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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Reading Habits and Rituals #2 with Cathy Ryan

So here is my second reading-habits-and-rituals interview with the lovely Cathy from Between the Lines, who was so generous with her time. I am really happy about this interview.
The post was supposed to be published by the end of May, it is a little later now … well, you know, life sometimes happens.
But let’s get started. First, I will give you a few facts about Cathy (go check out her blog – it’s really great) before diving into the interrogation (sorry, currently working on the defense of my dissertation and hence a lot of crime fiction terminology seems to creep up 🙂 ).

Have fun and enjoy.

1. Where do you like to read? Do you have a special place?

I like to read, or listen, anywhere at anytime but when I’m at home this is my usual place…

IMG_2727

© Cathy Ryan

and I take advantage of any spare minutes to pick up a book or plug myself into the iPod. If I’m doing chores, or in the car, anywhere reading isn’t an option then I’ll listen to an audiobook. So I have a hard copy and an audiobook on the go all the time.

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

There isn’t a specific time when I read the most, just whenever I can but always before I go to sleep I’ll either read or listen.

3. Why do you grab a book?

To relax and also to dive into another place and/or another time. This is one quote that kind of sums it up…Great books give you a feeling that you miss all day, until you finally get to crawl back inside those pages again ~ Kathryn Stockett. There are lots more of course, but basically there’s nothing quite like getting lost in a good book.

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

Definitely a mood reader, the season doesn’t matter at all.

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?

I like to have a drink at hand but food isn’t a necessity. Music is a distraction, unless it’s very quiet and relaxing in the background. I don’t mind people if they’re reading too, otherwise it wouldn’t be worth attempting to concentrate on a book. Being warm and snuggly is good too, hence the throw on my chair for cool evenings.

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

Probably I read the least during my teens compared to later and earlier years, but I didn’t keep reading a secret.

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

Yes, I’m happy to tell my friends what genres I read, if they’re interested to know.

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

None of the genres I enjoy are embarrassing to me. Erotic, or M/M, F/F fiction doesn’t interest me but if it did I might keep that to myself 🙂

9. What are your favorite genres?

I like so many, murder/mystery, YA, paranormal, urban fantasy, contemporary, some science fiction and some historical novels…the list goes on.

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

Broadly speaking I’d say no although school did put me off Shakespearian plays! Having said that it also introduced me a favourite book which is Wuthering Heights.

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© Cathy Ryan

The only view I have when reading is the garden but if I had my choice it would be something like this…A sea view would be the ultimate for me.

Thank you Cathy for participating. I really had fun. If you want to participate in this series, let me know. I’d be delighted. I intend to publish a post on reading habits towards the end of each month.

Reading Habits and Rituals #1

Throughout the past years, I have notice that my reading has changed, that my interests shifted or have broadened, and that my rituals surrounding the reading have adapted to my current situations. I have always read books, yet in times of crisis I have read more. When I am stressed or don’t have that much time, I tend to read more pages than at times when I am not stressed. Since I made those observations and spend a minute thinking about it, I discusses this with friends and I found the answers interesting. So, I came up with a questionnaire on reading habits. I have asked some people ranging from different age groups and backgrounds (that don’t necessarily have a blog) about their reading habits and rituals – just because I think it is interesting. Thus, I attempt to post a different interview each month. I start with myself. If you are interested in participating, please let me know. 🙂

1. Where do you like to read? Do you have a special place?

I read almost everywhere when there is time for it. But I do love my bed, my favorite (and really only) comfortable arm-chair, and my parents garden right under the cherry tree.

CIMG5998

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

I almost always read before I go to sleep, on the weekend, and on the train. I also attempt to read some time in the late afternoon or early evening to just wind down from the day’s excitement. I try to squeeze it in whenever and wherever I can.

3. Why do you grab a book?

To wind down and to escape my thoughts and reality.

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

I am more of a mood reader. I don’t care what season it is. If I am in the mood for a Christmas book in June, I will read it.

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?

I like food and stuff around but I am also fine without. I can’t do music though. All other noises are pretty much OK, but music makes me my mind drift. Not helpful.

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

I always read. But I don’t recall if it was a lot. I was quite lucky that most of my friends were very accepting and some quite dorky like me, so I did not keep it a secret. But I did not broadcast it either.

7. Do you tell your friends what kind of genres you read (even the embarrassing ones) or do you keep it to yourself?

It depends on the person. Now most of my friends know that and what I read and since many of them have kids its good because I can recommend some books.

8. Would you reveal to us what the most embarrassing book/genre is that you enjoy?

I was always embarrassed to read YA fantasy and I still am a little. I have never read Shades of Grey or any other of that kind – what’s the genre? Erotic literature? I think I would just keep that to myself.

9. What are your favorite genres?

Fantasy, YA fantasy, crime fiction (mostly whodunit really), middle grade adventure/fantasy/mystery books, science fiction. I do like an occasional non-fiction book in between like experience reports or historical things. I also enjoy a historical novel. But I listen to them as audiobooks because the descriptions are sometimes quite detailed and listening to them is easier.

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

Yes, I studied American Studies and other subjects and all included lots of canonized literature, so I went for the opposite. I started to read YA and children’s literature because it would just help me to wind down and there was no pressure. My studies however hooked me onto crime fiction especially the early writers. However, many of the required readings were enjoyable, but of course there were also the awful, slow, and plain terrible ones.