Book Meme

I'm stealing this book meme from Book Dragon, another reader and bookmaker whose blog I read. Feel free to steal it in turn.

Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror? I've never been drawn to science fiction or horror. If I had to pick, I'd choose fantasy, since there's a lot of leeway in how "fantasy" can be defined. Book Dragon, for example, mentions magical realism.

Hardback or Trade Paperback or Mass Market Paperback? There's something about the trade paperback that calls to me. They're simply more tactile than hardbound books and, of course, easier to carry around. That's important, since I never leave the house without a book.

Amazon or Brick and Mortar? I'd always rather be in a bookstore and always rather peruse books in person. Having said that, Amazon makes it sooooooo easy to find what you want -- and the pricing helps when you're buying art books and book arts books. (Now, say that really fast five times).

Barnes & Noble or Borders? Much as I like independent bookstores and frequent them, Barnes & Noble was one of the first, with its cafes and lounging areas, to create an atmosphere where customers could sit and peruse books, which is a good thing. They get some credit for that, and you'll see me there from time to time.

Hitchhiker or Discworld? Neither, but I do recall reading Hitchhiker years ago -- or was it the t.v. show? Hmmmmmm.

Bookmark or Dogear? Dogear? Never. If I don't have a proper bookmark, I'll use anything available -- a napkin, a leaf, a ticket stub. I actually have very nice bookmarks that people have given me over the years, but, mostly, I end up with the ones I pick up at bookstores.

Asimov's Science Fiction, or Fantasy and Science Fiction? Neither, although I've read the former and like what I read.

Alphabetize by author, Alphabetize by title, or random? I don't alphabetize. Instead, I group by genre. My husband, who alphabetizes within genre, is aghast.

Keep, Throw Away or Sell? I keep books that are meaningful to me or that I simply loved reading. I never throw books out. Instead, I either sell them on Amazon, or I donate them to my local library. My husband, when I met him, possessed every book he'd read since the age of 3; under my benevolent influence, he now has only every book he's read since the age of 12.

Keep dust-jacket or toss it? Keep. But really, who cares (Who cares?Aaaaaaarggggggggh! says my husband)?

Read with dustjacket or remove it? On. Like Book Dragon, I occasionally use the front flap as a bookmark.

Short story or novel? I prefer novels; I also like essays about books and reading -- Anne Fadiman's are excellent.

Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket? I didn't find the first Harry Potter very compelling (so sue me), and quit while I was ahead. I did read a couple of the Snickets.

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks? It's easier to pick up your train of thought when you've stopped at the end of the chapter, but I'm not, you know, religious or anything about it.

"It was a dark and stormy night" or "Once upon a time?" Definitely the former. Although it's hard for me to read that line now without seeing Snoopy.

Buy or Borrow? I don't like to borrow from friends, because I'm never quite sure when the mood's going to strike me to read a book, and also because I feel a bit of a responsibility to the person I borrowed it from to like the book (hugely neurotic, I know). I'm borrowing more than ever from my library these days, and electronic renewal has made that much easier. And, yes, I buy. And buy. And buy.

Buying choice: Book Reviews, Recommendation or Browse? Book reviews and browsing in equal measure. Recommendations less so.

Lewis or Tolkien? I'm assuming that the reference here isn't to Lewis's theological writing. In any case, neither. I'm really striking out on these author categories, aren't I?

Collection (short stories by the same author) or Anthology (short stories by different authors)? I'd rather read a collection of stories by one writer. It's fun to troll for recurring themes.

Tidy ending or Cliffhanger? Tidy endings can be very satisfying, of course, but since life isn't very tidy, open-ended endings resonate more.

Morning reading, Afternoon reading or Nighttime reading? My dream job would be Professional Reader. Not a book critic, not a book editor or publisher, nothing that required me to do anything with what I'd read other than enjoy it (or not). I can read any time, anywhere, but I read more in the afternoons and before bed.

Standalone or Series? The only "series" I truly enjoy are mystery series. Mysteries lend themselves well to continuing characters, and there's a certain comfort in continuity. I'd guess that about every fourth book I read is a mystery. It's like a sorbet between courses.

New or used? Both, but I don't want to read something that looks like the dog's chew toy. Have some respect for your books, please!

Favorite book of which nobody else has heard? I honestly don't know how well-known Sarah Caudwell is (sadly, she died in 2000) but I love the dry humor of her charming legal whodunit series: The Shortest Way to Hades, Thus was Adonis Murdered, The Sirens Sang of Murder, and The Sybil in Her Grave. For some reason, I have a thing for British women writers -- Muriel Spark, P.D. James, Penelope Lively, Penelope Fitzgerald. Someday I'll have to get that taken care of.

Top 5 favorite genre books of all time? Well, if you consider "literary fiction" (I hear my husband snorting now), then I can play. Even so, there's no way I can list a definitive five books, simply because I'd obssess, anxious that I'd left out THE book. Let's just say that I love these books among many others: Pride and Prejudice, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, The Great Gatsby, One Hundred Years of Solitude, and Alice in Wonderland.

Favorite genre series? I loved The Borrowers series as a child, and still do. Now, P.D. James's Adam Dalgliesh series comes to mind.

Currently Reading? No One Belongs Here More Than You, by Miranda July; Suite Francaise, by Irene Nemirovsky; Special Topics in Calamity Physics, by Marisha Pessl; and dipping, for what seems like an eternity (not that there's anything wrong with that), into The War Against Cliches, by Martin Amis.


Riverlark said...

BG, I was just talking with friends about books we love, books we reread and whether we can read more than one book at a time. I used the word "dipping" to describe the way I often read non-fiction books...and thought I'd just made it up! Then I find you use it here. Weird.
My favorite book that no one knows: Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels (though my Amazon check shows a movie picture on the front cover...news to me). It was so real to me that I searched for the main character's books when I was done!
I've been buying way too much lately. Time to go back to the library!

Clara said...

You're right, RL, I've never heard of Fugitive Pieces, but I'll be on the lookout for it.

One of the reasons I'm using my library much more now (other than lack of funds ;-) ) is that I can check online to see if a book is available and then put it on hold electronically. They send me an email when it's ready for pick-up.

As for "dipping," there are books I've been "dipping" into for years!

Riverlark said...

My family laughs at me and my relationship with the library. When I discovered that I could search for, order and be notified via the internet about books (and DVDs!), I was thrilled. Like I'd just discovered something that has been around since Ben Franklin!

Clara said...

It's a FABULOUS service, isn't it?

And, on a related note, I've now gotten to know my main library's head reference librarian because she was in one of my classes at BookWorks!

Alea said...

This was so fun. Thanks for checking out mine. We definetely had a few answers in common :)


Eero said...

This is a fabulous list. I'm going to pick up this meme. My favorite book of all time---read when I was a teenager and 10,000 books later, it can't be beat---is well known: "Housekeeping" by Marilynne Robinson.


Clara said...

E, I look forward to seeing your responses. I love Housekeeping too, and liked it much better than Gilead, which got such a big buzz for so long.

Riverlark said...

BG, I just thought of a new author I discovered BP (before Penland)...a female English author! Salley Vickers (isn't that just the most English name?) has written a book called "The Other Side of You," a mystical story of 2 characters who find a love together through the art of Caravaggio (sp?). It reminds me that I want to read more of her.

Clara said...

Thanks, RL. Sounds like a book I'd like.