The Great American Read

Q&A with Wil Wheaton

Last Updated by The Great American Read Editor on

Wil Wheaton answers a few questions from The Great American Read:

What are you reading right now?

I'm working on a few books at the moment: Joe Hill's Strange Weather, Mary Robinette Kowal's The Calculating Stars, and Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology.

What’s your favorite way to read? Hardback, paperback, or tablet?

Few things can beat the convenience of carrying an entire library on a small device, but nothing beats the experience of holding a book in my hands, smelling its pages (especially if it's an old, used book), making notes in the margins, and eventually handing it off to someone else, who I think will enjoy it. I don't particularly care if it's hardback or paperback, as long as I get to hold it in my hands.

What’s one book that didn’t make the list of 100 that you would add?

Because this list is the books that are most loved, I have to go with The Monster At The End of This Book, from Little Golden Books. I've been reading that book as long as I can remember, both as a child, and as a parent to my own children. Every time I read it, I am filled with the uncomplicated joy that it brought me as a child.

When you’re in a book store, what section do you gravitate to and why?

I go directly to the Employee Recommendations, because I care deeply about the personal experiences people have with books. When I'm trying to decide what to read, a cover can be interesting, a title can be intriguing, and an author can have a reliable reputation, but those things aren't nearly as useful for me as someone who works around books all day long saying, "this is why I think this book is worth your time." It's so easy to just let algorithms tell us what we may want to read, but I'll take the personal touch of real human interaction every single time I can get it.

Which book character do you most relate to and why?

I honestly can't answer this. I've read thousands of books in my lifetime, and I've related to different characters at different times in my life, for different reasons. I generally try to relate to the POV character in whatever I'm reading, but sometimes I end up relating to a supporting character, or even the setting. I suppose if I had to pick a character from one of the books I chose for The Great American Read, I'd have to pick Jessica, from Dune. She's doing the best that she can to be a loving parent who knows that she needs to support and nurture her son, even when she is set upon by powerful forces that threaten to overwhelm her at every turn. Through it all, she has her own life to live and her own destiny to fulfill, but she always puts Paul's needs ahead of her own, even before he becomes Maud'Dib.

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this blog post are solely those of the respondents.

More about Wil Wheaton:

Wil Wheaton Wil Wheaton is an author, actor, and producer. He is best known for his work on The Big Bang Theory, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and Stand By Me. He is the co-creator, with Felicia Day, of the award-winning webseries, Tabletop. He is an award-winning and critically acclaimed audiobook narrator. His narration includes Ready Player One, The Collapsing Empire, Red Shirts, Strange Weather, and Masters of Doom. As a voice actor, Wil has performed in Teen Titans, Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters, Ben Ten: Alien Force, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, and Disney’s Miles from Tomorrowland.

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