Thursday Book Talk: Taking the lazy way out

This “Book Meme” has been making the rounds, but I stole it from The Boston Bibliophile. Feel free to steal it from me!

1. Hardback, trade paperback or mass market paperback? Trade paperback. I try to make sure any purse I buy is big enough to hold one.

2. Barnes & Noble or Borders? Borders, although I will not turn up my nose at B&N if they’re what’s around. I find Borders to be a more enjoyable browsing experience most of the time.

3. Bookmark or dog-ear? Bookmark. My favorite bookmarks wrap around the book to make sure the place-holder doesn’t fall out if I drop the book. I’ll dog-ear in a pinch, though. Also, I have been known to go ballistic over books left open face-down on tables or chairs – I will seize them and insert a bookmark immediately.

4. Amazon or brick and mortar? If I know the specific title I want and am not sure how soon I’ll be in a bookstore to get it, I have no problem ordering it from Amazon. As far as browsing goes, though, it’s got to be a brick-and-mortar bookstore – I want to pick up the book, hold it, flip through the pages.

5. Alphabetize by author or alphabetize by title or random?
You must be talking about “organization.” My books aren’t very familiar with that. I try to keep them separated between fiction and nonfiction on the shelves, but other than that, it’s pretty random. Finding my next read is always an adventure at my house.

6. Keep, throw away, or sell?
Keep or give away, although they might be given to a thrift shop that will sell them. “Throw away?” Are you kidding?

7. Keep dust jacket or toss it? Keep it, unless it’s gotten too beat up.

8. Read with dust jacket or remove it?
If I’m keeping it, it’s staying on the book, period.

9. Short story or novel? Short answer: novels.

10. Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket? Harry Potter. Not even a contest.

11. Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks? Ideally, I’ll make it to the end of the section or chapter, but sometimes my eyes have other ideas.

12. “It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”? It depends on my mood, really. There’s a right time for either one.

13. Buy or borrow? Buy, unless I’m borrowing from someone I know. I love that the library exists, but I hardly ever use it.

14. New or used? New, unless the used copy comes from someone I know. I find used bookstores exhausting.

15. Buying choice: book reviews, recommendations, or browse? Book reviews will bring books to my attention, but I love browsing and sometimes have my best shopping trips when I wasn’t looking for any book in particular. Not many people are comfortable making specific book recommendations for me.

16. Tidy ending or cliffhanger? It depends on what fits the story. Sometimes “tidy” endings feel contrived, and I don’t mind a bit of ambiguity – it helps keep the book in my mind longer.

17. Morning reading, afternoon reading, or nighttime reading? Any or all, but reading before sleep is ritual.

18. Stand-alone or series?
I’m not a stickler either way. If I like the character, I’ll look forward to seeing him or her in multiple books.

19. Favorite series? Harry Potter

20. Favorite children’s book? Favorite book when I was a child: Little Women. Favorite book to read to children: The Cat in the Hat. Favorite book to recommend for children: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. And Harry Potter.

21. Favorite YA book? A Wrinkle in Time

22. Favorite book of which nobody else has heard? Brightness Falls, by Jay McInerney

23. Favorite books read last year?

The Year of Fog, by Michelle Richmond
No One You Know, also by Michelle Richmond
The Ruins of California, by Martha Sherrill
The Post-Birthday World, by Lionel Shriver
But Enough About Me: How a Small-Town Girl Went From Shag Carpet to the Red Carpet, by Jancee Dunn
So Many Books, So Little Time: A Year of Passionate Reading, by Sara Nelson
Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon — and the Journey of a Generation, by Sheila Weller

24. Favorite books of all time?
I almost never answer this question because it’s too hard, but I’ll give up a few this time:
East of Eden, by John Steinbeck
The Great Gatsby,
by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life,
by Anne Lamott
Wonder Boys, by Michael Chabon
The Bean Trees, by Barbara Kingsolver

25. What are you reading right now? As of the time I drafted this post, I’m reading a  review copy of The Mighty Queens of Freeville, by Amy Dickinson.

26. What are you reading next?
I’m not sure, but I know that I’m up to my neck in review books right now! Only one is an ARC (Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities, and Occasional Moments of Grace, by Ayelet Waldman), but a couple are newly published (Mojo Mom: Nurturing Your Self While Raising a Family, by Amy Tiemann, Ph.D., and The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use by Karen Burns), and I’m not sure whether to go for timeliness or dig something older out of the stack. If I do that, I think I’ll pick Dating Jesus: A Story of Fundamentalism, Feminism, and the American Girl, by Susan Campbell. But at some point, I’ll rebel against the review pile and read a couple of books of my own; my husband keeps asking me if I’ve read Fool, by Christopher Moore, yet.

27. Favorite book to recommend to an eleven-year-old? Once again, A Wrinkle in Time

28. Favorite book to reread? I don’t do much re-reading any more – too much new stuff to read! The only books I’ve re-read in the last few years are the Harry Potter books. There was a period when I read the Tales of the City series every year or so, but it’s been a while.

29. Do you ever smell books? Only if they smell weird…

30. Do you ever read Primary source documents, like diaries or letters?
Not often. I’m not sure I’ve read a diary since Anne Frank’s.

***For parents and others who want to nurture book lovers: Have you checked out my review and giveaway for What to Read When? Entries are open until Wednesday, April 22!*** 

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  1. We have very similar reading profiles, Florinda – purse must fit a book, bookmarking, night-time reading rituals.

    My kids know that I flip if I see a book open-faced down. They’re so well trained to use something, anything, to hold their place that my son once used a SOCK as a bookmark!

  2. I prefer trade paperbacks too. I like your comment about the purse too because that is SO me. My purse has to be big enough to fit in it and sometimes quite a bit more.

  3. Kathy (Bermudaonion) – I agree. If you haven’t already done it yourself – I’m sorry I can’t remember! – feel free to take it!

    Dawn – By the time I find the book open face-down, the perpetrator has usually left the room. But when he comes back, he WILL find the book closed, with something stuck in between the pages. He’s 9, and pretty smart – hopefully he’ll get the hint soon!

    Ti – I don’t like to carry a giant purse, but if it can’t hold a book, I won’t use it very often :-).

  4. I loved Brightness Falls, and haven’t found that many other people who did! I thought it captured something of the era; I was living on the east coast at the time.

  5. Jeanne – So was I – not far from New York City, actually. I’ve barely found anyone else who has even READ Brightness Falls – nice to meet you!

    Beth K. – It wouldn’t be the first time, would it :-)? I love finding out I have so much in common with people!

  6. Janssen – It really is, especially since most of the time when there’s a dust jacket, the cover of the book itself is totally plain. One more reason I prefer trade paperbacks :-).