Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I'm Not Usually The Memey-Meme-Meme Kinda Guy...

...but Writtenwyrrd had this one up the other day and it looked fun. It's about reading habits.

Do you snack while you read? If so, favorite reading snack:

No, but I rarely snack. However, a while back I’d gotten into the habit of eating Dove Dark Chocolate Minis while reading in bed, until one night I fell asleep with a handful. Interesting Fact: The human body produces enough heat over a six hour period to liquefy several ounces of chocolate, and can produce enough force (through tossing and turning) to squeeze liquefied chocolate through tiny holes in aluminum foil wrappers.

I blamed Carl Hiaasen for writing an unnecessary and extraneous chapter that, despite his clever turns of phrase and keen understanding of human nature, induced unconsciousness. Oddly, my wife didn’t see it that way.

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?

Non-fiction books I mark up like the kitchen walls of a paranoid madman who’s hard at work deciphering the mysterious runes in a bowl of Lucky Charms. I used to use a highlighter, but I couldn’t read the margin notes so now I use a pen. But not just any pen. It has to be one of those fine tip roller ball pens where the ink spreads easily and with little effort, but not so quickly that I end up with ink dots all over my hands and shirt. Regular ball point pens, I find, require too much work to operate.

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears? Laying the book flat open?

I used to use a baseball card (1989 Donruss Tony Gwynn or 1987 Topps Tony Gwynn), but that was back when I didn’t dare crease the spine of a paperback either. I’ve since experienced a moment of clarity and have come to realize it’s not the physical pages of the book that are sacred, it’s what all those little squiggly markings on the pages represent that is sacred. Dog-earring the shit out of a novel doesn’t desecrate the essence of it, just as burning a nation’s flag cannot diminish the nation nor the principles upon which it was founded, no matter how many people get offended. The symbol is not the thing.

Fiction, nonfiction, or both?


Are you a person who tends to read to the end of a chapter, or can you stop anywhere?

Chapters irritate me. I don’t know why. I usually read to the end of a scene. The only time I don’t is when I hear one or more of my children screaming/fighting/breaking things. At that point I pause and listen. If the screaming clearly involves injury, I’ll stop reading and investigate. If the screaming is part of a larger fighting event or a clear indication of a potential future fighting event, I will (depending on who is involved and how serious they sound) stop reading and investigate. If they’re breaking things I definitely stop reading, especially if they're breaking my things.

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop and look it up right away?

If it’s a non-fiction book I usually do. If it’s a science-y word in a novel I usually do. If it’s a non-science-y obscure word in a novel I can usually guess at the meaning with no harm done. If there are a lot of non-science-y obscure words in a novel I start making bets with myself as to how many chapters I will read before throwing it in the trash.

What are you currently reading?

Hollywood Station, by Joseph Wambaugh

Gateway to the Moon, by Charles D. Benson

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, by Jules Verne (audio book)

What is the last book you bought?

Captiva, by Randy Wayne White

Are you the type of person that reads one book at a time, or can you read more than one?

I tried holding one book in one hand and one book in the other hand and alternating every other sentence, but it turns out I was still only reading one book at a time.

Do you have a favorite time/place to read?

The present/planet Earth.

Do you prefer series books or stand alones?

I like them both.

Is there a specific book or author you find yourself recommending over and over?

No, but there is a specific person (my Mom) to whom I make recommendations over and over. It works like this. I recommend an author, and if she likes the first book, she reads everything by that author. Then she passes all the books on to me, and recommends to me that I should read them, because they were very good. So now I’ve got all these extra books to read, but very little time to read them. But I do plan on reading them, eventually, because I hear they’re very good.

How do you organize your books?(by genre, title, author’s last name, etc.)

I believe in simplicity. Therefore, I only have 3 categories of books: Books I’m Reading, Books I Need Something From, and Everything Else.

Books I’m Reading are on my nightstand.

Books I Need Something From (ie, notes, margin scribbles, etc.) are on my desk.

Everything Else is on the bookshelf. Or on the floor next to the bookshelf. Or on my desk or nightstand, positioned in such a way as to easily distinguish them from Books I’m Reading or Books I Need Something From. Except on the rare occasion the categories overlap, in which case they could be on any of the three, any combination thereof, or none, possibly the floor. And then there’re the ebooks, which I guess would be a fourth category. Those could be on my nightstand or my desk, or in the garage I guess, if I left the ereader on top of the fridge while grabbing another beer. They could also be on the floor or the table by my closet if the ereader's being charged. Anyway, point is, I know exactly where things are. Really.


pacatrue said...

I prefer series that stand alone.

Very nicely done meme work. Next meme: 12 things you wish your cat would say to you. I'm sure you'll love it.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Hm. And I prefer stand alone trilogies.

Great answers - as always. Love your humor.

Robin S. said...

Damn. This IS a good meme, especially when answered in the singular way of our one and only BT.

Chris Eldin said...

This was a fun meme to read! Though I can't imagine having anything breakable under the bridge...

writtenwyrdd said...

Chocolate and Hiassen don't go together even while awake, I find. I'll choke on a wrapper while laughing or something.

I particularly like your acquire-reads-via-mom tactic. Too bad it won't work with mine. Flows the other way in our house.

McKoala said...

This is very funny. I would have laughed, but I ate too much chicken pasta for dinner and I have to keep my mouth shut for the rest of the evening, just in case some makes an escape.

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