Book Meme

Penseroso posted a neat idea for a book meme (originally from In Spring It Is the Dawn, inspired by a similar science-fiction–themed version).

Hardback or trade paperback or mass market paperback? Trade or mass market paperbacks. I need books that are small and portable so that I can take them everywhere.

Amazon or brick-and-mortar? Overall, I suppose I prefer brick-and-mortar stores. I enjoy being able to flip through a book prior to purchasing it. On the other hand, I find value in Amazon’s customer reviews and even the software’s recommendations. And you can’t beat the selection at Amazon. I end up buying books from both sources.

Barnes & Noble or Borders? I probably have a slight preference for Borders, though in my town we have just a Barnes and Noble. (Actually, we have two, and they’re both good.)

Bookmark or dogear? What book-lover would dare to dogear a book?!

Alphabetize by author or alphebetize by title or random? My books are grouped loosely by subject. Within a subject, it’s by more specific subjects or just aesthetically.

Keep, throw away, or sell? I find it hard to believe that those who would be interested in answering these questions would not wish to keep their old books.

Keep dustjacket or toss it? Keep.

Read with dustjacket or remove it? Usually, with it on, unless it is impeding me or I am worried about damaging it.

Short story or novel? Actually, I tend to prefer fiction. I enjoy novels, but it is hard to invest the time in one unless I know it will be good (otherwise, I’d rather use the time for reading something else!).

Collection (short stories by same author) or anthology (short stories by different authors)? I think I prefer collections.

Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket? They’re good in different ways. I’m pompous, but I can still admit to enjoying Harry Potter. It’s good light reading, and for some reason I really enjoy the different spells.

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks? I never get tired of reading. I usually have to force myself to stop at chapter breaks.

“It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”? I love dark and stormy nights in general.

Buy or Borrow? I prefer buying, if possible.

New or used? New, unless the used book is in great condition. I don’t like stains and markings in my books.

Buying choice: book reviews, recommendation or browse? Browse.

Tidy ending or cliffhanger? Tidy cliffhanger, I think.

Morning reading, afternoon reading or nighttime reading? Reading is good at any time, though nighttime is the best.

Standalone or series? Both have their merits.

Favorite series? Foundation, by Isaac Asimov.

Favorite book of which nobody else has heard? That’s a tough one. Perhaps El Túnel, by Ernesto Sábato. It’s available in as an English translation, though I don’t think most English speakers are familiar with it.

Favorite books read last year? Hmmmm…The Ancestor’s Tale by Richard Dawkins; A World History by William H. McNeill; Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond; The Intellectual Devotional by David S. Kidder and Noah D. Oppenheim; The Grand Tour: A Traveler’s Guide to the Solar System by William K. Hartmann and Ron Miller come to mind. Oh and The Chicago Manual of Style —I haven’t read the whole thing, of course.

Favorite books of all time? This is an extremely difficult question; I’ll attempt to list a few but there are so many and my preference probably varies with my mood and what books I recall offhand. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig; the Foundation series and the Robot series and everything else by Isaac Asimov; The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien; The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins; Cosmos by Carl Sagan; The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams; all Star Trek books. And the ones listed in the previous question. There are more, but I’m trying (unsuccessfully) to be selective.