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Book meme - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Book meme
Ganked from hamsterwoman


Paperback, hardback or Trade paperback?
Hardback. Though I have a special sneaking fondness for those library bound ones that they used to hand out in school, that were the size of a paperback, but had hard covers. Best of all worlds. Except that no one other than me likes them, judging by how infrequently they go out.

Amazon or brick and mortar?
Depends. If I'm looking for an exact, specific thing, I go to Amazon. It's quicker and I don't get distracted. But if I'm just in the mood to find something to read? Always brick and mortar. I can't imagine browsing Amazon.

Barnes & Noble or Borders?
Most BNs have a better selection, but not by much. Really, six of one, half a dozen of the other.

Bookmark or dog-ear?
Generally, I just memorize the page number I'm on before I close it, but it's not altogether infrequent for me to mark a page with a scrap of paper, a straw wrapper, or anything else that's handy. My favorite way to mark a place is with the dust jacket flap.

Favourite place to read?
Restaurants.

Alphabetize by author or alphabetize by title or random?
I'm a bad librarian whose personal collection is almost totally random. I have the books I use most in a case beside my desk, and try to keep authors together, but other than that...? Not so much.

Keep, throw away, or sell?
Keep, unless it was an assigned text. Though I did give a handful of paperbacks to the Friends sale.

Keep dust jacket or toss it?
Keep--great bookmark.

Read with dust jacket or remove it?
I read with it.

Short story or novel?
Novel. I keep trying to get into short stories, but it's never been my favorite form. (Weirdly, I kind of like the drabble form, but more in the manner of technical appreciation for the achievement than as satisfying individual stories.)

Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket?
Harry Potter

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?
Unless the book is deadly dull, chapter breaks. And usually it's after the fabled, "Oh, one more chapter..." I read Order of the Phoenix cover to cover, promising myself that I'd stop after the next chapter, when I picked it up at midnight and had to be at work at nine. But hey, I'd finished it before I had to be in!

"It was a dark and stormy night" or "Once upon a time"?
Once upon a time.

Buy or borrow?
Borrow first, buy if I'm hooked.

New or used?
Depends. I love the smell and feel of old books, and I love being surrounded by them, and I love my poor old falling apart paperbacks like the old friends they are, but I don't especially like just buying ratty old used books. Generally, if it's a question of money, I'll wait for a new paperback.

Buying choice: book reviews, recommendations, or browse?
Recommendations from friends, followed by browsing, for my personal collection. Professionally, I use a lot of reviews.

Tidy ending or cliffhanger?
Depends on where in the series we are! I want some hook to talk about if something's coming next, but if there's nothing else coming, I'd like the threads of the story to resolve themselves logically.

Morning reading, afternoon reading, or nighttime reading?
All hours, though my big reading sessions are at night.

Stand-alone or series?
I enjoy both.

Favorite series?
Harry Potter and Warriors, at the moment. (Like hamsterwoman, I don't think of Lord of the Rings as a series.) The Dark Tower is uneven, and The Tales of Alvin Maker seems to have gone downhill a bit, though I loved the early books to pieces.

Favorite children's book?
Hmmm. I'll pick something unambiguously children's: Millions of Cats, by Wanda Gag. I like a lot of children's books, but that's one I still remember lines and pictures from, years after the last time I actually had it in my hands.

Favorite YA book?
:blinks at vast array from which to choose:
I... can't. I mean, I handle thousands of the things. Some are great, some are wretched, some I read and can't remember the next day. I guess... maybe something that affected me as a teen? I'll go with A Separate Peace, by John Knowles.

Favorite book of which nobody else has heard?
Trying to think what other people haven't heard of... Maybe The Fetch, by Chris Humphreys? It's not the best book I've ever read or anything, but it's pretty good, and likely that a lot of people haven't heard of it. I don't know how many people keep up with nonfiction (this is a well-known nonfiction book), but maybe They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky: The True Story of Three Lost Boys from Sudan.

Favorite books read last year?
The aforementioned They Poured Fire...
The entire Warriors: The New Prophecy series
Will In The World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare, by Stephen Greenblatt
...eek, I'm blanking! It's 2:20, and I can't remember everything I've read this year. I'll get back to you on this.

Favorite books of all time?
Lord of the Rings
Lord of the Flies
Ender's Game
The Stand
It
Different Seasons (especially "The Body" and "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption")
A Separate Peace
My Name is Asher Lev
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Harry Potter series

Least favorite book you finished last year?

Tattoo by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Golden, which preceded it, was marginally all right, but Tattoo, in which four airheads get magical powers and one of them turns out to be descended from the fates, and they save the world just in time to look FAB for the school dance, was just cringeworthy. It was like Buffy would have been if first season Cordelia had been the heroine, with Harmony as her brain trust.

What are you reading right now?
I have Why Johnny Can't Tell Right From Wrong in my purse, but I can't seem to maintain much interest in it. I think I'll go back to Killing Monsters. I just finished Hell House.

hat are you reading next?
I'm going to look for another haunted house story. Anyone have a good recommendation for one?

Favorite book to recommend to an eleven-year-old?
Well, they've all already read HP, so I'll go for Ender's Game.

Favorite book to reread?
It or The Stand

Do you ever smell books?
One of the primary pleasures of opening it. Or even not opening it. I smelled HBP in the cab because there wasn't enough light to read by.

Do you ever read Primary source documents?
I have the Declaration of Independence on my wall. I totally read it sometimes.
6 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
petitecrivan From: petitecrivan Date: April 19th, 2007 06:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh yay, another person who uses the book jacket as a bookmark! Most of my friends take it off because they don't want to lose it/ruin it, which I think is ridiculous. They are wonderful bookmarks. I love the point in the HP books, or any particularly long books, when you have to switch to the back cover because the book is so thick. :D

I may have to steal this meme sometime tomorrow. It looks fun.
keestone From: keestone Date: April 19th, 2007 10:06 am (UTC) (Link)
Funny. I think dust jackets make horrible bookmarks. They always manage to slip out of the spot I'm trying to save. I also take them off while reading, mainly for the slippage factor again. I do keep them though. I've got enough old books with spines sun-faded to the point that you have to take off the shelf and find the title page to know which book it is.
cheddartrek From: cheddartrek Date: April 19th, 2007 12:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
"...a special sneaking fondness for those library bound ones that they used to hand out in school, that were the size of a paperback, but had hard covers. Best of all worlds."

These are my favorite as well. I still remember the very first time I read "The Count of Monte Cristo," which remains to this day my favorite book, and it had a cover like this. I had checked it out of the school library, and it was the first book I can remember reading that had this sort of cover.

*sigh* I wish they were more readily available. =)
excitedrainbow From: excitedrainbow Date: April 19th, 2007 12:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oooh, book meme! I'll do it after my exams though. 'Keep the dust jacket, or toss it?' OMG, keep it, every time. How can people even think of tossing dust jackets? And as for smelling books - yes, especially when opening them for the first time.
hamsterwoman From: hamsterwoman Date: April 19th, 2007 05:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Favorite books of all time?
[...]
Ender's Game


Ender's Game should have totally been on my list somewhere! Actually, I distinctly remember thinking of the Enderverse books while tallying up favorite series and deciding that that fact that I *love* Ender's Game does not quite make up for the fact that I found Speaker for the Dead much weaker, Xenocide and Children of the Mind kind of out of control, and the Shadow books a bit of a masochistic exercise to read. But Ender's Game iself is totally a favorite.

I'm not sure I would hand it to an average 11-year-old -- I was about 14 or 15 when I read it, and my brother about the same age, which I thought was about right, and I think I'd worry that it was too dark for a younger kid -- but, heck, I'm reading LotR to my almost-six-year-old (which I didn't think I would be doing at this age, either), so my view of age-appropriateness is probably both off-kilter and shifting.

And I, too, have been somewhat disappointed by the trend the Alvin Maker books seem to be on.
olympe_maxime From: olympe_maxime Date: April 19th, 2007 06:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Haunted house story? Have you read Homebody by Orson Scott Card? I'm only recommending it since you like the author, I didn't think the book was any great shakes.

I thought I was the only one who smelled books. I smell any and all of them, not just the HP ones. The best ones, for some reason, are the books in my parents' house - their smell is just very comforting to me. :)

One of my abiding dilemmas is the new books vs used books thing. On one hand, I *love* the marginalia and just the feel of old books, starved as I am for a sense of personal history. new books often leave me cold - I have both a new and a used copy of Different Seasons, and if you asked me to pick the copy I love, it wouldn't even be close. The shiny new one has hardly been opened. Only for HP books I seem to not care about the crisp newness of it... that's because I'm busy worrying about a whole host of other things at the time! :)

But I feel terribly guilty for buying used books all the time, knowing I hope to make money one day by writing books, and where would I be if everyone in the world was like me?
6 comments or Leave a comment