55 Questions about books

I never read The Bridges of Madison County, though I started it, but I liked the movie.

From Jaquandor:

1. Favorite childhood book?

Play The Game. It’s a sports anthology that I still own, copyright 1931. It has articles by Rogers Hornsby on baseball, Red Grange on football, Grantland Rice on golf, plus articles on basketball, track, tennis, and the “minor sports” such as swimming and wrestling. I have no idea how I came to have it; I’m not nearly THAT old.

2. What are you reading right now?

Where Did Our Love Go by Nelson George. It’s a book about the rise and fall of Motown.

3. What books do you have on request at the library?

Right now, none, but I have had some.

4. Bad book habit?

Starting books and not finishing them. Do it a lot, actually.

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?

Nothing at present, which is unusual.

6. Do you have an e-reader?

No. I’m a late adapter. I’ll get one a week before the NEXT technology comes out.

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?

One, maybe two. More likely to finish it that way.

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?

I probably read less, but my “should read” list has become massive.

9. Least favorite book you read this year?

Don’t know, because I probably just gave up.

10. Favorite book you’ve read this year?

Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II by Douglas Blackmon.

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?

Back when I was at my former church, I was in a book club, and we had 10 topics a year. Inevitably, we’d pick topics I’d never would have picked had I not been in the group. Now, almost never leave the non-fiction range.

12. What is your reading comfort zone?

Biographies, non-fiction, generally.

13. Can you read on the bus?

I can, but I tend not to, because I’m so afraid of losing the book. Generally, I read periodicals on the bus.

14. Favorite place to read?

A chair in the living room.

15. What is your policy on book lending?

I will only lend if I am not afraid of never seeing it again. So if it’s of functional or sentimental value, no way.

16. Do you ever dog-ear books?

No, and it annoys me that others do.

17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?

Not even in college.

18. Not even with textbooks?

Not even with textbooks. It also was a matter that I might actually SELL those books, so I wanted to keep them nice.

19. What is your favorite language to read in?


20. What makes you love a book?

Learning something new, told in an interesting and honest way. Glaring factual errors will probably diminish the value very quickly.

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?

Haven’t in decades. People are so different, I find it almost impossible. And when I used to, people would sigh, “Oh, no, one more for the list!”

22. Favorite genre?

Actually, besides non-fiction, comic book packages.

23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?)

Science fiction, I suppose. I know lots of SF fans.

24. Favorite biography?

The Brethren by Woodward and Armstrong. Although I have a soft spot for Mayor Corning: Albany Icon, Albany Enigma by Paul Grondahl because it contains a description of the South African Springbok rugby team and the protest that I participated in.

25. Have you ever read a self-help book?

Not in a long time. The last one may have been Your Erroneous Zones by Wayne Dyer and that was in 1978.

26. Favorite cookbook?

It’s a Betty Crocker one I got when I first went to college.

27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or nonfiction)?

A Day Apart: How Jews, Christians, and Muslims Find Faith, Freedom, and Joy on the Sabbath by Christopher D. Ringwald

28. Favorite reading snack?

Pretzels or Wheat Thins.

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.

Cavalier and Klay by Michael Chabon. Didn’t get past page 55, and I felt badly, because it was “my” genre. I still have it – yikes, I borrowed it from someone; well, more that she lent it to me – and I’ll try again someday.

30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?

Often, I suppose, because it usually motivated me to read it in the first place.

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?

Not great, but I will.

32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose?


33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?

I don’t remember. It was undoubtedly so incomprehensible, I let it go.

34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?


35. Favorite poet?

Billy Shakes.

36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?

One or two.

37. How often have you returned book to the library unread?

About 50% of the time.

38. Favorite fictional character?

Atticus Finch.

39. Favorite fictional villain?

Iago, for sure.

40. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation?

Something on the shelf at home that calls to me. Plus periodicals.

41. The longest I’ve gone without reading.

Last time I was really sick. I remember when I broke my rib a couple of years ago, I could not focus to read even the newspaper for nearly a week, because of the pain and the meds.

42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.

Kavalier and Clay. But I will, by gum.

43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?

A pile of periodicals more than anything.

44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?

To Kill a Mockingbird. I never read The Bridges of Madison County, though I started it, but I liked the movie.

45. Most disappointing film adaptation?

Funny, nothing comes to mind. I can’t think of any others where I’ve both read the book AND seen the movie.

46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?

Around a hundred bucks, probably.

47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?

Depends on whether it has photos in the center. I often look at those first.

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?

Boredom. Irritation. Lack of time.

49. Do you like to keep your books organized?

Yes, actually they are. Does this surprise you? Shelf of TV books, movie books, comic-related books. Shelves of music books, religious books, non-fiction, with bios tending to be together.

50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?

I prefer to keep, but once in a while, I do a mini-purge.

51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?

Not particularly.

52. Name a book that made you angry.

I’m sure some sociology text in college that I thought was BS.

53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?

Not likely to start a book I don’t think I’ll like.

54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?

See, things that I read that don’t work tend to just fall right out of the brain.

55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?

What is this guilt thing? Je ne comprende pas.

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