A Bloggers Reading Journey – The Reading Paramedic

My blogger this week is not strictly a blogger but is Jules Swain, better known as the Reading Paramedic. She has a huge following on various socials and she is a huge love of books. She can be found on Twitter here and Instagram here. I think she is now on TikTok too. Here are her answers:

What is your earliest reading memory?

I honestly can’t remember. I know I read a lot when I was younger; I still have my original Roald Dahl and Enid Blyton’s, but I can’t recall reading them!

What was your favourite childhood book?

I have fond memories of James & The Giant Peach – still love it!

What book do you remember reading at school?

Again, I honestly can’t remember. I studied English literature, aswell as English language, at GCSE and cannot for the life of me remember anything that we read. I’m not very good at this am I?!

What was the book that changed you?

This book comes very late in my life really. I read Mel Collins’ book, The Handbook for Highly Sensitive People, only last year. I genuinely didn’t know high sensitivity was a thing, and that it was a personality trait I had lived with all of my life. I am highly empathetic, to the point I worry a lot about others, which is likely why I find my role so very rewarding. Being this way comes at a cost though, in that I forget to look after myself. Recognising this trait in myself just helped me to discover that it’s ok to be the way I am.

Who was the author who helped you discover a whole new genre?

Emily Henry! I was very lucky to be sent a proof of Book Lovers pre-publication, and I’d never really read much romance before. I certainly believed romance wasn’t my thing. How wrong was I?! I loved the book, and this year I was also sent a proof of Happy Place which I loved even more! So I’ve learned to never say never, and as a result I am exploring more romance!

What was the last book that you bought?

Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano (a pre-order, its not out yet).

What was the last book you read?

Tell Me What I Am by Una Mannion.

What was the last book you reread?

I don’t reread often because I’ve got too many books on my TBR! But the last one I reread was The Goldfinch just before the film was released. I’d read the book a few years previously and loved it and wanted to remind myself of the full story before I went to watch the film. And I loved it all over again, and I thought the film was excellent (though never as good as the book, right?!).

What was the last book you couldn’t finish?

This is not a cop out but I honestly don’t remember. I know pretty quickly when a book isn’t for me, so I don’t then pay them much attention (is that harsh?!). I did have to put Really Good Actually by Monica Heisey down for a bit and come back to it. Not because I didn’t like it, but because a lot of what goes on in the book was resonating with my own life at the time and it was making me cry-sob! I loved it when I returned to it.

The book I am currently reading.

Pod by Laline Paull (my fifth of the six books on the Women’s Prize shortlist).

Where do you read?

Anywhere and everywhere! I always have a book with me so I can read wherever I am. I listen to audiobooks too so that I can read whilst driving and walking.

What books/genres do you turn to, to get out of a reading slump?

Just something nice, maybe lighthearted. And if things have got really bad, I’ll return to my favourite – The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean Paul Didier-Laurent. It’s my most reread book and reminds that the world and the people in it can be beautiful. And it makes me cry every time!

What was your last five-star read?

Remote Sympathy by Catherine Chidgey. I read it whilst I was on holiday in Corfu but I can tell you it isn’t really a beach read (although I’m not one of those people who needs to read a book fitting to my surroundings)! At it’s heart, it is a book about hope, but it has references to the Holocaust and at times it is devastating. A hard one to recommend but the writing is exceptional.

How many books do you currently own?

I have no idea and don’t want to know either!

What book did you last buy based on the cover?

A special edition of Yellowface, not necessarily the cover but the spredges!

What book do you always recommend?

The Reader on the 6.27, followed closely by The Remains of the Day.

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  1. Liz Dexter

    That’s a great one, and I love the honesty! I like the odd romance book and realise I always have. It’s good to have a variety in one’s reading, after all. I’ll make sure I follow Jules on Twitter!

    • Paul

      Thank you, Liz. I never think of those things as a guilty pleasure either, just read what you want to. She is great and a runner too!

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