Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Readers Talk: an interview with a "gluttonous over-reader"

Welcome to the first of what I hope will be a regular feature of my What Are You Reading? blog posts:  interviews with readers who are passionate about reading and who exercise that passion at RPL.  My first victim, er . . "subject", is Tonya Tyler, who works (and reads) at our Belmont branch.

Every minute counts. Let's hope she doesn't
 try this while driving!

OK, we’ll start with an easy one – what are you reading now?
This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz
Telegraph Avenue by Michael Chabon
Animal by K’wan
The Red Chamber by Pauline A. Chen

And what’s on your must-read-soon list?
This time of year I gravitate towards a twofer - a tome so thick (size over erudition) it can double as a door cozy or a cure for insomnia. I chose Stephen King’s 11/23/64 last year and saved at least 50 bucks on my heating bill.  I have my eye on Ken Follett’s Winter of the World for this year, but first I have to finish Fall of Giants by no later than Thanksgiving.

How do you decide what books go on your list?
I fancy the Dim Sum approach to book selection. I like to keep things "debut, wild card and blue." I take a seat at Chez with my chopsticks and pick a little of this, a little of that from their “also bought” offerings, which are listed in constant rotation.

You once referred to your “literary greed.”  Great phrase – what do you mean by it?
Great phrase, but perhaps not so appealing in translation. I am a literary Augustus Gloop - a gluttonous over-reader.  I keep at least 8 books at bed-side and 2 in my hobo bag (fashionable euphemism for packrat sack) at all times. I rotate consuming about 4 books simultaneously and downgrade communicatively to finger points, grunts, and not-yet satiated moans when my "mouth is full."

What’s the last book you read (good or bad) that you absolutely had to tell EVERYONE about?  
Land of the Painted Caves by Jean Auel *massive cringe* I didn't think anything could ever top the human misery of soldiering through child labor without an epidural or "The Blair Witch Project." I was wrong.  I was SO wrong.  

Any genre that you WON”T read? 
Sci-fi. I go places "no man has ever gone before" every time I look at my school loan statement.
Any guilty pleasures?
I don't feel guilt about anything I've chosen to read. What I may eat is another story entirely...

Do you belong to a book club?
No. I talk books with others so much during the day that when I am finally alone with one, I want it all to myself. 
What author would you stand in line in the rain to meet?
J. California Cooper.

You have children – do they like to read, too? Any tips for instilling that love of reading?
Yes they do, though, unlike me at their age, it's been more about cultivating the appetite than feeding the beast(s.) The best tip I can give for instilling the love of reading in your child is to read to them as babies, and with them as they mature. You can find out a great deal about your child through their 'free-range' readership. 

Fifty Shade of Grey??
Makes a case for libricide, and also acts as a deterrent (once run through a paper shredder of course) for squirrels hell-bent on destroying your prized winter pansies and mums.

Thanks, Tonya, for baring your literary soul!

If you would like to share your reading habits, tastes, and adventures, please email me at

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