Libro.fm Podcast – Episode 03: “Interview with Kendra Winchester”

On this month’s episode we chat with Kendra Winchester of Book Riot and Read Appalachia. We talk about audiobooks and why they DO count as reading, Disability Pride Month, Appalachian writing and literature, podcasting, and more.

Use the promo code LIBROPODCAST for a free audiobook when you sign up for a new membership.


About our guest

Kendra Winchester is a Contributing Editor for Book Riot where she writes about audiobooks and disability literature. She is also the Founder of Read Appalachia, which celebrates Appalachian literature and writing. Previously, Kendra co-founded and served as Executive Director for Reading Women, a podcast that gained an international following over its six-season run. In her off hours, you can find her writing on her Substack, Winchester Ave, and posting photos of her Corgis on Instagram and Twitter @kdwinchester.


The audiobooks we discussed


Transcript

Craig Silva: 00:00:12 Hi, I’m Craig. Welcome back to the Libro FM podcast.  

Karen Farmer: 00:00:16 And I’m Karen on today’s episode, we’ll be speaking with Kendra Winchester, who is a contributing editor over at book riot, and who also runs an organization celebrating Appalachian literature, named read Appalachia.  

Craig Silva: 00:00:28 We really had a great time getting to know Kendra and learning about our experiences with audiobooks advocating for disability rights and more. So why don’t we keep this intro short and get right into it?  

Karen Farmer: 00:00:38 We are so excited today for our guest Kendra Winchester. Thank you so much for joining us. Um, and for those of you who aren’t familiar with Kendra’s work, or maybe don’t know about the myriad things that Kendra does, um, Kendra, we’d love for you to introduce yourself and tell us about all of the stuff you’re doing in the, the bookish world.  

Kendra Winchester: 00:00:56 Well, uh, until very recently, uh, I was podcasting, uh, with reading women. And so that ended at the end of, uh, December, 2021, and we had six wonderful seasons and I’m also a contributing, iterate book riot where I write about audiobooks and disability and all sorts of things around that. And then I also have a project called read Appalachia where I feature books, um, by, or about Appalachia and celebrate Appalachian writing. So I, I wear many hats. So  

Karen Farmer: 00:01:30  yes. How do you find enough hours of the day to do all of these things? ?  

Kendra Winchester: 00:01:34 Well, I will say after the podcast ended, I did have a lot more time when you like get 50 to 60 hours of your work week back. Um, that’s always nice. So did,  

Craig Silva: 00:01:47 Did you say 50 to 60 hours?  

Kendra Winchester: 00:01:49 Yeah.  

Craig Silva: 00:01:50 Yeah. Wow. Wow.  

Kendra Winchester: 00:01:51 Yeah, it was, it was a lot because it wasn’t just a podcast. We had, you know, the social media, which always takes a lot to manage. Right. The newsletter that went with reading women, all sorts of planning things. Um, I was the, uh, a co-host of producer and the editor, so I just, oh, wow.  

Craig Silva: 00:02:09 Yeah, yeah. was there, was there one of those jobs that you disliked the most? I can say that mine is editing. So I also the podcast and  

Kendra Winchester: 00:02:17 It’s mine is also editing.  

Craig Silva: 00:02:19 Yeah. like a million little snips, like, oh, I gotta cut that sneeze out or, you know, that type of stuff.  

Kendra Winchester: 00:02:26 Yeah. We, we got into the habit of apologizing to editing Kendra whenever we would make terrible, like just flubs or go off on a tangent. We’re so sorry, editing Kendra. I get to count five minutes of us going on about corgis being loud. Like  

Craig Silva: 00:02:41  I love that. Um, I want one of those cough buttons, like in old time radios, you know?  

Karen Farmer: 00:02:48 Yes. Yep. Well, and given that you are very busy, um, I know that you do love to consume audiobooks though. Uh, but to fit that in, um, do you have any current listens that you’d  

Kendra Winchester: 00:02:58 Like to share that you’re really enjoying? Yes. So I had just finished over the weekend, uh, just by looking at him by Ryan O’Connell. And at first, I mean, you listeners can’t see this, but the cover itself is delightful. Yes. Um, and so I, I picked it up because I’m reading for disability pride month. I’m prepping for that. So I’m always like a month ahead when you prep content. Um, and this is a book about a disabled gay man who’s living in LA. He writes for TV, uh, and he starts for whatever reason starts cheating on his long time boyfriend. And he is trying to like figure out why he’s self sabotaging his life and it’s imploding. And it’s about disability and intimacy, particularly in the intersection of being a gay disabled man. And it was just, it, it really talked about questions around disability and sexuality that I’d never seen tackled before. And by the end I was just crying and he performs the audiobook the author does. So it’s perfection would recommend,  

Craig Silva: 00:04:04 You just mentioned that, that he performs the audiobook himself. And I was actually curious, what are your thoughts on that in general? I feel like I really like when authors read their own work, but it can be hit or miss sometimes when they’re good. They’re really good. And when they’re not, you’re like, Ooh, I kind of wish they would’ve hired a professional, you know?  

Kendra Winchester: 00:04:23 Yeah. I think that’s always, I mean, that’s always the, um, it depends on like, as you said, the author, are they good at reading, but also I think that typically they’re better at non-fiction. If they’re writing their own memoir, it’s their narrative voice. While with fiction, you have to inhabit a character. And since this author is also an actor, it really worked very well. And I would just laughed out loud, like for the first quarter of the book, because this guy is getting himself and worse is worse situations of his own making and I just died. It was, it was great.  

Craig Silva: 00:04:56  I can’t wait to read this now. yeah.  

Kendra Winchester: 00:04:59 Immediately when we get off of this, I’m gonna be putting that on the  

Craig Silva: 00:05:02 App. This is, this is the problem with the Karen and I doing the Podcasts is that our, to be red list just keeps growing and growing as we do each episode. Um, so I don’t know when we’re gonna find the time, but, um, well this might be a good segue into talking about audiobooks. So, um, on the, on the socials and the internet, you’re obviously very, um, excited about audiobooks and talk about it and write about it. And I guess I was just curious, like, how did you get into audiobooks more so than, I mean, I saw you obviously had that print book, but what about audiobooks, like resonate so much with you that, that you’ve like, started to write about it and advocate for them? And,  

Kendra Winchester: 00:05:42 Yeah, I, I grew up, um, as a chronically ill kid, my brother and I are both disabled in that we have migraines and we’ve had them, um, since, probably since we were born, um, apparently it’s genetic and we went to a specialist for a long time for those. And I didn’t realize this, but when I started to learn to read, I was getting migraines and learning to read is hard enough as it is, but it took me a long time for it to really click and that’s because I was having to push through migraines. And I didn’t know that as a kid, because you don’t know that learning to read isn’t painful. You know what I’m saying? Like, it’s, you’re not talking to all your friends about this. And so we figured it out much later, but, um, my mom would then just get us, uh, books on cassette.  

Kendra Winchester: 00:06:29 And so she gives us these little tape players and we kept them in our bed and we, or by the bed, and we would fall asleep, listening to them. And we would just listen to the same, like dramatizations of little women or Christmas Carol or whatever. And as we got older, uh, I remember my mom, like when I was 11 or 12, introduced me to the left behind series on audio and Frank Mueller, first audiobook crush of a voice ever he, uh, just did such a great job. I remember actually crying when he had his motorcycle accident and couldn’t finish the series and I was horrified for him, but also he couldn’t finish the series and I hated the new narrator. I don’t even think I finished the series cause I hated the new narrator so much um, but that’s really how it started. And once we figured out what was going on, my mom was much more proactive in getting me audiobooks and we upgraded to CDs eventually. Uh, and uh, then overdrive happened and I could have them on my computer, the desktop at home. And, uh, it was really, you know, eventually you got lime wire of course. And you could put them on your iPod. So you put like two CDs on your iPod, cuz there was such little storage space.  

Karen Farmer: 00:07:41 Mm-hmm  

Kendra Winchester: 00:07:41  uh, so yeah, that was really how it started and I’ve just, you know, used them as an accessibility tool and for enjoyment, both, um, ever since  

Craig Silva: 00:07:51 I love that journey through technology and audiobooks from cassette to, to uh, lime wire to where you are now. Um, that’s great. I mean, it’s one of the reasons, I mean, I, I also love audiobooks for a ton of different reasons, but I, I love that it makes reading accessible to whether it’s, you can’t read for very long because you get migraines or whatever, the, whatever your reason is. Um, it’s I mean, I love it. It’s, it’s great to hear that  

Karen Farmer: 00:08:20 One of the topics I was really excited to talk to you about, you mentioned earlier, um, the read Appalachia project that you clearly started and are responsible for and, um, I am from that area. And so I was really interested in learning about where this came from and, and what the scope of it is. Um, anything that you can share with us, I’ll be thrilled to know 

Kendra Winchester: 00:08:39 Yeah. So I’m from C county, um, Ohio. So that’s um, if you look at the very bottom of Ohio, there’s that point at the end, if you just go slightly to the left, it goes back up into the state. And so say county is this weird wonky looking arch kind of county. And, um, my family’s originally from Higby Ohio, which is south of Chile coffee. Um, but you know, my family has been there for about eight generations or so, which I just recently figured out, I don’t know, I I’m a history nerd and like genealogies, but, uh, so growing up there though, because it was on the Ohio side, um, I didn’t really think of myself as Appalachian, right. It was just, you know, this big divide in my family were kind of like, um, dual citizens of Kentucky and Ohio from where the family has grown up and, and jumped back and forth and moved.  

Kendra Winchester: 00:09:28 And when I, you know, got down here to South Carolina, it was the culture shock was super intense. Uh, because you go from a working class, rural place to a new south where there’s more money, more middle class. I realize the people who were like rich, where I grew up were actually like lower middle class here. And it was just a lot. So, uh, it was a process of learning that. And so when I moved out of the region, so when I moved down to the low country, like four hours away from, um, where I went to college, I was homesick. And so I started looking through Instagram, like you do looking for an account that just featured re you know, APPLA and literature. And there wasn’t one. So I got on can and I created a little logo and started one, and it’s kind of grown from there. Um, it’s been a really wonderful experience. I didn’t expect anyone to really follow at a ton, but it’s really gotten a lot of great feedback, which I really appreciate.  

Craig Silva: 00:10:26 Has there been, you mentioned there was a lot of wonderful experiences there, any that stick out to, in your mind as like, um, you know, throughout doing this, this project that have really been like a special experience for you.  

Kendra Winchester: 00:10:38 I really love getting to know other people from Sayta county who’ve moved away. So we, we called ex Pachin. Um, the, the diaspora that moves away, which is kind of an Appalachian tradition, unfortunately, is moving out. And so I found other people from my county, um, who are also now, you know, have a similar, uh, desire to spread more diverse literature about the region. And so that’s been really nice, Amanda Paige, who is the head of say, literary is, it’s a nonprofit that encourages like the arts in the area of Sayta county. And she had a documentary come out. And so my mom and I went to the premier, um, we went back home, we went to the premiere of the new documentary about Portsmouth. Um, uh it’s it was really great. And I don’t know, just getting to better understand where I come from.  

Kendra Winchester: 00:11:32 Um, Appalachian culture is very unique and a lot of people don’t understand like, why it’s, why people are. So I don’t know kind of why we’re so proud of our heritage in a way, because they’re like, oh, isn’t that just like being Southern or being Midwestern, like, well, not, not really each is unique, right? Yeah. So I’ve really enjoyed just meeting other people. Um, also I met, uh, Garrett who is now re Appalachia’s intern. He’s also, um, a neuro divergent Appalachian. And so we are on the same wavelength and, um, so he has a lot of great reviews. So, um, people could definitely go check those out and yeah. So he also loves audiobooks cuz of course he does.  

Karen Farmer: 00:12:15  I, I am so excited about this because I, I feel like I encounter curation around this region more in terms of like music. Like you see a lot of that, but I hadn’t seen a curation around the written word and you also have this book, right. Article where you curated audiobooks, um, from the region, which is so exciting. Um, so we’ll make sure to share that with everyone after the episode, because it’s an incredible list  

Kendra Winchester: 00:12:41  and the accents are really hard for narrators to get. And it’s really interesting, uh, to when you hit, when I hit play, cause I don’t really have a choice. I can’t read friends. So I’m like, am I gonna have to like, you know, chug through this, like what, what is happening? And so sometimes it’s good. Sometimes it’s not great. And sometimes you can tell they just did the best they could and that’s fine. But, um, I really like when authors read their own audiobooks in that case, um, because the accent is so important, like S’s house reads a lot of his own audiobooks and he has the most beautiful voice and accent known to humankind maybe Neil Gaman might be him, but  

Craig Silva: 00:13:20 Neil Gaman was gonna be the author. I was going to suggest earlier when we were talking about authors that read their own books that do it really well. I feel like he sticks out as just like, man, I don’t want anyone else to ever read his books. um, so speaking of that, that playlist, I was also taking a look at that earlier if there was like one audiobook on that list that for someone that’s never read or listened to books in this genre, um, by authors from that region, is there like the quintessential first read that you would recommend?  

Kendra Winchester: 00:13:49 Yes. So I would recommend same son here by S house in, I think it’s Neil Pisani and that is a middle grade book and it’s a epi. So it’s these two kids. Uh, a girl has recently immigrated from India to the United States and she lives with her family in New York city. And she’s riding as a, like a pen pal situation to this young boy named river who’s from, uh, Eastern Kentucky. And they, you know, Sila reads rivers portions, and, um, Neely reads, you know, her portions. And it it’s an incredible audiobook because it’s the accents and their work together to create this story. It’s so incredible. And I feel like if you’re coming from outside the region, you are going to con probably connect, you know, with one side or the other, but it’ll help you introduce you to the region because I think a lot of people are at like, why should I read Appalachian literature? Like why is it so important? And I think that book is a great introduction. Awesome. Ugh, I can’t wait. 

Craig Silva: 00:14:56 Um, so again, thanks for joining our Podcasts, especially as someone who used to podcast a ton. So I was hoping that we could actually talk about your, your time, um, with the reading women podcast a little bit for people that may not be familiar with the podcast, if you want to give us like a, like a one minute little refresher on, on what it was. And, um, that would be awesome.  

Kendra Winchester: 00:15:19 Yeah. So reading women, uh, is with how radio and they still have all of the back list up there, so you can still go listen to it. Um, but it started back in 2016 when a friend and I created a podcast to talk about literature with our friends from grad school, we had just graduated with our, our master’s in literature and we started it and it was just, it was just us. It wasn’t like anyone else. And so we just kind of started for fun. And then we kind of stumbled into author interviews in 2017. So in the second season, and it just kind of grew from there. And then eventually we had a lot of different contributors and, um, co-hosts and you know, it went for six seasons. We had the reading one award, there was a newsletter. Um, we had a patron with like bonus episodes and it was just a lot of fun. It was a great project to work on, um, a lot of work, but definitely something that I will treasure for a long time.  

Craig Silva: 00:16:17 Cool. Were there any sort of standout episodes for you? Um, you know, whether it was an interview that you did with a particular author or just a book that you reviewed, was there anything that kind of, you know, would make your top 10 list of episodes? 

Kendra Winchester: 00:16:32 I really enjoyed mindin Lee’s interview. We interviewed her as one of our first guests. A lot of people don’t realize that mindin Lee’s book when it first came out, didn’t have much of a marketing budget. So she was doing all of this on her own. And so she was just taking whatever interview she could get and then eventually it did take off and she sold a gazillion copies of Pachinko. Um, but during that interview, my audio files failed three times. no. So I had to piece together this interview and it was a great interview. So I’m just like grabbing pieces. Adam’s Mike died like mid recording and it was, it was a whole, it was a whole saga. So that one sticks out in my mind for those reasons, um, for sure. And we also would do themes every month. And so we’d read on that. Um, I was able to interview Rosemary Keim, who is, um, the first elected trans woman in the state of West Virginia to like any official office. And that was really cool. Um, interviewed Lee Bargo. Nice. Another co-host it was, it was just really great to just meet all of these people. I think that was my favorite part.  

Craig Silva: 00:17:41 I think that’s one of, I mean, I won’t speak for you Karen, but I think that’s one of our favorite parts too, so far. We’re only a few episodes in, but we do have like a bunch of episodes scheduled out with some amazing authors that we’re super excited to talk about. So I’m glad to hear that that was a shining moment for you as we have this, we have a similar thing coming up, hopefully. Um,  

Kendra Winchester: 00:18:00 Yeah, it’s hard. Not the fan girl, honestly. Um, that is, that was my biggest problem because I just like would just be thumbing in the background and we didn’t use video at all. So I was so glad about that because I just looked like a complete, just, it was just gone, you know, I was just a complete fan girl and that would’ve been even more embarrassing than already was.  

Craig Silva: 00:18:21 We have a couple, we have a couple authors on our schedule that I think that will be me when we’re talking to them. So maybe that will be a video off episode.  

Karen Farmer: 00:18:29  transparently. I’m having that moment. Now. I’ve been so excited to talk to you in three minutes before I click the zoom link, I was like, oh, I’m really, I’m like hot. I’m very nervous. I’m like, I hope I can keep it together. So  

Kendra Winchester: 00:18:41 Well, thank you. I’m I we’re very chill here. You know, we have corgis screaming in the background and I just ran in here trying to get them to go potty before the storm. And so I’m just like, so we’re, we’re all the same here. 

Karen Farmer: 00:18:54 Real life. Real life is happening all around us. 

Craig Silva: 00:18:57 What are, what are your corgis names?  

Kendra Winchester: 00:19:00 So Dylan is, uh, the Pembroke Walsh Corgie. So the red and white and his name is Dylan gall Lord of Winchester because he is he’s very extra and Gwen is a cardigan Walsh Corgie. So the corgi with the tails, uh, and, uh, she is 11 months old and she is, um, Gwen, Leon tailwind, lady of Winchester. um, she is from Arkansas and I am, you know, we try to disrupt stereotypes of mountain people. Uh, but unfortunately she is one. Uh, so she has a nose Ark co through and through eats dirt loves playing in mud, well, dig holes and just wallow in them, bless our little soul. So ,  

Karen Farmer: 00:19:46 They sound perfect. 

Kendra Winchester: 00:19:49 Yeah, my little Southern gentleman and my wild child  

Karen Farmer: 00:19:52  

Craig Silva: 00:19:54 So I just getting back to the podcast a little bit. So there’s a lot of book Podcasts. Um, when we were deciding if we were gonna start this or not, you know, we did a little bit of research and there is a wide world of book Podcasts. And I was just curious as someone that’s been, you know, working with book riot and your, your reading women Podcasts and all of that, like, what do you think like podcasting like means to the book industry? Like you mentioned how, um, that author was didn’t have any marketing budget, but you know, they like found lightning and they sold a bunch of books. Like I know a lot of book, um, authors now are getting popular on TikTok and podcasting. And I’m just curious if you’ve thought about, you know, what that, what it means to the book industry.  

Kendra Winchester: 00:20:37 I think it’s really important that just average people can have their opinions out there. And I think, you know, different mediums do different things. Um, but for just your average person, if you don’t have an indie bookstore, for example, I know a lot of influencers have like book, you know, book clubs with their local bookstore in major cities. It’s very common that it’s a great partnership between an influencer and an indie bookstore to get them, you know, support the indie bookstore. But if you don’t have an indie bookstore, like where I grew up, uh, you’re not going to have those very casual conversations with someone, you know, with a particular author. So I think that podcasting allows that, that you can get to know some, a host and get to know them and the personality and then have them interview authors or interested in learning more about.  

Kendra Winchester: 00:21:25 And I think that is great because I feel like growing up a lot of the bookish influence was from cities and was from these major places that I couldn’t physically go to. And so I just didn’t have that, that magic growing up of having an indie bookstore or having a place to go, it was just my Librory. Right. And Librorians are overworked and underpaid already. They didn’t have time. Like, no, one’s gonna go to Portsmouth and be like, here, let’s have an author about it for like three people, you know? Right, right. So that’s why I think podcasting is great. Cuz you can have that exposure and that experience in rural areas.  

Craig Silva: 00:22:01 Yeah. I think sometimes I, so I’ve always grown up in a city and I think that I, um, forget how lucky people that grow up in, in cities are like, I have, I don’t know, there’s a ton of like local, independent bookstores in my area. So it’s, it’s something I’ve never thought about not having access to that and how things like, you know, whether it’s, you know, book books to grammars or, or podcasters like kind of open up that world to people that may not have access to, you know, local author events at their, at their bookstore and all that. So it’s a, it’s a really good point and something I haven’t thought of before last thing on the podcast. So this is our third episode. Um, so for people that are relatively new to it, do you have any advice or wisdom from your six seasons of, um, of working on a podcast?  

Kendra Winchester: 00:22:51 I would say there are so many, there’s so many Podcasts out there. I feel like you can feel overwhelming to try to differentiate yourself for me. What was different was that no one else had my exact team. Right? So you there’s only, this might sound like, I don’t know, rainbows and sunshine, but there’s only one of you. Right. And just being yourself on a podcast, it just goes a long way because you’re unique in that. There’s only one of you and there’s only one combination of both you as co-hosts. So ask the questions that you want to know, ask the questions that if you had the opportunity to sit down with this author, which in fact you do, cuz you’re recording a podcast with them, ask the questions you wanna know, and they might seem quirky or just out there. But I think that that goes a long way.  

Kendra Winchester: 00:23:41 And then as you podcast, you’ll relax into it and you might always have the jitters before you talk to an author, but you will feel more confident in your ability to ask questions and, and to like go on, you know, through that and then ask the follow ups that just practice makes perfect. But don’t feel like you have to, there’s really like a, no, you should do kind of, um, way about it. You just do what you want to do. If that makes sense. Cuz you’re always doing what you think you should do then you’re always not gonna be completely yourself.  

Craig Silva: 00:24:15 Yeah. I mean that’s, I mean, that’s always the hard part, even for me, as I’m thinking about these next episodes we have coming up is thinking of questions that not only I want to know, but that I think listeners will wanna know and that haven’t been asked to this author 500 times over in other interviews they’ve done. You know what I mean?  

Kendra Winchester: 00:24:34 Yeah. Yeah, definitely. And I think with podcasting you have the, you know, you have a great niche, right? Because you’re talking about audiobooks and how someone’s book, you know, plays out on an audiobook is a totally different experience than just print. So you’re gonna be like, you know, talking to, um, what is it? Is it Sarah Nobi that did true biz? Is that the author?  

Karen Farmer: 00:24:54 I think that sounds right. 

Kendra Winchester: 00:24:56 The author of true biz. She had to do like all of this extra stuff for her audiobook, because it’s a story about a deaf community, right? So how do you take that and turn it into an audio? And so what she would do is she signs there’s etal of them signing a conversation. She signs during that, those sections. So you can hear it in the background. You can hear the signing in the background. So you know, that these words being spoken or being spoken through sign,  

Craig Silva: 00:25:21 Wow, that’s it is Sarah. I just looked it up and never heard of that. And absolutely. I’m gonna go listen to that now. Um, see, this is what we’re talking about, about the two V listen, to list just growing and growing. Yes.  

Karen Farmer: 00:25:34 Well, and that’s a great segue too. One of the things I wanted to talk to you about, um, you mentioned earlier, uh, that it’s disability pride month in July. Um, and while Craig and I were prepping for the podcast, we watched a YouTube video that you made I think a year or two ago, um, in preparation for disability pride month. Um, so we were wondering if you could just share some more about what that is, um, how you’re involved in, um, and what that month means  

Kendra Winchester: 00:25:57  yeah, so disability pride month is always in July because in 1990 on I think July 26th, uh, the United States passed the Americans with disabilities act, which is the first really piece of legislation of its kind. Uh they’re you know, what that does is guarantee supposed to is functionally. It doesn’t work out this way per se, but functionally it’s supposed to protect a disabled person’s right to enter buildings, to have, you know, disabled bathrooms, you know, uh, parking lots have to have, you know, disabled parking and you have to have certain units and apartment buildings that are accessible to disabled people. You’re supposed to have elevators in these buildings and all of this stuff that wasn’t protected before your child, your disabled child was not guaranteed a public education up until this point. And granted there’s a lot of problems still going on now, but this was still fundamental legislation.  

Kendra Winchester: 00:26:51 So now we have disability pride month and it’s not nationally recognized. Typically it’s just certain cities recognize it. So there’s parades and major cities in different things, but it’s kind of catching on online, which is great. Uh, and so you just, it’s like, it’s like, you know, queer pride month is just disability pride month and we have our own flag, which is really cool. It’s black and it has these like lightning bolt colors representing the different communities within the larger, uh, disability community. And um, yeah, I, I feel, I feel like it’s something that a lot of people don’t know exists. Right. And so for me, it’s incredibly important to try to get that out there, particularly in the audiobooks world, because audiobooks are first and foremost in accessibility tool.  

Karen Farmer: 00:27:38 And this will not be a surprising follow up question, but, um, do you have any reading recommendations for folks who, um, I guess we’re in June now, so when people hear this, it might be the midst of July, but, um, for people who are preparing for disability pride month and want to learn more.  

Kendra Winchester: 00:27:54 Yeah, I would say, um, demystifying disability is a great intro because it kind of defines terms and it’s a very brief overview. It’s only like a hundred and I wanna say 150 pages. I don’t know. I listen to it, so I’m not entirely sure, but, um, it breaks everything down and gives you categories and do’s, and don’t and etiquette, like for example, you never, never, never walk up and grab someone’s wheelchair, even if you’re trying to help them. You there’s no, you don’t cuz that’s basically an extension of their body. So you are going up and essentially grabbing what they consider part of their body. And so that’s something that a lot of people don’t realize, for example, um, and just general info about the disability community so that you can educate yourself and just have a base understanding of the different communities within the broader disability community. And I dunno, I just found very helpful. I, I wanna send it to all of my friends, um, who aren’t disabled and be like here,  

Karen Farmer: 00:28:50 Try this reading. Yes, yes.  

Craig Silva: 00:28:53 We’ll add it in the show notes. Um, I did just look it up on Libro it’s it’s about four and a half hours, so, so it’s pretty, I mean, in the grand scheme of audiobooks, that’s a pretty short listen, which is nice. Um, we also read, um, disability visibility, um, as like our internal, we have like an internal like Libro staff book club and we read that and then had the, the author, um, oh no, actually we didn’t have the author come for that one. That one was just an internal book club actually. Um, but I thought that was a really good one too, because it covers such a wide range of disabilities. It’s a really good, like for me, I thought kind of like a first book. Um, so it’s not just like super narrow on one particular thing. It’s pretty all encompassing, which I, I, I found that book to be really like a educational and interesting read personally, but  

Kendra Winchester: 00:29:40 Yeah. Yeah. And the editor of, of that book, Alice Wong, she has her memoir coming out in the fall. Alice Wong does have her own Podcasts or she interviews disabled people and she will interview people from a wide range of disability backgrounds. Um, she’s even done an interview in translation once and uh, just all sorts of things. And I really appreciate her because in every part of the, of her publication process for disability visibility, she centered disabled people. So even the narrator is disabled and that was really important to me.  

Craig Silva: 00:30:15 Yeah, absolutely. And I think she does, she doesn’t read the audio. Um, Alice Wong doesn’t read the audiobook, but she does do like the intro to the audiobook, which was, is a, is pretty power. It’s like a powerful intro. It really sets the book up really nicely. Um, so I definitely will put both of those books into the show notes as like a primer. Um,  

Kendra Winchester: 00:30:34 Yeah. And I think I, for me, audiobooks are, you know, there’s always this discussion that happens every few years when a new round of people discover audiobooks for the first time, can’t hear the air quotes, sorry. um, discover. Um, and uh, they’re like, oh, do audiobooks count as reading? And I, I really dislike that question cuz you would never grow up to someone who is visually impaired or blind since you’re seeing them read braille, you don’t be like, oh, is that actually reading? Right? That makes you feel really gross. Right? That very question being voiced makes you feel gross. Well, that’s how I feel. Every time I see someone ask the question are audiobooks reading because that’s implying that the accessibility tool isn’t fundamentally there to help people read. And that it’s just really, I just, I just cringe every time. And even my spouse, whenever he hears someone ask me that question in public, he’ll look at me like, please don’t explode. Don’t explode all this before unsuspecting birds live. But um, that’s why like I think the audiobooks are so important is because it creates a wider accessibility and I am so happy that other people are discovering them and pumping money into the audio economy. So more innovation can happen, et cetera, et cetera. But at the same time, I wish more nondisabled listeners would center disabled people in their conversations around the medium  

Craig Silva: 00:32:08 When that’s actually I think an important point, cuz we see that come up all the time too. Right. People saying like audiobooks don’t count as reading and that it’s cheating when their people are adding audiobooks, they listen to, to their like, you know, story graph, reading challenge or whatever. Um, when people say that, do you have like a good response to that? Like to, to be like actually, uh, as someone that like, you know, your husband looks at you, like please don’t explode. Like what does that conversation look like in a non explosive way?  

Kendra Winchester: 00:32:39 Well, I think a lot of people don’t think about audiobooks as, uh, an accessibility tool, you know? Um, it’s it’s like if some nondisabled person discovered they liked, you know, using a wheelchair for fun, right? There’s always some kid doing that, you know, whatever mm-hmm they don’t understand that it’s accessibility tool. And for me it feels like audiobooks, like people have discovered, audiobooks are fun for them, which is great. I love that. They love them, but that’s not centering the purpose that they were made for. So usually I talk to them like, do you know that it actually, the information all goes to the same place? Like I can’t remember which ones I’ve read in print and which ones I’ve listened to at this point. Yep. And uh, just trying to engage with them because I don’t also part of ableism in the disability realm.  

Kendra Winchester: 00:33:32 Part of that, uh, is that people don’t think about disabled people. Right? Most of the time I get reactions, like, oh, I never thought about that. And I’m like, I can tell, I can tell. You’ve never thought about that. That is, that is apparent. Um, and that that’s typically how it goes. If people don’t know that’s fine. And I, I tell them, they’re like, oh, okay. That’s great. You know, you don’t have to be perfect, but just like Lizzo changed the, you know, lyrics except for song. She’s like, oh, I didn’t realize I will fix this. Yeah. That that’s all you have to do. You don’t have to feel terrible about yourself. You didn’t know. And now if you keep saying Ables things about audiobooks, then we’ll have a problem. But  

Craig Silva: 00:34:17 Cool. Um, so I mean, that’s, that’s all we had. Um, thank you so much for thank you.  

Karen Farmer: 00:34:23 This has been wonderful.  

Craig Silva: 00:34:24  yeah. I have so many good book recommendations. I know what to say the next time someone says audiobooks aren’t reading. Yes.  

Kendra Winchester: 00:34:31 They’re one of those like Libro FM t-shirts at their head, you know, say audiobooks are reading on the back, all down  

Craig Silva: 00:34:38 The back. We also have a Mamel we also have a Mamel pins. Those might be better for chucking, you know? Yeah.  

Kendra Winchester: 00:34:44 You had those, oh,  

Craig Silva: 00:34:46 We’ll hook you up. We’ll send you  

Kendra Winchester: 00:34:47 Some. Yeah. Thank you. I have, I love an Amel pins.  

Craig Silva: 00:34:50 I’m yeah, we have a little, we have in a little, it’s like a little book and I forget the exact words it says, but it’s something like audiobook are reading or something like that with like Libro up the spine or something. We’ll we’ll we’ll ship one out to you,  

Karen Farmer: 00:35:01 Craig. And I, I feel like we were responsible for the pins Craig and I both wear Jean jackets with pins on them and we were like, gotta, gotta make a pin 

Craig Silva: 00:35:09 Yeah.  

Kendra Winchester: 00:35:10 Yep. And I feel like, you know, every, also like every queer person has a Jean jacket with pins and so that probably is very popular right now. So 

Craig Silva: 00:35:20 Yeah. Yeah. When you come out as queer, they just give you one actually. Exactly.  

Kendra Winchester: 00:35:24 It’s  

Craig Silva: 00:35:24 Starter pack. Yeah.  

Kendra Winchester: 00:35:26  

Craig Silva: 00:35:28 Um, so I guess lastly, um, what’s, what’s coming up for you. Do you have any, I know you have disability pride month and you’re putting some stuff together for that, but is there anything that listeners should be on the lookout and you know, from you?  

Kendra Winchester: 00:35:41 Yeah. So I’m doing a series of posts for book riot, um, about like an book lovers guide to disability pride. So I have the intro, which is what is it? Here’s the flags flag me tier some basic links. You can go find book recommendations. I’m doing an essay on, um, reading disabled literature and how that’s going to be different than just reading literature, like learning to on-center yourself as a non-disabled person. When you read disabled literature and understand the differences in that. Um, I’m also doing like a disability 1 0 1 list. So it include SIFY disability and disability visibility and, and talk about things that people can focus on. So I’m doing a bunch of, I guess, educational posts for disability pride month and you know, disability pride month is first and foremost about celebrating people with disabilities, not about educating non-disabled people, but I’ve never done any sort of series like this before for education. So I thought this might be a good year to do it since I had more time this year. So, um, I’m excited about those and include lots of recommendations cuz I only listen to audiobook. So, you know, I do about 200 a year. I think. So level speed.  

Karen Farmer: 00:37:02 That’s great. That was my follow up question. What speed setting do you, do you use to consume 200 audiobooks?  

Kendra Winchester: 00:37:08 Yeah, I start 1.5 to get used to the narrator and get into the groove and then I just up the speed as I move along.  

Karen Farmer: 00:37:18 That’s awesome. 

Craig Silva: 00:37:19 I’m very impressed. I’m a, I’m a serial 1.3 person any faster. I’m like, you know, so I’m very impressed at anyone that can go higher than 1.5. So  

Kendra Winchester: 00:37:30 With time, you know, it’s just young Padawan. It won’t, it won’t happen. You just gotta gotta into it.  

Craig Silva: 00:37:39 Well, thank you so much, Kendra. This has been, it’s been really great getting to know you and hearing about everything you have going on. We really appreciate the time.  

Kendra Winchester: 00:37:47 Well thank you for having me.  

Karen Farmer: 00:37:49 Yes we’ll we will excitedly keep an eye out for everything that you’re working on and, and share it far and wide. So thank you for, for everything that you’re doing. 

Kendra Winchester: 00:37:56 Well, thank you. It’s been fun.  

Karen Farmer: 00:37:59 Thanks for listening to this month’s episode, everyone. Next month we’ll be interviewing an amazing author. So if you’ve been enjoying the podcast, please be sure to subscribe. So, you know, when we release the next episode, also, if you have a spare minute, please rate the podcast on apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen. It would mean a lot to us  

Craig Silva: 00:38:16 As always. Thank you for listening. And if you haven’t tried Libro yet, sign up using promo code Libro podcast to get an extra free credit when you start your membership. Thanks again, and talk soon, 

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