This week, Karen has appointed another “guest professor,” Laura of YBTN, to give the Weekend Assignment. Both the main question and the extra credit are hers, as we return to a favorite subject for some of us: books!
Extra Credit: What was the last book you read, and why?
I almost feel like I should abstain from this week’s topic, since I talk about books so much of the time here. Then again, that may be exactly why I should participate – books are one of this blog’s reasons for being, after all!
In Karen’s own response, she wondered if everyone’s answer to this question would be Amazon.com. I don’t do all that much book shopping for myself on Amazon, to be honest. I go there for gifts for other people, and when there’s a specific book I’m looking for – something for a book club reading, perhaps, or a special topic (I ordered several books about wedding planning and blending families from them two years ago), or the occasional new-in-paperback title I’ve been waiting for and just can’t find locally. Oh, and I did pre-order the last three Harry Potter books from them, too.
My favorite place to acquire books – and I’m a book buyer more than a borrower – is my local Borders. It’s on the small side as those stores go, but it’s nicely laid out for browsing. The “literature” section is a bit of a catch-all, as was recently discussed on someone else’s blog (I’d link if I could remember where it happened – sorry!) – memoirs and essays are often shelved there, mixed in among classic and contemporary non-genre fiction. I especially enjoy checking out the tables of new releases and sale books, as well as the special-collection shelves. In my experience, as the big chains go, Borders tends to be more consistent than Barnes and Noble, but I’m not that picky – if B&N is the only game in town, I’m not likely to pass them up. (In fact, I bought four books there just this weekend.) I am not fortunate enough to have a good, general-interest independent bookstore nearby, but if I did I wouldn’t neglect them either.
As I mentioned, I rarely borrow books – when I do, it’s informally, usually from a family member or friend. Sometimes I get books as gifts, but most people who know me prefer to give me bookstore gift cards and let me pick them out myself.
During the last year, I have found – or been found by – a new source for books: authors and publicists. One of the perks of blogging book reviews is being offered free books to read and feature in reviews. I’m selective about the offers I accept, but they’ve helped widen my reading horizons and trim my book budget! (Oh, I still buy books, but knowing that I have a stack of “review books” waiting does slow down my rate of acquisition just a bit.)
I post reviews of just about every book I read. The last book I finished and posted about was Buffalo Gal, a memoir by Laura Pedersen, which is one that was offered to me for review. Currently, I’m immersed in Jodi Picoult‘s last novel, Change of Heart. The last two books I’ve read and reviewed were both nonfiction, as are most of the books in the “review” stack right now, and I wanted some fiction as a change of pace. Picoult’s novels have been reliably absorbing and fast reads for me, and this one hasn’t been an exception, so far. Also, since it’s not a “review” book (although I will review it – yes, it does get confusing sometimes!), I’ll count it for the “Read Your Own Books” Challenge – my goal is to read 20 of those this year, and this will be #2.
If you have a book blog, you’ve probably answered some variation on one or both of these questions several times – would you consider doing it one more time, to participate in this Weekend Assignment? And if you don’t normally blog about books, but you do like to read, why don’t you join in too? All you need to do is answer the question(s) in a post on your own blog, and leave a link to it in the comments on the Assignment post at Outpost Mâvarin! (Tell Karen I sent you!)