Friday, January 12, 2007


I'm stealing this book-themed quiz from Jaquandor, although if you link over to him you'll see I omitted some of the questions (the quiz is somewhat sci-fi-themed, and I really don't read much sci-fi these days).

1. Science fiction, fantasy, or horror?
These days of the three I probably read more horror if only by virtue of the fact that I read everything Stephen King publishes (although I've yet to crack open the newest, Lisey's World. When I was a teen I read a lot of Koontz and McCammon but never branched out into other horror writers; similarly I read a lot of Asimov but not much else. Come to think of it, in fantasy I read pretty much everything Terry Brooks wrote but, and again, not much else. I'm kind of a single-author whore, or so it seems.

2. Hardback, trade paperback, or mass-market paperback?
I like hardcovers best, but given that I do most of my reading on the train I actually these days prefer a paperback, trade or mass-market (less poundage to lug around in my bag). For ownership I prefer hardcovers for aesthetic reasons - a shelf full of hardcovers just looks sharper than a shelf full of paperbacks. That being said, I certainly own enough paperbacks, including a whole slew of trade paperbacks. After all, it's not as if I have the resources to spend hardcover prices whenever the mood strikes, and used bookstores are chockablock with great paperback deals. Really, the only author I conscientiously buy in hardcover each time out right now is Stephen King.

3. Heinlein or Asimov?
Never read any Heinlein, and read lots o' Asimov. So an easy one. I do find that in the little re-reading I've done of Asimov that his very straightforward style can now sometimes grate. Seems the older me likes a bit more flair in his sentences.

4. Amazon or brick-and-mortar?
Both, for different reasons. Browsing in a big huge bookstore (or a small used bookstore) is a real pleasure. But then so is searching though Amazon's vast archives. They're just different pleasures, and I'm very grateful to get to enjoy both.

5. Barnes & Noble or Borders?
Barnes and Noble, if only because the one nearest me is a monstrous, two-storied beast of a store that I whiled many an hour away in as a teen and young adult. Nothing against Borders, tough.

6. Bookmark or dog-ear?
These days I bookmark, although almost never with an actual bookmark (a receipt, a parking stub, a torn-off strip of newspaper - whatever's handy). When I was young I almost never bookmarked or dog-eared, but would rather just close the book and find my spot when I resumed reading. I guess it's age, but I find that harder to do thee days.

7. Alphabetize by author, by title, or random?
By author, but in categories. So all the fiction goes together, all the plays, all the music non-fiction, all the baby stuff, etc. And I don't mix and match - hardcovers get shelved separately from trades, which get shelved separately from mass-markets. Actually, though, all of this is currently moot - we moved a month ago and all the books are still in boxes, as we try to figure out where to put them and as we try to acquire cheap bookcases (the old house had built-in bookcases in the Den and finished basement).

8. Keep, throw away, or sell?
I keep most stuff for ever, but once in a long while will cull the stacks slightly. When that happens I tend to donate the castoffs.

9. Keep dustjacket or toss it?
Keep. I don't know that I've ever tossed a dustjacket.

10. Read with dustjacket or remove it?
I keep them on. Not sure why, as they do annoy me slightly.

11. Short story or novel?
I much prefer novels. I'll enjoy the occasional short story, but almost always gravitate towards novels.

12. Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket?
Haven't gotten to Snicket yet, but just adore the Potter books.

13. Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?
At a chapter break if I can, but since I do a lot of reading on the train it's typically the end of the ride that dictates where I stop.

14. "It was a dark and stormy night" or "Once upon a time?"
"Once upon a time." I'm ashamed to admit that it took me years to figure out what makes "It was a dark and stormy night"bad writing.

15. Buy or borrow?
Borrow much more than buy. I love my library something fierce, and when it comes down to it I'm typically very reluctant to shell out money for a book I know I can borrow from the library for free.

16.Buying choice: book reviews, recommendation, or browse?
If I'm buying a book, I almost always know ahead of time - it's very, very rare that I'll just browse and see something I want to spend money on.

17. Hard SF or space opera?
Again,I don't read much sci-fi these days, but when I do it's the hard stuff I gravitate towards.

18. Collection (short stories by the same author) or anthology (short stories by different authors)?
Collections - I like the consistency of the same author.

19. Tidy ending or cliffhanger?
Tidy ending, or ambiguous ending, is fine, but a cliffhanger can grate if I don't know I can read the next book right away. Worst case of this? Stephen King's cliffhanger ending to the third Dark Tower book, The Waste Lands. The next book didn't come out for something like five or seven years.

20. Morning, afternoon, or nighttime reading?
Morning and late afternoon (commuting time!)

21. Standalone or series?
Standalones mostly. I like series, but the commitment involved keeps me wary of diving into them.

22. New or used?
I only care about having a new book for those few books I absolutely adore - Stephen King's stuff I always get new.

30. Favorite book of which nobody else has heard?
Tabitha King's One on One. King's wife is a marvelous writer, and that she doesn't get more attention saddens me.

31. Top X favorite genre books of all time? (Where X is 5 or less)
Stephen King's The Dark Tower Seven-book series)
Issac Asimov's Robot Series
Terry Brooks' Magic Kingdom for Sale Series
Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy
Robert R. McCammon's Swan Song

Until Whenever

No comments: