Booking Through Thursday: Preferences

July 23, 2009 at 11:16 am | Posted in Book Blather | 3 Comments

Here is my response to this week’s Booking Through Thursday:

Which do you prefer?  (Quick answers – we’ll do more detail at some later date)

  • Reading something frivolous?  Or something serious?

Serious.  I switched to chick lit when I was in college, but then I was trying to learn Latin and Attic Greek at the same time, and I feared my brain would explode.  Now that I’m back to normal, when I try to read or watch frivolous movies, I automatically start thinking about Darfur.

  • Paperbacks?  Or hardcovers?

Hardcovers, preferably well broken in with the library’s signature plastic cover.  My dad prefers paperbacks, the same mass market size I loathe, and he can’t stand trade paperback size.

  • Fiction?  Or Nonfiction?

Nonfiction!  Nonfiction all the way.

  • Poetry?  Or Prose?

I’m going to say prose, though I love poetry.

  • Biographies?  Or Autobiographies?

Both.  Though I’ll read just about anyone’s memoir (is there a clear demarcation between the two?) but I’ll tend only to read biographies when I am seeking out information on the subject.

  • History?  Or Historical Fiction?

I hope I don’t have to tell my readers this.  History.  The real thing, baby.  I’m talking archaeological diagrams, fiber composition studies, grave find catalogues, the works.

  • Series?  Or Stand-alones?

Stand-alones.  I have read several series, but I have trouble keeping focused enough to get through the whole thing.  It took me 15 years to finish LOTR, three years to get through A Series of Unfortunate Events… I’m still working on Georgia Nicholson and the Outlander books, though I love them.

  • Classics?  Or best-sellers?

A bit of both.  I tend to shun best-sellers unless they are getting a certain type of critical attention.  Pure snobbery in action, but what can I say?  Most mass-market fiction just doesn’t do it for me.

  • Lurid, fruity prose?  Or straight-forward, basic prose?

Straight-forward and basic, unless I’m reading literary fiction.  Left to my own devices, I read mostly nonfiction, and mostly because for me it’s easier to get through.

  • Plots?  Or Stream-of-Consciousness?

Stream of consciousness.  I’ve always loved it.  When I read something plot-based I keep looking for the hole.  We watched The Knowing last Friday with my mom, and we were chasing the plot around for days, realizing new problems.

  • Long books?  Or Short?

Long books.  Unfortunately this year I’m stuck with mostly short, because I’m trying to hit 500.  234 to go!

  • Illustrated?  Or Non-illustrated?

Both.  If it’s a memoir I want to see baby pictures, at the minimum.  I must have at least one author photo.  If I’m reading history, I also like to see photos of relevant people, buildings, artifacts…  On the other hand, fiction with illustrations will make anyone looking over one’s shoulder think it’s a children’s book.  Which in my case, it often is.

  • Borrowed?  Or Owned?

Borrowed.  Where in the sam hill would I put all the books I read if I had to keep them in the house?

  • New?  Or Used?

Used.  Actually I get really paranoid about cracking the spine on new books.  I also break out in hives when I think about spending that kind of money.  If I’d bought everything I read this year new, I would have spent $3800 already, and that doesn’t include Mt. TBR.


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  1. Great answers! The name of my blog is “Well-Mannered Frivolity” – can you guess what my answer to number 1 was? It was hard to choose between some of the answers this week though…

  2. I find it difficult to capture my reading behavior in multiple choices!

    I prefer a plot-driven novel that slowly unfolds in fruity and lush prose, with multiple layers and allusion that indulge my mind long after I turn the last page like the lingering aftertaste of a good glass of wine.

  3. I’m totally with you on the borrowed and used front!

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