Book Meme

4 02 2007

I saw this on Tales from the Reading Room and thought I would give it a go too. I thought it might be fun to reflect on my reading habits.

Hardback or trade paperback or mass market paperback?

It really depends. Hardback if I must have it right away and then usually trade paperback. I rarely go mass market. I do have some guilt about that because one of my fellow grad students once commented on how she couldn’t stand Women on the Edge of Time because it was a mass-market edition and just felt – in her words, not mine – “cheap” and I determined at that point never ever ever to be that snobby.

Amazon or brick and mortar?

It was Amazon for quite some time, but I’ve being trying to support the little guy in town so I’ve gone back to brick and mortar.

Barnes & Noble or Borders?

Um, we don’t have those here in the Frozen North. I’ve been trying to shop the independents instead of the massive chain store that looks more like a gift store now than a book shop.

Bookmark or dogear?

I don’t do either. I just flip to where I last left off. I’ve never ruined an ending yet doing that.

Alphabetize by author or alphebetize by title or random?

By type/genre and then by author. It’s something of a Mickey Mouse system I’m afraid and completely dependent on my whim. Some books reside in “special” places – like my whole set of Timothy Findley that are set apart in a separate table come bookshelf. Yes, I play favourites, and yes, I do use books are decorations. When you have so many, who has money left for any other fig-a-miga*?

Keep, throw away, or sell?

Keep, mainly. I did sell some of my more academic texts that I knew I would never touch again.

Keep dustjacket or toss it?

I keep them – I just don’t keep them on when I’m reading. That does mean I end up with a stack of about 10 of them at a time because I can’t remember to put them back on. Just like the trail of CDs I have. Instead of putting them back in the case, I put them in the case of the next CD I’m putting in… well, you get the idea. My longest trail was 54 CDs (ducking head with embarrassment). Thank goodness I primarily listen to my iPod now.

Read with dustjacket or remove it?

Already answered that. Aren’t I clever…

Short story or novel?

Novel. My only exception to that is really Alice Munro.

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

Collection – as my above answer indicates.

Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket?

Is there any comparison. Harry, of course. And not just because I had an article published on him…

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?

I try and go for chapter breaks. I need that sense of closure for some reason or other. It might also have to do with the way I find where I left off (see answer to question #4).

“It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”?

Tricky… very tricky… Probably “Once upon a time.”

Buy or Borrow?

Buy. Any book I borrow from the library, I always end up liking so much that I end up buying it anyway.

New or used?

Usually new, though I do love to wander used bookstores for hours on end.

Buying choice: book reviews, recommendation or browse?

Well, recently a lot of my choices have been influenced by what I’ve been reading about on blogs. I’m a sucker for interesting cover art too.

Tidy ending or cliffhanger?

I supposed tidy endings. I’m guilty of writing them as well.

Morning reading, afternoon reading or nighttime reading?

Nighttime. Sometimes lunch time reading too. I can hear it now: “How very anti-social of you.”

Standalone or series?

I really enjoy both. Most often I read standalone, just because I seem to come across less series.

Favorite series?

Has to be Poirot and Miss Marple. I adore a good Agatha Christie novel.

Favorite book of which nobody else has heard?

I could say my own, but that would be quite conceited right? And it’s not true because I’m in one of those “it’s all crap!” stages anyway. Have I distracted enough from the question I don’t have an answer to?  I really don’t think I have a favourite book that no one else knows about.  I feel like such a sheep.  Baah!

Favorite books read last year?

I’ll narrow it down to two: The Year of Magical Thinking and The Penelopiad.  I was also very intrigued by Special Topics in Calamity Physics.

Favorite books of all time?

Here goes: The Blue Castle, Everything is Illuminated, The Piano Man’s Daughter, The Stone Carvers, Not Wanted on the Voyage, The Telling of Lies, White Teeth, Fingersmith, All that Matters, Persuasion, Afterimage, Rebecca, Alias Grace, Villette… I feel like I’ve won an Oscar and made my speech and left off at least 50 people that must be thanked.  All I can think of is the disgruntled book spines I’ll be facing when I go back into the next room.


1: Fig-a-miga – also known as knick-knacks




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