"I have never felt that anything really mattered but the satisfaction of knowing that you stood for the things in which you believed and had done the very best you could." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Thursday, August 12, 2010

What are your reading habits?

Amy posted this on her blog.  It was due to a post she read on Chan's blog called “How Do You Book?”  I loved the answers on both, so I thought I would keep it going.  It also fits right in with the swap that Amy is running and I am a participant in.  Not to mention that I know that Amy is my spoiler

1. Favorite childhood book?

Wow, what a difficult one.  Growing up in Memphis our dad fixed everything in the house.  When our TV broke he was going to school at night and working all day.  So, we all took up reading more than we already did.  I read every book in the childrens' section before I entered the eighth grade.  I would say that The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame is at the top of the list.  So much so that when my original hardback version was lost I promptly purchased a new version.  The only lament was that I could not find a hard-back version.

2. What are you reading right now?
Currently I'm reading The Victorian Internet by Tom Standage and Shoe Addicts Anonymous by Beth Harbison.  The first is the second book from my July Out of the Box Reading group.  I will reserve any reviews until I finish.  The second was part of my birthday package from Megan back in 2008.  She gave me five wonderful books and I am just getting to them.  So far it is an easy read and I am enjoying the change of pace from some of my previous choices.

3. What books do you have on request at the library?

None at the moment, as I have six paperbacks on the shelf as the "Next In Line" candidates.

4. Bad book habit?

Interesting question.  I don't have any that I can think of at the moment.  I treat all of them with reverence.  So much so that you can hardly tell that I have read them, when in fact I have read all of them at least twice.

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?

Nothing, because of question number three.

6. Do you have an e-reader?

Not yet, but I am considering one for a number of reason.  I like the idea that I can "take" a large number of them with me which is ideal for travel and vacations.  I also like the fact that I can load PDF files which would allow me to take my knitting patterns with me when I travel or go to knit night.  I doubt it will ever replace actual books for me but it would be a welcome addition as a supplement.

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once.

Normally I have at least two going at one time.  I like to keep a non-fiction/learning book in the mix so sometimes I have three at a time.  I really do try and divide my attention to them equally but I will admit that if one gets me more involved than the other it will garner all of my attention until I am ready to move back or I finish with it.

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?

The habits have not changed but the variety of genres and authors has been complemented by those I have come to know.  It has changed how I write and how I view a few things in general.

9. Least favorite book you read this year (so far?)

So far, it would have to be My Lesbian Husband.  I read it after it was recommended to me.  The title did have a certain appeal for personal reasons but I found the book slow and choppy.  I realize that it is her memoir, so I tried to be objective but it took me three months to finish.  That is too long for me, especially when you consider that I can read one book from The Wheel of Time series in a few weeks and they are each at least 700+ pages and tiny print (7.5 font).

10. Favorite book you’ve read this year?

So far it would have to be The Beekeeper's Apprentice.  It was book number one from the July Out of the Box reading group and I was immediately drawn in and engulfed in the book.  I am now a Mary Russell addict and I will be getting the remainder of the series as soon as I get at least four of the six books in waiting finished.

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?

Not nearly as often as I should.  I have a tendency to get hooked by an author and read everything they have published.  Or, I see what books are similar by looking at the profiles on Amazon/Barnes and Noble/Borders and reading from those.

12. What is your reading comfort zone?

Dystopian, Sci-Fi, Mystery and historical romance

13. Can you read on the bus?

I have to go completely with Amy's answer, as it is EXACTLY what I would have written, "Not unless you want me to puke on you.  I can’t read in any moving vehicle, save for an airplane."

14. Favorite place to read?

I have two places.  When the weather is not so horrid I love to read out by the pool.  I take my glass of water and don my wide brimmed hat and sit in my favorite lounge chair poolside.  The sound of the water from the spill over out of the hot tub into the main pool is quite soothing.  It is not as loud as our actual waterfall so it does not deter from the serenity of the surroundings.  Otherwise, I prefer to read in "my room".  I have a wonderful Danish Drop chair (similar to the one in the link) that was my parents' first chair when they were married.  I love to go in there, turn on the ceiling fan and open the curtains and blinds.  The serenity of the room allows me to fully engage in the characters and the plot without distractions.  I have never been able to read before going to bed, as my mind will not stop with the book even after I go to sleep.  I will wake up exhausted every time.

15. What is your policy on book lending?

This is a sore one for me.  I let one person I really trusted borrow my original copy of  The Great Gatsby.  Mind you, it was paperback and I had read it at least four times that I could recall.  I cried when he returned it.  The front cover was missing.  Several pages had been torn and taped.  Several more had edges missing, torn or chewed.  And there were stains on numerous pages.  He didn't offer any apologies or offer to replace it.  I don't think I have ever lent one since.  If I no longer want a book, I will add it to a box for local schools in poor sections of town and then drop off the box when it is full.  At least then I don't have to know what condition they wind up in after reading.

16. Do you ever dog-ear books?

NEVER!  I own at least three dozen book markers and use them or an index card zealously.

17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?

Never.  I write the date purchased in the front sometimes but I never write in the books.

18.  Not even with text books?

Depends on the book and the subject.  I had some books that I used in the first two years of college that showed no visible signs of use and I got almost the full price back from the book store when I sold them.

19. What is your favorite language to read in?

When I was still in high school I could read French but I am out of practice so English is the best I can do at this point.

20. What makes you love a book?

Good question!  Many times it is just the author that makes me love the book.  If I like their style I usually like all of there books.  That is not always true but I would say that 90% of the time it happens to be so.  Otherwise, I have to like the plot.  If the plot pulls me in then I look to the characters to keep me enraptured.

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?

I have always enjoyed sharing book recommendations.  My sister and I share them most often, as she reads about three books a month since she takes the train to work and also takes it to see my parents from time to time.  I envy here that she can read in  moving vehicles, as it seems I am the only child in my immediate family that cannot.  We are pretty blunt when we review books, so I know upfront if she thinks it is a thumbs up or a thumbs down.  I think that her living in NJ and working in NYC makes her fairly blunt too, so I know I can count on that when I ask her.

22. Favorite genre?

Toss up between Dystopian and Sci-Fi.

23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?)

This sounds odd even while I type it but I wish I could enjoy westerns and historical fiction more than I seem to be able to do.

24. Favorite biography?

Hands down, The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt.  She is one of my all time favorite women and her quotes and insights are still as appropriate today as they were then.

25. Have you ever read a self-help book?

Many of them over the last thirty years.  Some were work related but most were personal.  Some were pre-divorce from John and some were after I started my relationship with SWCNLBN.  I found each one to be helpful and I have retained many of the lessons learned.  I think that these books are often misunderstood and people often feel ashamed of admitting the reading of such material.

26. Favorite cookbook?

Hands down, Relaxed Cooking with Curtis Stone.  I fell in love with him when I was watching Take Home Chef on TLC.  I was sad to see the show end and have followed him ever since.  I want to get his other books as well.

27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)?

I don't have one yet.  I have been concentrating on enjoyment thus far.  I think that Water for Elephants will likely qualify and it is next up in the queue.  I also have The God of Small Things in the queue and I am not sure about it but my sister was moved by it.

28. Favorite reading snack?

I don't usually eat while I read.  I don't want to risk damages to the book.  I do indulge in hot tea while reading indoors and adult beverages if reading in the evening.  While outside it is usually water or cranberry juice over crushed ice.

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.

Oddly enough, I can't think of any.  I try whenever possible to read the book well in advance of seeing any movie based upon a book.  That way I can understand the movie better.  I can say that I have only seen one of the Twilight movies and have no real plans to see the rest but I did not read any more of the books either.  They fall outside my genre base and that sums that up in a nutshell.

30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?

The only critics I care about are my friends and relatives.  I cannot recall ever buying a book because it was on any particular top reading list or show.

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?

I try to be objective with my reviews but if I think it blows then you will know that by my review.  If you have questions about my review, ask me.

32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose?

Wow!  German or Russian would top the list but I would also add French back in there too.

33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?

Haven't found it yet but I'll be sure to let you know when I do.

34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?

Same answer as number thirty-three.

35. Favorite Poet?

Seriously, who can pick just one.  I have a few: Khalil Gibran, Edna St Vincent Millay, Carl Sandburg and William Shakespeare.
36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?

Five is normal.  Of those, three of them are usually reference materials such as cook books or knitting books and the remaining two are for pleasure.

37. How often have you returned book to the library unread?

Can't recall ever checking out one that I didn't read.

38. Favorite fictional character?

Gandalf from J.R.R. Tolkien's books.

39. Favorite fictional villain?

O'Brien from Nineteen Eighty-four.  Classic antagonist in a dystopian society.

40. Books I”m most likely to bring on vacation.

I have never really been one to take books on vacation; however, the addition of an eReader may change that.  I do; however, bring crossword puzzles and knitting.

41. The longest I’ve gone without reading.

Not more than three months.  I have never been able to leave books alone and prefer them over TV.  Only my knitting gets more of my attention than books.

42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.

Haven't found one yet.  I always finish one once I start it, no matter how long it takes or how much I may dislike it.

43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?

Not much, as I try to devote time set aside to read so that there are less likely to be distractions.  Exceptions are phone calls or the pets getting into mischief.  They are a lot like kids...if it is too quiet it is best to check out what they are doing.

44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?

I think that I would have to go with the Lord of the Ring movies.  I think that Peter Jackson did an amazing job at taking Tolkien's visions and translating them to the screen.  I also think that technology was in Jackson's favor to be able to create the images.

45. Most disappointing film adaptation?

Flowers in the Attic was the worst to me so far.  I was a HUGE V.C. Andrews follower and had read everything she had published up until 1990.  It was nothing like the book and I still regret spending money to see it.

46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?

I doubt I could really be accurate with this one.  I know that I have spent several hundred at a time for college course books but that doesn't really count.  For personal consideration I would guesstimate that it would be around $75.00, except during the holidays when I buy books as Christmas gifts.

47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?

Depends on the book.  If it is by an author I know I won't skim art all.  If it was highly recommended by family or friends I won't skim either.  However, if I am trolling through the book store for new books to broaden my horizons, I will skim.

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?

Nothing that I can think of since it has never happened.

49. Do you like to keep your books organized?

Absolutely!  I am a total nerd when it comes to this.  They are alphabetically stored by medium.  Paperbacks are together and hardbacks are together.  Reference is divided into categories and then alphabetized.  I should have been a librarian I suppose.

50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?

If space were unlimited I would keep every one of them.  Since that is not the case, I keep only the ones I know I would read again and then I donate the rest.  The only exceptions are reference materials.

51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?

Sappy romance books like Harlequin and total gore.  Add Christian fiction to that as well.

52. Name a book that made you angry.

Can't recall one that made me angry but the very nature of the dystopian genre is rage against the establishment.  I guess that is why I like them so very much.

53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?

When I was home on leave after my hysterectomy my sister mailed me Memoirs of a Geisha.  I wasn't really up on the whole Geisha history so I wasn't too sure that I could read it.  I was initially cautious as I started reading but by the end I was moved and I learned so very much about these women and the way of life.

 54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?
Probably All the Pretty Horses.  I was a fan of Cormac McCarthy from his book Blood Meridian so I had expected to like this one as well.  I think I should possibly revisit this one, as I read it while I was starting the first phases of my divorce and was not really in the mood for romance I suppose.

55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?

I love historical romance books.  Characters that I can loose myself in while I soak in bubble bath with a good glass of wine.


Lorette said...

I think you can learn an amazing amount about a person by their reading habits. The people that really make me wonder are the ones who never ever read anything. I have a couple of male relatives who are otherwise quite intelligent, but who haven't picked up a book of any kind in decades.

I might have to give this quiz a go.

Amy said...

Oh, I have to agree with you; Flowers In The Attic was a TERRIBLE movie, compaired to the book. I read VC Andews a lot when I was in high school. The folks that lived next to my grandmother had a daughter a few years older than me, and that was her favorite author.

Memoirs of a Geisha was an excellent book. I read it in high school. Oh - here's another reason I'm skeptical to lend books. I let my HS drama teacher borrow it, and I never got it back. Crazy.

Martha G said...

Oh, fun! I love questionnaires like this!