I always carry a couple in my bag.'It's hard to imagine Beyonce producing a well-thumbed copy of, say, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland from her Hermes Birkin bag, but her love of literature is not the only thing that marks out Amerie - who also has a degree in English and fine arts from Georgetown University in Washington - from her peers.
'I am all those things,' she nods, 'and I think we've nailed them on this album.'Many of the tracks on Because I Love It betray an 80s influence; 'Crush' boasts a candles-aloft chorus that wouldn't have shamed Duran Duran in their pomp, and 'Some Like It' samples former Sex Pistols manager and early champion of hip-hop Malcolm Mc Laren.
'I wanted to put a lot of 80s stuff on the last album,' says Amerie, 'but I was worried about whether the audience would want to go there with me.
I thought it might be too left-field, too much to digest.
Romantic comedy starring Katie Holmes as a seemingly ordinary college freshman with one important exception - her father (Michael Keaton) is the President of the United States.
When Samantha (Holmes) begins her studies at Redmond University, she asks her father to remove the two Secret Service agents who follow her everywhere.
R&B beauty Amerie is engaged to her manager boyfriend, Lenny Nicholson.
The 1 Thing singer, 30, accepted Nicholson's proposal during a romantic trip to Paris, France last weekend, when he got down on one knee and presented her with a pink diamond ring.
Rumors quickly spread online claiming the couple had eloped and exchanged vows, but her publicist has quashed the marriage reports, insisting Amerie has only just got engaged.
In a post on Twitter.com, Amerie's rep writes, "Can u correct the news Amerie just got engage (sic).
Its not every day that you find yourself discussing C S Lewis with an R&B diva; but then, Amerie is no ordinary member of that rarefied species. Her looks are sexy, yet sultry, the result of her African-American/Korean parentage.
'I remember telling all my friends about Narnia when I was seven years old,' she recalls avidly. She chats unselfconsciously, punctuating her conversation with an uninhibited laugh rather than the standard-issue diva's icy formality.