Reading meme ganked from suzie_shooter
1. Favourite childhood book?
Oddly, I have no idea. No books that I love to go back to because they were so important to me as a child, although I did used to read all the time.
2. What are you reading right now?
WaterProof by Chris Crowther; one of a series set on the Norfolk Broads, which is where I bought them. Slightly over-complicated plots, rather formulaic, but wonderful settings, decent characters, plots that are reasonably well resolved at the end. And no messages, no clever pondering upon the human condition, just stories.
3. What books do you have on request at the library?
Parish Registers of North Crawley in Buckinghamshire
4. Bad book habit?
The only bad book habit imo is not reading.
5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?
Nothing at the moment.
6. Do you have an e-reader?
No. I don’t have a lot of money for gadgets, and since I’ve been spending so much time on the internet I don’t read so much that I actually need one. Wouldn’t mind, though, some time.
7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?
Several, for different moods and purposes and places.
8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
suzie_shooter nailed this one, not that I have a blog as such anyway: “Not really, although I definitely read less since pissing around on the internet so much.”
9. Least favourite book you read this year (so far?)
Um, can’t remember. Perhaps I’ve blanked it out.
10. Favourite book you've read this year?
The Writer’s Tale - The Final Chapter. Russell T. Davies and Ben Cook. I loved Rusty’s Doctor Who anyway, and I marvel at the way he cuts himself right open so we can see the tormented writer inside the cocky publicist.
11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?
Another question suzie_shooter has answered far better than I could: “Not often. There are too many things I still want to read within it! What if I got hit by a bus while reading something dull and worthy, and missed out on something with guns and vampires and cake and repressed homosexuality?”
12. What is your reading comfort zone?
Science-fiction, detective stories, historical novels, supermarket novels, sea stories.
13. Can you read on the bus?
No, reading on buses or in cars makes me travel sick. I used to read on the train to work though.
14. Favourite place to read?
In bed. Don’t ask.
15. What is your policy on book lending?
I haven’t been able to afford so many books in the past ten years, so I have very little that’s brand new and precious. If I have a book that’s good enough to recommend, I’m happy to lend it out so I can talk to the person about it afterwards.
16. Do you ever dog-ear books?
Never. It horrifies me when my children do it - I don’t know where they got that from.
17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
Why would I do that?
18. Not even with text books?
No. Books are books, and pieces of paper for writing on are... not.
19. What is your favourite language to read in?
That would be English, due to lack of choice.
20. What makes you love a book?
The characters above all, and how their thought processes work. I don’t tend to notice rubbish writing if I like the characters, and I don’t notice plot holes because I don’t remember plot anyway.
21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?
If it made me think about something, or if it made me see something in a new light. eg The Making of the English Landscape by WG Hoskins.
22. Favourite genre?
Used to be sci-fi. Went through quite a phase of chick-lit - I’m a bit old for that, but it’s better than aga sagas. I like Hornblower, Sharpe, stuff like that, whatever it’s called.
23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?)
24. Favourite biography?
Probably Keith Richard’s, much to my own surprise. Was never that into the Stones, so I found some of the early stuff a bit boring, but overall I loved the book and the inside story on into what their lives were like in those mad times. I also adored the insight into the mind of the song-writer.
25. Have you ever read a self-help book?
Er, yeah. Get yerself organised, kind of thing.
26. Favourite cookbook?
Seventeen years of endlessly churning out meals for kids have meant that the last thing I want to do is read about bloody cooking. I tend to serve up tried and tested favourites that I know the buggers will actually eat, together with a couple of things I’ve made up myself.
27. Most inspirational book you've read this year (fiction or non-fiction)?
Um, can’t remember. Something must have inspired me.
28. Favourite reading snack?
Cup of tea and a ginger biccy or six.
29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin; Catch 22; Lord of the Rings. Although I would never have bothered past the first page of any of them without the hype, so I guess the hype actually created the reading experience in the first place.
30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?
Very seldom, not that I go out of my way to read reviews. From my point of view, critics are usually arsy arty types who just want to prove how clever they are. I like a book to be a good read, dammit, and I simply don’t care that some ‘literary’ idiot thinks adults shouldn’t read Harry Potter or whatever.
31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
I don’t really write reviews. I’m pretty slow at getting my thoughts together and I generally run out of time and interest before anything gets posted.
32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose?
Spanish. The odd thing with Spanish is that, having done Latin and French at school, and having a very good visual memory, it’s very easy to fool myself that I can actually understand written Spanish. Checking with google translate tells me that in general I do get the gist right, but obviously I’m missing tenses, nuances, etc.
33. Most intimidating book you've ever read?
Crime and Punishment. Or do I mean boring?
34. Most intimidating book you're too nervous to begin?
There are no books I’m too nervous to begin. I don’t even start to understand the concept. There are probably loads of books I can’t be bothered to read.
35. Favourite Poet?
Dunno, haven’t really done a lot of poetry. Don’t know a lot of poets. Thomas Hardy, maybe, and some of the WW1 stuff is really moving.
36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?
I don’t use the library much for reading since I found ’tinternet. I ought to go back to it really. I currently mainly use the library for inter-library loans to get hold of Parish Registers for family history.
37. How often have you returned books to the library unread?
38. Favourite fictional character?
Um, not sure. To answer that properly would involve thinking carefully about how I would grade them and
39. Favourite fictional villain?
Probably Yassen. I’m sure there are loads of others I can’t think of at the moment. I have a soft spot for Draco Malfoy in the later books once it becomes obvious how uncomfortable and desperate he is about what he has to do.
40. Books I'm most likely to take on holiday?
I normally take about twelve books for a week, so I have plenty of choice, and expect to get through 2 - 6 of them depending on the holiday. This year I took the usual sort of selection, started on Rusty’s The Writer’s Tale (The Final Chapter) and just devoured it every night for the whole week. Didn’t even look at any of the others.
41. The longest I've gone without reading.
Maybe two or three days, but that would be if I was reading too much stuff online and not leaving myself any spare time. Or maybe spending too much time reading my own stuff back and failing to finish it. I’m the kind of person who will read the toilet roll packet if there’s nothing else.
42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.
Lord of the Rings. My partner at the time (I was about twenty) went on and on about how brilliant it was, so against my better judgement I started it. I ploughed on with it, waiting for the good bits, long after I was thoroughly bored. I got about three-quarters of the way through it before deciding life was too short and I didn’t actually give a stuff if I was the only person in the world unable to appreciate its finer points. I therefore have not the slightest desire to see the film, because I’ve seldom seen a film that wasn’t a waste of time compared with the book (apart from HP, see 44 below), and this one was tedious crap to start with.
43. What distracts you easily when you're reading?
Nothing distracts me when I’m reading, unless I’m willing to be distracted.
44. Favourite film adaptation of a novel?
The Harry Potter series. Steve Kloves deserves every prize going. Those films are the books, turned into visuals. Simple as that.
45. Most disappointing film adaptation?
Stormbreaker. My kids came home and said it was very disappointing, and when I finally saw it for myself I totally agreed. Such a waste! Perhaps I’m stunted, but I was genuinely surprised when I read in a review that Alex Rider books are funny. I just enjoy them on the level they’re written on, ie simple boys’ over-achievement testosterone fantasy. So I really didn’t like the way the film took the piss, and played stuff for laughs that I’d genuinely got into in the books.
46. The most money I've ever spent in the bookshop at one time?
Once a year I treat myself to about £50 of new books for my holiday.
47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?
I don’t do that. I start to read, in the bookshop, and if I like the style and the pov character’s voice, then I’ll buy.
48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?
Boredom, mainly. Or impatience, which comes to the same thing in the end.
49. Do you like to keep your books organized?
Generally by series within author within genre. And by size, because I like to have books on shelves that are exactly the right size for them.
50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you've read them?
Until very recently - keep, always. However I’m trying to reduce the clutter in my house, so two weeks ago I vowed to give away any book I read that I didn’t think I’d want to read again. I’ve managed two so far, although there probably will be more. I never used to give away books because I knew I’d come back to them one day when I was older and see them differently. Well, now I am older, and I have seen them differently, and some I will read again and some I know I won’t bother with.
51. Are there any books you've been avoiding?
Not at the moment. In the past, however - stupidly - I saw the Millennium series in the supermarket week after week and there was simply nothing about them that attracted me. I didn’t even pick them up for a quick look. (Although perhaps if they’d given the first one the original Swedish title, translated, I would have. The contrast between such a title and the rather girly cover would have intrigued me). In the end a friend recommended them very highly and lent them to me.
52. Name a book that made you angry.
Can’t think of anything at the moment.
53. A book you didn't expect to like but did?
Jane Eyre. I read it because candesgirl started a little online bookclub and that was the first one up. I took it on holiday and loved it
54. A book that you expected to like but didn't?
Captain Corelli was so highly praised, I sort of took it for granted it would be good. I couldn’t bear it for some reason. Sooo boring.
55. Favourite guilt-free, pleasure reading?
I don’t have guilt about anything I read. My schooldays are many, many years behind me and everything I read nowadays is purely my own choice, for my own pleasure.