Portrait of a Reader: Stephanie N.

Welcome, Stephanie! Please start by introducing us to yourself and your family.

I’ve been married to the same amazing man for over 30 years. We are the parents of three grown children, the youngest of whom still lives with us. I am eclectically-interested: a writer, editor, birth doula, and personal trainer. One of my greatest honors was co-authoring former Paralympian Deborah L. Willows’ memoir, Living Beyond My Circumstances.

Portrait of a Reader: Stephanie N.

Very cool, Stephanie! You do have a lot of eclectic interests, but that is so fun. We also have three grown children, but it’s our oldest who is currently at home! 🙂 So tell us when you first came to identify yourself as a reader? What do you most enjoy reading? Do you consider yourself a casual reader, a sporadic reader, a serious reader or an all-out bibliophile?

My mother always loved books and I owe my love of the written word, in large part, to that fact. Some of my happiest childhood memories center around books and my favorite children’s authors: P.D. Eastman, Dr. Seuss, and Carolyn Keene.

A legacy of reading is the best. I tried to give that to my children, but, alas, it didn’t take. At least not yet. What do you most enjoy reading?

I love reading Christian fiction with well-developed, three-dimensional characters. If I love them or hate them and they are plunged into an intense, realistic plot, the author has me hooked. If the story doesn’t stir my heart, I feel cheated. If the story reaches out and grabs me by the throat, the author has done his/her job. To me, a good read is a cathartic experience and leaves me drained yet desperate for “the next great read.”

What a great description of the reading experience. So very, very true. So in your search for “the next great read,” what is the last book you finished and what are you currently reading?

I am currently reading Dorene Meyer’s creative non-fiction Where Was God? and Janet Sketchley’s novel, Heaven’s Prey. I also have a number of non-fiction books on the go related to a course I’m taking and my eclectic interests.

I recently completed Sandra Orchard’s Shades of Truth (fiction) and Paul Kasch’s Grace vs. Obedience (non-fiction).

Grace vs. Obedience sounds intriguing. Do you have a favorite time and place to read? 

That’s a tough one. Until recently, I would have said I liked to read in a quiet comfortable setting, but I am learning to focus and read just about anywhere. So, I’d say, if I’m not visiting with family or friends, I’d love to have my nose stuck in a book. Though I like to read just about any time, reading late at night when my eyes are closing is probably not a good idea. If I have to reread a paragraph more than twice, I know it’s time to turn off the light and get some shut-eye.

I know that feeling. I do have to read at least a page or two to wind down at the end of the day, but when you have to start re-reading, you know sleep is essential.  So what is the most unusual circumstance/place in which you’ve been found reading?

I studied for my personal trainer certification exam in my truck in an isolated corner of our local park . . . eating cheesecake, but that’s another story.

Lol! Actually, that kind of sounds like a little piece of heaven. 🙂 Do you read physical books, ebooks, or both?

I love reading paperbacks and watching the bookmark as it advances through the book (a progress bar just isn’t the same thing), but I do have several hundred ebooks as well. If I had to give up one type of book, it would be the electronic variety.

That moving bookmark makes you feel as if you’ve accomplished something, doesn’t it? I agree, a progress bar isn’t quite the same. Do you buy your books, borrow them from friends or check them out of the library? (Or all of the above!)

I prefer purchasing my books . . . or receiving them as gifts . . . or downloading them for free when that is an option.

I do enjoy borrowing books from the library, but I have so many waiting for my attention, I rarely have time to do so.

I’m always amazed that so many readers prefer to own their books. I always thought that was my own personal quirk. Good to know I’m in the “normal” range among bibliophiles! Do you have any favorite foods or drinks that generally accompany your reading?

I’ll take a Chai Latte or a Caramel Macchiato just about any time.

I hear you. At least about the macchiato . . .  Finally, it’s true confessions time: have you ever forgotten something important (to fix dinner or that dinner was in the oven or an appointment, etc) because you were lost in the pages of a book? 

I didn’t exactly forget, but when I was reading Frank Peretti’s This Present Darkness, I tried to prop it so I could do the dishes while continuing to read.

That’s a new one, for sure! My book would be soaking wet by the end of that experiment! 

Thank you so much for sharing a little bit of yourself with us today, Stephanie. I hope everyone else enjoyed getting to know you, too!

Happy Reading, Y’all! 


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