Friday, September 18, 2009


One of you lovely readers of mine nominated my blog in the funniest/most amusing category for Book Bloggers Appreciation Week. Thank you, whoever you are (you can 'fess up, if you'd like, but I understand if you're shy). I was humbled on two accounts: 1. I'm not really a book blogger. I just pretend to be one and 2. I'm not nearly as funny as many of the real book bloggers out there whose blogs I know and love.

I didn't even know there was such a thing as BBAW, but what a cool thing to have (even if none of my most cherished book blogs made the short lists this year). Anyway, I visited the site and discovered that during this week (which is about to end), there were topics given everyday on which to post. I've been too busy getting back into the groove of working to be able to do something like post on other people's topics for a week, but I did (surprise! surprise!) like the meme that was supposed to be Tuesday's post (I think). Since then, I've seen two of my favorite book bloggers who should have made the short list pick up on it, Litlove and Stef, and so, I'm picking it up from them.

Do you snack while you read? If so, favorite reading snack? "A book without food is like a day without sunshine," I always say. Not that I really mind days without sunshine (just as I don't at all mind reading a book with no food to pair with it. But if I had to do that for days and days on end, well...), you see. In fact I love a nice, rainy day, which is almost always good for curling up with tea and toast and a book. But, really, I don't have a favorite reading snack. The food I eat, like the books I read, depends on my mood.

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you? If they belong to me, and they are nonfiction, I will mark them. I find myself doing quite a bit of arguing in the margins, when I'm not resorting to the boring old, "So true!" I don't mark up fiction much, unless I know I'm going to be writing a blog post about it or attending a book discussion meeting.

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears? Laying the book flat open? Bookmarks, and I have lots and lots and lots of them, and still appreciate every single new one I get.

Fiction, Non-fiction, or both? Both, but many of you have heard me say that I don't believe anything I read except fiction.

Hard copy or audiobooks? I listen to a few audiobooks every year, but I much prefer to read myself.

Are you a person who tends to read to the end of chapters, or are you able to put down a book at any point? I stop wherever, knowing I can never plan when a phone might ring, cat might start meowing pitifully, stomach might start growling, husband might desperately need me to find a blue sock, etc. Also, I am someone who takes a book with me everywhere I go. If I'm waiting in line at the grocery store, I can't exactly say to the person behind me, "Just let me get to the end of this chapter, please, and then I'll check out."

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop and look it up right away? (Well, I used to worry I was pretty anal retentive and had at least a couple of toes over the OCD line until I read this lovely question, which has convinced me that I most certainly must not.) Never, which is probably why I only vaguely know what half the words I use mean.

What are you currently reading? I'm down to these four right now: The Portable Dorothy Parker, The Morville Hours by Katherine Swift, Ill Wind by Nevada Barr, and The Village by Marghanita Laski (which means there is something terribly wrong, and I am due to pick up at least three more very soon).

What was the last book you bought? This is pathetic! I honestly can't remember. Let me think a minute and get back to you...

Are you the type of person that only reads one book at a time or can you read more than one at a time? Ummm, I think I answered that question two questions ago.

Do you have a favorite time of day and/or place to read? Every hour of every minute of every day, if I could, and in any comfortable spot, but beds are almost always nice places to read.

Do you prefer series books or stand alone books? Stand alones. Series are problematic for those of us who have only just discovered that we don't have those couple of toes over the OCD line, because, you know, you might think you have to start with the first one and then read all of them (in order), and it may be an old series, and some of them may be out of print and hard to get...(You know how it is, but those of us with all our body parts firmly on this side of the OCD line need not worry about such things, so perhaps we'll soon discover that we LOVE series.)

Is there a specific book or author that you find yourself recommending over and over? Unfortunately, I thrust Jack Finney's Time and Again on anyone who even whispers "New York City" to me. And, well, you know, then there's what some might call my obsession with David Sedaris.

How do you organize your books? (By genre, title, author’s last name, etc). I fantasize about organizing all the fiction by author's last name and all the rest by subject and title. But everyone knows that fantasy is not reality, so you will never be able to find what you're looking for on my shelves unless you ask me (for some odd reason, I usually have a vague idea of where things are, despite the fact that Charles Darwin seems to be having tea with Maureen Dowd and Jack London).


litlove said...

Now you know, I've never even heard of Jack Finney, so there's someone I have to go and look up straight away. Lovely answers, as one would expect from the Queen o' meme's!

Emily Barton said...

Oh, Litlove, you mean I have not yet raved about Time and Again on this blog?! Shame on me. I will have to go see if it's one that was included in one of my old book journals and post that ASAP (I fear, though, that it may be one I read before I was keeping those journals).

Rebecca H. said...

I'm the same as you when it comes to looking up words. I hardly ever do it, and so have vague ideas about what a lot of words mean. I don't look words up partly because I'm lazy, and partly because I'm highly unlikely to remember what the definition was, and so will be stuck with a vague idea anyway. So why bother?

Stefanie said...

Maybe if I looked up words I would have done better on the analogy seciont of SAT and GRE tests. But then again, probably not. The idea of Darwin having tea with Dowd and London made me giggle. And you absolutely must post about Morville Hours when you are done or even before you are done if you feel so inclined :)

ZoesMom said...

I also rarely look up words I don't know. I probably should, but I never want to interrupt my reading to bother.

I would love to see you ask the supermarket check out person to wait while you finished the chapter!

Emily Barton said...

Dorr, exactly: why bother? Besides, it seems we converse quite well, so our vague definitions must be in sync with each other.

Stef, I will post about The Morville Hours, a lovely, lovely book (especially one who thought, "A book about a GARDEN? I hate gardening books" and was rightly put in her place).

ZM, I bet I'd get kicked out of the supermarket, no?