Hastings manager finds her joy on the shelves



By RANDY GONZALES

rgonzales@dailynews.net

Tracy Miles really enjoys reading.

Being the book manager at Hastings Books Music & Videos, 3300 Vine, helps fuel her habit, but Miles would be an avid reader, regardless.

"I don't remember when I couldn't read," Miles said. "My mother's idea of punishment was until you got your chores done you couldn't read or go to the library, which definitely for me was punishment.

"Reading was encouraged, I grew up in a family of readers," she added. "We passed books around -- we still do. If we find a book we like, everybody passes it around and reads it."

Miles likes particular genres.

"I don't read a lot of nonfiction," she said. "I read novels, mystery, a little bit of science fiction. I'm not a really big horror fan."

Miles reads morning, noon and night. When she takes a break at work, she reads a book she normally wouldn't read.

"I usually read as much as I possibly can," she said. "I usually have a couple books going at a time."

Miles also reads young adult books, in part for a personal reason.

"I have a pair of 12-year-old granddaughters," she said. "I want to know what they and their friends are interested in."

Miles said the Harry Potter series has helped kids discover the joy of reading for pleasure.

"Since Harry Potter, that's sparked an interest, a renewal in reading," she said. "Now we have kids that read Harry Potter and are now saying 'What else?' "

E-readers such as the Kindle, Nook and iPad are becoming more and more popular -- just not with Miles.

"I think e-readers have their place," Miles said. "People who travel and read, that makes it so convenient.

"To me, I want a book in my hands -- I'm sorry," she added with a laugh. "I've heard other people say they like the way they smell."

Miles does like audio books, though.

"Audio books to travel with are great," said Miles, who prefers listening to a book while driving rather than listening to music.

When she buys a book, it's usually a paperback.

"Unless I plan to keep a book forever, I do not buy hardbacks," Miles said. "I tend to carry my books with me, because you never know when you have to wait."

Miles also goes through the same frustrations many book lovers experience.

"Unfortunately, there are so many books I would like to read, but there's not enough time," she said. "... My favorite (authors) don't write fast enough, so I have to find new ones."