terrifying. I guess if I could think of ONE place to go, it would probably be Dave Barry’s “Big Trouble.” Everyone in that book were funny/insane, but it took place in Florida, so at least the weather would be nice.
Do you have any pets, and if so what are they and what are there names?
Unfortunately, I am without pets. I’ve always wanted a dog ever since I was young, but it was never in the cards. My fiance and I do want to get a dog or two at some point. Probably something like a King Charles cavalier spaniel or Irish setter. And I’d probably call them Mr. Cabadoo and Son Goku. This is all speculation, of course.
So, what a great interview with such interesting answers! Who knew? Thanks Omar!!!!