Category Archives: Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday: Bookcases 2

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme about books and reading.

I’ve always considered that my bookcases give a pretty fair representation of me as a person—they show my interests, what kind of things I like, that I have a curious mind, the kinds of things I study … all that. But with the increase of e-books, that litmus test of personality is going by the wayside. Unless someone takes my Kindle and browses through it, there isn’t an immediate, visible display of my interests … am I the only one who finds that kind of sad? Going forward, about the most we’ll be able to tell about someone is that they OWN an e-book reader … but no real idea of what they actually read. I’m going to miss that.

This is a follow-up to last week’s question, and it’s definitely something that I’ve thought about, particularly at the moment as I’m going through the process of packing up my library of books. I’ve realized that I only want to hang on to physical books that I either have a sentimental connection to or which I know I’ll read again–for one time books, it just doesn’t make sense to me to keep them.  For that reason, in many ways I think my bookcases are less of an “immediate, visible display of my interests” than a real glimpse into what’s important to me. The fact is that I’ll read almost anything once, but to keep a physical book it has to matter to me.

What about you?

Booking Through Thursday: Bookcases

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme about books and reading.

When you visit a friend’s house, do you find time to browse their bookcases? Does it shock you if they don’t have one?

I love this question because I always wonder what people think when they come to my house. We have lots of prominent bookshelves and just about every kind of book under the sun. Between my love for both genre and literary fiction to my husband’s fantasy series and Dragonball Z collection, we must look very schizophrenic! We just love books, period, as a family.

When I’m at someone’s house I definitely check out the bookshelves, but not in a judgemental way. Mostly I’m looking to see if there’s something I want to borrow! 🙂

What about you–are you a bookcase browser?

Booking Through Thursday: Equality

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme about books and reading.

All other things (writing quality, story, etc) being the same, which would you rather read?

1. Something written by a man or a woman?

2. Something with a male or female protagonist?

3. Something funny or something tragic?

4. Something short or something long with many parts?

5. Something simple or something layered?

I like to think that I am very open-minded and egalitarian when choosing what I read, but like anyone I tend to have preferences. For example, I know that I read a lot more books by female authors and more books with female protagonists. I don’t think I do this consciously, but I suppose I am more drawn to the type of stories that women write, and women seem to write about female protagonists more than males ones. Having said, that, some of my favorite writers are male (Patrick Ness, David Levithan, Alexander McCall Smith) so I’m not completely biased.

In terms of story content and structure, I prefer funny to tragic and short to long, although I don’t mind a good weepy chunkster. I like layered stories as long as they aren’t needlessly complicated, but simple can be good, too. See? Very egalitarian!

Do you have a preference for any of the above when it comes to your reading?

Booking Through Thursday: Tragedy or Comedy

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme about books and reading.

All other things being equal (good writing, enthralling story, etc), which would you rather read—something serious, angsty, and tragic? Or something light, fluffy, and fun? Or a blend of both? (Since, really, isn’t that how real life works?)

There are times when I really need light and fluffy, though I generally prefer a bit of angst in my reading (not to the point that some authors take it, though–George R. R. Martin, I’m looking at you). If a book is too much about the angst, I have to put it down as it can get really frustrating to see a good character get stomped on time and time again.

My favorite kind of book is one where the main character finds themselves in a bad situation and they have to bring themselves out of it and turn their life around. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a drastic, life or death situation, but I love seeing how characters grow and change when faced with difficult circumstances–I find it inspiring and the resolution that much more satisfying.

If the book is only about bad things happening and there is no character development, I just don’t see the point. I already know that life is hard and seldom fair and that we’re all going to die–I don’t need to be reminded of it when I’m reading for pleasure.

What about you–tragedy or comedy? A bit of both? 

Booking Through Thursday: Moving

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme about books and reading.

The question of the week:

What kind of moving experiences have you had with your books? (Or, just in general if you’ve got good Moving Day stories–and who doesn’t?) Did having to pack and move your books cause any changes in your book-collecting habits? Make you wish you had everything on an e-reader? Feel free to discuss! (grin)

I feel pretty well qualified to answer this question, as I’ve moved more times than I can count. When I was a kid, our family moved at least every 3-4 years, and since I was an early reader I had to move my books with me. As a result, I’ve lost a lot of books that I would otherwise have kept, and the only ones I’ve managed to keep from my childhood are the Little House on the Prairie series and a copy of Charlotte’s Web. I might still have the Anne of Green Gables books somewhere, but I’m not positive. This is a bit sad for me as there are so many books that I loved as a child which I wish I still had to share with my daughter. Of course, I can always buy new copies, but it’s not exactly the same as giving her the actual books I read myself.

As an adult, I continued to move around until seven years ago when we finally settled down enough to buy our own place. Because several of those moves have been international ones, there are very few books that I’ve been able to hang onto, and even now I’m particular about what I keep–once you’re used to traveling light, it’s tough to change the habit.

Booking Through Thursday: Dream Cast

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme about books and reading.

Today’s question is always a fun one to think about:

And while we’re thinking about books converted to tv/movies. Do you ever sit and wonder who could be cast as your favorite characters? (Please feel free to give examples!)

What actors do you think have done particularly excellent jobs with some of your favorite characters?

To be honest, I’m not a big fan of books being converted into tv/movies. Unless it’s an action-packed book, the translation to the screen tends to be disappointing for me, because a screenplay can seldom convey the same beauty as an author’s words. This isn’t to say that film and tv can’t be beautiful and moving–of course they can, but once I’ve had the experience of reading the book, a different version of the same story doesn’t usually work for me. Although I do have to say that when I was growing up, I loved the Anne of Green Gables mini-series even more than the books–there are some terrific actors in them, and if you’ve never seen them you really should.

One series of books that I’ve become hooked on recently and which I think would translate very well to the screen is The Emperor’s Edge series by Lindsay Buroker. I would love to see who would be cast as the different characters. For Sicarius, I could see someone like Simon Baker playing him, although he wouldn’t be able to smile so much. For Amarynth I could see a toned-down Katharine McPhee.

What about you? Any favorite books that you’d love to see converted into tv/movies?

Booking Through Thursday: Spring Up

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme about books and reading.

What’s the last book that made you spring to your feet, eager to spread the word and tell everyone how much you enjoyed it?

Probably The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, because it was just amazing. This is one of the reasons I really enjoy participating in readalongs, because when you’re reading something good you get to share the experience with others in real time. I have to say, though, that I’m liking my current read, A Spear of Summer Grass by Deanna Raybourn, more than I thought I would. I’ve read most of her Lady Julia series and it was starting to get a bit stale for me, but this new standalone novel is really good.

What about you? What book has had you “springing” to your feet recently?

Booking Through Thursday: Winter

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme about books and reading.

It’s the depth of winter here where I live right now … what books do you like to read when it’s snowy and white? What books do you read to evoke a real feeling of winter (good or bad)?

It’s definitely snowy and white here, and we spent the day sledding with my two daughters yesterday. I’m not a big snow person, but it wasn’t too cold out and I’ve learned how to dress appropriately–not obvious for a Southern girl who usually went coatless in the wintertime growing up. I’m learning to appreciate the white stuff.

I’m not sure that I consciously read a certain kind of book in the winter, but I know what kind of books evoke winter for me. I have a bit of an Arctic obsession, maybe because it’s such a foreign setting to me. I love reading books about explorers or people who live in the far north. Some of my favorites are The Voyage of the Narwhal by Andrea Barrett, The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx, and Smilla’s Sense of Snow by Peter Hoeg. I also have three books on Alaska on my shelf that I haven’t had a chance to read yet: Arctic Dreams by Barry Lopez, If You Lived Here, I’d Know Your Name: News from Small-Town Alaska by Heather Lende, and Still Points North: Surviving the World’s Greatest Alaskan Childhood by Leigh  Newman.

What are your favorite wintery books?

Booking Through Thursday: Present Tense

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme about books and reading.

Any books you’re particularly hoping to be gifted this year? Any that you’re giving as presents this holiday season?

Yes, although I kind of doubt I will get any of the books on my wish list unless I buy them for myself! My husband and I tend to pick out our own gifts, so there aren’t a lot of surprises. Sometimes my mom or dad will give me a book for Christmas, but I’m not expecting any this year.

As for giving books, that’s a definite yes! As none of the people involved read this blog, I can tell you that I’m giving:

The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories  by Joseph Gordon-Levitt (one volume to each of my brothers)

Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust (to my mom)

The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman (to my sister-in-law)

Ed Emberley’s Drawing Book of Weirdos (to my nephew)

Show Me a Story: 40 Craft Projects and Activities to Spark Children’s Storytelling by Emily K. Neuburger (to my niece)

I tend to give books a lot, as I never run out of ideas and can order and send them all in one swoop. I’m also giving a French book on origami to my daughter.

What about you? Any special books you’re hoping to receive or give as a holiday gift this year?

Booking Through Thursday: Thankful

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme about books and reading.

It’s Thanksgiving here in the U.S., so … what are you thankful for this year, reading-wise? New, favorite books? New gadget for reading? New comfy chair? Bonus time to read? Just the mere fact of BEING a reader? Having the internet to share ideas/recommendations/conversations about books?

First of all, Happy Thanksgiving to all of you celebrating today. I am celebrating in my heart (don’t worry, it’s not painful) as I have to work today and won’t be able to officially celebrate until next weekend, when I have a meal planned with some expat friends.

In the meantime, I am thankful for how this year of blogging has revamping my reading life, introduced me to a host of new blogging friends, and given me access to more books than I know what to do with sometimes. I’m thankful for my e-reader that makes it so much easier for me to have access to English-language books–it was one of the best presents I’ve ever received.

And, since I’m headed to the eye doctor this morning because I’m finding small print harder and harder to read these days (I promise I’m only in my mid-thirties!), I’m thankful for the fact that I have two functioning eyes to read with, even if I may need bifocals to do it. (Okay, maybe I’m a little bitter about this fact. Striving for gratitude here.)

What are you thankful for today?