Since I had a lot of fun with the ‘Authortube Newbie’ tag that I wrote a while ago, I thought I’d give the ‘Booktuber tag’ a go, too. My blog will hopefully feel like a mix between the two genres, so it applies. A lot of the questions were similar, so I cut them out — here is my answer to the Booktuber Newbie tag!

  1. Why do you love reading?

Reading, for me, is an escape from the mundane. You can sit in a dull chair in a dull room, listening to dull music, but if you have a book in your hand you can never be truly bored.

Reading is also inherently transformative. No matter who you are, you can find yourself in the pages of a book, exploring aspects of your own mind and personality through the lense of another character. It’s been said before, but, as reading itself is an act of empathy, we can put ourselves in another person’s shoes, which allows us to better understand the world, and ourselves. It’s hard not to reflect on our own lives and choices after reading a particularly good book.

For me, it’s those things that make me love reading; I genuinely believe that it betters me as a person, both intellectually and emotionally.

2. What book or series got you into reading?

The first series I remember really loving was The Series of Unfortunate Events, by Lemony Snicket. There were so many clever and inventive aspects to the book, from the black humour and dramatic irony to the author that acted as a character within the story. I think it was also a good exploration of the more dark aspects of life, one that is suitable for young readers but also doesn’t feel like molly coddling. A lot of kids have a sense of the world’s wrongdoings, and to have that shown to them can feel extremely validating. It remains a book series that I’d recommend to children, but maybe not to adults — adults tend to find the loss of autonomy in the books very upsetting, in a way that children, interestingly, don’t.

3. When did you start reading?

I actually only learnt to read when I was about eight or nine, due to complications with the school system where I lived, so once I figured it out I was making up for lost time! During the few years after I learnt, I devoured every book in sight. I read at night, during the holidays, often during breaktime — weekly trips to the library were a necessity, and it wasn’t uncommon for me to finish whole books in less than a day. This slowed down once I’d gone through the children’s section of the library. The adult’s section was all tawdy romance and serial killer mysteries (it was a small library) and the YA section was yet to be added, so I really had come to the end of my options. My reading picked up again when I was about thirteen with the discovery of Wattpad — yes, I know — and I like to think I’m now at a point where I can read consistently, without the big peaks and slumps of when I was little.

4. Where do you read?

Wherever I happen to be, mostly. I like to read in a chair in my room, or in bed, if I can — maybe in the living room while my host kids watch tv, so long as whatever they’re watching isn’t in English (I find it harder to tune out when it’s not German). A good cup of tea is a necessity; at the moment I’m enjoying mulled wine flavoured tea, which is a Very German Thing, I’m told. To be fiar, I’ve never come across it in England before.

That, and the roaring fire in the living room, makes for a great place to read in the winter.

5. What kind of books do you like to read?

At the moment, I’m really into literary fiction and urban fantasy. Urban fantasy is a bit of an old favourite of mine — a first love, if you will — since I really love just a dash of the supernatural. Just give me a solitary vampire in a city scape, or a time traveller in modern day Poland, or any little twist on the reality we know.

Literary fiction is often more style than genre, so it can fit in with whatever my craze of the moment is. I find lyrical prose almost intoxicating, and introspective, character driven fiction is my jam. Short stories in this style are very interesting to me at the moment, as they are often very entertaining and insightful — Shaelin Bishop and Rachelwrites (both on Youtube, as well) are two favourites for literary short fiction at the moment.

6. What does your book collection look like?

My book collection is *really* small at the moment. Since I’ve only just moved to Germany, I had to pack light. I only took three books with me — a notebook, a book of German grammar drills (thrilling, I know), and a very thin poetry book. I don’t usually read a lot of poetry; outside of school work and Winnie the Pooh stories when I was little, I’ve only read one other full book of poetry. That, like the copy of Graffitti I took to Germany, was by Savannah Brown, a poet I admire. I’d like to read more poetry in the fullness of time, but, as it goes, the easy-to-put-down nature of poetry collections means that I get through them very slowly. Happily, I should add, I’ve found I actually quite like poetry, but still slowly. I’ve been reading Graffitti for two months now, and I’m only a bit more than halfway through.