Erin Egloff was born and raised in Lowville, NY, and graduated from Pitzer College in Claremont, California. She developed a career in the Los Angeles nonprofit sector for 14 years and moved to Rochester in 2017 with her husband and felines. Erin is a lifelong learner who is particularly passionate about intersectional feminism, racial justice, sexual violence and misconduct, education equity, and government transparency. She is on the board of 540 West Main Communiversity, sits on the RCSD R.E.A.L. Team, and is the Education Committee Secretary for Rochester’s chapter of Citizen Action NY. Twitter: @ShePersisted03
Write a one-sentence description of yourself as a Reader.
I’m an overly ambitious reader whose only fear of dying is that I won’t be able to finish my To Read list.
What are you reading right now?
I’m finishing Race Manners by Bruce Jacobs and The Meaning of Freedom by Angela Davis; I’m halfway through Biblioholism by Tom Raabe, and I’ve been staring longingly at Ian McEwan’s Nutshell for a month.
The desert island question – What 5 books would you have to have with you if you were stranded on a desert island?
I suppose I’d take Finnegan’s Wake so I could do the work that I gave up on during undergrad. Song of Solomon would provide comfort and a dreamy escape from my inevitable anxiety; I’d also bring National Geographic’s Concise History of the World, The Wheel of Life, and The Year of Magical Thinking.
Are you a finisher? In other words, are you compelled to finish a book even if you hate it? What are some books that you’ve had to force yourself to finish, or which you’ve bailed on?
I used to feel obligated to finish books, but I quickly realized life is too short and there are too many books on my To Read list to get through. I can’t really recall the books I stopped reading, because I just toss them into a bag and give them to the library. I do recall that I ditched Eat, Pray, Love and Swann’s Way. I also abandoned The Canterbury Tales after 20 minutes, though that’s not particularly unique…
Do you ever read the end of a book first? Why or why not?
What is at the top of your To Be Read pile?
Nutshell by Ian McEwan, Feminasty by Erin Gibson, and What is the What by Dave Eggers
Who is your go-to author when someone asks you for a recommendation?
It depends on what they’re looking for; someone recently asked for a suspense recommendation, and the first author that came to mind is Tana French. For other genres, I often suggest Roxane Gay, Joan Didion, James Baldwin, Lawrence Sanders, Doris Lessing, Roald Dahl, Sherwin Nuland, and Kay Redfield Jamison.
Would you rather be your favorite author or your favorite character?
My favorite characters tend to be miserable or deeply troubled, so I’d probably rather be an author. Though most of them are also likely miserable and deeply troubled… so perhaps I should give this more thought.
What book do you wish you’d never read?
The Devil Wears Prada. What a waste of time.
Has any book defined your life, as in you would be a different person if you hadn’t read it?
Reading Song of Solomon in high school hit me like a ton of bricks; the allegory and imagery is so thick and magical that I decided I’d have to major in literature in college. If I hadn’t read that book, I may have ended up majoring in business and been miserable.
Is there a genre or type that you are over and wish would just go away?
There are genres of which I’m not personally a fan, but I’d never wish any book to go away. Someone will want to read it, someone might love it, and as long as people are reading, I’m happy.
Describe your favorite place to read.
I love to read while sitting in my blue chair in my living room, feet on the ottoman, blanket on lap, with one cat by my side and one on my feet. Sometimes the cliché really is the way to go.
Book or movie? Is there a movie that you think was better than the book?
I’ve given this a lot of thought and the only one I can come up with is Lee Daniels’ movie Precious, which was based on the novel Push. Something about the book didn’t resonate with me, but I was very moved by the film.
What is your preferred format? Hardcover, paperback, digital, audio, doesn’t matter?
If I’m driving for hours at a time, I like to listen to audiobooks, but normally I prefer hardcovers or paperbacks. I do enjoy the Kindle when I’m in bed, but I don’t usually read in bed because I fall asleep as soon as I feel the pillow.
If you were to get a bookish tattoo, what would it be?
I’m pretty fond of a quote from Station Eleven: “It is sometimes necessary to break everything.”
If you’d like to be featured in a Reader Profile, contact me at patricia.uttaro @ gmail.com.