Yet Another Book Meme

I found this book meme on S. Krishna’s blog and borrowed it for mine.

Hardback, trade paperback or mass market paperback?  Hardback or trade paperback. I fell in love with trade paperbacks in the early 90s when Random House’s Vintage International had amazing trade paperbacks with the best texture on the cover. Hardcovers are bulkier, but I like them too. Mass market paperbacks – this is where my book snobbiness comes out. Yuck. Actually, even worse – paperback copies of books you read before the movie version came out, but for whatever reason you are forced to buy after the movie cover version comes out. Someone once lost my copy of Atonement and replaced it with the Keira Knightley cover, and I actually bought the old version again from a used book sale because I didn’t want the movie version on my shelf.

Barnes & Noble or Borders? I maintain that Barnes & Noble has the worst fiction selection of any bookstore – chain, indie, or otherwise – in the country. Lowest Common Denominator Land. I’ll take Borders any day.

Bookmark or dog-ear? I do them both, sometimes even in the same book. My favorite bookmark right now is one that my daughter Alexa made me. It is from Politics & Prose and says “ALEXA” in large orange marker on it. She knows it’s my favorite too.

Amazon or brick-and-mortar? I don’t buy many books in bookstores these days, between review copies and used book sales, but when I do, it’s Amazon Prime all the way. I do enjoy browsing in brick-and-mortar bookstores – immensely.

Alphabetize by author, or alphabetize by title, or random? Alphabetical by author.

Keep, throw away, or sell?  Keep. Unless it’s just so awful I couldn’t get through it, in which case I donate.

Keep dust jacket or toss it? Keep it.

Read with dust jacket or remove it?  Read it with dust jacket.

Short story or novel? Novels. Short stories are great in theory but I never seem to get to them.

Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket? I’ve never read anything in either series. I figure I’ll get to them when my girls do. I do think the name “Lemony Snicket” is genius.

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks? I read before bed every night, and I put the book down as soon as my eyes are too closed to see anymore. It is never at a chapter break.

“It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”?  “Once upon a time.”

Buy or borrow? I rarely borrow books. Too much pressure to finish and return, and if I like the book enough, then I will want to have a copy of my own.

Buying choice: book reviews, recommendations, or browse? All three!

Tidy ending or cliffhanger?  Tidy ending. Cliffhangers are only satisfying if you know the characters will be back three months later to resolve the mystery.

Morning reading, afternoon reading, or nighttime reading? If only!!!! For me, it’s usually five-minutes-before-bedtime reading. Morning reading is when I am at my best, though. Afternoon reading doesn’t happen – too much else to get done.

Stand-alone or series? I can’t think of a single series I’ve ever read.

Favorite children’s book? When I was little: Whose Mouse Are You?, Eloise.

Favorite YA book? I really can’t think of any. I read so much when I was that age – why don’t any of them come to mind? Probably any of the Judy Blume books.

Favorite book of which nobody else has heard? If I like it that much, I’ve blogged about it already and it’s not a hidden treasure anymore.

Favorite books read last year? The Condition by Jennifer Haigh and We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver.

Favorite books of all time? Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Atonement by Ian McEwan, Evening by Susan Minot, Lolita by Vladimir Nabakov and Bel Canto by Ann Patchett.

What are you reading right now? Remembering the Bones by Frances Otani. It’s a little slow and hasn’t grabbed me yet. Trying to get through it.

What are you reading next? One of the 300 or so books on theTBR list.

Favorite book to recommend to an 11-year-old?  Harriet the Spy. Is that too young for kids now?

Favorite book to re-read?  Harriet the Spy.

Do you ever smell books? Yes! Love that brand new book smell.

Do you ever read primary source documents like letters or diaries?  No.


  • April 16, 2009 - 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Okay I have to disagree with you on one point. The B&N vs. Borders debate. This is purely and totally a by-store thing. The B&N I used to work at had a terrible fiction selection — at least in my opinion — but there were a lot of people who loved it. It’s purely based on the market of that store. On the other hand, I love urban B&Ns because of their great fiction departments. Borders is the same way — can be great or can be terrible. There was a Border’s near the B&N I worked at that had better selection but zero service and it was always messy and disorganized. If you’re ever in DC, go to the Georgetown B that will change your mind about the fiction section 🙂

  • April 16, 2009 - 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Duh, I should have read closer. You do live in DC. Seriously though, I love the fiction section in the Georgetown B&N. But I’m with you on the indies — my fav is Kramer in Dupont.

  • April 16, 2009 - 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Rachel – thanks for the comment. I admit I’ve never really spent time at the Gtown B&N and will happily give it a try! The Bethesda one is just awful, and the one near my office in Arlington (Courthouse) is also really bad.

  • April 16, 2009 - 5:18 pm | Permalink

    My Barnes and Noble is fantastic and my Borders is…meh. I think it just depends on the demographics for your area. When I travel, I go to whichever has the best selection. I’m not company loyal. Although, if there was an indie bookstore near me I would go there in a heartbeat.
    As a side commment, I link all my reviews to B&N because their book covers do not have that “Search Inside” graphic and it’s easier to grab the cover photo without it.

  • April 16, 2009 - 5:44 pm | Permalink

    I posted this meme on my blog today too – and some of my answers are the same as yours!
    Trade paperbacks – check.
    Borders over B&N – check, but sometimes nonfiction is easier to find in B&N.
    Eyes closing over the book when reading in bed – check. That’s one reason it takes me so long to finish my books!
    Buy books rather than borrow – check.
    We differ on the favorite books, but that just makes it more interesting.

  • Lisa
    April 17, 2009 - 1:20 am | Permalink

    I highly recommend Lemony Snicket’s “Series of Unfortunate Events.” So much in them for all ages.

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