Monday, December 31, 2012
Reading Whys, Whats, and Hows: A 2012 Retrospect
This post has been languishing in my blog line up for a couple of years. The end of the year seems like as good a time as any to do this. I originally found this at Kimberly Loomis's The Perpetual Writer and thought it might be of use someday. It seems I'm on a reading related roll at the moment--see my next few posts coming up.
To spare you readers, I'm going to cut the original line of questions in half. Fifty-five questions were a bit much. I'll give my answers to twenty-six of them.
A Brief Overview of my Reading Interests, etc:
1. Favorite childhood book? When I was in second grade my parents gave me The Way, the Truth, and the Light, an art book of religious paintings by Ralph Pallen Coleman. I spent many an hour studying the illustrations and reading the text. I still have this book and it is in my office bookshelf.
2. What are you reading right now? I've just started Pirate Latitudes by Michael Chrichton. I found the hardback copy for a dollar at my local Dollar Tree store. I couldn't resist the bargain especially considering that I almost purchased it for full price when it first came out.
3. What books do you have on request at the library? A while back I used to always have books and videos on request at my local library. Currently they are building a new library and I don't care to go to the next closest one. Actually I have so many unread books here at home that it may be a while before I get any library books. I don't think the building will be finished for another year anyway, judging from the progress they've been making.
4. Bad book habit? My bad book habit is not reading them enough. I'm a slow sporadic reader.
5. Do you have an e-Reader? No e-Reader, but I do occasionally read a book on my PC when someone sends me one for review. I really do prefer real books that I can keep.
6. Do you prefer to read one book at a time or several at once? With my limited mind power and ability to remember I prefer to stick with one book. If I am reading one on the computer I'll usually have a hard copy book to read when I'm not on the computer.
7. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog? Actually yes, I've been reading more books, partly because I've been reviewing them. But I still read as slow as I ever did.
8. Least favorite book you’ve read this year? This is something I won't go into here since I don't want to name names in this respect. I admire anyone who has put an honest effort into a book fully believing in what they were doing. This year every book I recall reading fits that description. They are all winners in one way or another.
9. Favorite book you’ve read this year? I went on about this one in my last post. The book that I read in 2012 that was most to my liking was Bohemia by Veronika Carnaby. It's a matter of personal taste. This is the kind of style and story that I can most appreciate.
10. How often do you read out of your comfort zone? Probably half the books I read these days would fit in this category. I like to be a well-rounded reader. Now with authors sending me books for review I've been reading more books that I would most likely not have read on my own. See my post upcoming on Friday for more on this topic.
11. What is your reading comfort zone? Whatever reads with flow and doesn't insult me, my intelligence, or beliefs that I hold dear. I'll give just about anything a chance and I try to read with an open mind.
12. What makes you love a book? A book that makes me think, stimulates my imagination, and sticks with me long after I've finished it--that's the kind of book I love.
13. What’s your favorite fiction genre to read? Literary fiction that is not overly pretentious and certain Christian fiction.
14. Favorite biography? I enjoy good biographies. Two that come to mind are Born Standing Up by Steve Martin and a biography about Al Jolson that I forget who the author was.
15. Have you ever read a self-help book? This is a category for which I have a weakness of sorts. I used to buy them frequently, but actually have only read a few of the ones I bought.
16. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews? Andrew Leon offered a nice Tossing It Out guest post on this topic back in the summer. Later I followed up with my own thoughts. Bottom line is that I'll do negative when it's called for, but I try to put as positive spin on it as I can by looking for the good as well as the bad. I think honesty is important.
17. Favorite poet? Yvonne Lewis of course! You can find her at Yvonne's World of Poetry.
18. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation? I always bring at least one book about writing (just in case), a Bible, and a few novels that could vary in genre (whatever strikes my fancy when I'm packing).
19. What distracts you easily when you’re reading? The computer and blogging. Then there's my biggest reading nemesis--getting sleepy.
20. Favorite film adaptation of a novel? First ones that come to mind are Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men and James Dickey's Deliverance.
21. Most disappointing film adaptation? I loved the book Even Cowgirls Get the Blues by Tom Robbins. I was so let down by the movie version. It was a stinker as I recall and I've never tried to watch the whole thing again. It was on television a few months ago, but I could only watch a few minutes of it.
22. The most money I’ve spent at a bookstore at one time? When I had greater economic liquidity I spent a good amount through mail order--often as much as $100 at a shot. I don't think that I ever spent much more than $50 in a book store unless I was also buying things like DVD's. Now I don't buy many books unless I find ones that I want at Dollar Tree or some such place. Five books for $5 isn't too bad of a deal.
23. What would cause you to stop reading a book halfway through? I get kind of obsessive about finishing what I start so I have rarely stopped halfway through a book. If a book is really, really, really boring and annoying I might give up, but that has rarely happened.
24. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding? I won't say I've been avoiding it, but for some reason I've yet to get around to reading it. Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy is within arm's reach of my writing desk and I've owned the book since high school. I think I need to finally read this. It's not even as long as Stephen King's Under the Dome and I read that one relatively fast and reviewed here.
25. Name a book you didn’t expect to like, but did. Dee Ready's Twelve Habits of Highly Successful Cats & Their Humans, which has now been reissued in a revised edition as A Cat's Legacy: Dulcy's Story, didn't sound very appealing to me since I'm not a big fan of cats. This book turned out to be a big surprise. You can read more about my thoughts on this book at the post "A Surprising Book".
26. A book you expected to like, but didn’t? The Shack: You can read my thoughts on this here.
As I've mentioned, I will be discussing reading and genres in my next few posts including the #IWSG post coming on Wednesday. In the meantime---
Have a Slam Bang Heck of a Happy New Year!!!
Me? I'll probably be going to bed early for New Year's Eve. Thanks for spending so much of 2012 with Tossing It Out.
What's your New Years plans? Any thoughts about reading or genres?
Posted by Arlee Bird at 2:00 AM