I’ve seen this meme on a few different blogs, but I finally decided to do it after seeing it over at Tales from the Reading Room.
Hardback or trade paperback or mass market paperback?
If it comes with pages in-between two covers, I’m generally happy with it. If they all were the same price, I’d probably go with hardback, simply because I like the feel of them more than paperbacks. On the other hand, I’d have to eventually switch back to paperbacks, because I’m sure I’d quickly run out of shelf space, if all I owned were hardbacks.
Amazon or brick and mortar?
Both. When I know what book I’m wanting, I generally buy it from Amazon, because it’s easy (and fast). Being in a small town, the nearest decent bookstore is about two hours away. However, I love browsing at a brick and mortar store. When the family takes a trip to Columbus, they generally have to drag me out of Barnes and Noble. I don’t kick and scream, but I certainly don’t like leaving, either. Those big, cushy chairs are just so nice…
Barnes & Noble or Borders?
No real preference on this one. As noted, I live in a small town with no decent bookstore to speak of. I’ll take what I can get!
Bookmark or dogear?
Bookmark, for sure. I’m one of those people that cries out in dismay if I accidentally tear a page, or even drop the book and bend a page or two. It’s never happened yet because I’m so careful with them, but I think if I broke the spine of one of my books, I just might cry.
Alphabetize by author or alphebetize by title or random?
At this point in time, totally random. There are odd pockets of books that are on the same subject, and a few pockets where the books are by one author (like Tolkien), but for the most part, my shelves are just one big mess. I’ll be lame and say I live dangerously.
Keep, throw away, or sell?
Keep. Keep. Keep. If I have a book that I really have no intention of ever reading again, I’ll consider selling it. But throw away? As in the garbage? Are you insane?!
Keep dustjacket or toss it?
I generally keep all of my dustjackets. They’re not important in the least to how the book reads, but I still like having them. Then again, I keep old computer game manuals too, so what’s that tell you?
Read with dustjacket or remove it?
I always remove dustjackets when I’m reading a book. For one, it gets irritating fighting the damn thing everytime I try to read. For another thing, I hate seeing the top and bottom edges of the dustjacket become covered in those tiny tears, due to laying against things.
Short story or novel?
Novels. I’ve never enjoyed short stories much. About the time I begin getting interested in one, it’s over.
Collection (short stories by same author) or anthology (short stories by different authors)?
I have no real preference on this one, because I don’t like short stories. I do know, however, that I don’t own any collections of short stories by one author, so I’ll have to default to anthologies. The only reason I own a few sci-fi anthologies is because a friend was going to throw them away and I couldn’t stand it. I know. I have a problem.
Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket?
Again, I’ll have to default on this one, this time to Harry Potter. I’ve never read Lemony Snicket. Having said that, I don’t care much for Potter. I’ve read the first two books of the series, and truthfully (please, no rotten tomatoes!), I don’t see what the big deal is. To me, it came across as a sub-par fantasy book with stereotypical characters. There was nothing really there that made me want to keep coming back.
Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?
A bit of both! I prefer to stop at chapter breaks, or those wonderful little mid-chapter breaks that (nice) authors put in, but sometimes I don’t get to do this. In particular, when I’m reading in bed, sometimes I just have to call it quits at the end of a paragraph. This generally happens when two variables are met:
1. I’m extremely tired, and know I can’t read much longer.
2. The nearest “break” is the next chapter, which is 50 pages away.
“It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”?
Neither. “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit”, thank you very much. If I were forced to choose, probably the latter, because that ignites at least a little bit of hope of trolls or some other nasty fantasy creature.
Buy or Borrow?
I buy most of the time. I do a hefty amount of borrowing as well, but only from the library.
New or used?
If I were a rich man, new books, easily. However, rich I am not, so I reserve my new book purchases for things I can’t usually find used, such as history books. I’m quickly acquiring a large amount of used fantasy and sci-fi books, mostly because I can get them for a quarter a piece.
Buying choice: book reviews, recommendation or browse?
All of the above. I often read amazon.com reviews, and pay attention to them, too. I’ll also take recommendations, particularly from friends who I know enjoy the same stuff as I do. And, of course, I love browsing. The only problem with buying based on browsing is that I can generally find at least a dozen books I’d like to buy, but I can typically only afford one or two.
Tidy ending or cliffhanger?
I prefer tidy endings. I’m not fond of reading three hundred plus pages simply to be left with an ending that doesn’t resolve all of the problems the author has created. Unless, of course, a sequel is on the way. Oddly enough, I suppose the ending to The Dark Tower was a cliffhanger, in a way, and I liked it just fine.
Morning reading, afternoon reading or nighttime reading?
I’m one of those people that generally has a book in hand, regardless of where I’m at or where I’m going. I’ll read at anytime during the day, and just about anywhere, too.
Standalone or series?
Series, generally. If I enjoy the characters in one book, I’m generally quite pleased to find that I can read more about them later. My only gripe with this though, is that I wish authors would learn when to draw the line. Some series just go on too long. The Wheel of Time series comes to mind…
I’ll join the lemmings and shout out Lord of the Rings. It never gets old. I haven’t read them in years, but for a while, I also enjoyed a few of the Dragonlance series as well. I recently tried to get into the Redwall series at the recommendation of a family member, but I just couldn’t get into the whole mouse thing. Fantasy creatures I have no problem with, but talking mice? No thank you.
Favorite book of which nobody else has heard?
Looking at the books I own, I don’t think I have any that are really obscure. I’m sure I have quite a few history books that the general populace hasn’t read, but I’m sure others have heard of them.
Favorite books read last year?
Lucifer’s Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle, Awakening the Buddha Within by Lama Surya Das (which I’m rereading currently), The Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla.
Favorite books of all time?
I’m hesitant to say it, because of how much I’ve already gushed about them, but oh well: Lord of the Rings is, by far, my absolute favorite series of books. Having started reading it at around 10, it has honestly shaped my entire character. It kicked off my interest in fantasy, as well as my interest in medieval history, which has since ballooned out to encompass all of history. On the nonfiction side of things, I’d have to say that Hitler by Joachim C. Fest was a great read. It really deepened my interest in the Second World War.
I won’t tag anyone, because I know most people hate it, but if you read the meme and you want to do it, feel free. It’s not like you need my permission anyway, right?