I didn’t have an answer for Thursday’s Booking Through Thursday, so instead I responded to a previous week’s entry and completed this meme. You can find it here: http://btt2.wordpress.com/2010/08/19/meme-of-reading-questions
Favorite childhood book?
Anything by Enid Blyton or Roald Dahl.
What are you reading right now?
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and Grimspace by Ann Aguirre.
What books do you have on request at the library?
I don’t have any on request. I used to do that all the time, because libraries never have the whole series and rarely had the books I wanted to read. I now have a book store that specialises in speculative fiction and a full time job, so I can afford to buy books now instead of maxing out my library card.
Bad book habit?
Eating while I am reading and I sometimes forget that I am not meant to dog-ear.
What do you currently have checked out at the library?
It is on my mother’s card in Queensland, and it is Jim Butcher’s Storm Front.
Do you have an e-reader?
No, but I am planning to get a Sony Reader in the next few months.
Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?
I can’t read just one book at a time. I get bored!
Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
No. The only thing that is changed is that I now feel guilty about not writing reviews about books. Since I started reading book blogs my patterns have changed, but I also joined a paranormal romance book club and became more active on twitter so I think my reading choices aren’t due to blogging, but to networking. I had previously run forum for readers, and before that I was global moderator at another forum for nerds and geeks but they just perpetuated my reading patterns, not introduced me to new books, authors, genres or approaches. I think it is just that I have changed genres and chatting to so many bibliophobes about those genres on twitter that has changed my outlook on the book community.
Least favorite book you read this year (so far?)
Storm Front by Jim Butcher.
Favorite book you’ve read this year?
I don’t know. I have read a lot of books, discovered a lot of new authors and loved reading a lot of the books I read. They have all sort of blurred together by now. I would have to look at my read list to tell you, and that is scrawled through several notebooks at home. Yes, I know, I really need to update my 2010 list *sigh*
How often do you read out of your comfort zone?
Not often. However, I joined a non-specific book club, and my friend’s sister suggested Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I do not choose to read Chick Lit (which I see separate to the romance genre) or contemporary fiction. If I could go and hide under a rock instead of reading that book I would! But she is reading my book (Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro) so I should read hers.
What is your reading comfort zone?
Speculative Fiction. I read urban and epic fantasy, paranormal romance, dark fantasy, science fiction and some dystopian fiction.
Can you read on the bus?
No, but I can read on a train :)
Favorite place to read?
In bed or in a park or at the beach.
What is your policy on book lending?
As long as I can trust them not to be ruined. I have had to curtail my lending to fellow bibliophiles as my books were being mutilated (who puts contact on someone else’s books?! And who scores the cover of a book then hands it back the day before the book was to be autographed?!?!?!?! Grrr!).
Do you ever dog-ear books?
I grew up dog-earring books and didn’t realise I shouldn’t. It was a learnt behaviour and very hard to get out of! I still forget sometimes and dog-ear but now I mostly use bookmarks.
Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
Only my own text books and only in pencil.
Not even with text books?
Only with text books ;-p
What is your favorite language to read in?
English, but I love translating Old English. It is such a rich, poetic and beautiful language!
What makes you love a book?
Let me count the ways….
What will inspire you to recommend a book?
If a book is so good I can’t put it down, or think of anything else but that book until it is finished, I will proclaim my love to the world! If I read a book and think someone might like it, I will tell them so :)
At the moment it is Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance. I can’t always tell the difference and I think of them as one genre on a scale of hot or not ;)
Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?)
Classics. I do read them, but I can’t concentrate too much at the moment as my brain cavity is full of a mushy liquid which isn’t conductive to critical reading. So I read trashy paperbacks instead LOL
I don’t read biographies.
Have you ever read a self-help book?
Well, that is a two part answer actually. I read some inspirational books in the past (I liked Aman Cara by John O'Donohue) and I read books about my health issues. They aren’t “self-help” and I wouldn’t choose to say I read self-help books. I think that genre is full of a lot of crackpots, scam artists and very few books that are actually going to help people in the long run.
I have an Australian Woman’s Weekly Cookbook from the Seventies. It has a lot of recipes, both traditional Australian and world cuisine. I cook a meal from it, and then I change it to suit me, my style and my food limitations. I first made Spaghetti Bolognese from this book when I was about 10. In the 15+ years since, I have changed it beyond recognition. However, I wouldn’t have my current SpagBol without that book!
Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)?
I am not sure, perhaps Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet?
Favorite reading snack?
Corn chips… It is a dirty little habit I picked up as a child. I don’t buy them much these days because I can eat a whole packet in a day when reading a good book.
29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.
How often do you agree with critics about a book?
I don’t pay attention to critics. I do read genre reviews for speculative fiction subgenres, but that is more to see if I will find the book interesting enough to purchase.
How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
It depends on the book. If the book is just mediochre, I will say so. If they book is blatantly sexist, racist, or other types of bigotry, if it is badly written or edited, I will explain my displeasure.
If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose?
Spanish, Latin or Greek. Or maybe French?
Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?
Intimidating? I have read those I wanted to read and concquered them, no longer finding them “intimidating”. I cannot think of any I have found intimidating. Maybe Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales in Middle English or William Langland’s Piers Plowman. I didn’t find them intimidating, but they were in Middle English, so it wasn’t a matter of translating the entire book, but those words I didn’t know or guess. I didn’t find them hard to read, but it was definitely time consuming, as I had to find the meanings for a lot of the words. I wasn’t able to read them on public transport because I was constantly comparing words in my Middle English dictionary LOL
Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?
Tolstoy’s War and Peace. It is one of the books I will read in my life time but…
Henry Kendall, William Blake and “Anonymous” in relation to Old English (Beowulf, The Dream of the Rood, The Battle of Maldon, etc.).
How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?
I used to have my cards maxed out and I was a member of multiple libraries. Now I buy books and my local libraries are so tiny they don’t have anything interesting that I haven’t read.
How often have you returned book to the library unread?
Favorite fictional character?
Just one? *whimpers*
Favorite fictional villain?
Any that are dastardly yet dashing! They usually have a misplaced vendetta theme. You can’t really hate them as they usually are working through their own issues. The other villain theme I love is the big bad! Think Mama Noir (LKH), Sauron (LOTR), the Sith lords (SW), etc. They tend to be seen as the antithesis of “good” and the heroes are against them, but their forms are hard to grasp, as are their morals, true motivations and their origins tend to be lost in the mists of time. They are just too big to fully comprehend.
Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation?
As many as possible! I normally bring one easy read (trashy paperback of any of my genres) and one not so easy read (classic, literature or a big doorstop of a book from one of my genres) and then any other books I can fit in my luggage.
The longest I’ve gone without reading.
During my university studies I banned fiction during the semester. The only fiction I let myself read was books related to the subjects I was studying, and volumes of short stories and poetry. If I had a light load, I would let myself read one novel during the study break (normally between week 10 and 11 of the 13 week semester). Some people may shrug and say 10-18 weeks isn’t long, but for me it was agony! Ever since I learnt to read I was a voracious reader, and even before that my Dad read to me every night. I have been surrounding myself with stories for all of my life, and to be separated from them was absolute agony. Then of course, between semesters I would glut on books. Luckily reading can’t give you indigestion!
Name a book that you could/would not finish.
I still haven’t finished Wuthering Heights although this is the second time I have attempted it. I am about half way through – which is where I stopped last time. I tell myself I will finish it this time, but it is my back up book. By that I mean I only read it when I haven’t anything else to read.
What distracts you easily when you’re reading?
Favorite film adaptation of a novel?
Most disappointing film adaptation?
Troy. Where the hell were the gods? Everything in The Iliad happened because of the machinations of the gods! NOT IMPRESSED!
The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?
$250+ for a text book. $50 for a copy of the Mabinogion which was illustrated by Alan Lee.
How often do you skim a book before reading it?
What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?
Boredom or abhorrent subject matter (normally bigotry of some description).
Do you like to keep your books organized?
Yes. I don’t organise by alphabetical order, but I do organise by genre, then book format (trade, mass market, hardcover), then by series/author in order. At the moment I am in despair as I have run out of space and all my books are shoved anywhere I can fit them. There is no order and it is driving me crazy!
Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?
I keep all books! I did a big cleanout of my books when I was 16, and I have regretted it ever since! The full set of Enid Blyton – gone! Nancy Drew – gone! Hardy boys – gone! Roald Dahl – gone! John Marsden – gone! Louisa May Alcott – gone! Isobelle Carmody – gone! Well, you get the point! So I no longer get rid of my books. I have had one cull in the last ten years, but they were using Book Mooch, and I got books back in return. If I hate a book, I will give it to someone else who might enjoy it.
Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?
Chick lit, contemporary fiction and Christian fiction mostly. My mother is always trying to pass Christian books off onto me. The current one is The Shack which uses allegories for Christianity. Mum really loves it, and keep raving about it during my visit home at the beginning of the month. She really wants me to read it *sigh*
Name a book that made you angry.
Any book that is racist, sexist or has sexual abuse scenarios where the perpetrator doesn’t die horribly.
A book you didn’t expect to like but did?
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair.
A book that you expected to like but didn’t?
Storm Front by Jim Butcher.
Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?
Nora Roberts, Jane Austen, David Gemmell or Charles de Lint.