Jana Says

Living life from cover to cover

Interview with a bookworm

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. 

reading 1

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. reading quote 2

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.reading quote 5

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. reading quote 3

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.reading quote 4

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? 

Most days.

Have you ever lost sleep from reading?

Of course. 

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.reading quote 6

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?


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  1. ellesees

    love reading about the reading habits of others! i’ve never heard anyone called a bookworm in person, so hopefully reading is getting a better rep! as it rightfully should 🙂
    ellesees recently posted…Buy + Try: March Makeup ReviewsMy Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      I don’t get mocking people for loving books. Seems pretty harmless to me 🙂

  2. kathy@real talk

    i love this! and def checking out your list of books that changed your life. i finished my book and didn’t time it right (putting the 3rd book on hold) so now i must wait for the last book in the series #rage. i’m almost tempted to drive to the other location just to get it right meow but my library app says it’s in transit for me so hopefully i’ll get it this afternoon.

    i love reading as well but for a several years, i stopped; mostly because all the books out were ass and nothing was captivating me. i’ve recently rekindled my love of reading and spent all weekend with my nose buried in my book 🙂
    kathy@real talk recently posted…the problem with obsessive personalitiesMy Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      My favorite weekends are the ones with my nose in a book! That’s how I spent all day yesterday. I’m sick so it was nice just to sit back and read and relax.

  3. SMD @ Life According to Steph

    I like it!

    I hate when people crap on what they read, like it’s not literary enough or whatever. I don’t care what you read, but I do care IF you read. I hope everyone does because I think it’s great for your mind and soul.
    SMD @ Life According to Steph recently posted…TWTW – the first one of springMy Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      Exactly! Book snobs bother me. The act of reading is more important than what you read because if you spend too much time reading what you think you’re “supposed to” read and you don’t like it, it’ll turn you off from reading completely. And that is tragic.

  4. Kelli

    This is so awesome!! You should make this a thing and interview all us reading bloggers, like a once a month feature.

    I also love Nelson Demille, one of my old bosses introduced me via Charm School which I loved. My favorite Demille book is Plum Island though.
    Kelli recently posted…Twenty Years Isn’t Long EnoughMy Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      Those are good choices!

      I thought about doing this as a series. You want to go next?

  5. Karen

    Love the interview! If you start reading a book that you just can not get into, do you abandon it or just try and plow through it? I love when I can have some good reading binges. It’s like an escape for me. Sometimes I stay up so late to finish a book and then can’t sleep because I am still thinking about it!
    Karen recently posted…End Of The Week And A Grapefruit CocktailMy Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      I let it go. Life is too short to read bad books and there are way too many I want to read to waste time on one I don’t like.

  6. Kateri Von Steal

    That Neil Gaiman quote – EXACTLY!

    And I swear – Klay told me I needed to pair down my OLD books – NO NO NO NO NO NO NO! I told him to do his FIRST!


    Really getting back into reading – just making time to do it. It brings me a lot of peace.
    Kateri Von Steal recently posted…WEEKENDS HAPPEN: Party – Coffee – ExerciseMy Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      Scott leaves me and my books alone. He knows better.

      Reading is definitely peaceful and helps keep me grounded. I feel out of sorts when I don’t read.

  7. Julia @ Grace Makes New

    Being called a bookworm is definitely not an insult! I try to stay open to different genres too, although I do read a lot of the same. But I like a lot of different kinds of stories!
    Julia @ Grace Makes New recently posted…Weekend RecapMy Profile

  8. Nadine

    yes!!! I am so glad that I have gotten back in to reading over the last year and a half or so because it truly is amazing. I used to be such a book worm as a kid. My mom always said that a book is never a waste of money, and so while my sister and I rarely asked for anything when we were out….she always let us go crazy in a book store buying whatever we wanted. I always get caught up with characters and have been known to cry and LOL more times than not while reading. I am going to have to check out some of your favorites!!

    1. Jana (Post author)

      I do that with Erica. I have a hard time saying no to buying books and magazines.

  9. kristen

    obviously i love this post so much Jana. I have a couple posts coming up about books so i’m so glad when i see someone else who loves books as much (or more!) than me. i have cried over books more than real life, so there’s that. haha. i totally agree with the ‘i don’t have time to read’ i mean i don’t care what you do with your life, but you can make time for anything and everything, you just choose not to. whatever! people say to me all the time, you read so much, how do you find the time etc etc.. like you said – i make the time. it’s important to me, it’s who i am. books forevaaahh!!
    kristen recently posted…A month as a vegetarian; now what?My Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      Kelli suggested that I interview other bloggers who read. I think you’d be excellent.

      Yes to what you said about nonreaders! If you can make time to post on FB or watch shitty TV, you can make time to read. If you don’t want to, that’s fine. But don’t say there’s no time.

  10. Amber

    Reading is the best! I also love Jodi Picoult and Jojo Moyes. I can’t wait for her new one.
    Amber recently posted…DO’s and DON’Ts for Disney WorldMy Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      She has a new one coming out? I’m still working through her back catalogue.

  11. shanendoah

    For some reason hadn’t realized you were a big memoir fan. But since you are, if I have not before recommended The Color of Water by James McBride, you need to read it. NEED to read it.
    shanendoah recently posted…House Hunting 3/22My Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      I feel like I’ve read it but maybe I should read it again.

  12. Kerry

    I love this post, but you knew I would. I love reading about how others read, and what they like about books. I couldn’t imagine my life not being able to read. I don’t think it is right to judge people on what they read as long as they are reading. It really opens your mind to the possibilities.
    Kerry recently posted…Birthdays and HikingMy Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      I agree. There’s no sense in judging someone else’s taste simply because it’s not your first choice.

  13. Kristin

    HOW do you make time to read everyday? I just finished a book in two days (a rarity) because it was good and because I had time to kill. Usually it takes me 1-2 weeks depending on my interest in the book.
    Audiobooks have been a godsend. I’ve turned wasted time into productive time. Sometimes for free, sometimes for a small fee. But it’s always worth it.
    Kristin recently posted…Carrot Cake BlondiesMy Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      I usually read at least 30 minutes before I go to sleep and if it’s a good book, I’ll read well past when I should stop. I squeeze it in where I can, too–waiting in the parent pickup line, while dinner is in the oven, if my husband is watching something crappy on TV. Things like that.

      1. Kristin

        I try the before-bed-thing too. I tell myself 2 chapters a night. Again, it depends on the book. If it’s great, I’ll read 3 chapters.
        Also, I have Silent Reading Time at school and I make it a point to read when they read. They’re more likely to (shut up and) read if they see me doing it.
        Kristin recently posted…Carrot Cake BlondiesMy Profile

        1. Jana (Post author)

          That’s a good trick! I wish the child’s teacher would enforce daily reading time at school. Love that idea.

  14. Erin

    Our opinions are so frickin’ similar on books, reading, favorites, genres…I’m pretty sure that any book you like, I will like. I should just go to your goodreads now, look at all books you’ve rated 4 & 5 and read them all. Ha!

    Now, I’m going to check out old blog posts of yours listing your favorite memoirs and ideal bookshelf.
    Erin recently posted…Never Have I Ever…My Profile

  15. lisacng @ expandng.com

    I love this interview. Do I have permission to steal it 🙂 with attribution of course. I don’t consider myself as a big a bookworm as you, but I’m getting there. Thanks for being an inspiration :). I love the eCard about mourning fictional characters. I do that all the time!!!! My husband doesn’t get it. Hmm…a question for the bookworm…is there a book topic that you just can’t read? Like it’s an emotional trigger?
    lisacng @ expandng.com recently posted…O’s first day of daycareMy Profile

    1. Jana (Post author)

      You have permission but I’m starting a series of bookworm interviews with other bloggers, so if you want to be interviewed, you can do it that way instead 🙂

      There’s nothing I can’t read because it’s a trigger but I generally don’t read traditional romance novels because I just don’t like them.

  16. Kay R.

    I love this. You know what I really loved when I started blogging? That I found other people who love to read as much as I do!! Also totally loved that you interviewed yourself ha!

  17. Jenniemarie @ Another Housewife

    This is genius! It’s one of the best interviews! The questions and answers are on point!! Reading is like breathing for me. I could not imagine a life without books and neither could my kids. The library is truly our happy place.
    Jenniemarie @ Another Housewife recently posted…For The Love Friday Link Up: Week 2My Profile

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