All About Books — one of those meme thingies

OK, I’ve never done one of these things before, but what the hell…… I don’t have anything else in the posting pipeline right now, so let’s do it.

This one’s called “All About Books” and I picked it up from Shannon at Books Worth Reading; she, in turn, got it from another site, and that person got it from yet another site, and, well, you know how these things get passed around. Anyway, here it is.

Hardback or trade paperback or mass market paperback?

I prefer hardbacks. The biggest reason is the strength of the spines. Whenever I’m reading a paperback, I’m always afraid I’ll bend it too much and put a crease in the spine, and that annoys me like you wouldn’t believe. I don’t know why it bothers me so much, but it does. I like to look at my bookshelf and see flat, tight spines all the way across. I’m a bit of a neat freak with certain things like that. Other than that, paperbacks don’t bother me, and I own plenty of them — but I only buy them if they’re in good condition. Trade paperbacks are nice, but I don’t have very many. My copy of The Martian Chronicles is a trade pb, and it’s a beautiful volume.

Bookmark or dog-ear?

I always use a bookmark to mark where I left off reading. I’m not opposed to dog-ears if the need arises, but I try to avoid it. If I’m reading in bed, I have a notebook nearby for taking notes for my reviews. However, if I’m reading elsewhere and don’t have my notebook or some scrap of paper to write on, I’ll dog-ear a page that I want to remember.

Alphabetize by author or alphabetize by title or random?

Since the last time I moved, a little over a year ago, I haven’t really organized my books completely (I’m a really bad procrastinator). The only organization I have right now is by size: hardcovers together, the smaller book club hardcovers together, paperbacks together, etc. I don’t like different sizes all mixed together. Sometime, when I get around to it, I’ll do a little more organizing along alphabetical lines, within the size blocks.

Keep, throw away or sell?

I’ve had several “sell” phases in earlier parts of my life — sometimes things are tough and you just need all the money you can get, know what I mean? I deeply regret it, I wish I still had all those books. These days I keep everything I read, and plan to keep on doing so.

Keep dust jacket or toss it?

Keep, definitely. Why would anyone throw them away? I won’t buy hardcovers without their jackets, it’s like they’ve been defaced. I only own a single hardcover lacking a dust jacket, and I didn’t buy it, and I’ve always kept it because it’s one of my favorite books — that would be A Time of Changes by Robert Silverberg.

Last book you bought?

I think the last one I bought was actually the last one I reviewed, Kim Stanley Robinson’s Icehenge.

Last book someone bought for you?

Oh wow, I really can’t remember. It may have been when I was a teenager, matter of fact. There’s no one in my life who is really a “book person” like me, and I’m rather picky, so I wouldn’t want other people picking out books for me anyway.

What are some of the books on your to-buy list?

There are way too many, but since the question asks for “some,” here are some: The Shockwave Rider, The Jagged Orbit, and The Sheep Look Up by John Brunner; The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester; The Forever War by Joe Haldeman; The Word for World Is Forest by Ursula K. Le Guin; Make Room! Make Room! by Harry Harrison; Spin by Robert Charles Wilson; The Genocides by Thomas Disch; the Xenogenesis series by Octavia Butler……… etc. etc. etc

Collection (short stories, same author) or anthology (short stories, different author)?

I’m really of the opinion that the novel is the optimum form of literature; short stories don’t often impress me. But when I do pick up short stories, it doesn’t matter too much if it’s a single-author collection or an anthology. I’ve tried both, and the quality is always inconsistent no matter which type it is. I tend to like maybe only one out of ten short stories I read, perhaps even less. If I do get an anthology, though, I prefer it to be focused on some particular theme, and not just a generic “best of the year” or some such.

Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket?

Is this one of those “lesser of two evils” questions? Whatever…. I’ll pass on both.

Morning reading, afternoon reading, or nighttime reading?

Mostly nighttime, some afternoon. Never in the morning. Mornings are for other things…. like sleeping.

The books you need to go with other books on your shelves?

Nothing in particular right now. Lately I’ve been going “wide” rather than “deep” — reading lots of different authors, expanding my horizons. There are some authors I like enough that I will eventually own all or most of their books. But it’ll take some time, it’s not an immediate goal.

Do you read anywhere and anytime you can or do you have a set reading time and/or place?

95% of my reading at home is in bed. For some reason, that’s the only place that feels “right.” I have a hard time reading while I’m sitting in a chair, I don’t know why, and yes, I know I’m weird. Sometimes I read in the early evening hours after I get home from work. More often I read in the hour or two before I go to sleep. I also read at work during lunch.

Do you have seasonal reading habits?

None that I’m aware of.

Do you read one book at a time or do you have two or more books going at once?

Usually two, sometimes three, and on very rare occasions four.

What are your pet peeves about the way people treat books?

I wouldn’t say I have any strong peeves about the way others treat their own books. Of course, I have a general distaste for the mistreatment of books, but unless it’s MY book, or one that may potentially become mine, I can’t get too worked up about it.

Name one book you surprised yourself by liking

The Martian Chronicles. I avoided it for many years, thinking I wouldn’t like Bradbury’s style, having heard about its dreamy, fantasy-like approach to Mars. But I was surprised by liking it quite a bit.

How often do you read a book and not review it on your blog? What are your reasons for not blogging about a book?

I review every sf book I read, since starting this blog.


3 responses to “All About Books — one of those meme thingies

  1. Cool, I’m glad you did the meme.

  2. This is a good meme. I may have to try this one myself.

  3. I enjoyed this, glad I saw it over here Bill.

    And I’ve already added quite a few things to my ‘to-buy list’ after reading your blog. Should I curse you or thank you for that? 😉

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