Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Bookworm Meme

From Helen's blog:

  • Hardback or trade paperback or mass market paperback?
  • Trade. They have the substance of a hardback without the weight.

  • Amazon or brick and mortar?
  • Either. Amazon for used books, since we have NO good used bookstores around here (sad that I live within 25 miles of NYC and say that because I never get into the city!) and sometimes I just can't wait for Bookmooch. Brick and mortar when I either don't want to pay for shipping or just want to browse. Plus it's a place to take the kids when it's icky weather out.

  • Barnes & Noble or Borders?
  • Either, depending on what's nearby. B&N seems to have the nifty cafe's more often.

  • Bookmark or dogear?
  • I hate to dogear but sometimes resort to it. Mostly it's free bookmarks from the library, or subscription cards ripped out of magazines.

  • Alphabetize by author or alphabetize by title or random?
  • Neither, I try to keep books in groups by topic. All the crafty books together, all the parenting, fiction, etc. on their own shelves. This works because the vast majority of my books are still stored in the basement!

  • Keep, throw away, or sell?
  • I have thrown away books but only in the rare cases of complete and utter destruction, e.g. massive water damage or children ripping them to pieces. We used to sell lots of books in Sacramento because we had a used book shop that gave quite good rates, but now I use Bookmooch or donate to thrift stores. Nowadays I only buy books that I'm sure I will keep, otherwise it's the library for me.

  • Keep dustjacket or toss it?
  • Mostly toss, especially the kids' books. However I would normally want to keep them.

  • Read with dustjacket or remove it?
  • Remove, for the most part. Sometimes the flap makes an acceptable bookmark though.

  • Short story or novel?
  • Novels...right now I read for escapism, and I don't want to escape to a different place every half an hour!

  • Collection (short stories by same author) or anthology (short stories by different authors)?
  • If I had to choose I suppose it would be collection. The only short story books I have right now are Charles de Lint's Newford stories and Wendell Berry's Port William stories, which almost read as novels because they involve consistent groups of characters.

  • Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket?
  • Harry Potter. I enjoyed the first Lemony Snicket book but never went back to read more.

  • Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?
  • When hubby turns out the light and glares at me.

  • “It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”?
  • Reading for myself, the dark and stormy. For the kids, once upon a time.

  • Buy or Borrow?
  • Mostly borrow, with a sprinking of buying and mooching.

  • New or used?
  • Mostly used, except for my latest business expense.

  • Buying choice: book reviews, recommendation or browse?
  • The only reviews I read (now that I seem to have no time for the Sunday NY Times) are on blogs, same for recommendations. Browsing only works if I have actual time at a bookstore without two children dragging me to the picture book section!

  • Tidy ending or cliffhanger?
  • Definitely tidy ending, though cliffhangers are acceptable in books for which the sequel is waiting on my bookshelf.

  • Morning reading, afternoon reading or night time reading?
  • Night time, after the kids are in bed.

  • Standalone or series?
  • Either, though lately I've been wanting to delve deeper into book worlds that I like, hence the many Pride and Prejudice spinoffs on my shelf.

  • Favorite series?
  • Harry Potter, Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin, Mars Trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson

  • Favorite book of which nobody else has heard?
  • Hmmm...this one seems like a dare. How about Little, Big by John Crowley, or The Hounds of the Morrigan by Pat O'Shea?

  • Favorite books read last year?
  • Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susannah Clarke

    Widdershins by Charles de Lint

    Fidelity: Five Stories by Wendell Berry

  • Favorite books of all time?
  • Pretty much anything I've mentioned here already, or here. There are others, like the Lord of the Rings books, which I'm sure I will read over and over throughout my life, but which don't come to mind right now as particularly shiny and enticing.

4 comments:

Papa Bradstein said...

Dang. I thought you meant "Little Big": http://www.amazon.com/Amazing-Baby-Little-Big/dp/1592235832/sr=8-3/qid=1172717407/ref=sr_1_3/002-5894870-4229651?ie=UTF8&s=books

That was 3B's first favorite book. It may still be his most favorite book. It may also be the first book that he completely devours; he's already chewed off a good portion of the cover.

SusieJ said...

I really need to get busy. I am so behind -- and thank you for the list.

(un)relaxeddad said...

I keep picking up Jonathan Strange and putting it down - I have to admit I'm don't feel I have the bandwidth to take it on. Encourage me!!

Henitsirk said...

Susiej: happy to oblige.

URD: I could wax poetic at length about Strange & Norrell. I love that it's a mix of straight up Austenesque Regency fiction (something I like) and magical fantasy (something I like even better). So you have comedy of manners, Napoleonic military campaigns, and an alternate history of England based on magicians. It's also a sendup of a more academic style of writing, with copious footnotes to fictional references.

Many of the characters are decidedly creepy while at the same time otherwise mundane, e.g. the Man with the Thistledown Hair is quite bloodthirsty and capricious with his fairy powers, yet can be ridiculously vain. Atmospheres are also ever so slightly creepy or malign: the description of the northern moors being physically empty but heavy with magical power and foreboding.

Anyway it can be quite dense and it's certainly a long book, but I love it in any case.