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Season 4, Episode 1

Reader Habits, a New Co-host, and Happily Ever Afters

January 13, 2022

A new co-host, Jen, joins Charity to talk about choosing books new books, maxing out your library card and other strange things that readers do. Book recommendations for young adult and middle grade readers.

Titles Mentioned in This Episode

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Charity 0:01 Welcome to the Planet Book podcast. I'm your host Charity.

Jen 0:05 Hi and I'm Jennifer.

Charity 0:06 We're with the Springfield-Greene County Library District. On each episode, you'll hear us talking about our favorite tween and teen books. Thanks for joining us today. Welcome to season four of the Planet Book podcast, and I've got a new co-host with me this season. She's an awesome human. She's a great librarian, and I'm super excited to be co hosting with you. Welcome, Jen.

Jen 0:32 Hello, I am super excited to be here. Yay.

Charity 0:35 Yeah, I think this is gonna be so fun. And today we're talking about reader habits. We all have them. And I've made a list of mine, and I can't wait to hear yours. We'll get to know you a little bit more as a reader. So let's just get into it. First of all, so I was trying to figure out like what are my reader habits because I feel like when you've read for as long as like--when you're a really avid reader, sometimes you don't realize what are the peculiar things that you do. And so I'll just go ahead and start. So I just started doing this habit where normally I check books out, I take them home, and then I just, you know until I get to them, you know, they sit there and then I'll read them. And so I might have that book sitting there for a week or two before I get to it and read it. And then I read it and I'm like, oh, I don't really like this. And like so now, I read the first page and if I don't like the first page I don't even check that book out.

Jen 1:34 That's an interesting tactic.

Charity 1:38 But it allows me to like rule out books right away.

Jen 1:42 Okay, I've got a question for you then because we work in a library.

Charity 1:47 Yes.

Jen 1:48 We have access to a lot of books. So are you the type of person--the Springfield-Greene County Library allows 50 checkouts per card. Are you the kind of person that has like three books checked out at a time? Are you always near your 50 item limit?

Charity 2:03 So I am usually around 20 or 25. I've never checked--had 50 things checked out. But yeah, I'm over 20 right now.

Jen 2:17 My reading eyes are always bigger than my plate. Is that the expression?

Charity 2:23 Yeah, yeah.

Jen 2:25 Because I have 50 items checked out at the moment. And now I'm also checking out about 20 on my son's card. That being said, I do read a lot of graphic novels. So, it's like you can read--especially if they're like DC or Marvel you can get through like, three a night.

Charity 2:42 Yes, yeah, that's the nice thing about graphic novels and poetry, or sometimes books in the humor section like you can whip through those pretty quickly. So what's one of yours, Jen?

Jen 2:54 My reading habits? I have a pile like on every shelf, every bookshelf in my house, which there are six of. And so I tend to buy used books at Goodwill for like a buck. And so on each shelf like on my horror shelf, I'll have three horror novels that I need to get to. And then I'll have three adult fiction I need to get to, three art books I need to get to. And then there's always like a health and fitness book in my bathroom.

Charity 3:28 Okay, you're always reading multiple books at a time.

Jen 3:31 Yeah, you do that too, don't you?

Charity 3:33 I do. That's one of my other reading habits. I used to not be able to do that but it's like I gotta get through books faster. So I am always reading about five books.

Jen 3:42 Same it's--and I think it's because we read various formats like yeah, like I am, you're probably listening to a title on audio.

Charity 3:52 Yes.

Jen 3:53 Then you're probably reading something for a work function. That's more like homework for the kids.

Charity 4:00 Yeah.

Jen 4:01 And then you've got your pleasure reading. And sometimes you can get a couple of those going. But my pleasure reading tends to be more like middle grade and high school--and YA graphic novels so I can knock those out quick but the other stuff.

Charity 4:17 I get overwhelmed. I check too many things out and then--so I've got all these books that I'm trying to read simultaneously. But one of my other--I realized one of my other reading habits is that I don't read reviews of the books before I decide to read them.

Jen 4:34 Me either but one of my reading habits, and you wouldn't think it since we work at a library, but I don't read brand new books, generally. Like whatever's hot off the press I'm not aching to get that. Like I said, I can find that for $1 in like two years at Goodwill after everyone else has read it.

Charity 4:53 Wait a minute, wait a minute. You don't read brand new books? Like but those are the books everyone's reading and talking about. How do you talk about those books?

Jen 5:01 I just have my genres that I read new stuff in. Horror graphic novels I try to read. Like, I know what's coming out in a couple of months, that kind of thing. And I actually keep a spreadsheet I'm so nerdy. Because with horror, you find out what people are obsessed with. And like right now, it's Final Girl. A couple of years ago, it was witches. But anyway, that's an advantage to keeping a spreadsheet of what you've read. But otherwise--and then the YA and middle school graphic novels I'm okay with, but still I'm getting to a lot of the 2019s, not even the 2021s. Because the other stuff has holds.

Charity 5:42 Yes. Well, I used to be the same way, but then I wanted to talk about the books that everyone was reading. So then I started reading the new stuff. So then I've got to go back and try and pick up those older titles. You know, but it's hard. It's hard to balance that out I feel like. Do you select your books based on the cover? Because I do.

Jen 6:05 Yes. That's especially the graphic novels, and then it ends up you end up having some that are similar that way without even knowing it.

Charity 6:19 Yes.

Jen 6:20 It's like, oh, that's cute. Let's give that one a shot. Or I like the graphics or--that's with the genres I have less awareness of though, that I'm more a tourist in.

Charity 6:32 Oh, that's an interesting way to put it, a tourist in certain--what other genres are you a tourist in?

Jen 6:38 My least read genre is romance, because, I think you guys talked about this last season, I hate a happy ending. I mean, give me some nuance. Give me some loose ends that aren't tied up.

Charity 6:52 Oh, Jen, Jen.

Jen 6:54 I can not read romance because it's a guaranteed happy ending. Where's the surprise in that?

Charity 7:00 Well, we've been very similar through most of this conversation, but this is where I'm going to differ with you, because I gotta have--in fact, not that I hate books that don't have happy endings but, man, is it a disappointment when I get there. I knew someone who they like happy endings so much that they will read the last chapter first. If that book does not have a happy ending they don't read it. They're like, nope, I'm not reading it. I don't do that. But this is so interesting. You don't like happy endings. I'm so intrigued.

Jen 7:38 Well, and I think that's I have to kind of give myself homework like we were talking about. Like, I can't read the reviews, because I want to be surprised. And a lot of times, I will end up reading books that are getting ready to be adapted into movies, because I don't want to, you know, I don't want the book spoiled by the movie's ending even though sometimes they're different. But I don't know how people get through a book when they know what the ending's gonna be.

Charity 8:03 Well, yeah, I'm with you there. But I don't read reviews because I don't want my opinion to be influenced by what other people's opinions are on the book. And then I go back and read the reviews to find out was I way off base here, or did other people feel the same way? And you can always find people who felt the same way about a book that you did.

Jen 8:24 I like to read the author's interviews after that too.

Charity 8:27 Oh really?

Jen 8:28 Find out the purpose because like, I tend to, like think of what oh, these are the themes, I think I'm finding and then if you go back and you read the author's interview, you know, if you're kind of off base or not.

Charity 8:41 See I don't do that. And when I have read author interviews, sometimes it's a little disappointing because they maybe had a totally different intention. And it's like, oh, I didn't pick up that at all. So I don't want to be influenced by anyone else's thoughts on the book that I read. I want to have my own opinion.

Jen 9:02 I'm with you there.

Charity 9:03 I really don't care what anyone else--kind of I wouldn't call this a reader habit but I'll share this one last kind of quirk. So some of the people I work with they only read books that are on, like, best of lists, like here are the best books of the year, here are the best whatever. I might look at those lists, but I tend not to read books on those lists, because it's like it's so subjective. And I just want to read the books that I want to read and I don't care if they're on somebody's list of great books.

Jen 9:33 Exactly like I think it was the second season that I helped out with. I was talking about Snapdragon and the reason I was talking about that book is because it wasn't getting as much press and it was an amazing book, and now, whatever six months later, a year later however long it's been, it has gained some recognition. So I would way rather promote something that's not getting eyes on it.

Charity 10:01 Yes.

Jen 10:02 Anybody can pick up a BuzzFeed article or People magazine or whatever, wherever they're turning for reviews. So yeah, I'm with you.

Charity 10:11 Yeah, same. I think that people look at those BuzzFeed articles and they come in with their book suggestions. But there are so many amazing books that aren't gonna end up maybe on a BuzzFeed list of the year or you know, and they deserve to be read and loved too.

Jen 10:30 Exactly. So do you keep a book with you at most times?

Charity 10:35 Well, I guess I don't keep a book in my--that's not true. I guess I do. Yes, I was gonna say don't keep a book in my purse. But I often have a book in my purse. I've always got an audiobook in my car. And I can relate to what you said a few minutes ago, about having stacks around the house, because I guess this is another reader habit. My nightstand is always covered in books. My own books, library books, always. And I kind of move this stack. So I have the stack that I'm trying to currently get through or whatever. And it moves with me through the house. So if I'm in the living room, it's on the side table. If I'm in the bedroom, it's on the nightstand, and my husband probably thinks I'm crazy, but that's just what I do.

Jen 11:18 I do the same thing like because if it makes it to my nightstand, by golly, it's gonna get read. No more putting it off. It's happening. Because I read every night. Do you read every night right before bed?

Charity 11:32 Honestly, no, not always.

Jen 11:34 Okay.

Charity 11:35 And I don't like to read--I don't like to read before bed because I don't--because like then I'm drowsy and sleepy, and I don't want to associate reading with being sleepy. You know what I mean?

Jen 11:45 Yeah, I've heard that rule for kids. Don't do anything in a bed that isn't sleeping.

Charity 11:51 Yeah, like, I don't want my brain to think, oh, we're reading so it's time to like, get drowsy. I want to be like wide awake when I--so I'll wake up early in the morning sometimes and read, like before I come to work or something.

Jen 12:03 I could never do that. Ever.

Charity 12:08 I'll wake up early, I'll go make myself a cup of coffee. And I've just done that this week. And just like I've got a little reading light, because I'm not turning the lights on. But I'll get my little book light. And you know, read a chapter or two before I come into work sometimes if it's a book that I'm just like dying to get through.

Jen 12:27 Yeah, and since there might be younger people listening, one of my reading habits that changed as I got older, when I was younger, I would have to like hole up in my bedroom or I would read in the bathroom a lot. I think it's because you could turn the heater on and it'd get really warm. But not like on the toilet just like sit in the bathroom. You know, completely by myself. No sound. I didn't want any distraction. Now when something's on television, like a sports game, I'll sit and read while somebody else is enjoying the sports game, and then I'm present. You know, we're like together alone.

Charity 13:07 Yeah, I do the exact same thing. And like I also was the same way when I was younger. Yeah, I'd hole up in a corner somewhere. But now it's like, okay, I'll sit here on the couch with you while you watch your wrestling, and I'll be reading my book.

Jen 13:22 So hopefully we're showing a little glimmer of hope for all of those readers that cannot have distractions that it will happen. You'll build up a tolerance at some point in your life. Because as you get older, it gets harder to make time to do anything, anything you like.

Charity 13:42 Yeah, so you got to snatch those minutes wherever you can. Well, Jen, this has been fascinating and funny. And I've enjoyed hearing about your reader habits.

Jen 13:52 Yeah, look at this we had quite a few in common.

Charity 13:57 We did, we really did. I honestly am kind of surprised. So listeners, stay tuned for the rest of season four. We've got some amazing things coming your way this season. And so we'll see you again for another episode of Planet Book. Thanks for joining us for another episode of the Planet Book podcast. Check out the library's website at for these and other great book recommendations. And follow us on Facebook for the latest news and events. This has been a production of the Springfield-Greene County Library District. Thanks for listening.

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