Monday, July 2, 2012

Reading, Reading, Reading. :)

I saw this meme over at A Room of One's Own the other day and, since I'm kind of a bookish blogger (not a book blogger, per se--just a bookish one), I thought I might do it, just to change things up a little. Do you snack while you read? If so, favourite reading snack: Not surprisingly, I love to eat chocolate while reading. The darker the better. What is your favourite drink while reading? I don't drink anything while reading as a general rule, but sometimes during the winter I curl up with a mug of hot chocolate and a good book. It's more my living a romanticized fantasy than it is a habit, though. Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you? The idea used to horrify me, but now I do occasionally mark my books. I really treasure the notes I've made in the margins of some of my books, but I don't really like to sit there with a pen as I'm reading. I like to buy used books with margin notes. It's like a strange connection with the reader before me. How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears? Laying the book flat open? I use "bookmarks"--aka whatever smallish slips of paper are handy. I mercilessly dog-ear the pages of my school books, but I refrain from dog-earing my favorites. I'm not afraid to leave the book lying open. I don't try to keep my books pristine; I like my books to look well-loved. Fiction, non-fiction, or both? Non-fiction for sure, unless it's classic literature. I do occasionally read modern novels (I'm currently reading one, as you can see from my Goodreads widget), but they're usually historical novels, or at least realistic. I don't like fantasy or sci-fi. Are you a person who tends to read to the end of a chapter, or can you stop anywhere? "I'll just read to the end of the chapter" is my go-to excuse to read when I should be studying, so I usually read to the end of the chapter. I don't mind stopping in the middle, though. Are you the type of person to throw a book across the room or on the floor if the author irritates you? I will definitely throw it. The heavier the book, the more satisfying the throw. The moment I finished Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged provided an excellent book-throwing moment.
If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop and look it up right away?
No. Instead, I'll take a moment to chastise myself for not knowing the word. Then I'll glance around suspiciously, wondering if there are any telepaths present who might now know how stupid I am for not knowing such a common word. Then I'll stare at the word until I can make up a reasonable definition. Once I have one, I'll convince myself that I actually knew the word all along, and keep reading.

 Every once in a while, I'll actually look up the word later. Secretly.

What are you currently reading?
Chocolate: A Bittersweet Saga of Dark and Light by Mort Rosenblum, for my summer reading challenge. I'm also sort of -ish reading The Crown by Nancy Bilyeau--which is actually very exciting, I'm just taking my time with it.

What is the last book you bought?
I don't actually buy books very often, except for textbooks (which isn't very exciting at all). The last book I can remember buying is Paris to the Moon by Adam Gopnik. (A lovely book, by the way.) But, embarrassingly, I think that was nearly a year and a half ago. I'm more of a library girl myself.

Are you the type of person that reads one book at a time, or can you read more than one?
I'm always reading more than one book at a time, especially now that I'm a student.

Do you have a favourite time/place to read?
I'm not too picky about the when and where; I take moments to read whenever I can get them. That means I usually end up reading while walking to campus, sitting in waiting rooms, in between classes, etc. (Yes, I read while walking.) I don't really mind where I am, but my favorite place would have to be the beach. There's really nothing like reading on the sand, in the sun, with the ocean crashing on the shore in the background.

Do you prefer series books or stand alones?
Stand alones. I hardly ever feel that a series actually needs to be a series. Most of the time, I feel like they're just trying to make money, or maybe the author can't come up with any more ideas, or maybe they're just self-indulging themselves with the same characters. Give the characters a rest, for goodness' sake. You don't have to make them go hoarse after they've already told their story.

Is there a specific book or author you find yourself recommending over and over?
For some reason, I often recommend The Scarlet Pimpernel, even though I've only read it once and it's not as though it's my favorite book or anything. I think it's because I want to encourage people to read classic literature, and I feel like it's a good gateway into that genre for people who hated the stuff they had to read in high school. I'm not sure it's exactly considered classic literature, per se, but I think it is. I also recommend Louis L'amour all the time, even though I don't personally enjoy L'amour. I recommend what I think other people like more than I recommend my actual favorites.

How do you organize your books? (by genre, title, author's last name, etc.)
Organization is totally rampant, but it's okay because I don't have very many books. (Like I said, I'm more of a library girl. And I hardly have any space to keep them.) Most of my books are on my one small bookcase, wherever they will fit. My Jane Austen collection and my biography of the Tudors are on the top shelf of my closet, where I can look at them longingly and dream of the day I'll have time and motivation to seriously peruse them. There are also a good number of books on a makeshift bookshelf, which I made myself with cardboard boxes, under my bed. There is no system; I just stuff books into whatever nooks and crannies I can find for them.

All this book talk is making me want to write about the book I finished most recently, The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo. A post about that will be coming soon!


  1. Speaking of what you do when you come across an unfamiliar word, I'm unfamiliar with the word "meme." (I hope that's not something I should be embarrassed about.) You have used it several times online. Every time you use it, I look it up and try to apply the definition to your use of the word, but I think you may be using the word somewhat differently than the online definitions I have found. Can you define what you mean by it? (Unless it's too much trouble. I can keep trying to figure it out by context.)

    1. To be perfectly honest, "meme" is a word I'm not entirely comfortable using because I feel like it applies to lots of different things. I'm sorry I don't have a better definition! The reason I used it in this case was because the blogger I got it from used it. Here's the wikipedia article which I skimmed over and seemed to explain the meaning behind the word a little more:

  2. I love books! I use bookmarks or post it notes to hold my space, as I don't like to bend my pages. If they are hardcover and I want to save them, my hubby covers them with great covers from the library supply store. (This is new, as my hubby is so anal about his books, so now I let him cover mine!) I also have a Kindle, which I was very reluctant to get at first, but since it was a gift... I love it for travel and I can carry my Jane Austen wherever I want without lugging it around.The best feature for me is the built in dictionary, as then I do look up the words, otherwise, if I am reading a book, I am sad to say, I skip over..Most of the time it don't make a difference. Tea in my tea up when it is cool out, and if it is hot, a glass of cold icetea, or lemonade is the order of the day.

    1. That's a cool feature on the Kindle! I don't really like the idea of getting one, but I do like the idea of having a multitude of books with me without having to lug them around. (It would probably make it easier to read while walking...hmm... :P )

      By the way, I love your blog!