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JK Rowling Dicusses Life-Changing Books, eBooks and More in New Interview

JKR Interviews
Posted by: Stephanie_J
June 03, 2011, 06:55 PM

The June 2011 issue of the literary magazine Words with Jam recently published an exclusive interview with Harry Potter author JK Rowling.

Ms. Rowling talks about some of her favorite books to read as a child, the challenge of balancing a family and writing, her (messy!) work space, and her opinion on the eBook debate.

The interview is available to read for free online beginning on page 6.

Some excerpts from the interview:

What was your favourite childhood book, or books?

The Little White Horse, by Elizabeth Goudge. The tone is perfect; a seamless mix of the fairy-tale and the real. It also has a plain heroine, which delighted me beyond words as a child, because I was a very plain little girl and I hadn’t met many literary heroines who weren’t breathtakingly pretty. The opening paragraphs of The Little White Horse have stayed with me all my life. Goudge says that there are three kinds of people in this world: those who find consolation in food, those who find consolation in literature, and those who find consolation in personal adornment.

I know I read Little Women when I was eight, because we moved house shortly afterwards, when I was nine. Naturally, I whole-heartedly identified with Jo March, she of the burning literary ambition and short temper. My mother had everything Georgette Heyer ever wrote, so I whipped through those, too, when I was a pre-teen, and I FINALLY found a plain heroine there, too (Phoebe, in ‘Sylvester’, who also – hooray! - happened to be a writer).

Basically, I lived for books, and was sustained by literary characters with whom I could identify – I was your basic, common-or-garden bookworm, complete with freckles and National Health spectacles.
Ebooks - Nemesis or Genesis?

Genesis. There’s no point trying to hold back progress, but print will never die; there’s no substitute for the feel of an actual book. I adore physically turning pages, and being able to underline passages and not worrying about dropping them in the bath or running out of power. I also find print books objects of beauty, and I don’t speak as a precious, first-edition-mustn’t-crack-the-spine-type collector, but as somebody who loves a shiny new paperback, and the smell of second-hand books.

However, there are times when e-books are a Godsend. We forgot to pack my youngest a bedtime book when we were away last year, and I truly appreciated the magic of being able to download one in seconds! This summer will be the first time that I take away fifty e-books to read while we’re on holiday, rather than filling up my suitcase with print books.

Which word or phrase do you overuse – in writing or in life?

I’m not proud to say that it’s probably swearwords in every day life. Writing the Harry Potter books, I got sick to death of the words ‘passage’, ‘corridor’ and all others relating to my heroes’ endless movement around Hogwarts castle.

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42 Comments

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2408 Points

I wanna see Jo write with her toes. Nice interview. More Jo!

Posted by KiwiMcI on June 04, 2011, 01:59 PM report to moderator
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great interview!!
did anybody read ’ litlle white horse’ once in life?

Posted by camila_black08 on June 04, 2011, 03:39 PM report to moderator
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Oh, no, she definitely over used (and incorrectly used) “traipsed”! And let’s face it, she had a few other favorites that caused moans by the time we were reading HBP!

But, I agree, its nice to have a new interview from her, and perhaps someday we’ll get the ‘encyclopedia’!

Cheers, one and all

Posted by budb on June 04, 2011, 04:09 PM report to moderator
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I love the tag-line of the magazine : making other magazines feel inadequate since 2009

Posted by jillians642 on June 04, 2011, 04:46 PM report to moderator
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141 Points

@KiwiMcl You and me both. What an idea for a fundraiser! LOL

Nice interview, and good to hear from JKR.

Posted by Oh, Neville OoM4, GS on June 04, 2011, 06:02 PM report to moderator
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4852 Points

Its always so nice to hear what Jo has to say!

Posted by #1 Witch ROAR! on June 04, 2011, 06:15 PM report to moderator
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590 Points

Very good & interesting interview. Glad to see her attitude towards ebooks & that she sees their usefulness. Now I just wish we could get Potter ebooks!

Posted by vespasian68967 on June 04, 2011, 07:38 PM report to moderator
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346 Points

ah… great to hear. I also kinda am sorta ashamed to say that I love that she said that she overuses swear words. Mostly because, well, they’re very useful sometimes, but also, they show yet again how normal she is despite all of her fame and fortune.

Posted by cloethebelatrixlover on June 04, 2011, 08:46 PM report to moderator
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137 Points

I can’t wait for the e-Books!:)

Posted by americangirlemmie on June 04, 2011, 11:37 PM report to moderator
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3455 Points

Wow, long time no hear from!!!! its great to hear from Jo again! And even though we have heard very little of her in a while she is still the same very human, normal, laid back Jo we all love!!!!

Posted by Catherine ( *SQUEE!*) on June 05, 2011, 12:32 AM report to moderator
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1527 Points

I always love to read interviews like this because she’s so natural and normal and so like me!!

Posted by Livi22-((ROAR!)) on June 05, 2011, 09:32 AM report to moderator
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6352 Points

Always great to hear from JKR! She’s so talented, so rich, and so famous and still so very much down-to-earth. I LUV U JKR. Her comments about ebooks really hit home. I also love printed books. I love turning the pages and using bent corners as my bookmarks. But I admit, I’m planning to buy ebook reader. Technology rules!

Posted by KB Prez [ROAR!] on June 05, 2011, 11:20 AM report to moderator
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10268 Points

I just hope that she’s right that real books made from paper will never go away. I don’t WANT an e-reader, ever.

What I find most comforting about this interview is the knowledge that JKR has an untidy workspace (not as messy as mine, though, I’ll bet – it sounds like she only has ONE pile of papers). I just wish I also had her drive to write all day long, day after day.

Most mystifying to me about this interview: Why cite Ford Prefect over Arthur Dent? Ford had better quips, I suppose, but Arthur was our befuddled Everyman.

Posted by WeenyOwl {The Human Deluminator} on June 05, 2011, 05:23 PM report to moderator
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I love hearing from Jo. Very lovely interview. I didn’t know this e-magazine, but I’d like to read more of it, some of the back issues, etc.
Ah, so little time, so much to read ;o)

@camila_black08: I have tried to read Little White Horse, but I couldn’t get past the first few pages (but then I’m not a little girl anymore, and haven’t been for quite some time). I might give the book a try some other time in the future.

Posted by Tarana on June 05, 2011, 07:12 PM report to moderator
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912 Points

Gotta love Jo! She’s such an inspiration! What a wonderful, talented and interesting individual! I never get tired of listening (or reading about) what she has to say :-)

Posted by Felipe on June 05, 2011, 08:08 PM report to moderator
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