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The "Standard of Ur" from ancient Mesopotamia

The "Standard of Ur" from ancient Mesopotamia

20 October 2009

Reading-habits meme

I found this reading-habits meme recently at Charles Gramlich’s Razored Zen blog and thought I would give it a go.

Do you snack while you read? If so, what is your favorite reading snack?

Yes, I snack, usually on good chocolate and a glass of water (bottled Pellegrino if I’m treating myself; filtered water from the fridge for ordinary occasions).

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?

My mother once caught me coloring in the line drawings of a poetry book my aunt gave me, and I caught holy heck. I partially got over the trauma in college and grad school, where I did mark up my textbooks. Even so, to this day, before I pick up a highlighter or pencil I consider whether I can get by with just sticky notes.

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears? Laying the book flat open?

Bookmark, always, always, always. Breaking the spine or dogearing would be blasphemous.

Fiction, nonfiction, or both?

Both. I'm not fussy. I was one of those kids who read cereal boxes.

Are you a person who tends to read to the end of a chapter, or can you stop anywhere?

I prefer to stop at the end of a chapter or scene, but some authors have awfully long scenes. In that case, I’ll stop anywhere.

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop and look it up right away?

Sometimes. I keep a dictionary next to my favorite reading spot for that purpose, but I don’t always read there.

What are you currently reading?
  • The Memory of Whiteness by Kim Stanley Robinson (sf novel)
  • The Frugal Book Promoter by Carolyn Howard Johnson (nonfiction)
  • The Jewel-Hinged Jaw: Notes on the Language of Science Fiction by Samuel R. Delany (literary criticism)
  • Year’s Best Fantasy 9, edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Cramer (fantasy short fiction)
What is the last book you bought?

Soulless: An Alexia Tarabotti Novel by Gail Carriger. It appears to be a comedy of manners/fantasy/steampunk/horror novel about a Victorian woman who stakes vampires with her parasol.

Are you the type of person that reads one book at a time, or can you read more than one?

More than one. Usually I have going a novel, at least one short-story collection, and at least one nonfiction book. I'm also often reading something on my Kindle as well.

Do you have a favorite time/place to read?

I love to read anytime, although perhaps Sunday afternoon counts as my favorite.

My favorite place is in "my" recliner chair in our living room.

Do you prefer series books or stand alones?

Neither. If a stand-alone book is great, I get annoyed that there aren’t more like it. If a book in a series looks good, I get annoyed that I have to read so many other books to work my way up to it, especially if some of the early books are out of print. (I rarely read books out of sequence.)

Is there a specific book or author you find yourself recommending over and over?
  • Barbara Hambly (sf, fantasy, mystery, historical fiction)
  • Guy Gavriel Kay (fantasy)
  • Brandon Sanderson (fantasy)
  • Jennifer Blake (historical romance)
I also recommend my friends’ books when appropriate.

How do you organize your books? (by genre, title, author’s last name, etc.)

I put all autographed books together, and I keep all of my aunt’s books together. Otherwise I don’t have a system. Some are grouped by genre; some, by author; if I’m in a hurry I’ll stick a book anywhere there’s an open space.


Charles Gramlich said...

We sound pretty similar in our habits!

Angie said...

If a book in a series looks good, I get annoyed that I have to read so many other books to work my way up to it, especially if some of the early books are out of print. (I rarely read books out of sequence.)

Massive word! :P I heard one of Suzanne Sizemore's books has a gay couple in it, but it's like book eleven or twelve in her series and the thought of working up to that makes me back away slowly. :/ And I don't read out of order either. [muttergrumble]


ninthmuse (roz m) said...

Let me know how THE JEWEL HINGED JAW goes. Sounds like something I might need to peruse.

Shauna Roberts said...

CHARLES, perhaps we are twins separated at birth.

ANGIE, exactly! So often I don't get interested in a series until a new book in it touches on some issue or philosophical question that I'm interested in or is set in a particularly interesting place.

ROZ M, The Jewel-Hinged Jaw is rather heavy going for someone like me who has never read lit crit before, despite Delany's lovely style. I'm almost finished and have found it fascinating, though, and plan to read some more lit crit. Good to have a more rigorous intellectual foundation for my writing.

Lana Gramlich said...

I admire your ability to read multiple books at once. I get things to tangled up in my head.

Rick said...

My gosh, Shauna, it's like sitting in on a private interview with a famous author. Maybe I'll give this a try. Readers like you are what make for great writers!

Charles Gramlich said...

Shauna, I did a review over on my blog for Mayflies and posted it on Amazon as well.

Charles Gramlich said...

Shauna, I did a review over on my blog for Mayflies and posted it on Amazon as well.

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