Thursday, October 9, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Book Meme

I haven't participated in Booking Through Thursday for a few weeks, but this week's set of questions looks interesting:

What was the last book you bought?

That would actually be a handful of books I ordered at the same time from Amazon, but to name just one, I'll give the title of the one I started reading first: To Say Nothing of the Dog, by Connie Willis.

Name a book you have read MORE than once.

For one, Jane Eyre. I haven't kept count, but I've probably read all the way through it from start to finish at least four or five times, and I've read my favorite passages many more times than that.

Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life? If yes, what was it?


One again? Ok. . . Well, this one book symbolizes (for me) the whole series, plus even more by the same author: Anne of Green Gables.

How do you choose a book? eg. by cover design and summary, recommendations or reviews?

In general, I go by summary. Recommendations and reviews are nice-- and I like to use recommendations as starting points in book hunts-- but even if I like a person and sometimes like what s/he likes, I often find that our tastes can differ greatly from book to book. As for cover design and title, they might catch my eye, but I usually try to look beyond that before making my final decision. Some of my favorite books have hideously unappealing cover art, and plenty of books with tantalizing titles turn out to be duds.

If I'm buying, I'm pickier than if I'm just browsing the library. And if I'm paying for a new book, I'm pickier than if I'm paying 50 cents for a used copy. So for a 50-cent book, I might let myself go on "instinct", but for full price, I look at everything and try to make a more informed decision.

Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?

For sitting down and reading? Fiction, usually. I also like crafts books, but I don't really read those in the same way. I see them more as references and instructional works. I do occasionally read non-crafty non-fiction, but even that is typically related to fiction-- biographies of favorite authors, for instance.

What’s more important in a novel - beautiful writing or a gripping plot?

I'd say that plot is more important than beautiful writing, if it comes down to deciding between the two. Of course, a blend of both is best, and if I don't care about the characters, I'm not going to love the story, no matter how gripping the plot or how beautiful the writing.

Most loved/memorable character (character/book)

I don't know which is my most loved (or memorable). . . It's probably Jane Eyre, Mr. Rochester, or someone from L.M. Montgomery's novels (Anne? Pat?).

Which book or books can be found on your nightstand at the moment?

To Say Nothing of the Dog (currently reading)

Looking for Anne of Green Gables (waiting to be started)

The Jeeves Omnibus, vol. I (reading w/ Donald)

Webster's New World Collegiate Dictionary (looking up obscure mythological figures and Victorian things referenced in To Say Nothing of the Dog)

What was the last book you’ve read, and when was it?

Finished? Anne of Windy Poplars, by L.M. Montgomery. I can't remember exactly when I finished it. . . Sometime in September.

Still in the process of reading? To Say Nothing of the Dog (again), last night in bed.

Have you ever given up on a book half way in?

I've given up before I got halfway in. A couple of times, actually, with The Hunchback of Notre Dame. (Incidentally, I have never managed to seriously crack open Les Misérables, either. Some sort of Victor Hugo phobia, perhaps? (g)) I'm sure there are others, but that one in particular stands out, because I've kept my copy, and every so often, I look at it (and a few I've never even started, like Les Mis) and wonder if I'll ever actually read it. . . (They were purchased back in my teenage "classic-reading" phase. Now, I've mostly lost interest, but maybe someday I'll feel ambitious.)