Mea Culpa! Not only am I late with today’s shallows, but having dilly-dallied sending off my latest lots of Shallow Sharing requests, I found myself without a sharer. Quelle horrors! So I ended up shamefully (for me, not her) guilting azteclady into sending her post in today! I don’t even know how long I have known azteclady. Since my own involvement in online communities, she has always been in and around Romancelandia blogs, commenting in her deeply thoughtful ways. She has recently joined Twitter, and there too, she is thoughtful, informative, astutely political, and ever so readerly. I am so glad that I get to chat with her on these various platforms, and I am so glad that she saved the shallows from a shallowless Saturday.
Can you describe yourself?
azteclady married young, had two offspring, moved three countries in a decade. After the marriage ended, she and her children moved to the USoA, where she has managed to live in the same house for twenty years. Reading, particularly romance, has kept her (mostly) sane through all of the usual and unusual upheavals of her life. She reads, crafts, rabblerouses and rants all over the intratubes.
We are all laying in the gutter, but some of us are looking up at the stars — Oscar Wilde
What is your main reading medium (books, blogs, games, news, etc) and how much time do you spend reading a week?
For the past two years or so, I’ve read almost equally online (blogs and news), and actual books. I prefer the latter, but I’ve been struggling with the granddaddy of all (fiction) reading slumps, so here we are.
What or who is your joyful reading (guilty or otherwise) pleasure?
As one of your previous Shallow visitors said, there’s no such thing as guilty pleasure in reading. For many years, my main reading diet has been genre romance, with mysteries, biographies, historical fiction, and the occasional non-fiction work on something of particular interest, thrown in for flavor.
Do you have a favourite storyline or plot? And do you have one you will not read?
There are two things I don’t read: horror (same reason I don’t watch it: I’m a wuss), and what is called over here ‘inspirational’/Christian romance. Otherwise, I get frustrated by TSTL characters, and overtly cartoonish villains.
Why do you/don’t you use a public library?
Where I grew up (Mexico) public libraries were…let’s just say, ‘lacking,’ so I didn’t make a habit of using them. However, my mother was the head librarian for the equivalent of the Housing Authority in the US. This meant that we always–ALWAYS–had access to books at home, and I was used to owning the books I read. Once I moved to the US, I used the library while my offspring were growing up, because even buying used books, my budget just didn’t stretch enough for how much they read. These days I don’t use the library because I still have unread print books from my first RWA National Conference (2009) as well as an overwhelmingly large unread digital library. Borrowing *more* books would probably finish me off.
Do you RUI*. If so, what?
Not really; alcohol knocks me out pretty much immediately, so I don’t drink it, and I was never brave/adventurous/stupid enough to try anything else.
Do you have a favourite reading spot?
Bed, by a large margin.
Ah, the old toilet reading quandary!
Lemme tell you a story. As I said before, we always had access to books growing up, but we never had multiple copies of the same book, and, as we ALL were avid readers, and often liked the same books, it was a struggle to finish one without having a sibling interrupt (sometimes for days!) So we developed a strategy: we would go to the upstairs bathroom, LOCK the door, stretch out on the floor, and read for hours. If an adult wanted us to get out, we would hide the book (under the carpet behind the door was my spot–no one ever found my books!), and innocently flush, wash our hands, and open the door.
These days I don’t share a bathroom, so I rarely erm…indulge. If and when I do, though, it’s usually scrolling over emails on my phone. (Or, more recently, twitter)
Romance fiction of the Happily Ever After (not the love tragedy) kind – are you a Lover or a Hater and why?
If a book is sold to me as genre romance, it better have a HEA, or there’ll be hell to pay, ‘sall I’m sayin’
As to why: life is miserable on its own (particularly these days), there’s no need to add with miserable reading, the classics be damned. If I read a mystery, I want the mystery solved; if I read an epic science fiction or fantasy saga, I bloody well want the universe/world/kingdom saved. Why wouldn’t I want the characters whose journey I’ve followed through the angst of falling in love, being vulnerable, being lonely, etc etc, have a future where all those travails are rewarded?
What would you give up reading for**?
Apparently, stress. Voluntarily? Nothing, not one single thing. Give me a book that will pull at me, and I’m a much happier person than the current grumpy curmudgeon you know.
Can a romance/crime/super/etc hero be the driver of a hatchback?
Absolutely: what can be more heroic than a father driving his brood to school, soccer, swim club meets, or the beach? (think Vin Diesel in the movie The Pacifier.)