A geek at heart, Alex also helps her brother run his table-top miniatures business. When she has free time between all that, she teaches Science to kids, mostly in grade school. "But it's not the typical Science class, since it's more of a performance--like doing magic tricks, except they're actually scientific experiments. I know, most of my friends and family think it's totally out of character, but it's surprisingly fun," Alex shares.
With her busy schedule, it's no wonder that Alex juggles several book titles at once. Some books take her months (sometimes, even more than a year) to finish. But she shares a neat little habit when it comes to finding her place. "I still use bookmarks. Right-side faces the page where I stopped and the edge of the bookmark ends on the line where I stopped. I can't be the only one who does that, right?" I had to tell her that this was the first time I encountered it, but then again, I'm not big on bookmarks myself! Here's the rest of what Alex had to say about her love for reading:
1. How often do you read these days? What kind of books/genres do you often read?
I read everyday, but most of the time they're not really new material. I have e-books and audiobooks of my favorite reads so I listen/read them all the time. I also have this bedside book pile that keeps about 4-5 books in rotation--a mix of ones that have already been read and those that I'm still reading. Right now, I read a lot of fantasy and young adult fiction. Because I'm still not over my George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire phase, I now listen to the audiobooks instead so I can "reread" even when I'm mobile. The only problem is, I sometimes still get so absorbed as I would with a physical book--but I'm making that look of utter concentration without one (sitting very still and unblinking), so I think I just look weird.
2. Name three books that you feel would explain the kind of reader you are.
Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto, Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones and White Oleander by Janet Fitch.
3. Who are your favorite authors? Is there anyone on your auto-buy list?
I think I'd pick up anything by Diana Wynne Jones and Neil Gaiman. I'm so sad that the former passed away last year, I don't think she got enough recognition for her writing. She's amazing. I think Harry Potter and JK Rowling fans would love her work. I also like Nick Bantock's books--I was surprised when I learned that he was first an illustrator before becoming an "accidental" writer. I also enjoyed reading Lucy Maud Montgomery, growing up.
4. If you could emulate a fictional character's style for a day, who would you pick and why? How would you dress as?
I do plan on doing that Halloween this year! I'll be Delirium of The Endless. I've been trying to complete her costume for some years now, but I wasn't serious enough about it so I never completed it in time. But now I've got the same haircut, so it's too good an opportunity to pass up. I've almost got everything--I just need a fish balloon and colored contacts, and I'm set. I think it'd be fun to dress as her, because there's plenty of room to be creative, but readers of Sandman will still recognize it's her. And as you know, I'm a big fan of Neil Gaiman, so dressing up as one of his characters is in my bucket list.
5. You're also big on gaming and visual arts. Which book would you want to see done as a graphic novel or a video game?
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman would probably make a fantastic video game. London Below is an interesting setting for an RPG, and the costume design for the characters would probably be kick-ass.
I think one of the reasons that Alex's interests are so diverse and dynamic is that she is constantly embraces new things. According to her, that's the best thing about reading. "Reading introduces you to new ideas and other cultures that you probably wouldn't have known on your own," she says. "It's like going through school (except it's more engaging, haha) or traveling."