Krystal is Sharing the Shallows

So today, for someone completely different, I have one of my former students taking the shallow plunge and answering my questions. I taught Krystal in both Information Discovery as well as Information Cultures (do I remember this correctly? I am sure she can confirm this). I really enjoyed teaching both of these classes and the whole cohort was fabfabfab. So when you have a fabfabfab cohort, you have lots of standout students, and one of those standouts is Krystal… well, what can I say but that I think she is just awesome. I am so glad she agreed to take part in my shallows.

(PS If any of my other fabfabfab students are reading and want to take part in sharing my shallows – send me an email!)

Aside: Krystal mentions Cracked and as a Mad Magazine fan I concede that though Mad was much more superior in the 60s-90s, however the poor second cousin Cracked just came into its own in the internet age and is now the one that rules. Mad – why you make me so sad ūüė¶

Krystal with her booksKrystal 


Budding librarian and marketing assistant

Can you describe yourself:

“I have been an avid reader since childhood, and I’m a big fan of deep-diving into niche or specific topics and learning about all kinds of things- the Titanic wreck, norse mythology, the dogs of the Russian space program, you name it!¬†I recently completed my first degree, studying Communications and majoring in Information and Media. This year I am undertaking Honours! My experiences in life and work are strange and varied- I went to art school, was a legal secretary, worked in an auction house, paid my dues in retail, and I’m currently working two positions in an academic library, redesigning a university website as a marketing and communications assistant, and undertaking my own research as a (fingers crossed!) future academic. Unlike my mother, whose true crime reading choices have resulted in a bookshelf in our house which I refer to as “the murder library,” my preferences are the dark and fantastical.”

What is your main reading medium (books, blogs, games, news, etc) and how much time do you spend reading a week?

I would say that I read physical books for any kind of long-form reading: fiction, non-fiction, textbooks, coffee-table books, and especially art books with lots of pictures. Any type of text where I feel that the experience is enhanced by the physical act of turning a page, I tend to prefer books. For shorter things- news, journal articles, online content, I am happy to read from a screen. I would say that I spend a significant amount of time reading, though it’s only recently that I’ve come to accept that I am still an avid reader. I don’t read novels and physical books as much as I used to, due to time commitments, and I often felt like it meant I¬†wasn’t much of a reader anymore. However, in reality the opposite could not be truer- I’ve just finished a degree that relied heavily¬†on reading and literature-searching, and have read and researched constantly for the past three years. For the past year, I have been wading my way into the world of academia in my spare time, writing my own articles and undertaking my own research. I’m even about to begin a research degree. A big part of my adult reading habits was forgiving myself for not reading all of the novels I would like to, and accepting that the amount of non-fiction reading I do still count. Nowadays I’ve come to accept short story anthology books as a convenient answer to my limits on free time.

Cracked Magazine King Kong coverWhat or who is your joyful reading (guilty or otherwise) pleasure? 

A definite guilty pleasure would have to be listicle articles online. I read them to pass time on trains, or if it’s very slow at the front desk at work. If it’s a quiet day over the summer break you can almost definitely catch me on¬†¬†reading about ten ways that my favourite tv show was actually hellish behind the scenes. I can’t even place WHY I enjoy reading them, I just find them entertaining!

Do you have a favourite storyline or plot? And do you have one you will not read?

I’m a BIG lover of tropes in all media, and I spend a lot of time reading analyses of the tropes of my favourite fiction. I love a good storyline about found family, an unconventional group of people bonded over a shared experience and love for each other.¬†However, I am not a big fan of a trope I see in media where the main¬†character is pushed away from their group, or leaves, due to a misunderstanding or betrayal, especially if I know they’ll all be reunited for the finale anyway. I guess I’m a hyper-sensitive flower, but that type of storyline stresses me out!

Why do you/don’t you use a public library?

I definitely used the public library a lot growing up. My mum and I are both big readers, and growing up a public library was a low-cost alternative to spending money we didn’t have on books. It came especially handy for me in high school, though. My school had a large library, but it was mostly dedicated to computers rather than books. I didn’t have the internet at my house until I was almost 16, and getting research done at school meant fighting it out over the computers, or settling for a fairly small collection of books. I spent a lot of after-school time at my local library, finding and printing online materials to take home, or borrowing books to complete assignments. Even now as an adult, I don’t own a printer, so if I need something printed and I’m at home rather than at uni or work, it’s down to the public library for me to print it.

Do you RUI*. If so, what?

I’m more of a “sings loudly under the influence” than a reader.

Do you have a favourite reading spot?

At home, I like to read in my front yard. We have some seats set up, and in the afternoons on a warm day, with the breeze blowing through the trees and my dog pattering around, it’s when I feel most at peace. My dog likes when I read aloud to him- he just thinks I’m giving him attention.

Toilet reading: 

    a) Never do it

    b) Only my own books/phone/tablet/ereader

    c) Anything goes Рlibrary books, friends books, cornflake packets.

    d) I refuse to answer this question on the grounds that I may incriminate myself.

    e) Other _________

I come from a long line of toilet readers. As a careless teen I destroyed many a paperback from leaving them in the bathroom for extended periods. Let’s just say, there’s a reason you won’t find Harry Potter in my bookshelf anymore. And that reason is that they’re all completely wrecked. Order of the Phoenix doesn’t even have a cover anymore.

Romance fiction of the Happily Ever After (not the love tragedy) kind Рare you a Lover or a Hater and why?

I’m always here for a gooey happy ending. I find that it’s the most delicious type of wish-fulfillment for me.

What would you give up reading for**?

I like to think I have a measured approach to reading where I don’t read so much that it interferes with my life. I honestly don’t know if I would give up reading for any selfish reasons- reading is tied so much into who I am and what I’m doing for a living. It would be hard to be a librarian, work with computers, or do just about any of the things I do without reading! Unless we’re in a situation where you have a knife to the throat of someone I love, but I don’t think you would do that… Unless…

Can a romance/crime/super/etc hero be the driver of a hatchback?

I am here for any subversive imagery! I would accept an action protagonist riding into battle apocalyptic forces on a pushbike, out of breath, if it was amusing enough!

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