A meme about reading, ganked from Jaquandor:
- Do you remember learning to read? How old were you?
I don't specifically remember learning to read, but I do fondly recall my mom reading with me when I was very small, as well as these particular storybooks I loved around that same time. They were illustrated with photos of these little doll-like model people posed appropriately for the story's action. I couldn't have been very old when I was reading these, maybe three or four. And in case you're wondering, yes, I still have them, somewhere down in the fabulous Bennion Archives.
- What do you find most challenging to read?
Literary theory, i.e., all the tedious, pretentious stuff that presumes to tell you how you're supposed to think as you read things, generally written by Frenchmen who use a lot of esoteric jargon and beloved of a certain generation of English professors. I lost all interest in pursuing a graduate degree in literature when I learned my studies would be less focused on the literature itself than on the impenetrable writings of these guys.
- What are your library habits?
I have no particular habit. I go to the library from time to time, usually when I've learned there's a new book out that I'd like to read but don't feel moved to go buy it, for whatever reason.
- Have your library habits changed since you were younger?
Yes; when I was a kid, I owned very few books of my own and went to the library nearly every week. I'd check out a huge stack of paperbacks, somehow manage to carry them home on my bike, and plow through them in a matter of days. I haven't done that in years; now, I have a huge library of my own, filled with volumes I haven't gotten around to reading yet, so I rarely visit the public library. When I do, I only check out one or two books at a time.
- How has blogging changed your reading life?
I can't see that it has, really, aside from gleaning the occasional recommendation from blogs. I suppose I discovered the novels of John Scalzi -- which I really enjoy, by the way -- because I enjoyed his blog.
- What percentage of your books do you get from: New book stores, second hand book stores, the library, online exchange sites, online retailers, other?
This one seems to vary with time. For a while, I was buying a lot of used books, then I drifted into wanting brand-new stuff, then when I realized just how damn many books I own, I stopped buying pretty much altogether. Nowadays, I occasionally buy something from Amazon or my local bookseller, and I visit the library every couple of months or so. I've never used an online exchange site.
- How often do you read a book and NOT review it in your blog?
That would be ALL the time, actually. As I said the other day, that's something I'm going to try and change this year.
- What are your pet peeves about ways people abuse books? Dog-earing pages? Reading in the bath?
I personally like my books to remain as new-looking as possible, so pretty much everything average people do to them drives me bats. Dog-earing pages is a horror. Writing in books or using flourescent highlighters is anathema. Dunking them in the bath water is physically painful. And if you really want to give me a heart attack, just fold your paperback in half along the spine as you read. Arggg!
(One of these days, I must remember to tell the story of what happened the day my sixth-grade tormentor decided to abuse my brand-new Flash Gordon book... it wasn't pretty, but someday it may made a good scene in a novel or screenplay!)
- Do you ever read for pleasure at work?
If you count blogs, yes. Doesn't everyone?
- When you give people books as gifts, how do you decide what to give them?
It varies. Sometimes I give books that have impressed me and that I wish to share. Other times, I'll try to find something specific to the individual. I find the Amazon Wish List to be a miraculous convenience, even if it does remove a bit of the pleasure that comes from finding the gift that someone never even knew they wanted...