Wednesday, 16 September 2009


Do you snack while you read? If so, favorite reading snack?
I don't normally snack whilst reading as I find it too cumbersome to hold a book and eat at the same time. Saying that, a Persephone book goes wonderfully well with a slice of cake, a cupcake, or a tart! I love nothing better than curling up with a warm drink and a book; I have holding a mug on one hand and a book in the other down to a fine art for an accidental soul.

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?
I hate marking books and only did it occasionally whilst completing my Master's as otherwise I was likely to suffocate under a mountain of post-its. Even when I did succumb it was only ever to highlight with bible pencil or lightly write a key-point in the margins. I also have what were once my working texts and duplicates for pleasure.

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears?
I have an assortment of bookmarks that I use and I loathe dog-earing books, even library copies.

Laying the book flat open?
I hate breaking the spine of a book and will never lay a book flat open unless it's a cookbook.

Fiction, Non-fiction, or both?
Preferably fiction but every so often I journey into the world of non-fiction. I try to keep my options open and challenge myself wherever possible. I have a variety of interests and love to read so why not read about things that interest me, in a non-fictional setting?

Hard copy or audiobooks?
I don't listen to many audiobooks but those I have listened to I've enjoyed. Neil Gaiman has an exceptional reading voice and Stephen Fry is also a great voice to listen to.

Are you a person who tends to read to the end of chapters, or are you able to put a book down at any point?
Ideally I will read to the end of a chapter as it makes for a good ending point but it depends on how tired I am. I struggle with books that don't have chapters or chapters that aren't an ideal reading length; reading from chapter to chapter gives me a sense of achievement and I am always thinking "oh, I can fit one more in before I go to sleep... and another."

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop to look it up right away?
Not when I'm reading in bed or travelling/commuting or in some kind of waiting room/queuing system... All of these reading occasions aren't conducive to noting down quotes either.

What are you currently reading?
I actually just finished a book and usually I have the next one lined up but I have a few to choose from... I think it will be/has to be The Children's Book by A.S. Byatt.

What is the last book you bought?
I bought four children's books today for my nephew who celebrates his second birthday on Monday. I bought him three Dr Seuss books, including My Many Coloured Days which is one the most beautiful books ever, and Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers. I love buying Children's books and I am most definitely the Auntie who gives books.

Are you the type of person that only reads one book at a time or can you read more than one at a time?
I can read more than one at a time but I do prefer concentrating solely on one and giving it my full attention.

Do you have a favorite time of day and/or place to read?
In bed before I go to sleep.

Do you prefer series books or stand alone books?
I've read a number of great series but I prefer stand-alone novels the majority of the time.

Is there a specific book or author that you find yourself recommending over and over?
Angela Carter. READ HER.

How do you organize your books? (By genre, title, author’s last name, etc.?)
In a system that only makes sense to me. Books by the same author are grouped together but not in alphabetical order (sometimes in order of publication); other books are organised by colour; others are shelved according to publisher and occasionally those are ordered by ones read and still to read.

If you haven't seen it yet then please read Simon from Stuck at a Book's guest post on the BBAW website, which he has also posted on his blog.


Book Psmith said...

I haven't found any one I like more than Stephen Fry when it comes to audiobooks. I have thought about listening to audiobooks I am not even interested in just to hear him read. Someone should hire him to read all the Paddington books. You know of all the gifts I received as a child, it is the books I kept and which hold special meaning for me after all these years. I hope it is the same for your nephew.

verity said...

Oh, I think Stephen Fry doing Paddington would be wonderful!

We have some very similar answers Claire!

Paperback Reader said...

Book Psmith, Stephen Fry has read some of the Paddington books but I'm not sure if he's read them all. They may just be available in the UK but you could order from The Book Depository. I have a few of his audiobooks (his own) but haven't listened to them yet; I adore him reading Harry Potter.

Alexander (my nephew) loves his books and being read to so I imagine he will cherish them; I hope he will. Speaking of Paddington, my nephew will get meet mine when he visits in a couple of weeks (I have lovely collector's toy one).

Verity, borrow Stephen Fry reading Paddington from the library! I've just asked him via twitter if he has narrated them all.

I'm not that surprised that we have similar answers!

gautami tripathy said...

I wish to read that A S Byatt book! Soon, I promise myself!

BBAW: Reading meme

claire said...

"I am always thinking 'oh, I can fit one more in before I go to sleep... and another.'"

Haha. Sounds like me! Mariana is a challenge, though, as the chapters are looooong, they never seem to end!

Anyway, I love My Many Coloured Days! And also Oliver Jeffers. Have you seen The Incredible Book Eating Boy? Not sure if it's his latest, but my son and I have only seen it at the bookstore for the first time a couple of months ago and we read it, soo good! I'm buying them a copy when able.

And okay, I'll try Angela Carter. :) And yes I'll try listening to Neil G. Have you seen his bookshelves at Shelfari? UNbelievable!

Paperback Reader said...

guatami, I look forward to comparing thoughts with you. It daunts me some, not for the length but more its scope and attention to detail.

Claire, I struggle with books with long or no chapters. Mariana shouldn't be a challenge though but a joy :s

I'll need to look out for The Incredible Book Eating Boy. I didn't know much about Lost and Found except that it was well-recommended; I hope my nephew enjoys it.

Neil's shelves are AMAZING! I covet his library.

Book Psmith said...

The only ones I have been able to find are the first two Paddington books which I listened to earlier in the year. I am pulling an Oliver and requesting more:) I didn't know he read Harry Potter (the audible selection for him is kind of limited). I will have to check that out.

Paperback Reader said...

Book Psmith, it's the UK HP audios but they are delightful; my sister loves them (she's 12yo) and when I was living at home it was as if Stephen was living with us as she listened to him constantly.

StuckInABook said...

Lovely quiz answers, Claire. Superficially, I love the use of colour! And thanks for the mention, too - I had fun writing that piece.

Paperback Reader said...

Thanks, Simon. The BBAW logo lends itself to an accompanying colourful post. I enjoyed reading your article.

Darlene said...

'The Auntie that buys books', I love that, Claire! Yesterday, a co-worker said that her mother-in-law always gives her jewellery as a gift but all she really wants is books.

Paperback Reader said...

Darlene, I am also the girlfriend that buys books, the daughter/inlaw, the sister/inlaw, the niece, and the friend that buys books!

coops said...

Oh I love Stephen Fry's reading of HP. I use it as comfort listening on aeroplanes (I'm not a good flier)!

Which Angela Carter work would you recommend to a newbie?

Paperback Reader said...

coops, Stephen Fry is very soothing so I can see why it would relax you; HP is also very comforting.

As for Angela Carter, The Bloody Chamber (short stories/subverted fairy tales) is a good place to start as is The Magic Toyshop (novel) as is Wise Children which is one of my favourites. I highly recommend WC and fine for a first read; it's her last novel and is extremely witty and well-written about twins, Shakespeare, doubles, and bawdiness.