Sunday, January 28, 2007

It's meme time!

  • Hardback or trade paperback or mass market paperback? Trade paperback. Although for any of my favorite books, I'll usually end up acquiring the hardback later on. There are times when I've also been known to buy every edition of a book that I can get my hands on. I have no idea why I do this, except maybe a deeply rooted fear that some of these authors will sadly be out-of-print one day, and if something should happen to one copy of the book, then at least I'll have another. This behavior is usually reserved for those authors who should be more widely read anyways, so I never feel bad about spending the money.
  • Amazon or brick and mortar? Almost always Amazon (and Abesbooks.com), usually because of the price and the selection. However if I lived closer to something like the Strand, I prefer brick and mortar. I still go to bookstores on the weekends for the pure joy of browsing the shelves and displays.

  • Barnes & Noble or Borders? Whichever one is closer. I have to confess that I love these huge megastores, most likely because this is where I choose to hide from the mandatory socializing events that they forced on us freshman year of college. I always found these events startling as you had to put everything you've got: SAT scores, looks, aspirations, social graces, etc., on the table so that your peers may decide whether you were friend-worthy or not. It just seemed so silly and terrifying at the same time. Thank goodness for my college Barnes and Noble.

  • Bookmark or dogear? Neither, I can't ever seem to keep one bookmark long enough to actually use it. And I couldn't stand to dogear a book unless it was something that I was only reading for class (and only if I find myself despising the author for some reason). Really, the only book I've ever dog-eared is my copy of Pillar of Hercules by Paul Theroux. I found him to be a pretentious gasbag. Anyways, whenever I read, I usually spend 3 or 4 minutes looking for the right page, it's very inefficient.

  • Alphabetize by author or alphabetize by title or random? I use to alphabetize by author. Now the arrangement is a bit more eclectic. I tend to group authors by themes that they work on, or how I feel about them.
  • Keep, throw away, or sell? Keep. It's very very painful for me to get rid of any book that I took the trouble to buy. But now that I've found BookMooch, I've gotten better at getting rid of some things.

  • Keep dustjacket or toss it? Why would you ever want to toss it?

  • Read with dustjacket or remove it? Remove it. Unfortunately, I'm very OCD about my books.

  • Short story or novel? Before last year, I would have said novel with some certainty. However, I've been reading more collections in the last two years, and now, I'm no longer so sure. A good short story is a very profound experience. There are some stories that evoke a mood or make a impression that never leaves you. I find that very powerful. I'm also very fond of the novella.

  • Collection (short stories by same author) or anthology (short stories by different authors)? I like both for different reasons: anthology - to try new authors; collection - to experience an author that I already enjoy. I find I have to skip around a lot more in anthologies because the constant change in style makes it hard for me to focus for a long period of time.

  • Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket? Well...Potter I guess, although I feel that this isn't much of a contest. I consider Lemony Snicket one of those rip offs of Harry Potter that actually succeeded. More of a good marketing effort than anything else.

  • Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks? When tired.


  • Buy or Borrow? As a kid, I used to frequent the library as much as I did school, so it's embarrassing to admit that answer is Buy.

  • New or used? New, or gently used.

  • Buying choice: book reviews, recommendation or browse? I try not to read book-reviews to in-depth because often they reveal too much or color my own opinions of the book. I do enjoy reading reviews after finishing a novel. I love recommendations and browsing, and rely heavily on both.

  • Tidy ending or cliffhanger? To be honest, both sound unappealing. My only criteria for endings is that they must make sense in relation to the rest of the book. Although usually books that tie up everything make me feel slightly uncomfortable.

  • Morning reading, afternoon reading or nighttime reading? Reading in the afternoon is very pleasurable to me because this usually means it's the holidays or my day off. I prefer to read in daylight, but actually spend much more time reading at night.

  • Standalone or series? Standalone, although I preferred series as a kid. I think series for adults are difficult to write. They are generally a disappointment for me.

  • Favorite series? Follow the link.

  • Favorite book of which nobody else has heard? Nothing pops immediately to mind although I have just discovered a beautiful "children's" book called The Rabbits by John Marsden, illustrated by Shaun Tan, which tells an allegorical tale about colonialism and the ecological destruction and culture exploitation that follows. Here is the cover:

Go to Shaun Tan's website for more pictures from the book.

2 comments:

visionbird said...

I love this Marsden/Tan book! Shaun Tan's other books, "The Lost Thing" and "The Red Tree" are also really good. I haven't read anything else by Marsden, but this book is certainly impressive.

Dana

CChen said...

Couldn't agree with you more Dana. I was interested in picking up "The Lost Thing" and "The Red Tree" so thanks for the recommendation!