We are posting late this week, and I take the blame – I’m working at the moment and get confused about days because of irregular shifts, and completely missed the fact that it was Saturday today. Alex found these questions at Goodreads!
1) The worst reading experience that you have ever had?
Veera: RIGHT. We can’t talk about my worst reading experiences without me screaming POSTMODERNISM. I’ve wanted to throw pretty much all postmodernist novels I’ve read. THE FRENCH LIEUTENANT’S WOMAN. THE CRIMSON PETAL AND THE WHITE (didn’t finish, still enjoyed the BBC series though). POSSESSION. CHATTERTON. …Okay fine, Peter Ackroyd is a good writer, CHATTERTON was relatively okay and I did enjoy THE FALL OF TROY. And I liked Sarah Waters’s FINGERSMITH. But as a general rule, I will not enjoy postmodernism. I find it pretentious, self-important, and just annoying.
Alex: THE NEMESIS FROM TERRA. That was so bad it was great. There will be a post on that one soon.
2) The best reading experience you have ever had?
Veera: Hmmm. So MANY. Usually the ones that surprise me, that is, that I don’t expect to enjoy as much as I do. I’m going to mention Stina Leicht’s books here, because very possibly WOW of the year and it’s not even June yet.
Alex: Without spoilers? One time Scott Lynch made me cry. I don’t cry at books NO ONE MAKES ME FEEL MY OWN FEELINGS (note to self, replace this with the reaction gif) It was awesome.
3) Which book has affected or influenced you the most so far?
Veera: So many. All the formative reading, obviously. I’m going to say Harry Potter – that was the first series I got into big time, first fandom, and so many friendships thought that.
Alex: Oh gosh. GOOD OMENS, maybe. I read a lot of Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett when I was tiny, and developed this kind of dry British humor.
4) Have you ever read a book that you got really scared of?
Veera: I’ve been daunted by books before I start them, but not during? Books aren’t scary. Uncomfortable is the most I can say I’ve felt.
Alex: I don’t think so. I don’t do well with scary — can’t stand scary movies, for example. I did make the choice to skip a book on the Epic Reading List called KOKO, for exactly those reasons. Usually when things start to get creepy, I look around and think, “I don’t think I want to be reading this alone in the house at 2am. I’ll go to sleep instead, read it in the morning.”
5) What do you use as a bookmark?
Veera: I’ve got loads of bookmarks. From Book Depository, from bookstores, freebies from bookish events, scraps of paper, old wristbands from pub crawls…
Alex: A bookmark! Veera made it for me. It has a couple inside jokes from the Gentleman Bastards fandom on it. 😀 It’s getting a little battered, and the ribbon is getting a little frayed because my cat WANTS TO FUCKING MURDER IT.
6) When do you usually read? At home, work, while cooking, in the morning, noon, afternoon, before you go to bed…?
Veera: Anytime, anywhere. Currently I get a lot of reading done at work, but usually mostly home, I guess. Mornings are better than afternoons, and evenings work if I didn’t get much read during the morning. I just need my daily reading, tbh.
Alex: At home, in bed, during meals… I don’t have a day job right now, so I spend most of the day reading. 🙂
7) Do you remember the first book that you read?
Veera: I think it’s fair to say I don’t. In my head it’s HARRY POTTER AND PHILOSOPHER’S STONE, but it can’t have been, I just remember it very strongly. I read a lot before that, but no idea what might have come first.
Alex: The first one I read myself, or the first one I had read to me? Because the first one I read by myself was in school, and it was called “Chip and Bird”. First ones that were read to me… The first I can remember is THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE, and the rest of the Narnia books.
8) Which do you prefer – paperback or hardcover?
Veera: Paperback all the way.
Alex: Oh, interesting question. I think I’m going to say hardcover, actually! They take a beating a little better.
9) What are you currently reading? What page are you on?
Veera: THE THREE MUSKETEERS by Alexandre Dumas. I’m on paaaage *checks* 394/698 (not counting the notes)
Alex: TEHANU by Ursula LeGuin. Page 84. (THREE MUSKETEERS, THOUGH. I’m so jealous. Such a great book. <3)
10) Do you ever leave “a mark” (deliberate and/or not deliberate) in your books? For example, write in them, underline quotes, coffeemarks or food crumbs and etc.
Veera: I don’t. Or, very occasionally. I just don’t. Not even school texts, as a general rule. My reasoning is that if I want to examine the text later from another point of view, I’ll not want the previous markings there. But having said that, there was simply no way, nor is there a way when I finally continue, that I’ll not write in my copy of LE MORTE DARTHUR by Thomas Malory. I would hate myself if I didn’t mark it. And I wouldn’t find anything I want to find if I didn’t. So maybe medieval texts are an exception or something.
Alex: Well, the very act of reading often marks books in some way — bent pages, broken spines — it happens eventually, no matter how careful you are! I sometimes dogear pages, particularly in books that I’ve read a thousand times. And one time I attacked a copy of TWILIGHT with four different colors of highlighter and eight different colors of pen. But most of the time, no. (Veera is leaving out the time she annotated her copies of the Gentleman Bastard books, though.)
Veera: That is different! I’ve just flagged them, I haven’t actually written in the books. I don’t count flagging in this question, because let’s face it, thesis research would have been a LOT of marking!
Alex: “Food crumbs” was in the original question, and those aren’t permanent marks either.
Veera: These are permanent but removable. Also not personal, just fact-flagging.
Alex: Whatever you say, darling 😉
11) Does the title, amount of pages and the cover affect you when you are considering a specific book?
Veera: Nnnnnot really. I mean, if I’m really busy I won’t be picking up a 1,000-page book for a reread (hence why I still haven’t reread WAR AND PEACE), but apart from that, not really.
Alex: Not anymore, but when I was tiny (like… seven, eight years old), I was a HUGE FUCKING ELITIST. Mom would take me to the library and I’d wander through the stacks and pick out books using a very strict rubric. A book had to be thicker than my thumb was wide, and if it passed, then I’d pick it up and flip through it to see if there were too many pictures. I was so ashamed of reading books like the American Girl series, because they did not meet the length criteria and had quite a few pictures in them. But they were interesting! They were about day-to-day life for historical people! :< I also used to sneak a few of my little sister’s picture books when I was about five or six and read them in secret. I have no idea why I held myself to these silly standards. XD I guess I am still attracted to big hefty fantasy novels, though. #sizequeen?
12) Do you ever browse through to the last pages in order find out the ending?
Veera: The worst I do is check how long the book is, and if I glimpse something while doing that, then it happens. Usually it doesn’t, though, because I make a conscious effort not to.
Alex: The temptation is always there, and sometimes when I’m shopping in a bookstore, I’ll read the first page and the last sentence. But most of the time I try to keep myself from doing that, because I want to experience the book in the way the author intended me to. …Now I’m thinking about that, though, wouldn’t the alternative be an interesting way to read a book? Read it all out of order, in the way the author definitely did NOT intend the book to be read? Or backwards, chapter by chapter? I kind of want to try that now 😀
13) Has knowing the ending of a book (example, through spoilers or a movie) ever made you decide whether you will read the book or not?
Veera: I’m trying to remember. I’m sort of put off by GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn, especially the book but also the movie, because I think I may have spoiled myself? I don’t know for sure how it ends, but I’ve formed a hypothesis based on accidental glimpses, and… yeah. But I think I’m still going to read it.
Alex: Umm… I don’t *think* so? I avoid making judgment of the book based on the movie, because it’s always possible they fucked up the movie and the book is great. Although when I went to read PERFUME by Patrick Suskind, I’d already seen the movie and looooooved it, so I was excited to read the book and see if it was the same. (Side note: The movie is a really excellent and faithful adaption!)
14) Is there a book that you have read more than five times?
Veera: I know for sure that THE LIES OF LOCKE LAMORA, RED SEAS UNDER RED SKIES, SHARP TEETH, and GOOD OMENS qualify for this. There might be others, but I don’t feel confident claiming five when it might be three.
Alex: Pretty sure I’ve read GOOD OMENS, HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE, and THE DARK LORD OF DERKHOLM more than five times. I’ve got a pretty good memory, so usually I only reread books once or twice — I prefer to reread my favorite scenes instead: I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve read the onion scene from REPUBLIC OF THIEVES.
15) Have you ever been in an accident where the book was the cause? (for example, almost getting hit by a car when reading while walking, or having stacks of books falling on you from a bookshelf…)
Veera: The worst has been walking into a parked car, so no, books don’t really cause accidents when I’m concerned.
Alex: One time I was rearranging my bookshelf and one fell off onto my foot. Does that count?
16) Do you sell/give away your books or do you keep them, even though you don’t like one of them?
Veera: I sell fantasy and science fiction at Finncon’s book flea market, others I leave on library and university recycling shelves. Or I take them to the country and leave them there. That’s a universally approved method in my family.
Alex: I’m a book hoarder. BUT! I did just pack up a box of books for the secondhand shop a few months back. First time in my life I’ve sold books to a secondhand shop, but I wanted store credit from them. 😛 I’d be fine with giving away a book that I didn’t like, if someone came to my house and the book caught their eye.
17) Do you bring with you the book when needing to use the toilet? Do you ever read in the bathroom?
Veera: If the book is really, really, REALLY good.
Alex: Generally, no. The only book I can recall doing this with was REPUBLIC OF THIEVES. I didn’t take my eyes off that thing for *ANYTHING* on its release day — I bought TV dinners two days in advance because they can be prepared with one hand, without looking at them.
18) Do you have some kind of book system, where you write down what you are reading, have bought, will read, will buy and etc? (goodreads doesn’t count ;))
Veera: I am obsessed with lists. I love book lists in particular. I have so many. When I say “my TBR list” I don’t always tell you which one I mean, but there are several.
Alex: Generally no, but when I decided to do the Epic Reading Project, I knew I needed SOME kind of system to keep everything straight. I’m surprised I don’t make reading lists more often, because I love lists, and I looooooooove color coding. *___*
19) Do you keep a reading diary/journal?
Veera: Sort of. I have a notebook where I write down all the books I read, with page number. Originally I just wanted to see how many pages I read a year, but now it’s habit and sliiiightly obsessive, and I like the thought of going back in like ten years and seeing what I read in 2012. (I started keeping a list in 2009.) I rely a lot on my memory when it comes to whether I enjoyed a book or not. To my shame there are some romance novels I have no recollection of, but I’m approaching that from a positive angle and figure that it just means it wasn’t anything to write home about.
Alex: I am now. *gestures at the blog* XD