Guess what? It’s another book meme

I picked this up from Scribe, who picked it up from Benjamin Solah, who grabbed it from Bites… You can follow it back further yourself if you’re really interested.

I thought it was worth a look as it’s a bit different from the others I’ve put on here up till now. Consider yourself tagged if you want to have a go. Drop a comment here if you do reproduce it yourself, with a link so I can come and have a look at your answers.

Hardback, trade paperback or mass market paperback?

I’m not especially fussed, to be honest. I tend to have more mass market paperbacks than anything else, but that’s primarily a financial consideration. I’d love to have a library of hardbacks. I’d also love to have a twenty acre property that I could enjoy from the driver’s seat of a Ferrari Enzo, but there you go.

Barnes & Noble or Borders?

Do we have B&N over here in Australia? I don’t think I’ve ever seen one. There was a Borders in Bondi Junction, near where I used to live, and I enjoyed browsing there as the place was just so freaking huge. But I prefer a dingy little independent store with dust on the shelves given the choice.

Bookmarks or dog-ear?

I don’t mind a book looking like it’s been read and enjoyed, so I’m not against dog-earing a page. But I usually tend to tear off the corner of the newspaper or something similar and use that as a bookmark.

Amazon or brick-and-mortar?

Both. I love to browse in brick-and-mortar stores, but I also love to shop at Amazon. I just wish we had an amazon.com.au in order to enjoy local shipping rates. Do you hear me, Jeff Bezos? We read down here too, you know!

Alphabetize by author, by title or randomize?

In a store, definitely alphabetise by author. At home, my OCD tendencies encourage me to do the same, but I’m usually pretty slack at it. I’m both obsessive and lazy.

Keep, throw away or sell?

Throw away a book?! THROW IT AWAY?! There should be a gaol sentence for that. Or better yet a public flogging. I’ll keep all the books I can. If I don’t enjoy a book I’m likely to trade it in at a second hand book store for something else. I once sold a load of books to finance an overseas trip and I still regret that.

Keep dust jacket or remove it?

Permanently? Keep it, of course. It’s an integral part of the book. But I usually take them off while reading and leave them on the shelf. I put them back when I’ve read the book.

Read with dust jacket or remove it?

Oh right. See above.

Short story or novel?

Both. I love the short story medium (I love reading them and writing them). I also love novels. There’s not really any distinction for me. A story is a story and the length is irrelevant.

Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket?

I’ve never read Lemony Snicket, so can’t really answer this one. I’ve have read all the Harry Potter stuff and, to be honest, it wouldn’t take much for Lemony Snicket to be better…

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?

I’ve woken up with a book all crushed underneath me before, so I don’t tend to let tiredness stop me from reading. If I have to do something else I’ll usually try to get to the end of a chapter before I put the book down.

“It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”?

Dark and stormy all the way. Once upon a time usually has a Disney-esque moral and that gets a bit tiresome. Although real fairy tales are brilliant.

Buy or borrow?

Both. I’ll buy things as often as possible in order to hoard them and cram my bookshelves like a magpie stuffing its nest. But I’ll borrow too, if something is recommended to me.

Buying choice: book reviews, recommendations or browse?

All three. Probably reviews are the least likely thing to swing me one way or another, but I tend to buy based on all kinds of things. Sometimes it’s just a feeling in the gut and that often leads me to ripping yarns. Always trust your gut.

Tidy ending or cliff hanger?

Depends if there’s a sequel. It also depends on how well it’s done. A good, clever cliffhanger can be great, but not if it’s a cop out because the author couldn’t think of a good ending.

Morning, afternoon or night time reading?

Just like Martini – Anytime, anyplace, anywhere, that’s my reading… (That old Martini ad is really quite the tautology. Surely anyplace and anywhere mean exactly the same thing? Anyway…)

Stand alone or series?

Both. A solid standalone novel is always a pleasure, but series can build so much more detail and character. But only if it’s a good series. Multiple books rambling on about the same old bollocks page after page just for the sake of it are a crock. (Yes, I’m talking to you Robert Jordan! (I know he’s dead now, but I can still hold the same opinion I had when he was alive.))

Favourite series?

Tough call. The Lord Of The Rings is eternal, I really enjoyed The Belgariad and the Discworld books are perennial favourites. Also the Hitchhiker’s Guide… man, I could never pick a favourite. There are so many good series.

Favourite children’s book?

A three way tie between Charlotte’s Web, Stig Of The Dump and Runaway Ralph.

Favorite YA book?

I’m not sure I’ve really read anything specifically Young Adult. I did really enjoy Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy recently – does that count?

Favorite book of which no one else has heard of?

I should refuse to answer this question on the grounds of grammatical butchery. However, one that springs to mind is Replay by Ken Grimwood. It won the 1988 World Fantasy Award, so people must have heard of it, but whenever I mention it to friends they always shake their head. But you should read it. It’s brilliant.

Favorite books read last year?

I finally got around to reading Ender’s Game last year. I picked the twist very early on, but it feels like the reader is supposed to pick it before the kids realise. I enjoyed it a lot and it’s the only one that comes to mind right now.

Favorite books of all time?

Impossible to say. There are dozens of books that I absolutely love, but would never be able to pick one favourite.

What are you reading right now?

The Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks. And it’s excellent. I have about half of the last book left to go.

What are you reading next?

I got Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson for my birthday recently, so I’ll probably give that a go.

Favorite book to recommend to an 11-year-old?

I would say RealmShift and MageSign, but that would just be mean and corruptive of young minds. So perhaps I’d say The Lord Of The Rings.

Favorite book to re-read?

Neil Gaiman’s Sandman graphic novels. I never get tired of those stories.

Do you ever smell books?

Of course. But I do prefer to smell bookshops – I like a more intense book sniffing experience.

Do you ever read primary source documents, like letters or diaries?

Only when I’m not supposed to. It’s just boring otherwise.

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2 thoughts on “Guess what? It’s another book meme

  1. Hey Alan! Very interesting answers you have. Listen, I’m finishing up my first full length novel (probably be absolutely finished before this coming December). Honestly, I know nothing about publishing, getting an agent or the ins and outs of the writing profession. I can write, but I’m lost in other areas. Have you written any articles about how first timers should go about it? You have published novels, and I will read your first one when I’m done writing this thing. Any advice at all would be appreciated. Since you study martial arts (and so do I) I tend to relate to martial artists. Any links to your own stuff or others could help me. I appreciate any guidance you have 🙂

  2. Hi Bobby

    Happy to chat with you. I’ll send you an email rather than try to have a conversation in comments!

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