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Readers’ Questionnaire

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I normally don’t share tagged posts and questionnaires on this blog, but this one I thought was especially relevant. I love to read. I talk about it in almost every post. So, I’m sharing this. I was tagged by @writerlydays and yeah, I’ll tag some people, but I also want to encourage anyone who is working on their own writing blog to join in and answer these 20 questions. 

1. Which book has been on your shelves the longest?

Dracula. My copy originally belonged to my dad. He had it in high school and I liked the cover as a little kid. I read it in middle school and then again later on. 

It’s with another equally old book – The Monster Manual. My uncle played Dungeons and Dragons when he was in high school and as a little kid, I loved the pictures of the monsters. I took it from my grandparents house when I was still too young to know what it was and it’s been on my shelves ever since. Still to this day I’ve never played Dungeons and Dragons, but I grew up learning its monsters. 

2. What is your current read, your last read and the book you’ll read next?

I am currently reading Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, the last book I read was The Ghost Network by Catie Disabato, and the next book I’m reading is All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy. I recently wrote a post on what I’m reading this summer to see the rest of the books I’ll be reading.

3. Which book does everyone like and you hated?

I’m not a fan of Jane Austen. There might be some of her books that I’ll like, but the few I’ve read I just don’t. It hasn’t been for lack of trying. I don’t particularly like romances either so that might be part of the reason.

4. Which book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t?

I used to say that about Ulysses but I read that one, now it might be War and Peace, though I have nothing against Tolstoy. It’s just so long. I don’t judge a book by its length – East of Eden and Moby Dick are among my all-time favorites, but some I just look at and ugh… Maybe I’ll read it eventually?

5. Which book are you saving for “retirement?”

It probably should have been John Steinbeck’s books but I got greedy and finished them all. Now it’s Poe mostly. I love him and I’ve read most of his stories, but I’m not in a rush anymore to keep reading him. I’ll get to it one day. Poe and Stephen King. I’ve read a lot of King’s big bestsellers, but I know there will be plenty still to catch up on when I can sit around and read all day.

6. Last page: read it first or wait till the end?

I try to wait, and I’d never look, but if I’m flipping through and notice a couple words on the last page… well, who’d know, right?

7. Acknowledgements: waste of ink and paper or interesting aside?

As a writer, I think they’re necessary. The dedication goes to one person, but what about everyone else that helped you along the way. They need a place too and they can’t be left out. I don’t always read the acknowledgements, but if I know the author or know about their life, I like to.

8. Which book character would you switch places with?

Hmm… Most of my favorite books require challenging lives or really difficult emotional journeys. I’m going to say Max from Where the Wild Things Are. He had it good.

9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life (a person, a place, a time)?

The Catcher in the Rye reminds me of high school. I went to a prep school and loved to visit New York with friends – we were always hormonal and brooding, kind of like Holden.

The Secret History reminds me of my first year of college. I learned Latin in high school and was going to school to small liberal arts school with a particularly prestigious classics program. I loved my Greek classes and found I’d had something of a knack for it. Classics majors there too were a particularly close-knit group who loved celebrate the Roman holidays. I found they were a bit too intense for me and like Richard Papen, I too switched to major in English.

Nowadays, The Great Gatsby feels more familiar. Like I keep hoping I’ll run into a modern day Nick Carraway at a party. I feel like we might run in similar circles.

10. Name a book you acquired in some interesting way.

My uncle owns a thrift store with an exceptionally large section for books. I get a lot of books there when I come to visit. Most of them are very old or are left behind items from an estate sale. I always find things like news clippings and coupons jammed into the pages. 

11. Have you ever given away a book for a special reason to a special person?

All the time. Sometimes I gift books to people because I want them to read it and they won’t without a physical copy. I have replaced my copy of Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link more times than I can count.

12. Which book has been with you to the most places?

Maybe The Catcher in the Rye. It came with me everywhere in high school. I wrote all over it and scribbled in sharpie quotes from it all over my body. Otherwise by another definition, Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk. I took it with me on a tour through Europe. I lost it somewhere in York, England.

13. Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad ten years later?

Maybe not in high school, I’m not quite long enough out to know, but I’d read The Great Gatsby in middle school and hated it. Since then, it’s become one of my favorites. I was too young to truly appreciate it and understand the situations the characters were in.

14. What is the strangest item you’ve ever found in a book?

Playing cards, coins, a sealed stick of gum, newspaper clippings, vacation photos of families I don’t know – that one is especially common – and coupons. Today, actually, my book gifted me a metal bookmark in the shape of a hummingbird.  

15. Used or brand new?

If I’m choosing favorites, advance reader copies. I love a fresh new paperback and it’s even a little bit more exciting when I have my hands on it even before it’s officially been released. Otherwise, I like new or used – used like new is especially good. Paperbacks over hardcovers too. My hands get tired holding hardcovers. 

16. Stephen King: Literary genius or opiate of the masses?

Stephen King revolutionized a genre. Horror would not be what it is today without him. Say what you will about him, but he’s one of my favorite writers. I enjoy his books immensely. 

17. Have you ever seen a movie you liked better than the book?

There are some things I’ve seen filmmakers do to fix or clarify little things that weren’t talked about or shown in a book. I’m not in the camp of readers that says the book is always better, because I think sometimes, the movie (or in some cases TV series) does certain things better, whether it’s pacing or explaining things. Sometimes the movie will take a look at the book and fix up any previous weak points. For instance, The Magicians – I had mixed feeling about the TV show, but there were definitely some changes I liked, others I didn’t, but that’s fine. Often I don’t say the book was better, just that the book was different. 

18. Conversely, which book should NEVER have been introduced to celluloid?

Okay. I love classics, if you haven’t noticed. Sometimes the books I love though are not going to be easily made into movies and even if the movie is bad, I still will want to watch it. Especially sometimes if the book was on the obscure side, I get excited that there’s going to be a movie, because that means I might get to talk to someone about it! And even when I don’t, I’ll still usually enjoy watching it, even if I can later admit, it wasn’t the best adaption. Last time I felt that about a book was As I Lay Dying – starring James Franco. It’s one of my favorite books and I do appreciate the film, though I know it’s not the most watchable. 

19. Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks being excluded from this question?

Yes and no, sometimes I will read something with beautiful descriptions of food and not be moved to eat. I will say though, I was imaging dishes while reading The Revenant. Obviously not the best book for that though, I think I was craving red meat. 

20. Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?

I have a small coterie of reader-friends that I will always take advice from. We might only recommend a book or two a year to each other, so if it’s made their number one spot, it’s definitely worth a gander. 

I’ll be tagging (as aforementioned!) a few writers, but I also want to say, any additional writing bloggers reading this, I encourage you to copy this questionnaire and answer it yourself! (And tag me! I love to see everyone’s reading tastes.) I’m tagging: @mcubed35, @dancingdarkling, @chanting-to-u, @muffindragon227, @brynprocrastinates, @thewritingoctopus, @byjillianmaria, @s-the-dragon, @franzelwrites, @ivy-the-africanprincess, @mariarosales, and @theticklishpear.

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