Talking About Books by Alexis Watts
Dear Nerdy Book Club,
I’ve never felt I fit the “reader” stereotype (or what I thought of it as growing up): I’m not quiet, I was never shy, and up until recently I never needed glasses. From afar, I appear extroverted: always loud in excitement or with a new idea or passion or dream, and always saying hello first – extending a sure hand in meeting (or a hug if that doesn’t creep whoever I am befriending out). I am quick to question and curious about everything and when a person, book, conversation, or idea inspires me I am often a kind of awkward unstoppable force around it. Don’t even get me STARTED on I’ll Give You the Sun…
I love to talk! I love to share stories, I love to laugh loud and I often DO in the most awkward and inappropriate of times. I’ve never been cool or mysterious reading beat books alone in the library – I’ve always been too tall, too loud and too big, shamelessly nerdy without the benefit of shy-ness to temper when and with whom I strike a debate or share knowledge. On more than one occasion when accidentally/excitedly exclaiming out of turn, my life has been compared to the (not actually real) All Humiliation Network. A note on this: I have found that the more often you get embarrassed, the less it matters.
THIS ALL BEING SAID: I’m a secret introvert. As such, I’ve always found a quiet comfort in books. My favorite moments are often when I am alone in my small bedroom (Brooklyn Apartment Small, which is smaller than anyone who does not rent one can scarcely imagine), reading a good book. This can likely be credited first and foremost to my parents, who read me books before bed every night. I grew up in a house where my family explored Dr. Doolittle’s adventures and the brilliance of rhyming with Theodore S. Geisel long before I could read the words on the page. But this passion was fed throughout my life by good teachers and wonderful bookish friends (shout out to my Feminist Book Club!).
I always wanted to be the reserved, shy, quietly nerdy girl in the corner of the library – fully wearing my introversion on my sleeve, BUT, I am not. I’ve always been a bit of an oxymoron – on the one hand a loud, fumbling, klutzy foot-in-mouth SHOUTER OF IDEAS! On the other side an introverted book-nerd with a penchant for alone time – constantly immersed in worlds between bound pages. Many times, I found myself to be too nerdy for the extroverts, to extroverted for the introverts.
Luckily, I found a job that lets me be exactly the kind of reader I am. I work for Penguin Young Readers, where I get to travel about eight times a year to, (get this!), TALK ABOUT BOOKS. Recently, my team gave me the chance to share my favorite titles through a medium that can be shared beyond the reach of our yearly travels. It gives me great pleasure to introduce to the Nerdy Book Club, The Penguin Sneak Peak:
This is the first of a seasonal video series where we’ll give you a Sneak Peek at the upcoming titles I am most excited about. This first one includes my favorites titles from our upcoming fall 2016 list, full details can be found at www.penguinsneakpeek.com. Please watch, enjoy, and be on the lookout for these awesome titles.
With love and excitement from your resident Oxymoron-Of-A-Reader,
Alexis Watts works in publishing and is a believer in the following, in no particular order: books, believing in making a difference, the hustle, London, San Francisco, New York City, traveling, Converse, coffee, and Keds. You can find her on Instagram @abwatts.