Shelf Reflection is a monthly series where we delve into the reading habits of interesting Australians. April’s reflection comes from Auslan advocate and motivational speaker Drisana Levitzke-Gray.

Most of Drisana's books are in boxes, apart from a few favourites.

Most of Drisana’s books are in boxes, apart from a few favourites.

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading Horror High: Deadly Love by R.L. Stine. It is a book of three short stories all relating to high school, teenagers and love – will it ever end well for the characters involved? Stine’s writing always keeps you hooked right until the end and his endings are never what it seems.

Borrowed or bought?

I bought this from the Half Price Books (HPB) in Austin, Texas, where my husband currently lives for work. I love books but I cringe at the idea of breaking the bank for brand new books, so I love checking out places like HPB for great books for an even greater deal. I grew up with RL Stine’s Goosebumps books, and craved the enjoyment that I get from reading his books – and when I came across this in the store, had to get it! Its easy reading, nothing like the readings that we have to at uni – which is why I love it, and all of Stine’s books.

What kind of reader are you?

I’m not the kind of reader that has many half-finished books going at once, but I do have a bunch of books that I hope to eventually get started and finish. I always finish the books that I read, even if it takes some time in my busy life, I like the satisfaction from completing a book for leisure! I never re-read books, just the once is good enough for me. I typically read a lot when I am on holidays, it always feels right when you’re sitting by the windows, on some cushions and getting into the book without any of the daily stress and hassles. I like all kinds of books, I don’t have a specific genre, it just has to be good and captivating and I’ll read it.

What does your book collection look like?

When I used to purchase and collect books, it was during my teen years so there’s a bunch of young adult books, the whole Twilight series and the Vampire Academy series too. I’ve been given a number of books during my time as the Young Australian of the Year and I have a number of biographies of amazing people in Australia. I don’t organise my books in any specific order, most of them are in a box as I have been living in between countries. I look forward to the day I can have my own bookshelf and set up my books. I used to prefer new books but now I am much more open to second-hand, even moreso in passing the books on – which I’ve just started, after purchasing a PostSecret book and posting it off to my best friend in New York City. There are a lot of books by and about Deaf people, and I am a huge supporter of the Deaf ecosystem by buying and supporting Deaf artists/authors all over the world.

If you had to pick one book to live in for the rest of your life, which would it be?

I would probably choose The Rubbish Monster, which was written and illustrated by my husband, Braam Jordaan. It’s such an amazing book, which was inspired originally by the short animation clip that my husband made, which won 12 international awards. It’s a brilliant book about educating children, and adults alike, to recycle and not to litter your trash; otherwise the Rubbish Monster will collect all the litter, becomes stronger and eat you up! Every time you read it, there’s always something new to discover, the details are incredible and the message is extremely powerful.