19 September 2014


I usually spend my Fridays and Saturdays reading and writing book reviews, and occasionally working from home on my days "off." I'm pretty tired from a nifty encounter with David Mitchell yesterday (about which, more anon) and I've had to work from home today because I missed work yesterday in order to meet said Mr Mitchell.  Thus, because I like doing book surveys and because I don't have time to write a book review, y'all are getting my answers to the latest bookish survey making the rounds.  I've eliminated some questions that they are stupid. Or redundant. Or stupid.

1. What is your favorite fictional food or drink? 

Aww, all the good answers are taken. I've read folks who've talked about Butterbeer, pumpkin juice, Turkish delight, and all of the nifty things from Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

2. How long did it take you to finish your last book?

*Wanders over to Goodreads to find out*  Looks like I read the advance reading copy of The First Bad Man by Miranda July over the course of three days.

3How many Goodreads friends and books do you have?

Quite a few, it turns out. I have 181 friends; 1,238 books reviewed; and 101 in my TBR list there. Incidentally, I have the lowest average rating of all of my friends, I think, with 3.21.  I have to think a book is pretty damned special to give it 4*, much less 5*.  I have quite a few Goodreads friends whom I don't know from anywhere else in life, and I will only friend somebody if (1) I know them IRL or (2) They can correctly answer my test question AND if their books cross multiple genres AND if their books aren't all 5* ratings.

5. Do you ever quote books in public?

Yes. I quote more often from tv and films than I do from books, but I quote or invoke on probably a daily basis.  Most often from Jane Austen, Lewis Carroll, and J K Rowling.

6. Do you ever reread books?

Hell, yeah.  I re-read quite a lot, but they tend to be the same books, year in and year out. It's rare that I add a new book to my re-reading roster.

7. Do you judge a book by its cover?

Without a doubt.  Anybody who denies it is a liar.  I'm not saying it's the only thing I judge a book by, or the most important thing, but it's a factor with every single book I pick up.  Lack of good book design and typography is actually the single most important reason I don't read self-published books. Ever.

8. Instagram, Twitter, or Tumblr?

None.  I have none of those accounts, but I suppose I'd be most drawn to Instagram for active participation since I take a LOT of photographs. (Obviously I'm passively drawn to Tumblr when I'm in the mood to see cute baby animals or am in need of a gif for the blog.)

9. Which genres take you the longest to read?

Hmmm...probably any nonfiction that isn't narrative driven.

10. Who are your favorite BookTubers (or Book Bloggers)?

BookTube? Are you kidding me?  This is a thing?

Okay, I have tons of blogs in my Google feed, but I really only closely follow my favorites.  If I've left more than one comment on your blog, and especially if I've had a conversation with you, and especially-espcially if I've participated in a readalong with you, then you are my favorite.

11. How often do you pre-order books?

This question probably doesn't apply to me, as I'm also a bookseller and most of my books are free AND read in advance of the publication date.

Question #12 eliminated for its stupidity and vagueness.

13. How many times have you reread your favorite book?

Really, these questions should be more precise.  Luckily we're not all Aspbergian and are willing to answer the un-asked portions of these questions without further prompting.  I actually don't know how many times I've read The Lord of the Rings, the Harry Potter books, Lewis Carroll's Alice books, or Pride & Prejudice. (Cf: #5 and #6)

14. Do you own a lot of books?

I almost eliminated this one for stupidity's sake, but then realized I was being classist because not everybody buys the books they read, they borrow. I do.  I own a lot of books.  I'm sitting in our library right now and will include two panos of this room because this is an adequate representation of every room in our house. That is, books piled everywhere. Double stacked and on every horizontal surface.  This just happens to be the only room in the house that was designed to be that way.

15. Do you take pictures of your books before you read them?

What, this is a thing?  This is stupid.

16. Do you read every day?

To quote another bookseller I know, reading is breathing.  Might as well ask if I breathe every day.

17. How do you choose a new book?

Sometimes with great deliberation, other times with utter abandon.  Most books I read are a combination of reading for work and for pleasure.  Sometimes I reluctantly nudge myself towards nonfiction if I've had a long streak of novels or short stories. The only times I'm reading 100% for my own pleasure are on when I'm on vacation or when I'm in the mood for some fan fiction.

18. Do you always have a book with you?

Yes. I have both ebooks and e-audio-books downloaded onto my phone and I keep physical books in the car so I really do always have one with me, in some form.

19. What are your biggest distractions from reading?

You mean other than work?  Family and Netflix. I don't watch a lot of television but I watch quite a few tv shows on my computer.

20. What is your favorite place to buy books?

Well, an independent bookstore, obviously.  If not my own, then wherever I find myself.  Though if it's an out of print book, I will search online, too.  Basically, any place but Amazon. I hate Amazon and think it represents a LOT of what's wrong with the world today. I loathe them, really.  Let me put it this way: I don't just want to say "Fuck 'em." I want to say, "Poke out their eyes, and then skull fuck 'em." I'd include a gif for that here, but I'm a little afraid what my show up on my screen if I typed skull fuck into my search engine.

So, that's it for today, y'all.  Those of you who've already done this questionnaire, what was your favorite or most surprising question?  Those of you who haven't, what are you waiting for?  Obviously all the cool kids are doing it.


  1. I don't have your email; just wanted you to know I referred to you and your comments on Hector in today's post :)
    Have a great weekend! http://goo.gl/Q2VhJh

    1. THanks for the shout-out, Sim, and be sure to let your readers know what you thought of the Tropper adaptation!

  2. Book survey!!

    I appreciate your stance on the stupid questions. Cos really now?

    Have I mentioned that I love your library? Cos I do. Especially the round window.

    Can I say my favorite question is the one about taking pictures of books before reading them? Not for the question but for all of the reactions to it.

    1. Do people really take pictures of their books before reading them? Is it yet one more bookish trend that I'm wholly unaware of?

      I love my library, too. Not least because it's the quietest and warmest room in the house.

  3. Your library is to die for, and that round windows makes me think you live in a hobbit home. Which is a home I could happily live in.

    1. I've always loved the idea of hobbit homes. What could possibly be cozier than a hobbit home?

  4. I am having some serious library envy. How beautiful!

    Some of these questions are pretty funny. I imagine there were a few sarcastic answers to #18: "No. I am answering this survey all about books but I don't really believe in reading them so I leave them all at my local bookstore..." :)

    1. Lindsey, I believe I'd like to read your snarky/sarcastic answers to ALL of these. Please and thank you.

  5. I love hopping into your blog - there is always something new and interesting. I showed my husband the photographs of your library "don't even think about it!" was his response. Boo hoo!

    Doesn't everybody re-read great books? Surely once is never enough. I have read "The Yellow Wallpaper" about 100 times and it still captivates me.

    Thanks for posting this, I love a survey!

    1. Who can resist a bookish survey?

      You make me want to reread The Yellow Wallpaper, as I'm fairly certain that I only read once when I was in college.

  6. OMG Emily. YOUR LIBRARY. I am literally drooling right now. Really, all over the keyboard.

    And I feel like your Instagram would be amazing - so many awesome travel, food, author, and book photos.

    1. If I step into any more avenues of social media, it probably would be instagram. but who knows?

  7. I will be arriving with my suitcase IMMEDIATELY to stay at your house and stare at your books.

    1. Reading the books and talking with your host are also allowed.

  8. I'm coming over too. LOVE your library! LOVE that room. LOVE that photo. Is there anything about it I don't love? Yes - the fact that it's not mine. Ha.

    I laughed when I read about your Amazon hatred. I hate them too, but with my very limited budget it's sometimes necessary to use them. I'd say they are a necessary evil. But I also use Better World Books and Abe Books which very often have free shipping. So I think we can still be friends. :) The only independent bookstore in my town closed several years ago and no one has taken their place. That's the way it is now.

    1. But libraries are free! Amazon is an un-necessary evil. But yeah, we're definitely still friends!

  9. Need to do this suuuurvey. Enid Blyton's food - picnics! strawberry teas! pop biscuits! - was the original and best for me, mmm. Quoting things I love is a great test to see which of my friends I'll probably adore for life. I also find the general physical quality of self-pubbed books a turn-off. SO. MANY. BAD. COVERS. Your library is just... beautiful. What is that amazing colour on the walls?

    BookTube is actually pretty cool, you should check it out sometime. There are a good number of snarky, clever and charming people making eclectic videos (ie. not just YA), and it's a good way for me to get my day off to a bookish start without getting croissant crumbs all over an actual book. :D


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