Books and reading meme

Books books books!

Books books books!

It’s an old book meme, but what the hey, everything is a cycle ;)

1. Hardback, trade paperback or mass market paperback?

I love trade paperback. I will go for mass market paperback over hardbacks as well; hardbacks are heavier and just generally clunkier than the others, which I dislike.

2. Barnes & Noble or Borders?

Never ‘been in a Barnes & Noble store, sadly. So I will instead make a choice between: Borders, Kinokuniya, Page One and Popular/Harris, which are the biggest bookstores in Singapore (if I’ve missed any, let me know :O!). I’d have to say Kinokuniya, although I think I am biased because I am a member (yay discounts!) and they have lots of manga (granted, I don’t read a lot of manga, but still!).

Although frankly, I will go inside any book store and enjoy myself just as much.

3. Bookmark or dog-ear?

Bookmark! I used to dog-ear as a child, but not anymore. Actually, I hardly ever bookmark, too; or if I do, I use stuff like scrap pieces of paper lying around. Usually, I just repeat the page to myself, and go off; I don’t mind if I reread a bit of what I’ve previously read (while skimming to get to where I left off), as it helps refresh the memory as well.

Oh wait. Putting down a book? What’s that?

4. Amazon or brick and mortar?

Brick and mortar! Really only because it’s usually cheaper, as there’s no shipping involved.

5. Alphabetize by author or alphabetize by title or random?

Oh my. Neither! I arrange my books a number of ways, really; I first segregate by general genre, which usually mean:

  • Nonfiction
  • Classics
  • “Real” fiction (har har)
  • High fantasy, or any fantasy not included in…
  • Children’s/YA fantasy
  • Manga

(Recently I’ve had a number of books with magical realism in them, and naturally they fit in between the “real” fiction and fantasy books.)

After that, however, I group together roughly by author/series/height. For authors that have some books in another of my genres, I usually try to keep them closest to that boundary, but keep his/her books together as much as possible. And yes, height. Height is important. Having books roughly sloping downwards from left to right on my bookshelf looks very pretty.

6. Keep, throw away, or sell?

Keep, or give away to people. That said, I really have a couple of books that I should give away or something. Maybe I’ll take another stab at bookmooch, or just post on this blog.

7. Keep dust jacket or toss it?

OMG. Keep! How, oh how can you toss the dust jacket?!

8. Read with dust jacket or remove it?

Ew, remove to read. It will get all wrinkly!

9. Short story or novel?

Usually novels, but I enjoy short stories a lot as well. I should actually look for short story anthologies more.

10. Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket?

Ohh, tough one, but I’ll go with Harry Potter. Lemony Snicket is oodles of fun, though!

11. Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?

Stop when tired, mostly because when the chapter ends I usually just need to know a liiiiitle more… and I never get to the end of it. So I just end up stopping when I can’t read anymore (i.e., I need to do something NOW, or I can’t keep my eyes open, or…shock horror, if the book bores me.)

12. “It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”?

Ooooh tough one! Tougher than Harry Potter and Lemony Snicket. I like both, but “It was a dark and stormy night” is much more gripping. “Once upon a time” definitely won’t sway me, though. I love me my Lloyd Alexander and CS Lewis.

13. Buy or borrow?

Buy! For unknowns I would rather borrow, but usually also end up buying them in the end.

14. New or used?

Depends on how “used” is “used”, so generally new, or looking-new.

15. Buying choice: book reviews, recommendations, or browse?

The books I get are usually recommendations or products of browsing; I look at reviews only when I’m interested enough in the book to possibly buy them. Recommendations are a given; as for browsing, I love pretty covers and interesting titles.

16. Tidy ending or cliffhanger?

Both are fine, as long as it’s the right ending for the book. Things don’t need to be resolved to be RIGHT.

17. Morning reading, afternoon reading, or nighttime reading?

Any! I can (and will) read at any time of the day I feel like reading. Recently, however, that’s mostly at night.

18. Stand-alone or series?

Either! Series books, if they are good, are absolutely fun. They can be a little more stressful though, as I have a complex about finding individual books in a series in the same edition as all the other books I have. T_T I actually have a couple of duplicates because I *couldn’t* wait until the proper edition is out, but bought it later on when it became available.

19. Favourite series

This is torture! Let’s see. I love Lloyd Alexander’s Prydain Chronicles because while it’s simple and enjoyable, it’s full of beautiful insights. I love C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia for pretty much the same thing, with an emphasis on how it mirrors my faith. I love Stephen King’s Dark Tower saga for the sheer scale, magnitude, and depth of the piece; it’s truly epic. I love Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom Trilogy because it’s damn enjoyable; Yoko Kamio’s Hana Yori Dango for being absolutely fun and absolutely heart-wrenching at the same time; the Nancy Drew series for memories! There are plenty more but I should stop ;)

20. Favourite children’s book?

I’d say a cross between the Chronicles of Narnia, and Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden. I have not read the latter in years, but it remains close to my heart. And the only reason I’m not including Prydain Chronicles in this list is because I’m actually unsure if it’s classified as for children or for young adults. I would enjoy either at any age!

21. Favourite YA book?

Again with the fine line between children’s books and YA books. So I’ll just pick among those that I’m rather positive is YA. Hmm. I’ve been staring at my bookshelf for a while now, so I’ll just pick the first one that came to mind: Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom Trilogy. They’re a bit dark, hence more suitable for young adults. (Don’t ask me to pick which in the trilogy!)

22. Favourite book of which nobody else has heard?

It would be difficult to define “nobody”, so I’ll just pick two books that I don’t hear a lot of people mention: Arlene J. Chai’s Eating Fire, Drinking Water, and F. Sionil Jose’s Ben Singkol. Most literate Filipinos would probably have read at least one of the two; they’re both set in the Philippines and are both fabulously written.

23. Favourite books read last year?

Oooh. Let’s see, from my list last year:

  1. Celestine Hitiura Vaite’s Frangipani (I love magical realism, and the story is fabulous)
  2. Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series (like the overall story; yes, I cried too, but could really use better writing)
  3. Garth Nix’s Keys to the Kingdom series (which I’ve yet to finish! sob. want rest of the series plz!)

24. Favourite books of all time?

I’m not even gonna try. But I need to give special mentions to a couple not yet included in the post, like Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion, and J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. And oh, oh, Janet Fitch’s White Oleander. And Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale. Oh, must include Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series, and of course Jonathan Stroud’s Bartimaeus Trilogy. And Richard Preston’s The Hot Zone. And Jude Deveraux’s Remembrance, as well as Nicholas Sparks’ The Notebook. And–okokok. Stop.

25. What are you reading right now?

Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. I actually have a draft entry on it, but I can’t seem to finish it. Er, both the book and the entry. I’m trying!

26. What are you reading next?

Lyndall Gordon’s Charlotte Brontë: A Passionate Life.

27. Favourite book to recommend to an eleven-year-old?

I actually have difficulty with recommending books to people, of any age, unless I know more about the person or they specifically ask me with details on what sort of book they’re after (and sometimes I still have difficulties!). Books are quite personal entities to me, and everyone has a different way of reacting to books and stories in books.

So, I will cop out and pass on this question! Next!

28. Favourite book to reread?

This changes at various points in time. Right now, however, I seem to keep coming back to any one of The Old Kingdom Trilogy. I’m really glad I brought them along when I moved to Singapore.

29. Do you ever smell books?

Of course! I love the smell of new books. :D I refrain from smelling old dusty books because, seriously, who wants dust up their nose?

30. Do you ever read Primary source documents? Like, diaries or letters?

If you’re talking originals, or copies without any commentary on them (like, stuff to look up in libraries and whatnot), then no, I haven’t. I am quite interested in them however, when it comes to certain people I take an interest in, like favorite authors (Charlotte, Jane), popular heroes (Rizal), etc.