Wednesday, March 21, 2007

"Is she rabid?" - Peter Dickinson, "Troll"

Swiped from Rogue Librarian, and Katya, who took it from Hilda by way of Dixie.

Hardback or trade paperback or mass market paperback?
If I am buying used, it doesn’t really matter, but all other things being equal, I prefer trade paperback. Easier to read and carry. And they feel RIGHT in the hand.

Amazon or brick and mortar?
I have never met a bookstore that I did not like.

Barnes & Noble or Borders?
Barnes and Noble. Mostly because Borders’ pretensions to folksy, homey bookstores annoy the crap out of me; I don’t want someone to have sat in a chair with a latte and read thru my book before I finally pull it off the shelf and buy it.
I like my bookstores stodgier and more formal – more intellectual. I know, I am a freak. Borders stores are the blonde, busty, perky cheerleaders of the literary world; B&N is the cute but geeky brainiac hiding behind her wire-rims in chem class.

Bookmark or dogear?
Usually prefer bookmarks but I dog-ear too.

Alphabetize by author or alphabetize by title or random?
Alphabetize by author. And catalogued by LOC.

Keep, throw away, or sell?
I NEVER throw away books (with the one-time notable exception of Tom Wolfe’s Man in Full which was such an execrable piece of tripe that I couldn’t bear to have been the instrument for anyone else reading it.) I weeded my collection when we moved three years ago and have regretted it ever since.

Keep dust jacket or toss it?
Keep it – although I learned my lesson and take them off if I am lending a book. (Not that I do that anymore either, unless it’s to Gina.)

Read with dust jacket or remove it?
I generally take it off, so if the book gets beat up while I am reading it – which it does because I read while I am cooking, and on the bus, and in the bath, etc. - I can slip the jacket back on and make it pristine again

Short story or novel?
Novel. Usually the only kind of short stories I really like are the kind that an author crafts into an intertwined tale, like Andrea Barrett’s Ship Fever.

Collection (short stories by same author) or anthology (short stories by different authors)?
Collections, if at all.

Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket?
Harry Potter. Like Katya, I have tried the Lemony Snicket books a few times. I just can’t get into them at all. And once they made movies out of them, with Jim Carrey? Forget it.

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?
When I can no longer keep my eyes open one more second.

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

Buy or Borrow?
I don’t mind borrowing from the library at all, but borrowing from other people puts too much pressure on me.

New or used?
Don’t much care, usually. Although buying used makes me feel all environmentally conscious AND thrifty. Ha!

Buying choice: book reviews, recommendation or browse?

Tidy ending or cliffhanger?
It doesn’t matter – or rather, it depends on the book. But sometimes I am in the mood for one or the other, in which case, I choose the author carefully.

Morning reading, afternoon reading or nighttime reading?
I breathe, I eat, I read. And I do all three all day and night long.

Stand-alone or series?
I like series well enough, but each book within should be able to stand alone.

Favorite series?
Neil Gaiman’s Sandman books. Laurie R. King’s Mary Russell books. Jennifer Chiaverini’s Elm Creek Quilts books. And the Maisie Dobbs books are growing on me.

Favorite children's book?
Roller Skates by Ruth Sawyer

Favorite book of which nobody else has heard?
This is a toughie. I can’t say The Sparrow, as I have done my level best to trumpet to the world how great this book is; ditto with Stones from the River; besides, they are both fairly popular. I am going to pick an author – Robertson Davies. Which is crazy since he’s huge, but most people I have recommended him to had no idea who he was or what he’d written. I reread his books regularly.

Favorite books read last year?
The Sandman books, Brief History of the Dead, The Sparrow, Broken for You

Favorite books of all time?
Roller Skates, Satanic Verses, Stones from the River, The Sparrow, Pride and Prejudice, Possession, The Cunning Man, Daughter of Time, not in any particular order

Least favorite book you finished last year?
I have only recently (within the past few years) come to grips with the guilt I felt for not finishing a book. Life is too short. So if I don’t like a book, I put it down and don’t finish it. That said, I got bogged down halfway through The Alienist and slogged through to the end anyway. There was just enough there to make me want to keep reading, although I was ultimately disappointed.

What was the last book you finished?
The Trolls by Polly Horvath

What are you reading right now?
The Nazi Officer’s Wife, Stones for Ibarra.

What are you reading next?
The Lost, Our Only May Amelia, and Julie of the Wolves which it turns out I missed when I was a kid.


nutmeg said...

I have loved reading everyone's responses to this meme.

I giggled at your description of Borders stores. We don't have B&N here (and I can't quite remember it from my trip to the US) so it's hard for us in Oz to compare.

Favourite books of all time, last year, of which no-one has heard - all duly noted. I had a copy of Stones From the River from ages ago and never read it at the time -I went looking for it the other day and it had disappeared. So I have bought a new copy - but it isn't as "pretty" as my original :-(

After I have greedily gobbled up everyone elses answers to this meme I have decided to give it a go!

Caro said...

I purchased a book at Borders that I think somebody read while eating chocolate.

It was pre-smeared. Saved me the trouble of doing it myself.

I take off the bookcover. Then I lose it. Then I find it. But by then I've misplaced the book. Grrrr.

When I'm done with books I usually send them to my Grandma via media mail.

lazy cow said...

I envy you Americans your B&N. I LOVED B&N stores (NY, Santa Monica) when I was in the US. I bought as many books as my husband would allow (now, of course, having been married many more years than then, I would just have kept right on buying).
I've bought several Robertson Davies secondhand, but man, they look intimidating. I don't know where to begin.

Badger said...

I am SO stealing this.

Kathy said...

Have you read The Papers of Samuel Marchbanks? That started me reading Robertson Davies -- it was so funny.

Anonymous said...

Julie of the Wolves! Love.

Did you read The Girl Who Owned a City when you were a kid? (OT Nelson). I was obsessed with that book!

Maybe that means I secretly wanted to get rid of my parents.

tut-tut said...

Weeding ones books . . . a very bad thing, I know.

Jess said...

I stole this. A wonderful meme!

Sarah Louise said...

Interesting commentary on Borders--I guess I like them b/c if I go to B&N, I feel like I might run into someone I used to work with/for and I'd rather just look at books. (Unless my reason for going to B&N is a social visit.)

But then again, you worked at Borders--so I guess we each have chosen to shop at the one where we didn't terms of cute/stodgy--does Borders still require a trivia quiz as an entree to the application? B/c B&N just wants to know if you can work on weekends.

I haven't decided if I'll do this one yet...

Velma said...

How could I have forgotten to re-read Robertson Davies in the last decade?!?!? Thanks for reminding me to dig those out!

BabelBabe said...

as far as i know, they don't anymore, and more's the pity. we were the most overqualified group of bookstore clerks you were likely to run across, which makes for a great shopping experience, if your bookseller actually knows what they are talking about.

it wasn't a trivia quiz, it was a test on authors, books, and subjects. Purely book related.

Lisa Jean said...

I was glad to see that someone besides me loved The Brief History of the Dead. I am making my book group read it because it is good and because it gives me an excuse to read it again.

Sarah Louise said...

I didn't mean "trivia quiz," I meant what you said. (Test on book knowledge.)

I remember when I took it, as I left the store, one of the managers shouted at me, who wrote Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and I shot back, quick as ever, "Ian Fleming."

As much as I love being a librarian, I miss selling books.