Take the journey to enjoy the view -Jeffrey Benjamin
What is the actual experience of the reader? -Benjamin Thomas
Welcome back ladies and gentlemen for another edition of Forensic Lenses; an investigative and exploratory approach into minds of voracious readers. Somewhat recently I put my thinking cap on (Yes, I have one) and imagined viewing people in a different light. Not just as writers, but as readers. Reading is the fire that ignites the imagination in so many that have become authors. So we’re here trying to discover the vast wealth of the complete reader experience. Join me, as we embark on this journey.
Everybody please welcome Candace!
Candace is a book fiend, a classic reviewer, excellent blogger, and the awesome mind behind Literary Dust. You can find her on Twitter at @literarydust, on Facebook Literary Dust: A Bookish World, and on Instagram at Literarydust.
I’m so glad I had opportunity to connect with Candace, because she is an avid reader who consumes books by the minute. I wish I could read as fast as she does. Or perhaps, a second set of eyes could be helpful. Or it could prove to be more troublesome! Hah!
*You’re a blogger, book reviewer and a reader. Are you also a writer or artist?
Well I try to write, but haven’t gotten far enough where I could be called a writer. Hopefully one day I will finish a book. I also used to be really into photography, but I don’t have much time for that. As for any other art form? I can’t draw a stick figure to save my life.
Hey, if you writing you’re a writer. There’s no set of rules to dictate the designation. You’re a writer when you call yourself one. This kind of struggle is fairly common actually. Myself included. It took me several months to call myself a writer. Try it, its fun!
*What did you study in school?
I studied to be a teacher, but I didn’t finish that.
Never too late I suppose. You don’t necessarily need school to be a positive role model in someone’s life though.
*I saw that you are obsessed with books. What is it about books that you love?
I love the escape, and the opportunity to be in someone else’s mind for a moment. The fact that you can go almost anywhere whether it is a fictional world that is beautiful or dark without the worry of something dreadful actually happening to you yet getting to experience something incredible.
Candace, I utterly enjoy the escapism too. The last six years have been a complete nightmare. I plunged deep into depression without a way out. Just this morning while listening to an audiobook on the way to work was therapeutic. I take great pleasure being in someone else’s skin for a while. You know, there’s a lot of benefits to audiobooks that you don’t get by reading. The subtle intonation of voice, minor dramatic effects, and the different dialects of characters make a BIG difference. Actually I laughed pretty hard a few times because the way something was said.
*What is your current occupation?
I actually stay at home. I suffer from hemiplegic migraines.
More time to read books! Sometimes all I want to do is read and write. Put the world and everything in it on pause.
Time to read…
*What were your favorite childhood books and why?
Strega Nona, Where the Wild Things Are, and The Giving Tree. I loved these books because they have meaning within them, and I feel they teach life lessons inside of their short pages, and the pictures inside are memorable and have stayed with me.
Those are the best. The stories that teach you something with theme and rich significance. You can’t beat it.
*You mentioned how you like to be in someone else’s mind when reading. Name your all time favorite characters and how you most relate to them.
I was always into reading when I was younger, but when I was in high school I read 1984, and that book opened a whole new world for me. Being in Winston’s head was interesting, and the whole thing was just intense. I feel like if I were in that situation with the whole “Big Brother” type situation I would want to break the rules too.
Nice. It’s stunning, how one character can open up “worlds” for us when we read them on the page. Amazing.
*Name your top five fictional worlds
1. A Court of Thorns and Roses by: Sarah J. Maas
2. The Covenant series by: Jennifer L. Armentrout
3. The Hunger Games by: Suzanne Collins
4. Angelfall by: Susan Ee
5. Shatter Me by: Tahereh Mafi
Don’t hate me, but I actually haven’t read any of these authors yet. I always enjoy seeing what others favs are though. Thanks for sharing.
*If you had a one way ticket to one of them, which would it be?
Most of these worlds would actually be pretty scary to live in, but I am going to go with A Court of Thorns and Roses because in Rhysand’s world I could spend an eternity.
*Have you ever cried while reading? If so, why, and state what you were feeling at the moment.
I have cried while reading, but I don’t get hysterical. It is mainly just tears sliding down my face, but it has been when characters I really have grown to love die, and it feels like a piece of your soul has been torn away. It is weird how you can feel for these characters that aren’t even real, yet they feel so three dimensional.
This is the most amazing experience, when an author can make me cry. There’s only two books where I’ve almost cried, only because I was holding back. *he he he* 😉
It’s good to cry, let those feelings out.
You know in some countries if you burp that means the meal was good. Well, if and when there’s a tear streaking down your face, hats off to the author.
*Name your favorite YA books and what you love about them.
The Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi, The Under the Never Sky series by: Veronica Rossi, The Precious Stone Trilogy by: Kerstin Gier, Throne of Glass and A Court of Thorns and Roses by: Sarah J. Maas, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, The Falling Kingdoms series by: Morgan Rhodes, and The Blood of Eden series by: Julie Kagawa, and I could keep going on for a while. I love these mainly because most of them are just a whole different world, and these characters just all do things that normal people just don’t do, and I love that.
I can almost see your enjoyment here. Great!
AT THE SCENE OF THE CRIME….
*Name your top 5-10 pet peeves you hate when reading a book.
1. Too much self loathing
2. When characters say someone “Let out a breath they didn’t know they were holding”. How is that possible?
3. If characters have kissing scene etc. and get interrupted too many times. Does that happen in real life?
4. Way too many point of views.
5. Names I can’t pronounce. Unless the author provides a page on how to sound out the names.
Hold it right there, pal…
*What other genres do you read?
Fantasy, Paranormal, New Adult contemporary. I can’t do a lot of the “People with real problems” type books.
I hear you. Guess that could be rather depressing.
*What do you think of the current 5 star system for book reviews?
It is okay, but I know the 3 star area is different to some people. Some people say 3 stars is still a good book while others have 3 stars as thinking it wasn’t great, so it is all opinion pretty much.
I’ve heard the same thing. It think it serves a certain purpose while failing in others. Doesn’t capture the complete reader experience in my opinion. But eh, what do I know?
*When you rate a book, do you have specific criteria? Or does it depend on your subjective feeling?
If I am left really thinking about the book I give it a 5. I don’t really give books a 1 because those are ones that I wasn’t able to finish, but I feel bad about rating a book I don’t finish, so I just don’t rate it at all.
Same here. If I didn’t finish a book I wouldn’t be able to properly assess it.
Awesome! I read somewhere that reading literally changes your brain and how you think. Empathy was one thing the article mentioned. That’s so cool!
Thanks for joining us Candace!
~Books fall open, you fall in. -David McCord
“I was born with a reading list I will never finish.” -Maud Casey
Never take for granted what you read -Benjamin Thomas