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UWRF criminology professor escapes with book collection

April 1, 2015

When Assistant Professor Desiree Wiesen-Martin isn’t teaching students criminology, grading papers or conducting research in her field of expertise, she can be found with a book in her hand, exploring different places and meeting interesting characters.

Wiesen-Martin said one of her main hobbies is reading books.

“I love to pick up a book that’s not related to sociology, criminology or statistics but something that I can just read that is fun,” Wiesen-Martin said.

Wiesen-Martin said when she was younger her parents were strict on what she could watch. So, she made a deal with them that if she read the book she could watch the movie, but she had to watch the movie with her parents. She said she became interested in books at a very young age and has always had a passion for reading.

Wiesen-Martin said she is also part of a three-person book club with a friend from graduate school and a friend from the east coast. She said they started up their little book club last July.

“It’s just something to keep us connected so we feel like we’re doing the same activity,” Wiesen-Martin said.

Even though the women are separated by distance, their book club helps with the separation. Wiesen-Martin said they choose a book to read and keep in contact with each other and discuss the book through text messages or over the phone.

When it comes to preference between physical books and e-books, Wiesen-Martin said she has a good mix of both but she prefers the physical copy of a book.

“I’m not completely ready to give up my books, my actual books,” Wiesen-Martin said, “There is something about getting a book from the library that’s a little older and the way it smells.”

Wiesen-Martin said she thinks she has about 300 books in her collection, not including academic books. She said she collects books from her favorite authors and if she is a fan of a book series she will buy every book in the series.

“I don’t like to get rid of books,” Wiesen-Martin said, “I have this vision of one day having walls of books.”

Wiesen-Martin said her favorite books are “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen and “The Outsiders” by S.E Hinton. She said she read both books many times, somewhere in the double digits. She is also a fan of the movie “The Outsiders.” When it comes to which is better, the books or the movies, Wiesen-Martin said the books are always better.

“I think what’s great about books is that even though the book is more descriptive, you always have room for your imagination,” Wiesen-Martin said. “Being able to read the books gives you more freedom.”

Wiesen-Martin said she reads a few books at a time and also has audio books on her iPod. She is currently listening to “The Astronauts Wives Club” by Lily Koppel on her iPod. The next book she will be reading with her book club is “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak.

“I’m never going to run out of books to read,” Wiesen-Martin said.