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December 02, 2016
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Kelly McMasters; Reader, writer, independent bookstore owner

Kelly McMasters is a writer, an insatiable reader and the proprietor of a small, independent bookstore in Honesdale, PA.
TRR photos by Jane Bollinger

Kelly McMasters owns a small, independent book store, Moody Road Studio, located in Maude Alley in the 1000 block of Main Street in Honesdale, PA. She writes about the experience in a monthly column for The Paris Review. She is the author of “Welcome to Shirley: A Memoir from an Atomic Town,” the personal story of growing up in her hometown on Long Island, NY where there were three nuclear reactors and all three leaked. A documentary based on the book was shown earlier this month at the Black Bear Film Festival in Milford, PA.

McMasters is married to artist Mark Milroy, whose studio is located in Wayne County, PA on Moody Road, which inspired the name for the bookshop and for his art studio. They have two young children.

TRR: On a scale of one to 10, where 10 is “wonderful,” how would you rate curling up with a book on a cold rainy or snowy afternoon?

KMcM: Definitely a 12. I was thinking about it earlier this week because I was just starting to miss summer. Up here in summer, there’s always so much to do and to get done chore-wise that you never really have those lazy afternoons. In winter it’s much quieter, and there’s more opportunity to just curl up and be by yourself. There’s something I love about reading during the day in winter. Somehow it’s like going to the movies in the middle of the day and when you come out and it’s still light, it’s something like playing hooky that’s really fun.
I think aside from maybe beach reading that winter reading is my very favorite.

TRR: Do you have a favorite genre that you like to read?

There’s certainly stuff that I’m drawn to more, but there isn’t much that I would say I dislike. I’m primarily a non-fiction writer and an essay writer, and so I always love reading essays and non-fiction books, but I also love my novels and poetry, and I like science fiction and historical fiction, too, so I’m definitely not exclusive.

TRR: Can you name a book that changed your life?