Are you really reading all of these books?
Absolutely! Reading is my favourite way to spend my alone time and is a great way to unwind. I try to make time to read for fun (rather than reading for school) every day. Back in 2003, I had a performance review at the bookstore where I worked during my first degree and my manager wrote: “Kaitlyn is a voracious reader.” I took that as an incredible compliment.
What’s your favourite book?
It’s definitely a tie between Gone With the Wind and Anne of Green Gables. The former was a gift from my best friend’s mom when I started high school (I’ve read it every single summer since June 2000) and the latter has been a favourite since my mom first read it out loud to me when I was seven.
How do you afford to keep up with your reading habit?
Assuming a new trade paperback costs somewhere in the $15-$20 (Canadian) region, and I read one book a week for a year, that’s a $1,000-a-year kind of habit, and as an adult student, I just don’t have that kind of money. Fortunately, there are lots of inexpensive ways to get your hands on great books. I’m a member of the Calgary Public Library (and for most of 2013, I was a member of Okotoks Public Library). Memberships cost less than $20 a year, so for the price of one book, you have access to unlimited resources (and Wi-Fi).
I’m also an e-reader convert (my device of choice is the entry-level Amazon Kindle) since my days of living overseas. Books are big and bulky to move, and e-books tend to represent a considerable savings compared with their paper counterparts. I use my e-reader primarily for high-demand titles, travel and instant gratification (when you read that New York Times review and just have to buy the book right this second). Nothing replaces the feeling of holding a physical book, but I find the Kindle is a nice, cost-effective supplement to my reading.
I am fortunate to have a host of friends, parents and a boyfriend who are book lovers. We do a lot of trading, which is a great way to keep costs down. In fact, 16 out of the 62 books I read in 2013 were borrowed from family and friends. That’s 25%!
Finally, I work part-time at a bookstore that offers an employee discount, which I tend to take advantage of for new-release titles or things I can’t live without on my bookshelf.
How do you decide what to read next?
There’s really no official process. Some of my most favourite books have either been loans from friends, or just things I’ve found while perusing the shelves at the library or the bookstore where I work. One thing I absolutely hate though (which I know distinguishes me from a lot of other avid readers out there) is having a huge stack of unread books to get through. I feel like this is too much pressure. When it comes to reading, I prefer to go with the flow, picking and choosing what catches my eye in the moment. I am also in a book club, which is a great way to expand your horizons (and your comfort zone!) when it comes to finding new things to read.
Can I find you on Goodreads?
While I know a lot of people absolutely love Goodreads, I’ve found that it hasn’t really ‘stuck’ yet. I prefer the personalization of a blog post and I get a ton of exposure to new titles from the newspaper, the bookstore where I work and word-of-mouth. If anything changes, I promise I’ll share my information so we can all read together.
Do you read anything other than books?
Absolutely! While Paperback-Princess.com is a blog primarily about books, I read pretty much everything I can get my hands on. As an occasional journalist and copywriter, I’m a news junkie and check the headlines of the Toronto Star (Canada), the Globe and Mail (Canada), the Guardian (UK), the Daily Mail (UK) and the New York Times (US) online pretty much every morning. I also love magazines in all forms. I subscribe to Chatelaine, Flare, Elle Canada and Glamour (US), and occasionally purchase Vanity Fair, Women’s Health, Shape, Vogue (US), Marie Claire (US) and Glamour (UK). I’m a regular cookbook user and as an education student, I read a lot of textbooks and articles about teaching and education-related subjects.
Where did your blog design come from?
I wish I could say that I had webdesign skill and patience, but sadly, I’m not sure that particular part of the online journalism course I took back in 2005 stuck. This is all WordPress, baby! I made some modifications to the Bon Vivant theme, which is actually primarily for restaurants. I just love the way it looks, and it suits my purposes just fine.
Your avatar is really cute! Where did you find her?
I created the avatar for the Paperback Princess through Designhergals.com, which is one of my very favourite websites. Once you’ve made and customized your Gal (or Guy), you can then buy her as a digital image (which I did for this blog) or you can have her printed on all manner of stationery and accessories. It’s pretty great.
How do I contact you?
The best way to get in touch is to leave a comment directly on this blog – I read them all! Alternatively, you are always welcome to say hello to me over on Twitter.
If you prefer to get in touch privately, just fill out this contact form.