Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Yet Another Meme...

... but it's book related, so that's all right. I saw this on Omphalos' blog.

Hardback or trade paperback or mass market paperback?
Depends. Hardback for my favourite authors, paperback for others. Not too keen on trade paperbacks, but if that's the first edition of a book by a favourite author then that's what I'll buy.

Bookmark or dog-ear?
Bookmark. If dog-earring books isn't a sin, it damn well should be.

Alphabetize by author or alphabetize by title or random?
Alphabetical by author, and titles by year of first publication within each author. I've never been entirely sure what to do with anthologies edited by authors - should they be placed chronologically, even though they probably contain no fiction by the author, or should they be shelved separately?

Keep, throw away or sell?
I never throw books away. Books I don't want I either sell on eBay, give away on BookMooch, give to friends or donate to charity shops.

Keep dust jacket or toss it?
Who throws dust jackets away? That's just plain stupid.

Last book you bought?
The last book to arrive since this lot is The Twist in the Plotting: Twenty-Five Poems by Bernard Spencer, a chapbook published by the University of Reading Arts Department in 1960. The last book I actually bought, but it has yet to arrive, is a signed edition of Louisiana Breakdown by Lucius Shepard.

Last book someone bought for you?
Would probably be one I received for my birthday. On the one hand, it's easy to buy presents for me: just get a book. On the other hand, I tend to buy the books I want myself, so there's a danger I might already have it. Wishlists, FTW.

What are some of the books on your to-buy list?
My wants list is huge. Let's see... there are a few new books I want, like Chris Beckett's The Turing Test or Paul McAuley's The Quiet War; some books which will be published in the next six to nine months, such as Gwyneth Jones' Spirit or Bruce Sterling's The Carytids or Gary Gibson's Nova War; various titles I need to complete an author's oeuvre; and the odd book that looks interesting, both fiction - for example, √Člisabeth Vonarburg's Dreams of the Sea - and non-fiction - Personal Landscapes by John Bolton (about the Cairo poets of WWII).

Collection (short stories, same author) or anthology (short stories, different authors)?
Both. But not all anthologies. It depends on the theme. The New Space Opera and The Space Opera Renaissance are both good. But I'm not into steampunk so steampunk anthologies are not going to appeal to me. Year's best anthologies are a good way of keeping up with what's been published in short fiction, but it's difficult to find the right one to buy. It's unlikely you'll agree that all the contents are the "best", but each of the different ones usually have some overlap so there's not much point in getting all of them...

Harry Potter, Lemony Snicket, or the velvety embrace of Death?
Death, definitely.

Morning reading, afternoon reading, or nighttime reading?
Usually night-time, although on the weekends I'll also read in the afternoon.

The books you need to go with other books on your shelves?
I still have one or two series missing installments, but I'm slowly completing them. But not at any cost. I wait until I see a copy going cheap.

Do you read anywhere and anytime you can or do you have a set reading time and/or place?
I read on the tram to and from work. Like a lot of people, I also read on the loo. Sometimes I read while I'm watching telly - but not foreign films: it's impossible to read and watch subtitled films. And I read just before I go to sleep.

Do you have seasonal reading habits?
No.

Do you read one book at a time or do you have two or more books going at once?
Uusually one at a time, but on occasion I've read two or more concurrently. Depends. Usually it only works if the second book is one you can dip into at intervals.

What are your pet peeves about the way people treat books?
Not looking after them - breaking spines, putting creases in the cover, scribbling in them, etc. Well, except for author's signatures, of course. Some of the paperbacks I've sold on eBay are twenty-five years old but looked brand new. Admittedly, they were in storage for fifteen of those twenty-five years...

Name one book you surprised yourself by liking.
The Jewel in the Crown by Paul Scott. I'm currently reading it as part of my 2008 Reading Challenge. There'll be a blog post going up about it in a few days. Given that I've not really enjoyed most of the classic novels I've picked to read this year for my challenge, I was delighted to discover that Scott's writing is the sort I enjoy most, with the added bonus that The Jewel in the Crown is about expat Brits (a topic which always resonates with me). I fully intend to read more Scott - after I've finished the Raj Quartet.

How often do you read a book and not review it on your blog? What are your reasons for not blogging about a book?
Other way round: I blog about a book for a reason. Because of all the reviews of Neal Stephenson's Anathem, I posted a review of Andrew M Stephenson's Nightwatch. A discussion on various blogs about optimism in sf prompted me to post a review of the most miserable - but still excellent - sf novel I could find, DG Compton's Chronicules. Niall Harrison reviewed Gwyneth Jones' Kairos on Torque Control, so I reviewed her earlier Escape Plans. I worked my way through some, but not all, of the novels shortlisted for the 2008 BSFA Award. The publication of a new Culture novel is an event, so I had to review Matter. And, of course, there's my annual reading challenge...


EDIT: and I should thank John at SF Signal for coming up with the meme in the first place. Although his original questions have altered somewhat as they've propagated through the blogosphere...

1 comment:

jimsteel said...

Argh - just realised you tagged me. I'll get on it.