1. Inside flap/back of the book summaries: Too much info? Or not enough?
Unless I’m in a bookshop browsing, I try not to read blurbs in too much detail. In a bookshop, I will at least skim them to see if I want to read a book I’ve not encountered via other means. I do, however, use them as an aide memoire when writing my reviews!
2. New book: What form do you want it in? Be honest: Audiobook, eBook, Paperback or Hardcover?
I hate e-books. I spend hours in front of a screen, I don’t want to read for enjoyment on one too. I don’t have a long enough commute for audiobooks, and can’t concentrate on them in the house.
I love hardbacks. I buy quite a lot. I love the way (most) stay open, the lovely covers, the white space around the type, the end papers. I love paperbacks too, but they can be awkward to hold without creasing the spine (one of my biggest bête noires).
3. Scribble while you read? Do you like to write in your books; take notes, make comments, or do you keep your books clean, clean, clean?
NOOOO! I use sticky tabs, copiously. I may write on the tab to remind myself why I’m marking a particular page/passage. I generally line them up with the lines I’m marking. When writing my reviews I remove them as I go through the book.
4. Does it matter to you whether the author is male or female when you’re deciding on a book? What if you’re unsure of the author’s gender?
This is something I’ve struggled with over the years. I have not yet managed to read more books by women than men in a particular year. I never set out to choose what I read by gender (other than a couple of books for #WIT month (Women in Translation each year)). I can’t satisfactorily explain why either, in brief, without resorting to sweeping generalisations. I have discussed it on the blog before – see here.
This year, with Paul Auster Reading Week which I hosted back in February, and aiming to read all five books in the Patrick Melrose series by Edward St Aubyn, I can see my list being male-dominated.
I will always check an author’s gender if I’m not sure, especially those tricky individuals that lurk behind initials and don’t have an author photo in their books. However, there are plenty of women with male forenames or pen-names – Lionel Shriver et al, and plenty of men who have either/or names but often get mixed up – Ali Shaw comes to mind, he’s a lovely bloke.
5. Ever read ahead? Or have you ever read the last page way before you got there?
Only if it’s going to be a DNF book – then I’ll read the ending. Otherwise, apart from checking how many pages I still have to read sometimes, I don’t do this.
6. Organized bookshelves or outrageous bookshelves?
Both! I have my hardback showcase, my biographies bookcase, my reference library, my run of paperback shelves (left) and the bedside TBR shelves which are ordered or at least single stacked. The paperbacks are authors A-Z, Fiction followed by NF, hardbacks A-Z or by series, biographies A-Z by subject, reference books sorted by subject (and/or size), the bedside shelves partly by TBR publication dates. The rest of my huge TBR is random, some double-stacking, piles here and there – but I can usually locate books in them easily.
7. Have you ever bought a book based on the cover (alone)?
Of course! There are some covers that are just too beautiful and/or striking not to buy.
8. Take it outside to read, or stay in?
Too many distractions outside, whether they be critters, traffic noise, people, smells, grass tickling, all nature noises, plus guilt at not mowing the lawn often enough. Being the hay-fevery type, (and this year has been particularly bad for itchy eyes) I hide inside to read.
I mostly read in bed. If not bed, somewhere comfortable with few visual distractions. Sometimes the radio will be on in the background, usually there will be tea to hand.
Feel free to continue this tag’s path around the blogosphere.