The Reading Life, The Writing Life

INTERVIEW: Book blogger Lesley Budge on the Ideal Reader (and how to find one)

Authors, do you have an Ideal Reader and readers, are you in fact one? I interviewed an avid reader and here’s what I found! Read my blog post here. 
Most blogs interview authors but that’s boring. As an author, I have been interviewed many times and I also have interviewed other authors. This time, I am turning the tables because without readers there would be no writers writing. The reader’s viewpoint is important to me. I decided to interview Lesley Budge, who is a book blogger and an avid reader. Lesley has read my novels and reviewed/blogged about them. I am interested in a reader’s highs and lows because that is the stuff I write about, and that is the stuff of life. I believe an Individual Reader IS an Ideal Reader because he/she transforms the way we authors perceive the world around us, and he/she transcends the barriers of class, race, culture and other big themes.

Hi, Lesley! Please tell us about yourself.

My name is Lesley, I’m 58 and I was born in Fulham, London. We moved around a lot and I now live in Leicester. I have a younger brother, and our mum now lives in a care home due to her dementia. She has marvellous adventures everyday (in her head) and is quite happy most of the time. I’ve read constantly since I was a child, my pocket money was always spent on a book. I had a varied taste in books even then and read everything from Enid Blyton to Ursula Le Guin and Alan Garner. I am employed by a major bank as a complaints investigator, but due to my health and having stage four melanoma I haven’t been to work for a while now. So, I read a lot. I also bake, cook meals daily from scratch and make sourdough bread, not always successfully.

What genres do you enjoy reading?

I will read most genre, except for romance (mills and boon style is not for me) but my favourites are really thrillers, crime drama and sci-fi/fantasy. I read on average a book a day as being stuck at home, I now have the time.

What are your favourite foods? Name 3.

Now that’s a tough one as I’m quite greedy and like most things (no offal though that’s just nasty). I love anything spicy like Thai and Indian foods and I love a rare steak now and then.

What do you consider your personal style?

I don’t have a favourite style of clothing just anything that’s comfortable really, I do wear perfume everyday though as we all need a little luxury.

What are 2 of your favourite movies?

My favourite has to be Aliens, I must have seen it a hundred times and still love it. At the moment I’m looking forward to the new Dune movie and hoping shielding will have ended by then so I may get to see it.

Who is an Ideal Reader?

An ideal reader to me is someone who loves books, who can get lost in the story and then be honest with a review. If you didn’t like it, then don’t finish or review it. I don’t like every book I read and so I put them down, life’s too short to spend on something you don’t like. Someone else though, may love it, as they say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

How has your illness affected you and your reading?

Having an incurable cancer and the constant treatments that go with it, including surgery and radiotherapy, means you have a lot of time on your hands every day. I’ve always been an avid reader, but sometimes work and family got in the way, now though I have the chance to read every day and share my thoughts. I started my blog 18 months ago to enable me to share reviews. I began joining blog tours and this gave me the chance to read some fantastic booksI may never have been aware of before.

What keeps you up at night?

Not much really until scan results days, then the “what ifs?” start and there’s no sleep then for a while. Scanxiety is real and horrendous.

How do you think your book blogging/reading helps an author?

Sharing my thoughts and reviews on my blog and social media helps other readers find books they may be interested in, that they may have missed otherwise. Blog tours for me, have brought so many new authors to my attention that I would never have been aware of.

What advice do you have for someone who’d like to be a reviewer/reader/blogger and how does an author find an Ideal Reader?

For someone thinking of reading, reviewing and book blogging I’d say DO IT, if you enjoy reading and you can be honest in your reviews. For authors, there are always blog tour organisers like Damppebbles, Rachel’s Random Resources and Random Things Tours who are always looking for new readers and bloggers.

How does an author connect with you?

I have an email address I use solely for bookish things and I’ve added that to my twitter bio for publishers and authors to use if they want to contact me. I can keep track of things easier that way too.

Thanks, Lesley, for the interview. And thank YOU for reading this blog post.

Are you a reader or writer or both? Have you an Ideal Reader in mind and who is it? Are you someone’s Ideal Reader and why? If you enjoyed this blog post, please share.

You can contact Lesley on

URL: The Bookwormery or


Online form:

Twitter: @lelbudge

You can read Lesley’s review of OVERBOARD here.

Ivy Ngeow was born and raised in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. She is the author of three novels, Overboard (Leopard Print), Cry of the Flying Rhino (Proverse Hong Kong), winner of 2016 International Proverse Prize, Heart of Glass (Unbound UK) and many short stories. She also writes non-fiction books on cooking, beauty, health and fitness. She lives in London.

#overboard #ivyngeow Tweet me: @ivyngeow

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