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Friday, 27 November 2009

Reading Habits.

Do you snack while you read? If so, favorite reading snack?
I don't normally snack as I read. I might make a cup of coffee or have a glass of wine, depending on the time of day.

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?
I haven't written in books so far, though I'm thinking about starting (in pencil, of course). It's becoming apparent how much people's annotations can tell you as you discover them. I also like the idea of having a place on the web where you can leave notes like this, connected to a specific excerpt.

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears? Laying the book flat open?
I normally use bookmarks. In fact, I normally use 1 dollar bills, since they're not much good for anything else. If you're a robber reading this, you'll find the cash in my house flung around in my bookshelves. I actually don't end up finishing many of the books I start, so, there's money all over the place! I also like to dog-ear pages where a passage has stuck out for me. I sometimes blog these dog-eared pages to remember.

Fiction, Non-fiction, or both?
I'm a fiction person. I've always loved stories and fairy tales, and enjoy the idea that writers are one of the privileged few who can really delve deep into the human psyche. I read a lot of non-fiction at Uni, but find now when I try that I've lost my "non-fiction muscles" and need to spend some time getting back into the flow, whereas I can pick up any novel and start flying immediately.

Hard copy or audiobooks?
I've tried audiobooks a few times, but find myself getting too distracted by goings on around me to concentrate on the book. I'm intrigued by Nick Cave's recent novel, The Death of Bunny Munro, where there was distinct focus on the production of its audio version. I'd be curious to hear that.

Are you a person who tends to read to the end of chapters, or are you
able to put a book down at any point?

I often read in bed before I fall asleep. (I try not to let my laptop enter my boudoir. If it does, I stay up much later and find it hard to get to sleep.) I quite like dozing with a book open in my hand, occasionally being woken by the book dropping to the floor. If I'm not too dozy, I try to get to a natural break point, mainly because I don't have to play catch-up when I pick the book up again later.

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop to look it up right away?
Not normally, no. I try to stamp it into my brain but that never works because I have a memory like a sieve. It's always a pleasure to come across new words though. You think you know it all, but really, you don't.

What are you currently reading?
I normally have at least 2 books on the go at any time, and a long queue of too reads. On my nightstand, you'd find The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel (one of my favourite books so far) and The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin, a wonderful, biographical investigation into nomadism, centred on Aboriginal Australians and the way they describe the world around them.

What is the last book you bought?
I went to Green Apple Books on Clement Street in San Francisco just last week. Beware, it's a dangerous place! I bought May Day, a novella by F. Scott Fitzgerald; Ghost by César Aira; Seduction of the Minotaur by Anaïs Nin; Log, a journal on Observations on Architecture and the Contemporary City and; Cannon Magazine, a weird but lovely literary magazine out of Amsterdam.

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

I am normally reading more than one thing at a time. I enjoy gently contrasting two books against each other.

Do you have a favorite time of day and/or place to read?
In bed, late at night. Or, in the sun on my Super Couch on weekends.

Do you prefer series books or stand alone books?
I've only really focussed on one series, and that was the Penguin Pocket 70, a wonderful collection of short stories by all sorts of people, about all sorts of things. Bite-sized and interesting. Other than that, I haven't particularly focussed on a series. Perhaps I should. Oh, except for Lord of the Rings, which I read from cover to cover in 2003. On my brother's couch in Chicago.

Is there a specific book or author that you find yourself recommending over and over?
There are two: Chasing the Perfect by Natalia Ilyin, a great read on design and 20 Century design movements in general; and The Girl in the Flammable Skirt by Aimee Bender, a refreshing, surreal selection of short stories.

(Via Far Off Librarian.)
Posted at 7:29 pm

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