Thursday, January 25, 2007

A Book Meme

I've just added a few new links. Please pardon me for the lengthy delay and the fact that I only was able to add a few. My connection is so appalling that it's getting absolutely unbearable. I could honestly sit here for hours just in order to visit a handful of blogs and it so thoroughly depresses me that I've taken to staying away from the blog more, each week. Anyone who is willing, please pray or send positive thoughts that we'll get reasonably-priced high-speed back in our area, soon. You wouldn't want poor old Bookfool to go mental, right? Did I hear people whispering, "Too late?"

Okay, on to the meme. I saw this one at Wendy's blog and enjoyed reading her answers. Wendy says she got it from Carl of Stainless Steel Droppings (link in sidebar). I can't view Carl's blog at all, most days, so I seldom show up there, but Carl is lovely, his blog is excellent and this definitely seems like his thing so I'm not surprised if that's where it began.

Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror?

Science Fiction. I'm prone to nightmares and, thus, seldom touch anything that can be classified as "horror", although I've recently enjoyed some by Richard Matheson. I love outer space, aliens, the future, new worlds. I'm definitely a Sci-Fi gal.

Hardback or Trade Paperback or Mass Market Paperback?

Trade Paperbacks are my favorite. I love the look and feel of them, like Wendy. As I get older, I'm having more trouble holding some books; trade paperbacks are the easiest - mass market and hardbacks can actually be painful to hold open. But, that doesn't stop me from grabbing a book in any form if I desire to read it.

Heinlein or Asimov?

Heinlein, but only because I've yet to get to Asimov. I've only read one Heinlein book, at this point, Stranger in a Strange Land. While I thought the story lost something along the way and I didn't care for the ending, I enjoyed the overall experience and hope to eventually read more. And, I'm still planning to get around to Asimov.

Amazon or Brick and Mortar?

Definitely brick and mortar. There's nothing like the experience of being surrounded by books, particularly with the smell of coffee wafting through the air, and classical music in the background.

Barnes & Noble or Borders?

Hmm. I like them for different reasons. Both Barnes & Noble and Borders are around a 50-mile drive from us, so they require a special trip. Either is wonderful, but we tend to go to the Borders side of town more often.

Hitchhiker or Discworld?

Hitchhiker. I've read all of the Hitchhiker books, enjoyed the BBC broadcast, heard Douglas Adams do a reading (he was a terrific speaker, may he rest in peace) and chatted about the books and various TV incarnations with husband and sons, so they're very much a part of our history. I've read one Discworld book and enjoyed it but it didn't thrill me in any way. It was fun, but nothing I'd pass around.

Bookmark or Dogear?

Heavens, bookmark of course! Like Wendy, dog-earing is a desperation situation for me. I don't like mangling a book and I'll use just about anything to mark my place rather than bend a page. However, I would not go so far as my friend Karen, who once used a lettuce leaf as a bookmark. Moisture is also a no-no.

Alphabetize by author Alphabetize by title or random?

Author. I don't do so, myself, but I can't stand to look at a shelf of books that isn't alphabetized, in a store. At home, my books are arranged in an order that would probably make librarians pull their hair out. But, till recently, I knew where to find every book I owned. After we were flooded, things became more chaotic.

Keep, Throw Away or Sell?

I used to keep every book I liked. Now, I pass them on, trade, give away, or donate all but those that I love so much I can't bear to part with them. The only books I've ever thrown away were those that were hopelessly damaged, like some that were soaked in a flood. They molded, darn it. I felt like I should play some kind of funeral dirge when I threw them away. It was so sad.

Keep dustjacket or toss it?

Keep it. Even a torn dust jacket can usually be repaired.

Read with dustjacket or remove it?

I set the dust jacket aside while I read and then put it back on when I set it down between readings, unless I'm so utterly gripped that there's no point to putting it on because I'm going to carry the book everywhere.

Short story or novel?

I prefer novels most of the time. Very few authors seem to be truly skilled at writing in a shorter format, but I enjoy short stories when I locate an author who does them well. My friend John Floyd is one of my favorites, up there with Vladimir Nabokov and James Thurber.

Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket?

Harry Potter, although I think that should be J. K. Rowling or Lemony Snicket, shouldn't it? Picky, picky.

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?

I often don't have control over this, as I read while waiting for my child. When the bell rings, the streams of people distract me. I stop immediately, sometimes in mid-paragraph. At night, I usually read till I can't keep my eyes open.

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

"It was a dark and stormy night" sounds more intriguing.

Buy or borrow?

I buy almost all of my books, although many of them come from our library's sale corner. Oddly, I seem to find what I like more easily in the sale area (which is supported by donated books) than in the library itself. Or, maybe that's not so odd because other bibliophiles in our area are also forced to buy what they enjoy.

Buying choice: Book Reviews, Recommendation or Browse?

All of the above. I tend to read more books that have been recommended by friends, these days, as I'm gradually finding what I call "reading twins" - people who have similar taste. But, a review or a cover that jumps out at me can also have influence.

Lewis or Tolkien?

C.S. Lewis, although I'm not a fan of the Narnia series. Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters are more up my alley.

Collection (short stories by the same author) or Anthology (short stories by different authors)?

Collection. I prefer a little consistency in a book of short stories or novellas, although I'll sometimes read anthologies.

Tidy ending or cliffhanger?

It depends on the book. There are times it makes more sense for a book not to have a complete ending - to leave the ending to the reader, so to speak. Sometimes a tidy ending is more fitting, but there's often a fine line between tidy and deus ex machina, in my humble opinion.

Morning reading, Afternoon reading, or Night-time reading?

Gosh, any time I can find an excuse to read is great. I tend to read while waiting for my son and at bedtime, though. If I'm close to ending a book or in a foul mood, I'll read when I wake up (it cheers me).

Stand-alone or series?

Stand-alone. Although I like a few series, I dislike the feeling that someone is dangling a carrot in front of me (in the form of a continuing storyline) in order to get me to buy another book.

New or used?

I love a nice, fresh new book; but when you get right down to it anything is fine as long as I get to read. I'll take an ugly, 40-year-old book for a quarter if that's what's available.

Favorite book of which nobody else has heard?

Let's see . . . The Return by Daoma Winston (an old book of my mother's - amazing I left anything at all behind when I moved out), Westward Whoa by W. Hodding Carter, and Time Rider by Rickey Mallory (one of my all-time favorite sci-fi novels) are some that I love but nobody seems to be familiar with. Wendy mentioned Emma Sweeney's book, which I had to look up to see if it was the book I thought she was referring to. Oh, yeah! As Always, Jack is one I read in 2005. I LOVED that book!!!

Top 5 favorite books read last year?

Here's where I jump off the cart for a bit. I don't want to go look through the files, but I do remember my favorite was The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Nothing came anywhere close to beating it.

Top 5 favorite books of all time (not including any from last year)?

Very difficult question because I love so many books, but these are 5 that I love and can't fathom parting with:

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Desiree by Anne-Marie Selinko (the most re-read book I own)
My Antonia by Willa Cather
The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

5 Favorite Series?

The Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich
Tomorrow When The War Began series by John Marsden
From childhood, A Wrinkle in Time and the follow-up books by Madeleine L'Engle
The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
The Hitchhiker's series by Douglas Adams

And, I thought I didn't like series books. Ha.

What's new in the jungle? The sun came out for the first time in 2 weeks! Yippee!

Funny sight: Our veterinarian's expression when he saw the youngster - or, rather, looked up at the youngster and asked him, "Just how tall are you, now?" When youngster replied that he's about six feet, the vet sighed and said, "I remember when you didn't reach as high as the table. Man, I'm gettin' old."

Best news from up north: The eldest called to tell us he wrote a letter to the editor of his school paper and they offered him a job as a columnist. That could also be classified as a Proud Mama Moment.

Just walked in the door: Pictures from an Expedition by Diane Smith (loved her first novel, Letters from Yellowstone, which I read last year).

The meaning of life: Haven't quite figured that one out, so I'll say Douglas Adams was right . . . it must be 42.

Listening to: Thacker Mountain Radio, the music disc

How to get Mississippi off the "Fat States" list: Leash laws. I'm totally serious. Someone tell the governor.

Are you done babbling yet? Yes, thank you. I am. Have a nice day!


  1. No, I'd never use a lettuce leaf either. Quite funny, though!
    Congratulations to eldest! And I hope you have a very nice day too! :)

  2. Too funny. I just did this one today too. Though the questions are slightly different. I took mine straight from Carl's. I just deleted a few questions that I didn't have an opinion about.

    I see I'm going to have to add a couple books to my TBR..

  3. Nat,

    Karen reads while she cooks. I had to laugh at that one. Even if I'd consider a lettuce leaf as an option, I have to concentrate if I cook. I'm a survivalist cook - only do it when I have to in order to survive - so I can't imagine cooking and reading!

    And thanks for the congrats; I'll pass them on. :)


    I'll have to go look at yours. I deleted one question - the urban or something fantasy. I didn't even know what it meant! LOL

    Which books are you going to add? I'm curious. :)

  4. Great post! I enjoyed reading your meme and plan to play along this weekend. I've seen it all over the blogosphere and I'm feeling a bit behind.

    Very, very cool news about #1 son's job offer!! Whoohoo!

    I'm sorry you aren't able to visit your favorite blogs more often!! Sending positive thoughts your way. Have a great weekend.

  5. Anonymous11:33 AM

    Loved reading your answers. I laughed over the lettuce leaf. Oh man! Remains of the Day is one of my all time favorites too :)

    I posted my answers as well although I took out all t he scifi stuff as I don't really read it.

  6. Time Rider and The Maltese Falcon.. I loved the movie, but haven't read the book yet.

  7. Les,

    Thanks, I'll have to hop over to the library to use their wireless connection, this weekend, so I can see your version of the meme. If I could get myself up in the morning and make it a habit to go there with my laptop a couple days a week it would really help. Thanks for the positive thoughts and the whooping noises for Daniel. Finally, I can see evidence he's mine. LOL


    I'll have to pop over to see yours, too. Remains of the Day is one of those books that I loved so much I tried to talk everyone into reading it and even bought extra copies to give away. That's really unusual, at least for me.

    I've seen versions without the sci-fi questions. It's more fun reading an individualized version, anyway. I did drop a couple of questions that didn't work for me.


    Thanks. Time Rider is by a friend in my former writers' group. I keep begging her to write a sequel - last I heard she hadn't, but I'll have to write to her to find out. It's been quite a while since I've spoken to her. I think you'd enjoy it.

    The Maltese Falcon is a great book. I've read it twice and nudged a few people into reading it (including my husband - he enjoyed it). I think I've read three or four books by Dashiell Hammett and TMF is the best, but I really like his writing.

  8. I read Pablo's copy of The Maltese Falcon about a year and a half ago. It was one of those fancy hardcover books with a matching little shelf-box...can't think what they're called now... Anyway, it was great & the illustrations were really great! Nobody hard- boiled it quite like old Dash.

  9. Bybee,

    I agree. Dash was a star. :)

    We have a nice hardback (no illustrations), although the first time I read the book I had a slightly water-damaged paperback that I'd bought for probably a dime. It was such a delicious read that I made my husband read it and then passed that copy on to a friend and bought a better one for the good shelves. Such is the life of a book addict. :)

  10. I'm having a lot of fun reading everyone's answers to this meme, and I especially enjoyed yours, Nancy. I plan to read Maltese Falcon next month. My husband who loves that genre is partial to Chandler, but he says Hammett is no one to sneeze at. :-)

    Congratulations to your eldest!

  11. I'm praying for you!! We need you to visit us all as much as possible so fingers crossed for affordable high-speed in your area!!

  12. Wendy,

    Thanks. I hope you love The Maltese Falcon as much as I do. I couldn't get into Chandler. The Big Sleep is a good book, but it just didn't hold the charm of a Hammett, for me. To each his own, I guess! :)

    I just read the eldest's first article and it was nicely written. It fascinates me what floats his boat. LOL

  13. Heather,

    Thanks! I figure the more voices pleading to God, the faster we'll get the DSL. LOL


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