If you’ve spent any time on the blog, even if you’re a new reader (as in, this is your first visit), you know I love books. Like, a lot. Among the people I know in real life, how much I love books and reading kind of makes me weird and different and maybe moderately freakish. I’m okay with that, though, because if being a voracious reader is the worst thing people have to say about me, I can live with it.
Because of how much I enjoy reading, I get asked lots and lots of questions. So I decided that I’d answer some of them. In an interview. With myself. Enjoy.
So, Jana, you like to read. Can you explain why?
You realize this a ridiculous question, right? How can you not enjoy reading? It’s basically the best thing ever. It’s free entertainment, and there’s so many books, you’ll never run out of choices. You’re never bored with a book by your side. Not only that, reading increases your vocabulary and expands your imagination and makes you a better thinker and also, if you’re socially awkward like me, having a book means you have a reason to avoid eye contact and people in general.
Okay, that all makes sense. But how do you find books to read?
All over the place. I’ll browse best seller lists, list posts from Book Riot and Buzzfeed Books, I check out Amazon recommendations, and I use Goodreads to see what my friends are reading. Social media like Twitter and Facebook are great places to learn about books. I talk to my mom and sister, who read completely different genres than I do. I also host a monthly books linkup where I get dozens of good recommendations. Having friends who are readers is amazing. And of course I have my standby authors who I can rely on for a new book every year or two.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
It’s hard to say that I have a favorite more than standby ones, as I mentioned. For instance, Jodi Picoult. She had a slump but seems to be coming back to quality books with her last two. I’m a big Nelson Demille fan, although he hasn’t published anything new in awhile. I am also a major fan of John Green which might also have something to do with his Mental Floss videos and YouTube channel as much as it does his books. And some new ones that I’ve been binging on or plan on binging on are Jojo Moyes and Lisa Genova, and then there are a bunch of first time authors who I fell in love with and I will read their new books once they’re published. This is a hard question.
Sorry about that. Let’s make it easier for you. What’s your favorite book?
Really, you think that’s easier? It’s definitely not. I’ve talked about my favorite celebrity memoirs, 10 books that changed my life, and awhile ago, I wrote my (for now) ideal bookshelf so those are probably good starting points but to pick just one is virtually impossible. However, since you’re asking and if you don’t want to read my other lists (which I totally understand), I’ll say that some of my favorites are Garth Stein’s The Art of Racing in the Rain, S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders, Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park, and Wally Lamb’s I Know This Much is True. Recent favorites are You by Caroline Kepnes, All the Bright Places by Jennifer Nevin, and Stephen Elliott’s The Adderall Diaries.
That’s a pretty eclectic mix. Do you typically read a variety or do you stick to one genre?
While I’m drawn to memoirs and emotional, character driven novels, I do love a good chick lit book or mystery or anything that just seems interesting. I try to keep an open mind when it comes to picking books. In fact, I recently read a sci-fi book (The Martian) at the insistence of a friend and, despite my general loathing of that genre, I liked the book. I’ve read a few westerns and enjoyed them, too (if you want a recommendation, check out Patrick DeWitt’s The Sisters Brothers). If you close yourself off to a particular genre, you don’t know what you might miss.
Do you watch movie adaptation of books? If you do, what do you think of them?
That’s a loaded question. For the most part, movie adaptations of books are, in my opinion, horrible. They change the plots, leave out important details, and the characters almost never look or sound like what I picture in my head and it ruins it for me. In fact, there are a number of books I’ve loved that have been adapted into movies and I refuse to watch them. That said, recently, there have been a slew of books made into movies and the adaptations have been fantastic. I don’t know if it has to do with the novel writer being more involved with the movie or better casting or directing or something else. I still consider those exceptions to the rule, though.
Does that include 50 Shades of Gray?
Don’t talk to me about that blight on the face of books. Sorry about that. Okay, let’s get into the quick answer round.
Go for it.
Does it offend you when people call you a bookworm?
Absolutely not. That’s like me getting offended at someone telling me I have brown eyes. It’s part of who I am.
What do you say to people who state that they don’t have time to read?
I don’t normally say anything. I just smile and silently judge them. I’m sure they do have time. They just choose to use it for other things. Which is fine if that’s their choice. It’s just not a choice I make.
How do you find time to read?
I make time. It’s important to me and it’s something I’ve been doing literally as long as I can remember. Reading is big priority to me, like exercising is to other people so I make sure to fit it in to my day, even if it’s only a few pages.
Do you enjoy the company of books more than the company of people?
Have you ever lost sleep from reading?
Has a book ever made you cry?
Yes. In fact, I’ve cried at the end of more books than I have movies.
Paper books, eBooks, or audiobooks?
While I’m partial to real paper books, I’ve been known to read eBooks, too. I haven’t yet gotten into audiobooks.
Buy books or use the library?
Either. I prefer the library but I do buy books on occasion, particularly when I want to read a book my library doesn’t have.
Do you keep old books?
How can you not?
Any parting words?
Hmm. I guess I’d say this–never, ever feel ashamed of what you read. Don’t worry about being a perfect reader because there’s no such thing. Just read whatever makes you happy without stressing if someone is judging you for it. Screw them if they do. Because reading–all reading–is magic.
Thanks for taking the time to chat with us.
Thanks for having me!
Now it’s your turn. Do you guys have any questions for me about my reading habits?