Jeanie did a post a couple of weeks ago where she took the "By the book" quiz/questionnaire thing from the New York Times - you can see her post here. Not being someone who gets and reads the New York Times, I didn't know the quiz even existed, but it looked like fun, so I thought I'd do it too. So, here are my answers, using the questions Jeanie posted.
*What books are on your nightstand?
All the ones in my Kindle, since that's where my Kindle is nine times out of ten. My Kindle only moves from there if I'm using it elsewhere.
*What are you reading right now?
This will have changed by the time this post actually goes live, but at the time I'm writing it I'm reading "The Forgetting" by Sharon Cameron. For the most up to date information on whatI'm reading though, you'd be better off checking out my Goodreads profile.
*What is the last great book you read?
Once again, this answer probably won't be entirely correct by the time this post goes live, but at the time I'm writing it, the last great book I read was "The Princelings of the North" by Jemima Pett, which is an imaginative story that's part of a series where the characters are guinea pigs. If you love stories like that... Think Wind In The Willows, or Redwall... You should totally check it out!
*What do you read for solace? For escape? For sheer pleasure?
Anything and everything I can get my hands on. Fiction, non-fiction... Whatever I feel like reading at any given time.
*What are your favorite books on a favorite subject?
That depends on the subject. Give me a subject, and I'll tell you if I have favourite books on it, and what they might be.
*What are your favorite genres and which don't you particularly like?
My favourite genre is fantasy, regardless of the age it's aimed for. I'll read most genres though, including mysteries, horror, science fiction, romance,, historical... Even the odd thriller from time to time. As I said with the fantasy books: regardless of genre, I don't care about age range in the books I read, and will read children's books, young adult books, or books aimed at an adult audience. It depends how the mood takes me, if the book sounds good, and if I can get an accessable to me copy.
The only genre I usually try to stay clear of is Christian fiction. Though even that I've read a little of when it overlapped with another genre and the blurb made it sound interesting enough for me to give it a chance.
I'll also read non-fiction books sometimes, if they're on a subject that interests me. As with my fiction books, I don't really care what age range they're aimed at. I mean, some non-fiction books aimed at children can teach adults things they didn't know sometimes too.
*What book did you think was overrated or just didn't like?
There have been several books over the years I've read and then wondered why people were making such a fuss about them, or how they got so many positive reviews. One I read recently was Lord Of The Flies by William Golding. I'm sorry, but I just didn't think it was as great as people were saying, and actually found it a little disturbing, especially considering how many people were exposed to that while still in school.
*How do you like to read? Paper or electronic? Morning or Night? Where do you like to read?
I prefer either braille books or a document on my computer (such as a PDF) for non-fiction, and audiobooks or Kindle friendly eBooks for fiction. Braille books and PDFs are easier to navigate to different sections in, making them good options for me for non-fiction books, where I might need to skip back and fourth between sections (especially when using them for research). However, braille books are bulky and awkward, and the read out loud option on my computer isn't as customizable as it is on an eReader, meaning that the reading experience in itself is better with audiobooks or eBooks read on an eReader, making them better options for me for enjoying a fiction book (especially in the case of an audiobook, where an actual person will be reading it to me, rather than a computerized voice). That's not to say I never let them overlap. I mean, I do have some fiction books in braille, for example. I do have my preferences though, as I just explained.
I'll read anywhere. As a general rule though, I'll be sat in my computer chair when reading something on my computer, either on my bed or in the armchair in the livingroom when reading a braille book, on my bed when listening to an audiobook that's on CD, and either on my bed or pottering about the house doing housework while listening to books on my Kindle.
My irregular sleeping pattern makes answering the question about when I read difficult. I can say though that I always put an audiobook in the CD player to listen to when I go for a sleep, even if I have to put one on that's been listened to countless times before, since I fall asleep better listening to a story. Plus, I tend to use reading as my main go to activity if I'm awake in the night. Beyond that, I just read whenever I get a chance, and when that will be depends on my sleep schedule at the time, what else is going on in my life, etc.
*What's the best book you ever received as a gift?
I've had a lot of books brought for me over the years. One that sticks with me though is "Which Witch?" by Eva Ibotson. I loved it so much it was one of the first books I set out to replace in audio when I could no longer see to read my paperback version, and have re-read it so many times I've lost count.
*What kind of reader were you as a child? Which childhood books and authors stick with you most?
I was the child who'd rather sit in the corner with a book than join in with the other children, who spent break time in the library whenever I could get away with it, got excited about getting books for my birthday and Christmas, and... Well, you get the idea, I'm sure. Basically, I read as much then as I do now. In fact, I read so much when I was younger that a teacher actually quizzed me on some books after I reviewed more than she thought I should have been able to in a given time period for homework.
If you're curious: I got every answer right, and she never doubted me again. In fact, after that she started looking out for books that might interest me whenever she knew about library sales and things like that, so that I got in the habit of keeping some of my pocket money in my schoolbag to pay her back for any books she grabbed for me.
My favourite authors - in no particular order - were Roald Dahl, Beatrix Potter, Enid Blyton, Hans Christian Anderson, Jill Murphy, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Monica Dickens, and Bonnie Bryant, to name but a few. My favourite Roald Dahl book remains to this day, Matilda. My favourite Beatrix Potter and Hans Christian Anderson stories are more difficult, since I love so many of them. My favourite Enid Blyton stories are difficult too, but I know I loved her Magic Wishing Chair and Faraway Tree stories a lot. With Jill Murphy it was her Worst Witch series I loved. As for Monica Dickens and Bonnie Bryant, they wrote stories about horses, and I was absolutely horse crazy, so loved their books very much, especially Monica Dickens' World's End series, and Bonnie Bryant's Pony Tails books. I still love those authors and books today, especially my favourite by Frances Hodgson Burnett, which was - and remains today - her book A Little Princess.
*You're organizing a literary dinner party. Which three writers, dead or alive, do you invite?
My answer to this one changes so often it will most likely have changed again between the time I'm answering the questions in this post, and the time this post goes live. If you asked me right now though, my answer would be Terry Pratchett, Michelle Paver, and Beatrix Potter. Terry Pratchett's sense of humour could come in handy to keep the mood fun and light, Michelle Paver will no doubt have plenty of wonderful stories to share with us about her travels while researching her books, and Beatrix Potter is just someone I would love to have been able to meet and talk to.