Defending Your Literary Taste

Welcome to the Dear Book Nerd podcast, a bi-weekly show that answers YOUR questions about life, love, and literature! My special guest co-host this week is the smart and saucy Tiffany Reisz. We discuss four listener-submitted questions about topics such as defending your love of classic literature, balancing reading time with other things, and how to define “prose” in a relatable way. Don’t miss it!


Tiffany Reisz is a RITA award-winning, best-selling author of “The Original Sinners” series from Harlequin’s Mira Books. You can find her on Twitter @tiffanyreisz. Thank you, Tiffany!

This episode was sponsored by Penguin Random House Audiobooks.


Dear Book Nerd,

I’m 14 (going on 15) years old, and I’ve been a reader all my life, from having my dad read Curious George to me when I was three to reading my first chapter book in preschool. I’ve always been THE book nerd, to the point where one day in sixth grade, I actually missed all but the last ten minutes of lunchtime at school because I was still out on the playground, so engrossed in reading that I didn’t hear the teachers call us inside for lunch! When I entered high school and finally got a laptop that actually worked, Netflix and social media got in the way of reading, but in the last few months I’ve rekindled my love for it. Lately, however, I’ve found my taste has changed entirely to classics.

I hate YA lit with a burning passion, and while I love some bestsellers like the Da Vinci Code series, I always find myself being drawn back to 19th- and 20th- century British literature, like W. Somerset Maugham or the Brontë sisters. I don’t have a problem with this, but unfortunately, my friends (none of whom read) do. They say that I’m just being pretentious and reading this stuff in an attempt to be sophisticated and push my anglophilia and bibliophilia down everybody’s throats. This is simply not true, and while my taste might spring from a certain amount of literary elitism on my part, I do genuinely and sincerely prefer classic literature. How am I supposed to explain to my friends that I’m not being pretentious, and that these are my genuine tastes? Please help me!



Dear Book Nerd,

Reading has been my passion for as long as I can remember. When I was younger I would stay up hours past my bedtime reading, and was able to fly through books very quickly. Unfortunately, that is not longer the case. I am now a sophomore in college and have very little time available for reading and it breaks my hearts. Any thoughts on dealing with my book deprivation or advice on fitting more books into my busy schedule?

Thank you,


Dear Book Nerd,

My question is really two questions in one. The first is that, I am a very avid reader and I am as well a writer. Is there a comprehensive difference between a writer and a reader? At least to me they seem like the same thing, but it just feels as though they are worlds apart.

The second question is sort of related to the first: with all of my writing I am noticing that more and more, I am putting down a book and picking up my laptop and typing away a good story. My question is, what can I do to set aside some time to pick up a book?


Dear Book Nerd,

Can you help me understand what Prose is? Wikipedia says “Prose is a form of language that exhibits a grammatical structure and a natural flow of speech rather than a rhythmic structure (as in traditional poetry).” ….. Huh????

Book reviews always seem to say … so and so has great prose or so and so can’t write prose.




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