Friday, June 11, 2010

Some reading related book meme thing

I cannot resist blogging a book related meme, so when I saw this one over at Ruminations, I had to do it. Now Constance Wiebrands, the blogger at Ruminations, is doing some crazy do a post every day for 30 days challenge. I call it crazy only because I don't have time to blog every day. Constance is a lot braver than I am at this point. Heck, I am lucky these days if I can blog once a week. Work has just taken a big toll of blogging, but one has to work to make a living, so you get the idea. At any rate, I am going to do a little something for fun for a change.

The meme then:

Do you snack while reading? Not really. When I am on the computer, I will eat in front of it. I often take my lunch while working, and I am often catching up on news over lunch. However, I don't usually eat while reading books. The exception is when I travel. If I am in some strange place, usually by myself, and I have a good book, I will read while I eat.

What is your favorite drink while reading? A good cup of coffee. I can do tea too, or a small alcoholic drink, say Irish cream and milk. However, drinking alcohol while reading is extremely rare for me.

Do you tend to mark your books while you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you? If they are college textbooks, I don't mind marking them and making notes since I would usually need those notes later, and more often than not, the books are not keepers; they are getting sold back. Otherwise, I do not mark my books. I do make notes in my personal journal if I find passages in a book that interest me or that I want to remember. Overall, I do not like writing in books. The textbook exception is mostly because I see them as disposable (and often, since I bought them used, some other person may have already marked it, thus I don't feel obligated).

How do you keep your place? Bookmark? Dog-ears? Laying the book open flat? Bookmarks. In fact, I have a small, but very nice collection of bookmarks. If anyone asks me for one of those "what is one thing people do not know about you," I can say that I collect bookmarks. They are not fancy, mind you. They are mostly from libraries I have visited (if they make custom ones), simple art ones, promotional bookmarks with good art, so on. I will dog-ear only if I lack a bookmark, but this is rare. If I have to toss in a receipt, a piece of scrap paper, or anything as a bookmark, I will do that first before dog-earing a book.

Fiction, non-fiction or both? Both. It depends on my mood. That is why I am usually reading more than one thing at the same time at any given moment. Sometimes I feel like fiction, sometimes I don't.

Do you tend to read to the end of a chapter or can you stop anywhere? I prefer to read to the end of a chapter. However, I am pretty able to stop anywhere. That is a bit easier to do with nonfiction, but I can do it pretty well no matter the book.

Are you the type of person to throw a book across the room or on the floor if the author irritates you? I have been tempted to throw a book across a room if it angered or irritated me. I have certainly cursed it and tossed it aside on the nightstand or table or the floor. Very few books have earned this dubious honor of irritating me to the extent I want to toss it. The Sparrow is one of the few I remember I really wanted to do more than toss. I actually wanted to burn it (yes, actually burn it, and I am a librarian, so you can figure out how much it irritated me) and then. . . .well, let's just say to this day I do not have nice thoughts about the author and leave it at that.

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop and look it up right away? Yes. If I am at home, I usually read in my workstation, and I have a dictionary at hand.

What are you currently reading? I am currently reading the following: Nancy Folbre Saving State U: Why We Must Fix Public Higher Education; Sandy Mitchell, Death or Glory (Ciaphas Cain novel #4, Warhammer 40,000); Kazuo Koike, Samurai Executioner, vol.5: Ten Fingers, One Life; Alison Macore, Chainsaws, Slackers, and Spy Kids; Carl McColman, The Complete Idiot's Guide (R) to Paganism.

What is the last book you bought? Alan Moore, Wild Worlds; Alan Moore, DC Universe: The Stories of Alan Moore; Brian Wood,, Northlanders, Book One; Jonathan Hennessey, The United States Constitution: A Graphic Adaptation. (I had a nice moment of serendipity last weekend when we found a Half Price Books along Highway 67 coming back from a family reunion. Good to know there is another location in the general vicinity of Arlington, which is the area where we usually go every four months or so when we want to go to good bookstores).

Do you have a favourite time/place to read? For books, in bed, in the evening. If in a library, in a nice armchair.

Do you prefer series books or stand-alones? I tend to prefer stand-alones. I do like some series, but I have to know they will end. In other words, I hate series that go on and on and on, especially the ones where it is clear that after a few volumes, the author is just telegraphing it. This is a big reason I stopped reading Harry Turtledove, for instance, whom I used to like for alternate history. The guy just kept on making series after series after series. He is just phoning them in by now. I will read parts of a series if those parts are stand alone, say the occasional Star Wars novel or the Warhammer 40K's I have been reading (part of a series, but they stand alone).

Is there a specific book or author you find yourself recommending over and over?

Gabriel Garcia Marquez and One Hundred Years of Solitude are my perennial recommendation to anybody. These days, I would recommend the Ciaphas Cain novels to anyone who likes military scifi with a touch of humor.

How do you organize your books (by genre, title, author’s last name, etc.)? Mostly by genre (I have shelves for science fiction and fantasy, literary fiction, nonfiction, and Spanish works), then in alphabetical order by author for books. For comics and graphic novels, it goes by publisher, then by title for most, followed by the more literary graphic novels at the end, also by publisher, then author. So, basically Dark Horse, DC, Marvel, Vertigo, etc., then by title within those, then the literary ones like Fun Home and La Perdida at the end of the comics and graphic novel set. My mangas have a separate section, organized by title. I tried author, but title is easier for comics, graphic novels, and mangas given these works usually have various authors, and then you also account for illustrators and artists. Title is a lot easier in those cases.

Barbara’s additional question: background noise or silence? When reading in bed, usually silence. In fact, most of the time I do prefer silence, but I can read if I have soft noise in the background, and I am usually able to tune out any loud talkers nearby if need be. (And no, I do not know who Barbara is. Her question came with the meme).


Anonymous said...

Oh, My, You too? The Sparrow infuriated me. Which really disapointed me, as the author is a really _good_ speaker. I didn't go so far as to want to burn it, though. I'll tell you what I do want to burn - Palimpsest by Valente. It's the only book i've ever read that made me feel soiled. I'm so glad it didn't win the Hugo, or my husband would have bought it. (We collect the hugo winners.)

Mary Piero Carey

Angel, librarian and educator said...

Anon. also known as Mary Piero: Another reason it infuriated me is that it was imposed reading. Our Readers' Advisory class professor picked it out for the mock book group exercise. Our group got stuck with _The Sparrow_ (out of four others the other groups did). And our group pretty much hated it as well.

That is an interesting observation, writers who can be good speakers, but their books are not that great (or horrible in the case of this one). Greg Mortenson, of _Three Cups of Tea_ is an awesome speaker. His book is so-so in terms of readability (the topic is interesting, the writing style, not so much). Though in that case, it may have been a case of the collaborating writer (he wrote it with some journalist) being the one who can't write in an engaging way.

Best, and keep on blogging.