Why do you love reading?
Reading is my favorite mode of transportation. I can go anywhere I want, anytime I want. I have learned so much about people from different parts of the world and from other worlds through reading that I may otherwise have never had the chance to because of the cost of travel, and of course, because of the lack of travel accessibility to fantasy worlds.
As a trauma survivor, reading about things that may be upsetting provides me a space to confront my triggers at my own pace and distance if I choose to do so. Books also provide me space to escape if I have been presented with too many triggers in real life. I have worked through many of the feelings and thoughts of my trauma through reading and reframing.
What book or series got you into reading?
The very first book I remember reading is Love You Forever by Robert Munsch, and it’s also the very first book I gave to my husband and daughter. When I was in elementary school, I also used to borrow cookbooks from the library and read them for fun. My favorite recipes were the ones that included a backstory, about family and friends or a trip that the author took. It was no coincidence that my favorites were all dessert!
When did you start reading?
I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t reading. I have a very vivid memory of visiting my mother’s workplace when I was 3 or 4 years old and reading a book about Tom and Jerry aloud to a conference room of her coworkers. They were all enthralled, of course.
Where do you read?
Everywhere! However, the bulk of my reading is done on audiobook during my commute to and from work, which totals about two hours every day. I wouldn’t be able to read nearly as much if it weren’t for audiobooks.
What kind of books do you like to read?
I read very widely but I tend to gravitate towards realistic fiction by and about women of color. Recently, ownvoices WOC romances, such as books by Jasmine Guillory, Alexis Daria, and Helen Hoang, have been a great escape.
For you, why is it important to read books by or about women?
Throughout school, our required reading was made up of books by and about men. I always wondered why we never read books written by women, and I do not want any girl going through school to have the same experience—one of never being seen or heard in the curriculum. Now I realize that this issue needs to be tackled from all angles: what publishers choose to promote, what books are pitched, what bookstores display, and what school administrators and teachers choose. It is so important to shout these titles from the rooftops.
What types of books are you looking forward to sharing on Reading Women?
I would love to share lesser-known books that include themes I gravitate toward and identify with. These include books by and about Asian and Asian American women and books about mental health and motherhood.
What most excites you about joining the RW team?
The Reading Women team is made up of intelligent, diverse, well-read women whom I admire and am so happy to be working, reading, and sharing with. I am excited to uplift marginalized voices and bring fresh eyes to books that should have had more publicity. I am proud to be on a team that champions and respects intersection of identities within womanhood and celebrating these identities through promoting books, authors, and creators.
Joce is a Booktuber on her channel squibblesreads (on a hiatus, but will be back soon!), and a co-blogger at The Quiet Pond. She is an advocate for diversity and representation in books. Lately, she's been hanging out with her beautiful baby daughter and loving motherhood. Her hobbies include calligraphy, running, weightlifting, and makeup. If she's not at Disneyland, she's probably destroying the patriarchy or taking a nap.