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Hockey player Hayley Wickenheiser on e-books Add to ...

Hayley Wickenheiser is a three-time Olympic gold-winning forward for the Canadian women's national hockey team. She currently plays with the University Of Calgary Dinos women's team.

What was the first book you read?

Some of the Robert Munsch books, way back when. The Paper Bag Princess.

What was the last book you read?

I'm reading a book called Talent is Ove rrated [by Geoff Colvin] And I'm reading Nelson Mandela's new autobiography.

Do you read a lot of books?

I read parts of a lot of books.

What stops you from finishing?

Life! I read a lot. I'm going back to university now. I'm reading a lot of textbooks, so I have less time to read. I'll read for personal development, not so much for pleasure. If I can get through a couple a month, that's good.

How many of those are e-books?

Zero. I'm not an e-book person, but I travel a lot and my son likes to read off the iPad. I might try it out so I physically don't have to carry the books. It's a part of our world now. It's a lot easier and more convenient. But there is something about physically holding a book in your hand and actually reading it that I still enjoy.

If someone gave you an e-book reader or app, would you use it?

I think I would try it. I'm not opposed to trying. My Dad is an avid reader. If he changed to try it out, I'd be more apt to try. I find that reading is a way to slow down my life. To physically have a book and take time to sit and read it, that's the part I like. There is something to be said for slowing down when everything in my life is about speeding up.

Does your son being into e-books trouble you?

He's a bigger reader than I am. He gets books downloaded when we travel. He would prefer to read a book than he would to watch a movie or play video games. He probably is a bit of an exception.

Books can become décor. Do you keep them and shelve them once read, or pass them on?

I keep them. The odd time, I'll give them to friends to read. The attractiveness of books is I can have them on hand. I'll reference books I've read in the past. To physically have them on the shelf to grab seems easier to me. They are a piece of furniture, I suppose.

It has been said that nature of books have always been changing. Are e-books just the latest change and a positive one?

Anything that encourages reading and a desire for knowledge, I don't think of as a negative. We are adapting. Like CDs - I'll rarely buy a CD. I'll just go and buy my music off iTunes now. Down the road, I may be an e-book person. For now, I'm not. The premise is what's important, which is "reading."

Have you written any books?

I did. I wrote a book this year called Gold Medal Diaries with the help of Wendy Long. I don't know if it is in e-book form.

Would you be the proud author of strictly an e-book, something you couldn't hold in your hand or stack on your Dad's shelf?

I did the one book that I'm probably going to do. It's a hard copy and its nice to have that physical book rather than something that's in the digital world.

Years from now, grandchildren in your lap, would you enjoy reading them an e-book or the book's next incarnation?

I can't see why not. At this point, it might be more attractive to hold a book with pictures that you can show them, remembering when I was a kid and my Mom and Dad reading to me and those favourite books that I wore out, page turning.

It's not just about the form, it's about the memory and the things that go along with that.

The second annual Wickenheiser International Women's Hockey Festival takes place in Burnaby, B.C., in November.

 

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