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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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1026 Points

Great interview. First comment!!

Posted by AbbyWeasley on June 03, 2011, 07:42 PM report to moderator
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1040 Points

Awesome to hear from Jo! Great interview.

Posted by Headmistress LemonFaerie on June 03, 2011, 08:02 PM report to moderator
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73 Points

I love how “normal” she is, (even after all of her success she’s still so easy to relate to) =)

Posted by hermione06 on June 03, 2011, 08:13 PM report to moderator
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150 Points

^ agreed. shes normal and down to earth.. i wonder what else she got sick of… probably the characters names itself!

Posted by Winkyxx on June 03, 2011, 08:32 PM report to moderator
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328 Points

:)
LOVE that comment by Goudge.

Posted by Gwynog'srabbit on June 03, 2011, 08:38 PM report to moderator
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Why is it, that the most important question hasn’t been asked: is Jo currently working on another book?

Posted by Miss Twiddle on June 03, 2011, 09:05 PM report to moderator
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Does anyone know if the Scottish Book aka Harry Potter encyclopaedia is still going to make an appearance?

Posted by Miss Twiddle on June 03, 2011, 09:06 PM report to moderator
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212 Points

The pictures they’ve used for the interview are old aren’t they? Anyway, nice to see an interview with actual new information, it’s a rare occurence these days! (Even if they did start off with the predictable ’let’s ask the world’s most famous children’s author what her favourite book was as a child’)

Miss Twiddle, I’m guessing they didn’t ask because Jo doesn’t want to talk about it, don’t blame her… And I’m sure the Scottish Book is still on the cards, Jo wouldn’t let us down!

Posted by JoRowlingRocks on June 04, 2011, 06:18 AM report to moderator
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56 Points

I hope this means we’ll see ebook editions of the Harry Potter books sooner rather than later. I’d really love to have them on my Kindle.

Posted by Flo on June 04, 2011, 08:28 AM report to moderator
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184 Points

Great interview!

Posted by Mahinique ЯOAR on June 04, 2011, 09:45 AM report to moderator
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629 Points

I love Jo! Great interview!

Posted by ExpectoPatronum512 on June 04, 2011, 09:59 AM report to moderator
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1642 Points

Fab .. (: But can someone tell me why it’s so important to get “The first comment”? It relly bugs me when people do that ! xD

Posted by Bella'love ^HISS^ on June 04, 2011, 10:01 AM report to moderator
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JKR’s mom loved Georgette Heyer?? We’re soul sisters, I love Georgette Heyer!!

Posted by sgt_majorette on June 04, 2011, 10:21 AM report to moderator
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886 Points

Thank you Ms. Rowling for this new and wonderful interview. Its so neat to hear from her again! She is such an inspiration and she does indeed seem so very NORMAL. Its so amazing! I’m a writer too—of course not published, I’m 13..not that i wouldn’t want to be—but whenever I need inspiration i watch her Oprah or Year in the Life interview and when there are tears in my eyes, I return to work with such a passion that makes my writing better.

She has given millions of people such a wonderful thing to read. Thanks Jo! :)

Posted by RubeusHagrid on June 04, 2011, 11:26 AM report to moderator
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886 Points

& I’m sort of shocker—-New interview from the best author in the world, shouldn’t there be more comments? _

Posted by RubeusHagrid on June 04, 2011, 11:28 AM report to moderator
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