I’ve been absolutely swamped with reviews recently so I recognise that it’s been a little while since I last put any non-review content on the blog.
So when I saw this one over on Drew’s ‘The Tattooed Book Geek‘ blog (which I highly recommend you go and check out), I thought I would give it a go – give both me and all of you a slight change of pace!
Inside flap/Back of the book summaries: Too much info? Or not enough?
I don’t really have a preference over where the blurb information is provided. Back of the book is arguably more standard – and nice and easy to read when you’re browsing in a bookshop – but books with French flaps are pretty too.
Not a fan of quotes instead of a blurb though – I don’t especially care if Author A thought Author B’s book was the best thing since sliced bread, but I would like to know a little about the story before I purchase.
Since attempting (and miserably failing) to write decent book summaries for this blog, I do have a new appreciation of the art of good blurb writing though – there’s a reason I tend to use the publisher’s blurb at the start of my review posts! Providing enough information to entice the reader without accidentally spoiling the plot is an art. Because there really is nothing worse than a spoiler!
New book: What form do you want it in? Be honest: audiobook, e-book, paperback, or hardcover?
I’m a tree book over e-book reader any day. As a postgraduate student, I spend nigh on every damn day stuck at a computer so I like to get away from the screen when I’m doing my ‘non-work’ reading. My Kindle is great for holidays and Netgalley proofs, but I vastly prefer a nice paperback any day.
That said, there have been some gorgeous hardcovers released over the last few years so my hardback collection has increased quite substantially. Paperbacks are still my preference for carting about the place but a nice chunky hardback is good to curl up with at the end of the day.
And audiobooks are awesome for getting some reading in during the commute. The production value on some of them is just outstanding. I’m listening to Daisy Jones and the Six at the moment and it’s full-cast audio so the different voices of the various band members really stand out. I’m sure the book is great but now I’ve heard the audio version, I couldn’t imagine ‘reading’ it any other way.
Scribble while you read? Do you like to write in your books, take notes, make comments? Or do you keep your books clean clean clean?
In my academic existence, I do write in books – notes in the margins, underlining etc. Always in pencil and only ever in books I own – the number of students who deface library copies is truly horrifying!
In my reading life, I tend to avoid writing in my books. Poetry is the exception – I find I need to unpick poetry a little more than prose so I’ll often annotate in pencil as I read. If I do want to make a note of a quote for a review, I use those peel-off sticky tabs to mark the place. Or I turn down the corner of the page. Yes, I’m a monster, I know…
Does it matter to you whether the author is male or female when you’re deciding on a book? What if you’re unsure of the author’s gender?
Not at all. If the book is a good one and the story/subject appeals then the author could be a shapeshifting wizard from Mars for all I care!
I probably do read marginally more books written by women on average – maybe because there are more female authors in the genres I tend to read? – but I wouldn’t say that the author’s gender is a conscious decision when I pick up a book.
Ever read ahead? Or have you ever read the last page way before you got there?
Yes, all the time. Knowing how the story ends doesn’t really bother me – it’s the journey and not the destination that’s the interesting part.
That said, I try to avoid skipping ahead with crime novels. Finding out whodunnit before the end of the book is the worst, and part of the joy of reading them is trying to figure it out before the detective does!
Organized bookshelves, or outrageous bookshelves?
Is there such a thing as organised chaos?
My shelves are very loosely arranged by genre – crime/thriller has its own shelf, as do classics, sci-fi/fantasy/horror, poetry/plays, and YA/children’s books. Non-fiction is roughly organised into history, biography, feminist manifestos, and books about books.
General fiction is a complete free for all, although I do try and keep titles by authors together, and I generally have separate shelves for hardback and paperbacks.
At the moment, a number of the shelves of double-stacked, which means that I either need to read more, buy less, or have a good old-fashioned book cull!
Have you ever bought a book based on the cover alone?
Absolutely. I picked up Sarah Perry’s The Essex Serpent purely because of the cover – and was well rewarded as it was my favourite book of that year!
Most of the time though, the cover draws me in but it will be the blurb that sells me the book – or a quick read of the first page or two.
Final question. Take it outside to read, or stay in?
I love the idea of reading outdoors, the sun on my face and the wind in my hair and all that. Apart from the sun in my face makes me squint, the wind in my hair stops me from seeing the page, every wasp/ant/bug in existence seems to be instantly attracted to me the moment I step outdoors, and I turn a lovely shade of lobster if left in the sunshine without factor 50 plastered all over me for longer than 10 seconds.
So indoors it is. Preferably with a comfy chair/sofa, a blanket, and an endlessly re-filling mug of tea. And the cat, if she’s feeling generous.
And that’s it! I’m not going to tag anyone else but if you’d like to have a go at the Inside Out Book Tag yourself, do link to this post and I’ll head over and have a read of your answers! And, until the next time…
Happy Reading! x