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October 25, 2013

How Do You Read? A Conversation

With the buzz in the publishing world being all about how everything is changing, including reading itself, we thought we’d ask our readers to tell us how (and, of course, what) they are reading. We begin this series with a chat between F&M publisher Maggie Topkis and managing editor Julia Musha. Please chime in in the comments! And look for more mini-interviews with readers of all sorts.

JM: What are you reading right now?

MT: I’m reading Lawrence Sanders’ The First Deadly Sin, which I am liking in part for the good writing and in part for all the groovy 1970s details. Plus the very good descriptions of sandwiches.

JM: And how are you reading it? As a physical book, or in a digital edition?

MT: Physical book.

JM: Do you read ebooks?

MT: Yes, but I don’t particularly like it. I find them convenient when necessary; I took a Kindle to the hospital, because otherwise I would have schlepped two dozen books with me; and if I’m going on a trip I bring a Kindle. But otherwise I infinitely prefer physical books. It takes me a lot less time to read a Kindle screen than it does a hard cover spread – and I do mostly read hardcovers – and I feel I’m constantly having to swipe the page.

JM: I read some books in digital format, but I find that most ebooks I’ve read so far, other than for work, have been nonfiction ones. I am reading Judith Flanders’ The Invention of Murder on a Kindle right now. When I read Felony ebooks for quality control purposes, I prefer the big bright iPad screen, but the Kindle is very handy for reading in bed in the dark, which is where I do most of my reading these days. And on the subway. Where, and when, do you like to read?

MT: In bed; always and any time. It still feels to me like I’m getting away with something.

JM: Same here, and these days I really am; I’ve started to read at the pace of a person with a job and a small child. I am turning into my mother, in fact, who would have the same book on her nightstand for months at a time. I’ll read a few screens on the Kindle and fall asleep.

MT: For me it was falling asleep with my reading glasses on. My mother would fall asleep with her reading glasses on all the time and I would tiptoe in and take them off. Eventually we all turn into our mothers.

JM: What are you looking forward to reading?

MT: The new Scott Turow [Identical], I find him an awfully good writer. I’m about to re-read Shine On, Bright and Dangerous Object, by Laurie Colwin. I also have a couple of Lawrence Block’s “Burglar” books; that series is one of the best antidotes to depression out there. I just re-read “The Lottery”, because I had read the Shirley Jackson biography, and I found something about it that I had never understood; it’s actually much darker than I had ever understood it to be. And all the darkness resides in one line: “And then they were upon her.” And it’s the word “upon,” it made me think of ravenous wolves. Actually I want to re-read “The Haunting of Hill House,” too.



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