Here is my original intro to this blog entry when I wrote it a few weeks ago…or a few days, I can’t remember which: “Once again, I steal from Fond of Snape but only because she borrowed it from elsewhere. And I have to admit that I edited it because some of the questions really didn’t apply. But l like doing these things so too bad if you don’t like ‘em!”
But this was a really long survey/meme thing and I started to get really into it and I realized that I was really enjoying answering the questions and thinking about books and sci-fi and the like. Even though I had edited down the survey a bit, I found that I kept coming back and writing longer answers so I’m thinking I may make two posts of this.
I really like to read and, in a good year, which was not last year, I read quite a few books. All kinds really, but I do tend to read a lot of sci-fi/fantasy/horror type things, so I guess I have a lot to say about them. Then on top of it all, I have been (very slowly) watching the new Masterpiece Theatre version of Jane Eyre, which is, in it’s won mind, a horror story. This has sparked some discussion of Gothics vs. Romantics amongst some friends of mine and I have really enjoyed debating the merits and downfalls of both schools of writing which, in a way, are the same. The thing is, I don’t like either of them. I don’t like Jane Eyre, I don’t like the Romantics and, despite being a fake goth, I don’t like Gothic novels. I guess I just like too argue.
So here is part of that meme because I enjoyed answering the questions:
Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror?
A little bit of all of it.
Hardback or Trade Paperback or Mass Market Paperback?
I like trade paperbacks because the print is just a little bigger but mass market paperback fits in a bag better so I guess it depends on the book. I was thrilled to find a particular book in mass market paperback when I was in England. It ws a really long book and the US had only released a trade size and it just seemed too heavy to carry around. Like that damn Jonathan Strange… book. Ya gotta prop it up to read it.
Heinlein or Asimov?
Hmmm…well, I have read a little bit of both and enjoyed a little bit of both but pretty much I’d have to say…neither. I am much preferring the new era kind of sci-fi/fantasy stuff. Pratchett, Adams and Mieville most specifically but I read a Gibson book that I quite enjoyed and I loved Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. I like the kind of steampunk/cyberpunk feeling. But, that said, there is this one Asimov story that haunts me. It’s about a couple whose baby is born into another dimesion and to the parents, the baby is like this blue triangle, but in his own dimension, he’s this beautiful, cherubic boy and his parents are pink circles or something. It’s a really odd story but it freaked me out when I read it.
Amazon or brick and mortar?
Amazon pisses me off. I like the theory but it never actually works in practice. They say they have the book that I want but then they tell me that it’s on back order and it will be 7 days…then 14…then they cancel. I like going to bookstores and browsing around but I often do the research on Amazon.
Barnes & Noble or Borders?
Ah, I shop at Barnes and Noble(s) but I actually prefer Borders. It’s brighter and airier and just less…clastrophobic to me. But I have a Barnes & Noble closer to my house. Although we have a used bookstore that I like even better.
Hitchhiker or Discworld?
Both. Big fan of both. Think I have read all or most of the Discworld series plus a few others by Pratchett and I know I read all of the Hitchhiker series. In fact, I am totally planning to have a big 42nd birthday party…when I turn 42. And if you don’t know why, you need to read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Actually, it is a book that changed my life in a way. I don’t mean to make it sound more dramatic than it is, but this book made me look at science and religion with a sense of humor. But it’s kind of an odd book, you have to have a certain sense of humor to really enjoy it. Me? I love it.
Bookmark or Dogear?
Both, but more likely a dogear. I know, I know, people think that’s bad, but it’s my book and I paid for it and I will do what I want with it. Don’t worry though, I won’t do it in your books.
Alphabetize by author, alphabetize by title or random?
Do what now? Puhleeeeze! Alphabetize? Surely you jest! Look, I have lots of books, and I more or less know where they all are. I don’t know how I know that and I am not always right, but in general…I know. But I am a wandering reader. I think of a passage or a poem and I go to that book and read a bit and then put it away. Just not always in the same place. And there are books in storage. And on the floor and under the bed…but organized? No. Alphabetized. No.
Keep, Throw Away or Sell?
Never ever throw away. Some I keep, some I give away, some I trade in at the used book store. I think it would cause me actual physical pain to throw away a book. I have several that have been near drowned. I’ve kept them. When I was a kid I had an entire shopping bag of books given to me by my grandmother. That was exciting! But then I realized that somewhere along the way a bottle of perfume must have been spilled over the bag. Less exciting. But I kept every single one of those books, even though the smell of them made me queasy. And for the record, I also hate that old book smell. I know, I know, as a reader, that should be like perfume to me but UGH! Hate it!
Keep dustjacket or toss it?
I try to keep it but sometimes it just wanders off. I have a collection of dustjackets collecting dust under my bed.
Read with dustjacket or remove it?
Remove it! NEKKID BOOK! And only once have I ever put another cover on a book. I was reading this book about religion and I got some greasy fingerprints on the cover from my hand lotion so I put one of those stretchy covers on it. Also, I didn’t want to have to talk to certain people about what I was reading. It didn’t work. Suddenly everyone was asking me what that book with the cover on it was. I tried to lie but it’s hard to say “Oh it’s a cookbook,” Or something and not have them ask to see it. Hmmm, come to think of it, I haven’t finished that book yet…
Short story or novel?
Almost always it’s a novel unless it’s Hemmingway (who is better in small doses but is not sci-fi or fantasy but I guess could be fantasy if you want to be a guy who goes out and kills things or boxes…not kills boxes, boxes like the sport. You know?), or Fitzgerald (either one, I like both although some of her short stories might qualify as “fantasy” and actually, so might his…)
Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket?
Ooooh. I like both, but by page count I have read far more Harry Potter, but I would like to read the rest of the Lemony Snicket books. I like the books just fine but more than that I like the writer. He’s just damn funny. I heard an interview with him where he talks about the origin of the Lemony Snicket name (look in the Paste podcasts, I think it was there) that had me ROFLMAO….which is not an initialism I have ever used before…I don’t think I will use it again. That just made me feel…dirty.
Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?
When tired. Then lie awake wondering what happens next. Obsessively. Sometimes I have to get up and read more. Sometimes I will just keep reading until the words are a blur on the page. I am bad that way.
"It was a dark and stormy night" or "Once upon a time"?
Both. I like it dark and stormy but I like my fairytales too, most of which can be pretty dark and stormy. So let’s just go with once upon a dark and stormy night”, shall we?
Buy or Borrow?
Buy. I shouldn’t but I can’t help myself. And I worry when I borrow that I might do some damage and I would hate if that happened. In fact, although I am a huge fan of the CONCEPT of a library, I don’t actually have a library card anymore. I used to spend hours upon hours wandering in libraries but I am such a whimsical reader, I always got annoyed by the rules. Only 3 books at a time? And even when it was 12 books it seemed like too little. 2 weeks and return it? But what if I really like it and I want to stretch it out? Renew? I think not!
So that’s about half. Maybe I will post the rest some other time. Maybe not. I’m weird like that.