Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Book Habits: A Meme

Got this from my doppelganger (another blogger/reviewer/toiler in obscure corners of publishing/resident of New Jersey) Rob B:

What is your favorite drink while reading?

I mostly read while commuting these days, so I'm not drinking at the same time. I most usually have water otherwise.

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?

It doesn't horrify me the way it did when I was young and innocent: several years of marking up books for production purposes (and knowing that two old books must die for a new edition to be born) cured me of that. But I tend just to put little pencil marks in for passages I want to quote; I'm not a margin-scribbler.

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears? Laying the book flat open?

Bookmarks. Sometimes I'll dog-ear pages to mark a quote, but that's about it.

Fiction, nonfiction, or both?

Both, more or less alternating, these days. (Though with a lot of comics/graphic novels/manga as well, and those are nearly all fiction.)

Are you a person who tends to read to the end of a chapter, or can you stop anywhere?

I read while commuting, so I often have to stop reading because I'm where I need to be. I do try to stop at a natural break, but it doesn't always happen.

Are you the type of person to throw a book across the room or on the floor if the author irritates you?

Authors irritate me all day long; I work in publishing. I try not to hold that against their books. When books annoy me, they may be cast aside lightly, but I generally don't hurl any with great force.

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop and look it up right away?

No. I usually can't, for one thing.

What are you currently reading?

I need to do a bookmark inventory -- since I've got them in at least two dozen books scattered across the house -- but the main thing I'm reading now is Michael Lewis's The Big Short.

What is the last book you bought?

I believe the last thing I picked up to add to my pile on my last trip to a store selling book-shaped objects was Grendel: God and the Devil by Matt Wagner, John K. Snyder III, Jay Geldhoff, and Bernie Mireault. The last just-words book that I picked up similarly was The Sad Tale of the Brothers Grossbart by Jesse Bullington.

Are you the type of person that reads one book at a time, or can you read more than one?

I usually only have one main (narrative) book going at once these days, but I've often read several books in tandem, particularly back in my book-club days. And, of course, there's the bathroom book, the a-few-pages-before-bed book, and so on....

Do you have a favorite time/place to read?

I do most of my reading on the train to and from work. My favorite time and place to read was late at night, in the 24-hour room of Vassar's library, in the late '80s, while getting paid as a Campus Patroller. Sadly, that's no longer possible now.

Do you prefer series books or stand alones?

I don't prefer genre fiction that much to make this a reasonable question to begin with. I prefer books with something to say and the style to say it well. I find that later books in series often have neither of those, and we keep reading them out of inertia, which is no good for anyone.

Is there a specific book or author you find yourself recommending over and over?

It depends on the context -- and I don't give out a lot of recommendations to begin with -- but I've often mentioned Lawrence Block, Gene Wolfe, P.G. Wodehouse, Donald E. Westlake, and Roger Zelazny, in various contexts.

How do you organize your books? (by genre, title, author’s last name, etc.)

Oh, it's much more complicated than that. First, there's the great read-unread divide. Then there are the stacks of unread review books, versus the shelves of unread books I bought. The read shelves are divided into several categories: comics, oversized, classics, hardcovers, trade paperbacks, and mass markets (hiding behind the classics). And there are probably other quirks (like the from-the-library pile) that I'm ignoring or skimming over.

No comments:

Post a Comment