You know the drill: perusing old blog posts. Stumbled across fun tag. Decided to do said tag. Let us continue.
Name a book you’re embarrassed to say you haven’t read yet.
Nothing really comes to mind. At this point, if I haven’t read something, it’s because I didn’t want or intend to. Maybe the Divergent series, by. . .well, whoever wrote it, even though the temporary hype has long since died down and it’s supposed to be terrible. I groove on terrible, so I might enjoy it.
What is the strangest thing you’ve ever used as a bookmark?
My cat’s tail. She sleeps like the dead, so I knew she’d stay there for a good couple of hours. She was rather offended when at last I retrieved my book, but that’s life.
Look at your bookshelf. What’s the first book you see with a yellow spine?
Firestar’s Quest by Erin Hunter. Back when Warriors was still good, instead of the steaming pile of drivel it is today. Not that I’m bitter.
If you could have one new book from a deceased author, who would it be?
C.S. Lewis. I want more Narnia, darn it!
Name an author who deserves more readership.
I dunno. I never bother to look and see how popular a book or author is before I start reading. All the names I can think of are already pretty well known. How about me? Can we do me? I’m a blog author, so that counts, right? Right?
cat’s tail random piece of paper?
No real preference. I inherited a love of collecting bookmarks from my mother, so I have a lot lying around that I can use. But paper will work in a pinch.
Can you stop anywhere in a book or do you have to finish the chapter?
Um, about that. I’ll stop anywhere on a page that ends with 4 or 5. I also end on a sentence that itself ends with a period, not a question mark or an exclamation point. Why, you may ask? I dunno, I just don’t like not doing it. I’m either generically insane or have undiagnosed OCD, but there we are.
One book at a time or several?
One main one and a couple of side projects, usually. I’ll have a book I read before bed that I’ll take with me on the road and to waiting rooms and whatnot, and then one or two other ones pertinent to whatever tickles my fancy that week or what I’m researching for a story of mine. I don’t like having too many going at once, though. Multitasking is of the devil.
Do you read ahead or skip pages?
I don’t usually skip pages, but I often skim. If I’m in a particularly draggy segment or stuck in a POV of a character I hate, I’ll flip through it to see where the torture ends, picking up bits of writing here and there. Technically it’s not skipping and it’s not reading ahead, so I guess it doesn’t count.
Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?
I like to gently break books in so they take the stress of being read to pieces a little easier. I read my paperback copy of A Higher Call until it about split down the middle and I had to get a new one. The general rule is the more beat-up it is, the more loved it is. Unless you’re a psychopath who likes torturing innocent books.
What book do you regret reading?
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. Why is Gregor a giant bug? We don’t know. Why is his family populated by jerks? We don’t know. Why did he just randomly die? We also don’t know. I gave up on the physical book itself, but eventually I finished the darned thing because I found a recording of Benedict Cumberbatch reading it, and even though I’m pretty sure it was abridged I don’t care. If it hadn’t been for the cursed allure of Dr. Strange, I would be living a perfectly normal life instead of staying up late wondering why Gregor turned into a roach in the first place. Thanks for nothing, Doc.
On average, how many books do you read per year?
Oh, I don’t like this. It sounds vaguely mathematical. When I was still in school I wrote down the titles of the books I read, but I don’t do that anymore so I have no way of measuring my progress and I have the memory capacity of a goldfish. Probably somewhere in the mid 60s. I’ve cut down a lot since I’ve taken my reading time to write instead.
What book can you read hundreds of times and never get tired of?
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. I don’t know why, but I love it. It’s pretty short and not too wordy or complicated, and it’s just so. . .atypical. Practically everybody in it meets an awful fate except for the worst character, who just goes on with his life without ever having to properly pay for the tragedies he’s set in motion. The irony!
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from a book?
Not so much a book as a whole series. The most recent arc of Warriors by Erin Hunter has taught me that if your fan base is big enough, you can write straight crap and it’ll still sell. Your old readers who have been with you from Day One will feel horrendously, rightfully betrayed and your new readers will wonder why such a garbage series is so hyped up, but you’ll sit on your massive pile of cash and cackle like the soulless, moneygrubbing quality-killer you are. Not that I’m bitter.
What is the most recent book you’ve read?
I’m rereading the Fablehaven books by Brandon Mull, so we’ll go with the last one, Keys to the Demon Prison. Writing’s not as good as I remember, but the story is. Seth is still an idiot, everyone still talks like they swallowed a thesaurus, and Warren is still a punching bag for the plot. Good times.
What quote from any book will you never forget? Why is it significant?
“Perhaps it is the knowledge that we carry in our hearts that nobody ultimately wins. Somewhere we all go down.”
Audie Murphy’s To Hell and Back isn’t a triumphant memoir of a life well-lived. It’s raw, appalling in very many places, and explicit in displaying (among a great deal of other things) the hopelessness that turns to apathy for survival’s sake and the futility of it all. It ain’t a nice job, fighting in a war, but it’s a job.
How many books do you own?
Way too many. Probably around two hundred, though I keep picking up one or two every time I go to Half Price. Ask me again in a few years, when I have so many my entire house is constructed out of them.
In the past year, what is the greatest book you’ve read?
Greatest? What mean you by this, greatest? Spiritually nurturing? Intellectually stimulating? The Last Battle by Stephen Harding, with an extremely long subtitle I won’t add, is pretty spectacular. It’s not every day a Wehrmacht squad and one random Hauptsturmführer join forces with the Americans to defend a castle against the SS.
Well, that’s all I got. If you thought this was fun and you like books, give it a try yourself. If you don’t like books, how did you get here?