Today's Booking Through Thursday prompt reads:
So, it's [Deb's*] birthday today. (Please, no applause.) But it’s inspiring today’s question–
What, if any, memorable or special book have you ever gotten as a present? Birthday or otherwise. What made it so notable? The person who gave it? The book itself? The “gift aura?”
( So, what's my fave, most specialest special book? )
*For my LJ readers: Deb is the BTT list owner/maintainer. She reads tons of books, is a brilliant knitter, and has a dog named Chappy.
Are you a spine breaker? Or a dog-earer? Do you expect to keep your books in pristine condition even after you have read them? Does watching other readers bend the cover all the way round make you flinch or squeal in pain?
( How do I mark thee? Let me count the ways... )
This week's Booking Through Thursday:
“Name a favorite literary couple and tell me why they are a favorite. If you cannot choose just one, that is okay too. Name as many as you like–sometimes narrowing down a list can be extremely difficult and painful. Or maybe that’s just me.”
( My answer? )
Okay–here was an interesting article by Christopher Schoppa in the Washington Post.
Avid readers know all too well how easy it is to acquire books — it’s the letting go that’s the difficult part. … During the past 20 years, in which books have played a significant role in both my personal and professional lives, I’ve certainly had my fair share of them (and some might say several others’ shares) in my library. Many were read and saved for posterity, others eventually, but still reluctantly, sent back out into the world.
But there is also a category of titles that I’ve clung to for years, as they survived numerous purges, frequent library donations and countless changes of residence. I’ve yet to read them, but am absolutely certain I will. And should. When, I’m not sure, as I’m constantly distracted by the recent, just published and soon to be published works.
So, the question is his: “What tomes are waiting patiently on your shelves?“
( What's on my shelves? )
For the Booking Through Thursday meme:
What was the last book you bought?
I had to actually think about this; I've been using interlibrary loan so much that I haven't set foot in a bookstore or ordered from Amazon in weeks. Note to self: get thee to a bookstore. And a yarn shop. Touch something shiny.
Anyway, the last paper book (a comic, actually) I bought would have to be the first issue of Doctor Who: The Forgotten, which arrived last week and was greatly enjoyed.
Name a book you have read MORE than once
Little Women | The Westing Game | A Wrinkle in Time | Crime and Punishment (my head can be a weird place)
Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life? If yes, what was it?
Crime and Punishment really messed me up for about 4 years, especially after I'd read Thus Spoke Zarathustra. I'm still feeling the aftershocks 25 years later. Damn, I'm getting old.
How do you choose a book? eg. by cover design and summary, recommendations or reviews
Actually, I filter through all sorts of means, although I'm least likely to actually read a book someone has recommended to me, no matter how much I may actually WANT to read the book. My mood generally dictates my reading, and sometimes I want a particular texture in the reading which may be physical (color), emotional, or social.
Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?
Fiction, definitely, although as I get older it's harder to commit to multiple worlds at once.
What’s more important in a novel - beautiful writing or a gripping plot?
I'm going to be a weasel here and say both; I like a balance between the two. Too much of the former feels self-indulgent and pointless, too much of the latter rushes me through too quickly and I get indigestion.
Most loved/memorable character (character/book)
Today, it's Meg in A Wrinkle in Time. Charles Wallace is a close second.
Which book or books can be found on your nightstand at the moment?
Robert Fagles' translation of The Odyssey. Cornelia Funke's Inkheart. David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest. Homer's getting the most action these days.
What was the last book you’ve read, and when was it?
Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. I re-read it a couple of weeks ago to teach it.
Have you ever given up on a book half way in?
Yes, although I try to follow a 100 page rule on novels of 300 pages or more--if I'm not invested 100 pages in, I shelve it and hope that later in life it will appeal.