Reading Habits and Rituals #3 with Katja

This next installment of my reading-habits-and-rituals interviews is with my friend and the academic crime fiction goddess Katja. There is almost nothing she does not know about crime fiction and she talks about this genre with so much passion, that as a listener you can’t help but feel exited and giddy. Thank you so much for your time, Katja.
As usual, I will introduce her quickly before the interview starts. Have fun and enjoy.

  • name: Katja
  • city of residence: Leipzig
  • job: university job
  • age: 40-50
  • blog: tba
1. Where do you like to read? Do you have a special place?

For “mandatory reading” (for work, etc.) I prefer my desk (or a bed); for leisure reading: sofa, floor, bed, wherever I feel like…

favorite reading place&view  © Katja

favorite reading place&view
© Katja

2. When do you read the most? On vacation, before you go to bed?

Exactly: on vacation and before I go to bed. My day is usually packed, so I really crave for at least a few reading minutes.

3. Why do you grab a book?

Because people recommend them to me, because I have to (for work), because I like the author, in order to learn something or simply to “lose myself,” …

4. Are you a mood reader or a season reader?

I’d call myself an obsessive reader and book collector, I’ve never been without books. They have always surrounded me, as long as I can remember. My parents used to reprimand me “Can’t you ever be without books?” No, I can’t:-) I usually carry one or two books (and my Kindle, sorry) with me.

5. What do you need around when your read or what don’t you need around you? Do you grab food and drink, do you want people around, does music play in the background?

When I was a kid I used to eat (candy) when I read. Today, I don’t need anything around, except for a pencil maybe.

6. Did you read a lot when you were a teenager? If yes, did you keep it a secret?

I practically devoured books, and everybody knew about it. My family (especially my grandmother), friends, and schoolmates (even my teachers, they fostered reading and our interest in all sorts of genres) all read a lot, and we kept exchanging ideas after we read a certain book or story. Also, my mother kept bringing books from the library at her workplace, and when on vacation very often our first way was to the camping site or hotel library.

7. Do you tell your friends what kind of genres you read or do you keep them to yourself?

As you get older you become a lot more relaxed about letting people know about your habits. So yes, my friends know about my guilty pleasures 🙂

8. Would you reveal to us what your most embarrassing books/genre is you enjoy?

Maybe the Helen Fielding-Hera Lind-Marian Keyes kind of writing, and Dan Brown’s fiction – I don’t know if this is embarrassing enough… Even though I believe that it doesn’t matter so much what you read but how you read it.

9. What are your favorite genres?

Crime fiction/thriller (all kinds) and “science-in-fiction”: not what we usually call science fiction, but novels that are written in a rather realist mode and still have science, especially medical science, as their major element, such as Michael Crichton, Robin Cook, Kathy Reichs, … To some extent I like historical and adventure novels as well as biographies and popular science. And I adore Woody Allen’s short prose.

10. Has your work, studies or school influenced your reading and how?

It was more the other way around: I first became addicted to books and then was lucky enough to largely shape my “professional life” according to this passion.


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