Hello. What is your favourite kind of media?
Books! Hands down, it’s books. I mean, you can’t live without music, and I love blogs, but books are my number one.
Where do you get your books from, the library? Or do you buy them?
I get most of my books from the library. I sometimes buy books but usually after I’ve test-driven a library copy first.
So you re-read books?
Sometimes. I mostly read nonfiction, so if I buy a book I’ve already read it’s for future dipping-in, rather than for reading it again from cover to cover. I like to have books around.
What do you mostly read?
Mostly nonfiction. My favourite books are ones about interior decorating, but anything might take my fancy: architecture, art, photography, craft, biography, history, science, social issues, fashion, whatever.
Do you ever not finish reading a book?
Yes, all the time. There are too many excellent books in the world to waste time on lame ones.
How many books do you usually have on your library card at a time?
You can only get out 35 books at a time, so I’m usually in the 30s. It’s probably a good thing that there’s a limit to how much you can borrow at one time. And thank goodness for due dates! Deadlines are great for getting books read.
I hear that! What do you think of e-books?
I think e-books are great for books that don’t have pictures. I like being able to touch a word and get the definition, and I like the iPad for reading at night. If it’s just text, like a novel or a biography, then e-books are excellent for that.
So you read e-books yourself?
Sometimes, but only for books with no pictures. Don’t laugh.
I’m not laughing?
Anyway, I don’t think that, for example, coffee table books could really work on e-readers. Like, if there are a lot of photos or pictures I’d rather look at them in a big glossy tree-book. But I love e-audiobooks, especially about science or history or something, if it’s told in an interesting way. And podcasts! Yeah!
Where do you get ideas for what to read next?
I read the Auckland Libraries New Book Lists every month and have a bit of a reserving frenzy. I also get ideas from magazine reviews, and stuff I see in bookshops or read about on blogs. Or word of mouth. Just anywhere, really. I have a bit of FOMO about books and a bit of anxiety if I’m behind on my reserving.
Yeah totally. Being at the bottom of a long line of holds is…challenging! I like to have a lot of books at home, all the time, and lots of books coming in. A big fear of mine is being stuck somewhere with nothing to read. And don’t even get me started on magazines. American Vogue, British Vogue, Australian Vogue, there’s a new issue every month! Vogue anxiety, I has it.
What is your favourite book?
That’s like asking someone who their favourite child* is! I’ve thought about this before, and while I can’t seriously pick just one book, I’ll say ‘Pineapple: King of Fruits’ by Fran Beauman.
Is that a book about pineapples?
Well, yes. But it’s also about history, trade, colonialism and horticulture. It was one of the first nonfiction books I read that just sparked something in me, where I just thought “Yeah! Nonfiction is for me!”
You’re a total nerd.
What’s your point?
Do you keep track of all the books you read?
Yes I do. I have Library Thing account where I record nonfiction books I’ve read that I really like. But I’m way behind on updating it, so I also have lots of lists. Like, a lot of lists. I have list anxiety.
Would you like to tell me anything else about your reading habits?
Once I brought a wheelie suitcase to the library with me to pick up all my holds. It was one of my cleverest ideas ever!
Thanks for sharing your favourite media here at PopculturAL. Readers, stay tuned for the next exciting instalment of Your Favourite Media, where I will interview someone who is not me. Honest.
*I do not have a favourite child, but I concede that it might be whichever one is asleep.