The illuminous (no, I don’t know if that’s a word, either) NevilleGirl tagged me in this INSIDE-OUT book tag, where the first letter of each question spells out inside-out, the way we see and experience books. I’ve been reading more recently, so thinking about the aesthetic comes at the right time for me. Plus, these are some different questions than specific books. I like that variety!
Inside flap / Back-of-the-book summaries: Too much info? Or not enough?
I tend to find that there is not enough info for me. Sometimes, I’ll pick up a book because of its blurb, and find that it starts in a completely different place to that which I expected. Or, it quickly rushes past the inciting incident made a big problem in the blurb, and rockets on to a completely different story. Normally, this is not my cup of chai.
New book: What form do you want it in? Be honest: audio book, e-book, paperback, or hardcover?
I think I have listened to literally three audio-books in my life, so not that. I just never listen to them. Personally, my favourite out of those listed is the glorious hardback. I just love holding in my hands such a large and tough book. There’s not much that can wreck a hardback! Of the nine Skulduggery Pleasant books (the main ones, anyway), I have five in hardback and only two in paperback (I borrowed book1 and book3 from the library). They’re shiny and prettier than the paperbacks.
I’m still not a big fan of the ebook, so I would always choose paperback over that; there’s just something about having a physical book, weighing it up, knowing in pure pages how much longer there is to read…
I could go on dreamily.
Scribble while you read? Do you like to write in your books, taking notes, making comments, or do you keep your books clean clean clean?
Do people do this for fiction, too? The only times I’ve ever written in books – with pencil, mind – is if I’m making notes for an essay [non-fiction] or to underline amazing writing or imagery of which I’m jealous [fiction]. I’d never make notes in an actual book!
In your best voice, read for us your favorite first sentence from a book.
I don’t have a favourite first line – it changes with my mood and the genres I read – but here’s something you might recognise:
“If you are interested in stories with happy endings, you would be better off reading some other book. In this book, not only is there no happy ending, there is no happy beginning and very few happy things in the middle.”
Lemony Snicket, A Bad Beginning. I’m currently reading Snicket’s new series All The Wrong Questions. Snicket does a brilliant post-modern writing – as I’ve said before, I don’t normally like post-modernism, but my attention was captured by such a well-crafted first line.
Being a fan of the long-winded (!), I actually really rather like Dickens’ “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”, even though that first line is literally a paragraph long! I feel it sets the scene well, and is actually rather a clever look at how society is split – a theme strong throughout the novel.
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?
Nope. Often I don’t look at an author until after I’ve started or even finished reading. What always matters is the quality of the writing, not the writer themselves (unless they’ve done something worthy of scandal or against my morals).
Ever read ahead? Or have you ever read the last page way before you got there?
I won’t lie – I used to. Not deliberately, but I did like to see how long the book was, and sometimes I liked to catch the last line – like a first line, it doesn’t necessarily reveal plot, but it says something about the book and is often clever or sophisticated. With ebooks, of course, this is a lot less easy to do; and I’ve broken out of the habit of reading ahead nowadays.
Organized bookshelves, or outrageous bookshelves?
Organised! All the way. If you know me, you’ll know that organisation is my middle name. 😉 My bookcases are no different. They are, surprisingly, not sorted alphabetically, but by author (eg. all the Jacqueline Wilsons, Lemony Snickets, Harry Potters.) and often with genre included, too.
Under oath: Have you ever bought a book based on the cover alone?
Yes: I do it frequently. Covers are the first things I will see, and being so picky about them has its advantages that I’m picky about the types of novels I end up picking up. I like pretty covers as long as they’re original. Give me something that sticks out when I see it in a bookshop.
Take it outside to read, or stay in?
Probably stay inside. It depends on the weather – and it Britain, that is always a problem. I don’t want rain getting on my paperbacks, and nor do I want the sun to reflect off their white pages and get in my eyes, halting me in my reading. On the other hand, whilst I do like a sofa or a comfy chair in which to do my reading, I’m also a fan of those classic outside-on-the-green moments, book in one hand, lemonade in the other, warmed from the outside.
Those are my answers! I am tagging a couple of people:
Lillie @ LillianMWoodall
Jae @ Litandscribbles
Heidi and Kati @ MysticCooking
Yawatta @ Yawatta Hosby
And anybody else who feels like doing this tag. It’s a lot of fun – as I said, a bit different from the usual reading/book tags. Alex out. 😀