Ms. Jennifer Neal consumes books the way that most people consume popcorn at the movie theater. A Spanish teacher, teaching in Cairo, Egypt for the year, and hailing from Connecticut, Jennifer is an avid traveler. She has lived outside of the United States for over 20 years in Africa, Central and South America, and Europe and moved consistently every two years. Every summer her mother goes to the local libraries for her and buys their “used” books at a discount to have them shipped to the country that she is headed to next. This is because she just can’t stand the thought of being without a book to read.
Since we at BookHive love avid readers like the sunshine in winter, we reached out to Jennifer about her reading habits and she had this to say:
KB: You’re a voracious reader. How many books do you think you average per year?
JN: I usually read between 250-300+ books a year. I used to read more, but after Lasik eye surgery I was told not to strain my eyes. LOL.
KB:. What do you love most about reading? What draws you to literature?
JN: The truth is that I love new information. Reading allows me to learn more about my world. I read books and I find out things that I never knew before and then I do research. It is an opportunity for me to learn about new concepts, history or people.
When I grew up, technology was in a nascent stage, and electricity was not always available. But I always had a book to read. So I occupied a lot of my time reading any and every book that I could get a hold of. I remember reading dictionaries, Encyclopedia sets and novels. Reading allowed me to go to new places, have adventures and make new friends.
KB: What is your favorite genre to read?
JN: I do not have a favorite genre. I just like a good story. This could include Freakonomics, to Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas, to Pride and Prejudice, to The Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell to books about history like The Pessimist’s Guide to History. There is no genre that I have not read, I love it all.
KB: How do you find the time to read so much?
JN: I always have a book, now kindle, with me. I will read while waiting, during breaks, in the afternoons and at night. I read whenever I can. I have to be careful that I do not read an intriguing book at night, because then I will not fall asleep until it is finished. During the summer especially, I read books like drinking water.
KB: If you were stranded on a deserted island and could only bring one book with you which would you pick?
JN: It would have to be Pride and Prejudice. I love that book. I have read it so many times. I have read the graphic novel and I have read it in Spanish. It is just so beautiful.
KB: How does reading a work on BookHive compare to reading a already published novel? Do you like the beta reader process?
JN: I love being a beta reader, because it is like being a golden ticket holder in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I get an inside peek at a book that has not been seen before. I get a glimpse into the secret world of unpublished books. It is amazing.
A golden ticket, what a wonderful description. BookHive would like to thank Ms.Neal for her time and her dedication to literature. Don’t we all wish we could read as much as she does? I know I do.
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Kim Batchelor is a recent graduate of University of Michigan and avid consumer of media. She is the Buzz Intern at BookHive and is working on creating her own blog.