Stealing yet another fun quiz-meme from Maureen…!
1. Which book has been on your shelves the longest?
Various children’s books – stuff like Tommy dePaola’s books, and The Weaver’s Horse, of which there are apparently NO cover images available online. Agggh! Did anyone else read that book, though?
2. What is your current read, your last read and the book you’ll read next?
Currently, I’m supposed to be finishing Konrad Lorenz’s King Solomon’s Ring, but I don’t actually have it with me; I’ve been sneaking rereads of Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber instead. Last read was Robert Stone’s Bear and his Daughter. Next read… not sure. Possibly Peter Beagle’s The Innkeeper’s Song.
3. What book did everyone like and you hated?
Usually I love books that everyone else hates.
4. Which book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t?
Ummm. Moby-Dick would be one of the major ones.
5. Which book are you saving for “retirement?”
What does that even mean? All the books I know want to be read NOW. :P
6. Last page: read it first or wait till the end?
I used to occasionally read the last page halfway through the book (or read half the book out of order, really) when I couldn’t bear the suspense, but NO MORE. Partly because I no longer read as many epics… inevitably there are points at which your attention flags during those, and you just want to see if something better is coming up, so you mine for snippets of telling conversation or hints of pivotal scenes. The impulse to spoiler oneself just ends in tears and rankling sensations, though.
7. Acknowledgments: waste of ink and paper or interesting aside?
Don’t mind them, especially when there are interesting, contextualizing tidbits – contextualizing as to the creation of the book, or actual historical background, or whatever.
8. Which book character would you switch places with?
Off the top of my head, pretty much any of Robin McKinley or Patricia McKillip’s characters, and Garth Nix’s Lirael, especially when she’s working in the Library of the Clayr. (Someone get me a spiral-shaped library, a red waistcoat, and an emergency mouse, stat.) I always wanted to live in Rivendell, also. And of course New Crobuzon, except I’d probably die in a horrific and embarrassing fashion there in under an hour.
9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life (a person, a place, a time)?
All of them. But picking somewhat at random, The Hobbit, since my dad read it to me on the couch before bedtime for two years, and Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising series, most of which I read over a summer, lying outside on a bench – I have particular memories of being extremely unsettled by Greenwitch as a green, sticky summer evening came on. Also, my first collection of Greek & Norse mythology (Usborne’s) – first book I can remember getting caught reading with a flashlight in bed.
10. Name a book you acquired in some interesting way.
Man, I know I have some good stories, but I can’t think of one right now.
11. Have you ever given a book for a special reason to a special person?
*looks significantly at Kakaner* Probably 50% of our gifts to each other, for all occasions, have been books, or book-related.
12. Which book has been with you to the most places?
A random subset of my poetry books goes back and forth with me, since I have to have them around if I’m going to get any writing done. About the same goes for The Bloody Chamber, with particular regard to prose.
13. Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad ten years later?
Again, I always liked the things that other people hated. I’m going to go off of Maureen’s answer a bit, though, and say that I have become increasingly obsessed with Hamlet.
14. What is the strangest item you’ve ever found in a book?
My copy of Orlando has some beautiful, inscrutable scribbles in faded brown fountain-pen, but I can’t think of any exciting objects.
15. Used or brand new?
Depends on how cheap I’m feeling, what edition I’m looking for, and whether I’m more interested in supporting a particular bookseller or a particular author.
16. Stephen King: Literary genius or opiate of the masses?
Stylistically he’s too self-indulgent a lot of the time, but I think he is a really, really sharp writer, particularly in his emotional experience and intelligence. There’s a lot of real hurt and thought in his stuff, and of course he knows how to tell a story hella well. Basically, I believe in his integrity as a storyteller. I really need to find the time to read his Dark Tower series.
17. Have you ever seen a movie you liked better than the book?
Let the Right One In.
18. Conversely, which book should NEVER have been introduced to celluloid?
Pretty much all of them.
19. Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks being excluded from this question?
REDWALL HOLY CRAP. Honestly, anything that has a half-decent description of food in it… I love reading about food, or any kind of sensual experience, really.
20. Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?
Kakaner. I can probably count the number of times we’ve been wrong about book recommendations for each other on one hand.
21. Name one book you will never, ever buy.
To steal from Maureen: Take a wild guess. (Hint: it starts with ‘T’ and has an apple on the front cover.)