The Books of My Numberless Dreams

Tra la la, another meme

Posted on: January 24, 2007

I spotted this one at the Classical Bookworm‘s residence.

Hardback or trade paperback or mass market paperback?
Hardcovers of a reasonable size; length specifically (actual dimensions not page count). It’s ridiculous the way publishers often make a 300 page hardback as big as they possibly can, in some effort to convey the gravity of their product.

Can it! I like to read everywhere and those oversize tomes are a damn nuisance.

Amazon or brick and mortar?
Brick & Mortar. I don’t mind paying more (sometimes) for the tactile experience of browsing and flipping through books and interacting with the sellers. I can’t talk about Penguin cover design history with an online shopping cart.

I use online resources for the convenience–not because it looks like the disowned refugee cousin of .com and Amazon clearly doesn’t care–but that’s about all they provide.

Barnes & Noble or Borders?
N/A in Canada. Our two big chains merged.

Bookmark or dogear?
I have a bazillin bookmarks, give or take a million, as I inevitably lose some of them. Check out this wicked site for luminaries of the art world cleverly caricatured and printed on everything from bookmarks to umbrellas. (Found via Literati Lust)

Alphabetize by author or alphebetize by title or random?
Alphabetizing (is that a word? Probably not, eh?) is for l0sErz. Ok my book shelves back in Jamaica are done in proper order, but here they’re in sections according to what has been read, what hasn’t, and after what will most likely be read (put closest to my bed), and after that according to publishers, or which spines look interesting side by side. I like the chaos. Makes my room feel like a treasure chest rather than a library.

Keep, throw away, or sell?
Throw away? Throw away? Don’t be ridiculous. Mostly keep, sometimes sell or barter really as I only leave used book stores with more books and less cash.

Keep dustjacket or toss it?

Read with dustjacket or remove it?
Remove; they’re too slippery. I make a habit of taking off the dust jacket at stores to see how nice is the hardcover design. I’m always pleased when it’s done well.

Short story or novel?
Novel. Over all things.

Collection (short stories by same author) or anthology (short stories by different authors)?
Same author. I like the idea of exploring the innings of a single author in the different milieus of each story.

Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket?
Harry Potter. I’ve never read Lemony Snicket (but I did see the movie).

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?
It depends on how far away I am from the end of the chapter. If only a few pages I’ll soldier on, otherwise I find a nice spot at the end of a paragraph or “moment” in the narrative.

“It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”?
“Once upon a time”. The paths from there seem more immediately limitless.

Buy or Borrow?
Buy. Buy buy buy. It must be mine. I do borrow because I’m not married to Bill Gates but in a perfect world…

New or used?
New, preferably.

Buying choice: book reviews, recommendation or browse?
I used to depend on idle browsing but, since the rise of litblogs, am increasingly dependent on them. Literary journals are a relatively new source for recommendations. After that it’s through other books: if I’m intrigued by an allusion or direct reference to another author’s work in a story I’ll check it out.

Tidy ending or cliffhanger?
Depends. I wouldn’t mind a bit of both: leave some questions at the end for me to ponder…?

Morning reading, afternoon reading or nighttime reading?
Afternoon & night. The only thing I can consume in the morning is the recorded Colbert Report from the previous night.

Standalone or series?
Ummm….stand-a-lones and trilogies even quartets but I think Laurell K. Hamilton has soured me against series ie stories that go on for ever and ever

Favorite series?
Lord of the Rings

Favorite book of which nobody else has heard?
World of Poetry for CXC – Various. It’s a fantastic collection on its own terms, school assigned text bit aside.

Favorite books read last year?
In a year when I read Lolita, Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, Kingdoms of Elfin and Dreamtigers that’s an incredibly difficult question to answer. Ok…down to…crap…tonight it’s the Murakami: Hard-boiled. The next day it’s the Borges, then the Nabokov and they can take turns on each successive day.

Favorite books of all time?

Lolita; Norwegian Wood; Hard-boiled Wonderland; Dreamtigers; The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born; Purple Hibiscus; Jane Eyre; The Iliad; The Odyssey; The Last Worthless Evening; The Silmarillion; Hamlet; King Richard III; *Most of Nora Roberts backlist; My childhood collection of fairy tales of which the exact name presently escapes me; Songs of Innocence and Experience.

*No individual book of hers is distinctive or impressive enough to be an ultimate favourite but, all together, they have provided untold, endless pleasures of reading and re-reading and discussion with fellow romance readers

12 Responses to "Tra la la, another meme" may be, uh, smaller in stature, but it has something doesn’t: tables of contents. Not always, but sometimes they’re there, and doesn’t seem to have them at all. Of course it’s moot when Search Inside is available.

And you’ve got a point about “Once upon a time.”

Great meme, and interesting answers. I shall store it away for a rainy day.

Its good to see someone else from Jamaica who enjoys reading…

Gimli wel, I guess that is a good thing, but everytime I go to the the boring, bland homepage depresses me.

Charlotte thanks!

Welcome zedd. I hope you stop by often and post about some books yourself. 🙂

This is a fun meme – must think about doing it myself …

Thanks Imani, I will…

Love your answers! I used not to alphabetize because I loved exactly that ‘treasure trove’ effect. But then I kept buying double copies…. I must admit to being very tempted by this meme. We’ll have to see what the weekend brings.

Aha, litlove, I have LibraryThing to prevent me from unintentionally purchasing double copies. The wonders of technology!


Visited you a while ago but your blog accused me of spam… Perhaps it will like me today.

Writers whose surnames begin with X, Y, or Z alphabetize their books from Z to A.

That Sidney Sheldon note: it proves one thing bloggers quarrel about–that is, says that one can “rise” as a reader.

I rescued it from spam, I did. After going through them. So sorry about that! Funny comment there on how you alphabetize.

Ha ha, poor me. I can do nothing else but agree.

Well, I shan’t bother trying more than once, next time! Now that I know that you root intrepidly about in the Gulf of Spam.

I’m going to go see what you’re reading. Me, I’m on Pratchett’s “Wintersmith” and Ozick’s “Messiah of Stockholm” in the fiction line, plus the usual poets.

The alphabet note is true, true, true. For once, I rise from the dust bunnies into visible space. My daughter has a very common last name, and we were discussing what she could do for a pen name. I had to tell her not to use my name–it is so very dreary to be a Y, lost in the bottom right-hand corner, obscured by the multiplying bunnies.

I have never tried a Pratchett before. I know he’s supposed to be very funny but I think I prefer my fantasy straight.

My Y’s are happily all over the place in my room. That is if I own any authors whose surnames begin with Y…? Oh dear. I do not. The Kevin Young poetry collection is a library copy.

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