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Booky booky meme from eledonecirrhosa

1. What fiction book are you reading now?
Memories of Ice, by Steven Erikson. Third in the Malazan Book of the Fallen epic fantasy series.

2. What non-fiction book are you reading now?
I'm not.

3. What were your favourite books as a child?
The Railway Series (aka Thomas the Tank Engine) and the Target Doctor Who novelisations.

4. What’s the earliest book you remember reading?
Something about a lion in the garden. I can picture it, but I've forgotten the title. If anyone can enlighten me, feel free to.

5. Were you given annuals at Christmas as a child?
Yes, although for the most part, they were a bit crap. The Terry Nation Dalek Annuals were the exception.

6. What do (or did) you enjoy reading to your kids?
I don’t have kids.

7. What was the last book you got from the library?
An accounting textbook I used as the basis for the accounting course I wrote for my BA Management and MBA students. It has some dull title, but is generally known by its authors names - "Atrill & McLaney". I got it out of the university library. Funnily enough, the chief librarian later became one of my MBA students.

8. Have you ever found something left behind in a library book? What was it?
Not that I can remember.

9. Can you remember the first book you ever bought?

10. Can you remember what it cost?

11. Have you ever bought or read a book on the basis of its cover alone?
Yes, but not often. I seem to remember buying David Brin's 'The Postman' on that basis. (Way before it was turned into a film starring Kevin Costner. I liked the book, but have never seen the film.)

12. Have you ever refused to buy or read a book on the basis of its cover alone?
No, I don't think so.

13. Do you have a favourite cover artist or designer?
Jeff Easley, Larry Elmore, Andrew Skilleter.

14. What is the most recent graphic novel you’ve read?
A re-read of Sandman.

15. E-books or dead tree books?
Paper only. I've never read an ebook and don't own an ebook reader.

16. Do you read on the way to or from work?
No. But then I work from home.

17. What’s the worst thing that’s happened to one of your books?
A cat (Kjetil I think) once got stuck in our bedroom, and took out his frustration on my copy of Andrzej Sapkowski's 'Blood of Elves'.

18. Do you buy second hand books?
Yes. Oh yes.

19. Do you keep all the books you buy?
Almost all. Some occasionally become stock for The Shop on the Borderlands. And sometimes I'll mistakenly buy a book that I already own.

20. Do you loan your books to friends or family?

21. Have you ever loaned a book and not got it back?
Possibly when I was much younger.

22. Spine – broken or unbroken?
I'm not particularly precious about this for most of my books. For a lot of paperbacks, you have to to stand any chance of reading the words closest to the spine.

23. Hardback, paperback or trade?
Usually paperback.

24. Is there a bookshop in your town?
I don't live in a town. There is a bookshop in Tavistock, which is the second nearest town to us.

25. Is there a second-hand bookshop in your town?
The Post Office in Gunnislake (the nearest proper village to us) sells secondhand books. Tavistock has an Oxfam bookshop and a few charity shops that sell secondhand books among other things.

26. Do you remember when charity shops used to sell paperback books with the covers ripped off?

27. Have you ever queued outside a bookshop to get a newly released book as soon as the shop opens?

28. Do you own any books signed by the author?
Yes. From memory, Douglas Adams, David Weber, George R.R. Martin, Michael Moorcock and Joe Abercrombie. Oh and of course 'Agent of the Imperium' by Marc Miller. Which is brilliant. And you should buy it. (Only available in Europe from The Shop on the Borderlands!) And then vote for it as Best SF Novel in the Dragon Awards (it made the shortlist.)

29. Do you own any books signed by the cover artist?
No, although the Shop does. And not just a signature either, but a hand-drawn dragon!

30. Have you ever met the author/s of your favourite books?

31. Have you ever been to a book launch event?

32. In normal circumstances, how long would it take you to read a 500 page book?
I suppose a couple of weeks. Less if I'm up-to-date on my magazine reading. (I'm currently behind on magazines, so bathtime reading is magazines only.)

33. This book is 1000 pages long. How many volumes should it be published in?
Three would be about right. Novels these days are far too long.

34. Use a bookmark or fold down the corner of the page?
A bookmark. I've used the same bookmark (featuring an Andrew Skilleter painting of William Hartnell; came free with Doctor Who Magazine) in every book I've read since about 1982. The exception is short story anthologies where I tend to read one short story then put the book back on the shelf. I do fold down the corner in that situation.

35. Do you underline or highlight passages in your books?
I've only ever done this with textbooks when studying.

36. What book are you most eagerly awaiting?
The Winds of Winter by George R.R. Martin.

37. What book really needs to be written?
There are enough great unread books out there already that I don't worry about unwritten books.

38. Were there any set books at school you particularly liked?
To Kill a Mockingbird.

39. Were there any set books at school you particularly loathed?
Under Milk Wood (if we can include plays) (juvenile nonsense), The Turbulent Term of Tyke Tyler (possibly my earliest introduction to SJW idiocy), Danny The Champion of the World (a book that made me cheer for the bad guys)

40. Do you always finish the books you read?
Almost always. The one exception would be Nikolai Tolstoy's The Coming of the King, which I really didn't get on with. I can think of three other books which I finished, but disliked enough that I skimmed through them pretty quickly - Dorothy Dunnet's Macbeth book (sorry - can't remember the title; this was just so dull), Foucault's Pendulum (nowhere near as clever as it thinks it is, or as well written) and Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice.

41. How many books (including e-books, textbooks and graphic novels) do you read at any one time?
One. To be honest it was an LJ thread a while back that made me realise that other people had more than one book "on the go" at the same time. I cannot imagine wanting to do that.

42. Do you give books as presents?

43. Genre fiction, mainstream fiction or poetry?
All fiction belongs to at least one genre. The idea that there is a distinction between "mainstream" fiction and "genre" fiction in anything other than marketing is bollocks.

44. Non-fiction books – arts, sciences or humanities?
Humanities - mostly history (usually ancient and medieval), some economics.

45. Do you read in the bath?
Always. By that I mean, if I have a bath (and I prefer baths to showers), I always read, although it's a magazine at least as often as it's a book. I subscribe to three monthly magazines (PC Gamer, Edge, Custom PC) and they mostly get read in the bath.

46. You are going on a week’s holiday. How many books do you take?
Depending on the size of the book(s), two or three.

47. Do you read book review blogs or columns?
Sometimes. I have found authors I liked that way.

48. Have you ever reviewed a book?
Yes, on Amazon. Annoyingly though, Amazon has buggered up my account, so although my reviews are still there, my account is no longer accessible. That means that any reviews I write now will be on a different account.

49. If your house was on fire and you could only save one book, what would it be?
There are probably things other than books that I'd be trying to save.

50. What novel would you like made into a TV drama series?
Joe Abercrombie's 'Book of the First Law' series.

51. What non-fiction work would you like made into a TV documentary series?
Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics.

52. Do you still have any of your childhood books?
Some (e.g. the Doctor Who ones).

53. Did your parents pass on any of their own childhood books to you?
My Dad put all his old Arthur Ransome books in my bedroom for my entire childhood. To say that the subject matter did not appeal to me would be an understatement. I never read them.

54. Do you listen to audiobooks?
Lots, while driving. However, it's usually only of books that I've already read. I'm currently working through all of the Thomas Covenant books so that when I finally read the last book in the series, everything that has gone before will be fresh in my mind.

55. Do you read novelisation tie-in books for movies, TV series or games?
Sometimes, but not that often. I've already mentioned 'Agent of the Imperium', which is based on the Traveller RPG and is actually the best book I've read in 2016. The best book I read in 2015 was the Star Wars novel 'Darth Plagueis', which is pretty much Star Wars Episode 0.5. (Annoyingly I hear that this book just missed out on being canon.) I'm also still (very) slowly working my way through the 8th Doctor novels.

56. Has seeing a film ever inspired you to read the book it was based on?
No, but a film trailer has. The trailer for Life of Pi made me want to read the book before watching the film. I loved the book. I loved the film.

57. Do you read the blurb on books?
Of course.

58. What’s the most annoying spoiler you’ve read in a blurb?
I can't remember ever reading a spoiler in a blurb.

59. What are your quirky reading habits?
I don't think I have any really, unless the 'only reading one book at a time' thing is 'quirky'.

60. Do you have any layout or design likes and hates in a book?
Paperbacks that print text very close to the inner margin, making it difficult to read. American printings seem to be particularly prone to this. Small print as well.

61. Have you ever read a self-published book?
'Agent of the Imperium' was published by the author's company, so technically, that counts. Also, Larry Correia's 'Monster Hunter International' (which is loads of fun) was originally self-published I believe.

62. What work of fiction had the biggest impact on your life?
The Lord of the Rings.

63. What work of non-fiction had the biggest impact on your life?
The Traveller Book, by Marc Miller. (Does that count?)

64. What ratio of fiction to non-fiction do you read?
About 5:1. Roughly.

65. Do you read biographies?
Sometimes. The last one I read was about Sir Stanley Matthews.

66. What’s your favourite coffee table book?
I don't have one.

67. Roughly how many physical books do you own?
Between me and bunn, enough to fill one entire room of our house, with some double-stacking. (One of our downstairs rooms is fitted out as a library.) But I have no idea how many books that is.

68. The last few pages of the book you are currently reading are missing. What do you do?
Buy another copy and make sure that copy is complete.

69. What’s next in your To Read pile?
I select my next book semi-randomly by rolling dice to generate a shortlist of ten and then picking from the shortlist.

70. How many books are in your current To Read pile?
About 150.

71. When shopping in a bookshop, what’s the ratio of planned purchases to impulse buys/chance finds?
Probably about 1:3.

72. When shopping online, what’s the ratio of planned purchases to impulse buys/chance finds?
Probably about 10:1.

73. Are you a member of a book group or reading club?
No. I'd absolutely hate that. Having to read someone else's choice of book? Uurgh. Having to then have conversations full of pseudish cockwaffle? Double-uurgh.

74. Do you read the sample chapter for another book included at the end of some novels?

75. Books were much better in the old days, because…
In general, I'm not sure that they were, but in two specific aspects, they were. I'm mostly thinking about science fiction here because I read more 'old days' novels in that genre than any other. The first is that modern SF tends to be flabby - too long and too padded. More pages per plot point. The other thing that annoys me about modern novels is authors seemingly writing not to appeal to readers, but to critics and particularly critics' prejudices.



( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Aug. 15th, 2016 12:50 pm (UTC)
Oooh I should have picked an RPG rulebook for the non-fiction impact on my life! I was sort of mentally classing them as fiction, but that's the player generated bit, not the rules!

I had to google the Tyke Tyler one - never heard of that.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )