Meet Author Joy Penny

A Love for the Page’s June Eyermann’s Top 5 Tips for Sneaking in a Few Moments to Read

When I volunteered to work at the library this summer after my college freshman year, I thought I was going to spend more time reading and sharing my love for books. But between my hot-but-too-young ex-sort-of-boyfriend working alongside me, a library supervisor who acts like her library is the Palace of Versailles, and an aggravating library donor who insists on leading a children’s summer reading program with me despite the fact that his attempt at a smile could send children running, I haven’t had much time to read at the library. When I had this opportunity to write up a post for this awesome blog about reading, I decided to share a few tips I follow to be able to read as much as possible even during my most hectic days:

1. Carry an e-reader with you
I love paperbacks. I love holding a book in my hands and smelling those musty pages, which trigger so many memories of days I’ve read those books before. But sometimes I can’t fit my book in my overstuffed purse. Sometimes I finish a book (for the hundredth time) and I’m left with nothing else to read. It’s simpler to carry my Kindle around with me because it’s smaller and it puts hundreds of books at my fingers. Don’t forget that public domain books like Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice and Wuthering Heights (my favorites) are free on e-readers. You can even download a reading app for your phone, although I’m not a fan of reading on a bright phone screen when I can help it. (Still, it’s better than having nothing to read on hand at all.)

2. Read in few-minute spurts
I wish I had hours and hours to read each day. I really do. But while I do have more time this summer than I did during the school year, this volunteer gig has turned out to be almost a full-time job. (At least Rockford – that guy in charge of the summer reading program – has made it that way, with how often he wants me to come over to discuss the program or entertain his niece. What am I, a governess?) My solution is to not let a single moment go to waste. When you’re in a long line or you’re on a short break, read. When you’re in a social setting and no one’s talking to you, read. What else am I going to do anyway? Stare off into space? Feel Rockford’s eyes boring into me? I’d rather whip a book or my Kindle out of my purse and read.

3. Read while eating (or eat while reading)
Instead of snatching what free moments you can, multi-task. Eating is the perfect time for reading, especially when you’re on your own, away from family members who might expect you to discuss your life plans with them. (As if I should have my life planned to the letter after only one year of college. One year of classes I really hated, but Mom and Cooper insist I become a business major.) Put your book or e-reader down on the table and turn pages/push buttons with one hand while you eat with the other. Tip within a tip: Sandwiches are perfect for this activity. Try to avoid messy foods because you won’t be watching what you eat.

4. Cut back on TV and Movies
I love TV and films – especially the myriad adaptations of my favorite classic novels. But the more TV and movies I watch, the less time I have for reading. I try to limit my TV and movie-watching so I have more time to read. While I love seeing a different Jane and Rochester fall in love for the twentieth time against the beautiful English countryside, they never quite match up to the Jane and Rochester in my head. (Not that I should dwell on the Rochester in my head. Because I keep seeing him in Rockford – and I keep seeing Darcy and Heathcliff in him, too.)

5. Give up some sleep (but not too often)
Book hangovers are all too real. When I can’t find time during the day to read, I stay up way too late to get some reading in. I keep telling myself I’ll stop by midnight or one o’clock or two o’clock or before the sun rises, but… That doesn’t always happen. If you have something important to do the next day, you might want to keep the book firmly shut before it’s too late. The last thing you need to hear is how “bearable” you look because of the bags under your eyes. (Yes, Rockford, I’m looking at you. I overheard that.)
*June Eyermann is the 19-year-old protagonist from Joy Penny’s A Love for the Pages:

Kiss. Marry. Kill. Nineteen-year-old June Eyermann has always known exactly which of her favorite Byronic heroes goes where. She’d kiss moody and possessive Rochester from Jane Eyre and marry prideful but repentant Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, leaving obsessive and spiteful Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights to be chucked off a cliff—but no. She couldn’t leave any of her heroes behind. She lives for her favorite fictional worlds.

But June is about to get a serious wake up call when she returns home for the summer after her college freshman year. Stuck somewhere between feeling like a kid again under her parents’ roof and being forced to start acting like an adult with worries about her future career, June looks at the library volunteer position offered to her as a way to keep her sanity for the next few months before she can go back to school.

What June doesn’t expect to find at the library is her favorite romantic heroes brought to life—all in the same man. Obstinate, prideful and even a bit rude, Everett Rockford shouldn’t exactly be “dating material,” even if June’s heart rate accelerates whenever she’s near him. But after discovering his enigmatic past and witnessing a few fiery moments of tenderness, June can’t help but see Rochester, Darcy and even Heathcliff in Everett. If she’s going to make it through the summer without becoming a tragic heroine in her own story, she has to separate the man from the ideals of fiction in her head. Because if there’s one thing she knows about Byronic love stories, it’s that they don’t always end happily ever after.
Bio: Joy Penny is a pen name for a writer who adores books. She also writes YA under a different name. A Love for the Pages (June 2014) is her new adult romance debut.

Apryl Baker


  1. Love your tips! I read and eat, stay up too often, place the book on my cookbook holder while I cook, read electronically in the car if someone else drives, and read WHILE watching tv.

  2. Thanks for sharing your tips, too! :) Readers always find a way to get more reading done!