Sunday 19 October 2014

55 Quirky Questions for Readers

It's been a long long time since I've answered a bookish questionnaire here, but I feel like changing things around a bit (see my last post) and I found this on The Literary Lollipop and thought it might help me to get back into the swing of things. My reading's felt a bit disjointed lately and I'd like to change that, plus I'm jealous of all the people who've just done the 24 hour readathon and talked nothing but books for a day, so here goes!

1. Favourite childhood book: Difficult to choose. Part of me wants to say Little Women because I literally read it until it fell to bits, but then that's also kind of my favourite adulthood book soooo I guess I'd have to go with something by Noel Streatfeild - either Ballet Shoes or The Painted Garden probably. 
2. What are you reading right now? The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Collected Dorothy Parker, and Everyday Sexism by Laura Barker.
3. What books do you have on request at the library? Us by David Nicholls
4. Bad book habit: Not taking my library books back on time ever. Taking out waaaay too many library books thus making it impossible to keep track and contributing to previously mentioned lateness. Reading too many books at once, losing track of what I'm reading and accidentally giving up on books I was really enjoying which I then find six months later and try to keep reading, only to find I've forgotten what's happened so far and have to start again!
5. What do you currently have checked out at the library? Everything... *consults library account* We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler (overdue & won't be able to finish as I'm halfway through and someone else wants it. Scowl), Creative Play for Your Baby: Steiner Waldorf expertise and toy projects for 3 months - 2 years (overdue), Everyday Sexism by Laura Barker, Making Peg Dolls by Margaret Bloom, The Complete Potty Training Bible, and J by Howard Jacobson. Plus How to be Both by Ali Smith waiting for me to pick it up tomorrow. Eclectic, I know.
6. Do you have an e-reader? Nope. 
7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once? I prefer to read one that really absorbs me at a time, but I usually end up starting a few and then carrying on with the one which absorbs me most and once that's done I'll pick up one of the others I've already started again. That, or (like at the moment with Everyday Sexism) something I'm reading is fantastic but so absolutely enraging that I have to have something else on the go to calm me down or Rhys never talks to be me because I won't stop ranting :-p 
8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog? They changed a lot way back when I first started blogging because I suddenly felt all of this (imaginary) pressure to perform reading and review-wise so I was reading a lot faster and a lot less thoroughly and generally immersing myself a lot less. Now I think I'm drifting back towards how I used to read - namely for myself, mostly from my shelves but interspersed with library books and the very occasional review copy with no pressure whatsoever and absolutely wallowing in books :-) 
9.Least favourite book you read this year: I've been terrible at keeping track of my reading this year so I can actually only remember the great ones. 
10. Favourite book I’ve read this year: Eleanor and Park, Attachments or Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. 
11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone? Not hugely. I'm making a big effort to read more non-fiction and more translated literature but still not pushing myself as much as I'd like to be. I was also thinking the other day that I read a lot of women. Particularly because of #readwomen2014, which is a great thing, I've been reading primarily female writers this year and I feel sort of like I actually maybe need to try to read more men? 
12. What is your reading comfort zone? Fiction (as previously mentioned, mostly Western Women but also others), Graphic Novels, non-fiction of the stunt memoir type.
13. Can you read on the bus? Yep unless I'm pregnant (not that that's a regular thing, but the two times I have been I've occasionally got nauseous reading on the bus)
14. Favourite place to read: the beach :-) 
15. What’s your policy on book lending? I mostly only lend books I've already read and have had change to put my name in, otherwise I find I never see them again and can't remember who I've lent them to to chase them up! On occasion I will lend unread books but usually only to my siblings. 
16. Do you dogear your books? Yes.
17. Do you write notes in the margins of your books? Not since University.
18. Do you break/crack the spine of your books? I try not to. 
19. What is your favourite language to read? English. I'd love to be able to read other languages but alas my linguistic ability stops with (fairly bad) GCSE German, a few words of Italian and Polish and the tiniest smattering of French.
20. What makes you love a book? Characters who feel real and do things which make sense for their character. 
21. What will inspire you to recommend a book? If I hugged it and did a happy dance when I finished it, or if it made me think about how I feel about a subject or reassess my opinions. 
22. Favourite genre: Vaguely Classic type fiction with Strong Female Protagonists (aka Little Women & Anne of Green Gables)
23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did): Poetry. I used to read a lot but haven't for years. 
24. Favourite Biography: Teach with your Heart by Erin Gruwell, Cash by Johnny Cash, Wild by Cheryl Strayed
25. Have you ever read a self-help book? (And, was it actually helpful?)I did and it was but I don't remember what it was called or who it was by. I also read Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway when I was a teenager, which was good, and Overcoming Social Anxiety when I was having CBT for depression and anxiety issues, and that helped hugely.  
26. Favourite Cookbook: The River Cottage Family Cookbook by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall and Fizz Carr.
27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction): Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck
28. Favourite reading snack: Ice cream
29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience: The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
30. How often do you agree with the critics about about a book? Aside from The Night Circus, I quite often don't agree with most people about books. I also tend not to really read critics opinions of stuff because I'm not that fussed about what they think. 
31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews? I don't really do it. If I don't have anything positive or constructive to say I just don't review a book. 
32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you choose? I think Polish.
33. Most intimidating book I’ve read: Ulysses by James Joyce. Still not finished it, but I've tried several times. 
34. Most intimidating book I’m too nervous to begin: War and Peace by Tolstoy
35. Favourite Poet: T.S Eliot or W.H Auden
36. How many books do you usually have checked out from the library at any given time? Between 5 and 20...
37. How often do you return books to the library unread? Pretty often
38. Favourite fictional character: I cannot answer this question. I've just spent ten minutes talking to my sister about how impossible this question is. Jaim Grymauch, Jo March, Scout Finch, Atticus Finch, Lincoln, Eleanor, Park, Albus Dumbledore. I could go on.
39. Favourite fictional villain: I actually can't think of any...
40. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation: Something light... YA or romance
41. The longest I’ve gone without reading: Not long. Maybe a month while I was a teenager.
42. Name a book you could/would not finish: American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis. Hated it. It still makes me feel angry and sick thinking about it.
43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading? Everything
44. Favourite film adaptation of a novel: Lord of the Rings or The Perks of Being a Wallflower
45. Most disappointing film adaptation: Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters. Don't even get me started on how awful that was. 
46. Most money I’ve ever spent in a bookstore at one time: About £60 I think
47. How often do you skim a book before reading it? Sometimes. Mostly I prefer to be surprised though.
48. What would cause you to stop reading a book halfway through? If I'm bored or it's horrifically offensive or just makes me so angry or feel physically nauseous (see American Psycho)
49. Do you like to keep your books organized? Yes. Currently they're in alphabetical order sorted by those I've read and am keeping and the hundreds of unread books!
50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once they’ve been read? If I think I'll reread them or they were so good I'll want to tell everyone to read them and thus have a copy to lend out, I keep them. Otherwise they go.
51. Are there any books that you’ve been avoiding? 50 Shades of Grey. I don't t think I'll ever actually want to read it.
52. Name a book that made you angry: As previously mentioned American Psycho for all the wrong reasons, and Everyday Sexism for all the right ones.
53. A book I didn’t expect to like but did: Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
54. A book I expected to like but didn’t: I didn't actually dislike it, just liked it a lot less than I thought I would - How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran.
55. Favourite guilt-free guilty pleasure reading: I hate the term, but chick lit. Anything about somebody's relationship ending and them doing something fabulous with their life. Love it. 


  1. Replies
    1. Probably because when I was a kid my mum's Polish friend who I absolutely adored gave me a copy of Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz even though I was about eight, and I read it and loved it and have always wanted to read it in the original language. Also I know a lot of Polish people and now have a Polish brother-in-law, so it makes sense really :-)

  2. I keep meaning to do this survey and I still haven't quite managed to sit down and finish it!

    I aaaaalways take my books back to the library on time - like, obsessively so - but because I take out so many at a time I just end up getting pissy if anything has to go back unread. Happily during the winter the walk to the library isn't quite so appealing any more, so hopefully I'll get more of my own books read as these go back!

    My reading has drifted back as well. For me it was review pressure and also the prevalence of YA all around me that changed my reading habits, but over the years I've found myself becoming more discerning and reconnecting with books I actually want to read and love. Good for us, I say!

    I've got Cash and Wild, I really should start to pick up some of my own non-fiction again. I have great swathes of it but I keep picking up more from the library and never reading my own! Or only reading the easiest books, which is just as bad.

    I think The Perks of Being a Wallflower is possibly my favourite book-to-movie adaptation. I also really liked To Kill a Mockingbird and Catching Fire. Can't think of any others off the top of my head. :)

    I gave up on American Psycho as a teenager because I really didn't fancy the idea of unexpectedly seeing my lunch again - but I do want to give it another go now I'm older and my stomach's stronger. I've heard that it's worth it, so I'm determined to find out sooner or later!

    Okay I need to do this survey now. :D