Laura Kipnis is a professor of communication at Northwestern University.
Q: What’s the first thing you read in the morning?
A: I’m hopelessly addicted to reading The New York Times every morning in print, meaning I go to great lengths to obtain a copy even when vacationing in remote outposts.
Q: What newspapers and magazines do you subscribe to or read regularly? What do you read in print vs. online vs. mobile?
A: The only thing I read religiously in print (and subscribe to) is The New Yorker, though I have a love-hate relationship with the New York Review of Books and just resubscribed; we’ll see how it goes this time. I subscribe to Harper’s in print but don’t necessarily read it. I get Page Six from the New York Post online every day (I just finished a book on scandal, that’s my excuse). I look at Slate (which I write for on occasion), Salon, The Nation, Vanity Fair, The Atlantic. I often look at Arts & Letters Daily.
Q: What books have you recently read?
A: I just read through the four-volume boxed set of Paris Review interviews with writers, which was great summer reading. Daniel Boorstin’s The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America. Christopher Hitchens’s memoir, Hitch-22. Peter Brooks’s The Melodramatic Imagination. Mr. Peanut, a new novel by Adam Ross.
Q: Has your reading of professional journals changed in the past 10 years? How so?
A: I really only read professional journals these days when there’s some specific article I’m steered to for something I’m writing about—I’ve noticed these tend to be social-psychology journals.
Q: Do you read blogs? If so, what blogs do you like best?
A: I’m not a fan of blogs; I like to read prose that’s edited, frankly. However I suspect that I myself will be doing some blogging in upcoming months as I have a new book, and apparently book publicity now takes place online, with you sitting at your computer as opposed to the old days of bookstore readings.
Q: Do you use Twitter? If so, who do you follow?
A: No, that would be the last straw!
Q: What are the guilty pleasures in your media diet?
A: My guilty pleasure has started to be shutting off the Web and reading a book. My other not-so-guilty addiction is books on tape (or on iPod), I listen to a lot of novels I wouldn’t otherwise find time to read. —Evan R. Goldstein
Sketch by Ted Benson