Catherine Hawley is a bookdealer currently living in Yorkshire. She has a degree in English Literature and qualified as a teacher in 1996. She taught for five years, becoming a literacy co-ordinator, before leaving to concentrate on her book business, which she started in 2000. An MA specializing in the 18th century novel spanned these two careers, as did eight years as a GCSE assistant examiner. C L Hawley Books specializes in literary criticism, and Catherine has been a member of the book trade co-operative Ibooknet for nine years. She combines running her business with family life and her blog Juxtabook, as well as blogging for Ibooknet.
Why do you blog? > I blog because of the book community out there who read and write blogs. I work alone, which is a change after those years in the classroom, and it is nice to connect with real readers again via the comments on Juxtabook or by commenting on the blogs of others.
What has been your best blogging experience? > Meeting several very nice authors.
What has been your worst blogging experience? > Having emails requesting I take down a review (of Meyer's Twilight series) and suggesting that I knew nothing about books and was a moral danger!
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Take time to interact in your own comments threads and on the comments pages of other blogs.
What are your favourite blogs? > How to pick just three? I'll have to say Cornflower and Dovegreyreader, as they inspired me to blog, and for the third, Gaskella, who has been the source of a lot of new reading matter recently.
What are you reading at the moment? > Grasshopper by Barbara Vine.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > Pride and Prejudice.
What is your favourite poem? > 'On a Drop of Dew' by Andrew Marvell.
What is your favourite movie? > The Philadelphia Story.
Can you name a work of non-fiction which has had a major and lasting influence on how you think about the world? > Narrative Theory by Shlomith Rimmon-Kenan. Now I see everything in terms of narrative. It was also the first book on literary theory that I 'got'.
Who are your political heroes? > None at the moment but I had a soft spot for the much maligned Castlereagh when I was nineteen.
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > I don't know if you'd call it major, but I'd raise the legal age for driving to twenty-one.
Do you think you could ever be married to, or in a long-term relationship with, someone with radically different political views from your own? > I already am.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Integrity.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > Trying to change other people.
Do you have any prejudices you're willing to acknowledge? > I really enjoy hating stone circles, megaliths and other pointless archaeological detritus. In themselves they are nothing, and they only mean something because we know they're old. I enjoy winding my stone circle enthusiast husband up by suggesting that 18th century farmers who plundered these things for building materials were doing the Right Thing.
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Drinking (and visiting stone circles).
If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything you'd do differently? > I'd have trained as an academic librarian instead of as a teacher.
Who would play you in the movie about your life? > Imelda Staunton.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > The Lancashire coast.
What would your ideal holiday be? > A cottage in the country.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Er, reading!
What is your most treasured possession? > An audio tape of my late grandparents reminiscing about their early lives.
If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to? > Full marks to Mum and Dad - I love my first name.
What talent would you most like to have? > To be able to sing, even a little bit, would be lovely. I am a terrible singer.
What would be your ideal choice of alternative profession or job? > Librarian in a university library.
Who is your favourite comedian or humorist? > Victoria Wood.
Which English Premiership football team do you support? > Everton.
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > I'd stop selling books and just buy them.
What animal would you most like to be? > A much loved pet dog.
[The normblog profile is a weekly Friday morning feature. A list of all the profiles to date, and the links to them, can be found here.]