Editor's note: This week's Page Turner reader interview is with Kathy Witwer, who is retired from the Allen County Public Library.
"I am waiting for 'Camino Island,' the new John Grisham book. I like his writing! My brother asked him to autograph a book for me, so I now have his autograph. I also am a fan of Janet Evanovich. I often read her when I'm flying, and I laugh so hard I cry, so people around see me crying and offer help.
"I just read 'Turbo Twenty-Three,' a Stephanie Plum (series) book. I loved it. She (Evanovich) always surprises her readers with every book. I love her characters. You want to go up to them on the street and hug them because you know them so well. 'Hardcore Twenty-Four' is her next one, to be released in November.
"Nicholas Sparks is a favorite writer. His 'Notebook' is such a great character study! I was sobbing when I read this book because I knew the characters so well. Imagine a male writer knowing how women feel in a relationship. He does.
"Another favorite is 'One for the Money,' by Janet Evanovich. I have re-read every one of her books. Her characterizations are great: Stephanie's (Plum) grandmother is a hoot. We get to know the family: It's a multi-generational thing, and I want to know more about these people.
"If I don't get engrossed in the first chapter, I don't want to go on anymore. I love the classics, and the one that got me started, Mary Stewart's 'Moonspinners.' It's set in the Greek Isles, and it took me away! Disney turned it into a film, with Hayley Mills. First, I read the book, then saw the movie. I was hooked!
"Of course, I read 'Jane Eyre' and 'Wuthering Heights' with Heathcliffe, fascinating Heathcliffe. And in high school, we read classics — 'Animal Farm,' 'Brave New World' and Shakespeare. I have always loved Shakespeare. You have to think about it when you delve into it. I did my senior thesis on the Bard.
"My parents were wonderful. There was a new book every week, and they had the Child Craft Encyclopedia for us. They introduced us to music and art as well. It pays off to read to children. Poetry? Yes. I had to memorize and read to the class 'The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere,' and we read other of (Henry Wadsworth) Longfellow's poems. I hope teachers still have time to teach the classics and poetry.
"I wish even more people would take advantage of our library. It's wonderful! Libraries are the foundation of democracy. No matter how poor or rich, people have access to information."