Reader Profile: Danielle Lorenz

For every day of our Indiegogo campaign, we’ll be sharing profiles from readers and supporters of Glass Bookshop both local to the city and from across Canada. Visit our campaign page now to claim cool perks and support us in building a beautiful brick-and-mortar space in downtown Edmonton. And read on to discover why today’s featured reader is excited to one day visit Glass Bookshop!

Danielle is a PhD candidate in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Alberta. Her dissertation work examines the ways in which Indigenous and settler relationships have manifested in Alberta education systems. She also explores the role of autoethnography in Disability Studies. A novice-level cat herder, Danielle has also twice-participated in LitFest events with Glass Buffalo, lending her voice to important topics, including the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and inclusivity. Read on to hear how her reading habits have changed over the years and why she’s excited to visit Glass Bookshop!

How did books and the act of reading come to be meaningful to you?
I don’t remember a time when I didn’t love reading. About once a week from the age of about two until starting junior Kindergarten, my mom and I would walk to our local library (the Cyril Clark Branch of the Brampton Library) with my wagon and I could pick out anything I wanted while I was there. The wagon, of course, served two purposes: first, it would carry the books I took out, and second, it gave me somewhere to rest if my short little legs got tired. Once we got home my mom would read one of the books in the stack to me, and we’d go through the rest over the next several days. As soon as we had read them all I would ask to go back over and over again.

What is your relationship now to books and reading?
I guess saying that I have a complicated relationship with books and reading would be pretty accurate. As much as I (still!) love reading for pleasure, I don’t do it nearly as often as I would like. I am, however, frequently reading as part of writing my dissertation. Now what I’m reading are predominantly journal articles and academic books, which aren’t as ‘fun’ as reading fiction and poetry, I still do like it.

Is there a book that has had significant impact on you?
My seventh-grade teacher offered Ender’s Game as an option for one of our Language Arts assignments. I read the book and identified a great deal with the struggles of the main character, Ender. I probably read the book another ten times before I finished high school.

The book also served as an important learning tool for me once I enrolled in university. At some point in my undergrad I learned that the author of Ender’s Game was a homophobic piece of trash. Upon reading the books in the Ender Saga more critically, I was able to identify the homophobia and racism inherent in the author’s writing. I will never buy one of his books again because I cannot support the author’s bigotry, but that said, I can’t get rid of the book either. Ender’s Game is without question a problematic fave.    

How do you find new books or writers?
In terms of fiction, like the good millennial I am, I see what other folks are reading on social media. I also ask what people in my life are reading/have read and check out what is on CBC Reads every year.

Can you share a memorable experience you’ve had in a bookstore? What makes it stand out for you?
I can’t think of anything, to be honest! But in my undergrad, I lived in the same neighbourhood as Lawrence Hill for a while and I used to see him all the time (at Pita Pit, on Main Street, at TCBY, on King Street, at Bryan Prince, on campus…). I thought it was serendipitous that I was frequently in the same spaces as the Mable Pugh Taylor Writer-in-Residence, so I picked up a copy of The Book of Negroes from the campus bookstore—not The Tank, though (RIP).

What do you think Glass Bookshop could offer Edmonton’s community of readers and writers?
I think Glass Bookshop would be a great environment—both as a social and physical space—that showcases local writers and presses, and in particular one that prioritizes the work of historically marginalized groups. Also I hear it will be selling wine, which some folks would really appreciate!

Want to help make this reader’s dream for Glass Bookshop a reality? Support Glass Bookshop’s Indiegogo campaign by buying some cool perks today here:

Danielle Lorenz
Matthew Stepanic