31 October 2008

Book Meme

Found here.

Hardback or trade paperback or mass market paperback?

I'm probably a weirdo in that I almost always prefer trade paperbacks for my reading. Mass-markets are priced right but thick ones almost always have that "text disappears into the spine" problem towards the middle of the book. Hardbacks are nice to have for display and just general "look at how nice that is" purposes, but with hardbacks I either feel like I shouldn't actually use the book (if it's good) or that I spend way too much on the book (if it's bad). I also have this psychological thing that makes me feel like I'm reading a children's book if the text is too large, and most hardbacks (particularly bestsellers) tend to use a very large typeface, which just means that I notice the writing flaws so much easier, since I "feel like" I'm reading a kid's book, anyway.

Bookmark or dog-ear?

Bookmark. Usually with the receipt I got when I bought the book.

Alphabetize by author or alphabetize by title or random?

Right now it's all random, since I'm still assembling bookcases and putting books into appropriate slots. I tend to categorize by general subject (i.e. all my science books together, all my history books together, etc.), then by author's last name, then by title. This may be because this is the scheme used by most used bookstores, which is where I generally do most of my book purchases, and I've absorbed the pattern by osmosis.

Keep, throw away or sell?

Keep. I'll throw away a book if it has become literally unreadable, and I managed to convince myself to give away a bunch of old books when I was planning the move, but I have serious issues with letting any books out of my grubby paws. This is probably a fault, but I always feel like the moment I get rid of a book, I'll need it to reference something about a week later.

Keep dust jacket or toss it?

Keep. Although my ex-girlfriend hated them and got rid of or lost a bunch of mine when she would read my books, so I do have quite a few missing. And again, if they become too damaged over time I may get rid of them.

Last book you bought?

The Order of the Stick: The Start of Darkness. I have a stack of books to-read about as tall as I am -- right now I'm reading David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest and Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars. Soon I'll read Joe Abercrombie's Before They Are Hanged, Neal Stephenson's Anathem, and Brian Francis Slattery's Liberation.

Last book someone bought for you?

Hmm.... Technically, Shana bought Red Mars for me, but that was just because we wanted to make it one purchase instead of two. Shana gave me Everything is Illuminated for Christmas last year, so that was probably the last "gift" book I got. (Oh, yeah, another friend bought me the original Ender Trilogy for my birthday.)

What are some of the books on your to-buy list?

Well, here's my Amazon wish list. I'd also like to pick up The Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie, The Digital Plague by Jeff Somers, the new edition of Agent to the Stars and The Last Colony by John Scalzi.... The list is very long.

Collection (short stories, same author) or anthology (short stories, different authors)?

Eh. Depends. I've probably read anthologies more often, but for favorite authors I love to get a handle on their individual short story output.

Most authors I read don't put out a lot of short fiction, though, so I've read astonishingly few collections or anthologies that have been published in the last two decades or so.

Harry Potter, Lemony Snicket, or the velvety embrace of Death?

I read the entire Harry Potter series in about six weeks after the seventh book was published. I haven't read a single word of Lemony Snicket. I think I'd rather just take Philip Pullman and be done with it.

Morning reading, afternoon reading, or nighttime reading?

Usually in the morning before Shana wakes if I get up first, and in the evenings before we go to sleep.

The books you need to go with other books on your shelves?

Too many to count. I try to get series book by book, starting with the first, so in general I'm just missing the more recent books. The most obvious "missing" books are the last four volumes of the Sandman series.

Do you read anywhere and anytime you can or do you have a set reading time and/or place?

I'm pretty easygoing. I read whenever I'm in the mood and have a few minutes, although with some "heady" or literary novels I like to wait until I have a nice chunk of time. Pynchon, for instance, is almost impossible to read in five-minute chunks.

Do you have seasonal reading habits?

No. Then again, I'm from Alabama, where we really only have two seasons: a nine-month "fall" followed by an oppressively hot three-month "summer." We'll see if I change up now that I live in the North.

Do you read one book at a time or do you have two or more books going at once?

If I'm reading a heady book, I like to also have a more accessible book to break it up. Or if one book is heavy and serious, I'll have something a little lighter -- I like to break up my reading a bit, so I always have a little something different if it feels like a slog. I will also occasionally read a few pages of an old favorite for this purpose.

What are your pet peeves about the way people treat books?

Dog-earing pages, breaking spines, leaving them open and face-down for long enough to damage them, etc. That's really only when they're done to my own books, though -- what you do with your copy is your business. I also basically never write in a book.

Name one book you surprised yourself by liking.

I liked To Kill a Mockingbird a lot more when I re-read it as an adult than I thought I would -- the book was a lot more complex than I remembered it being when I read it in ninth grade. I tend to only read books that I expect I'll like quite a bit, so I'm more likely to feel let down by a book than to find a book to be much better than I expected. Probably the only book whose quality really surprised me was World War Z, which I expected to be really silly but which ended up being nothing short of brilliant.

How often do you read a book and not review it on your blog? What are your reasons for not blogging about a book?

Lately I've been neglecting my blog, so it happens more ofthen than I'd like. I'd like to be able to write up a short review of every book I read and every movie I see, but sometimes Life Intervenes and I just don't have the time or inclination to do so.

No comments: