Jason Fisher tagged me in Facebook post for a reading quiz. I almost never use Facebook, so I decided to answer selected questions here.
1. Favorite childhood books? I’m not sure I have any—The Lord of the Rings, maybe, although that was more early adolescence. Where the Red Fern Grows stands out as a novel that can still be read by adults.
2. What are you reading right now? Tucker Max; Elaine Dundy; Ulysses; Elmore Leonard. My tastes are scattered.
3. What books do you have on request at the library? Not sure.
4. Bad book habit? Amazon.com. They make it so easy.
5. What do you currently have checked out at the library? About 54 books, according to the University of Arizona. My eyes are bigger than my stomach…
7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once? Several at once. Sometimes a dozen.
11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone? I have no idea what my comfort zone is. If my comfort zone is “good books,” the answer is “more often than I’d like.”
12. What is your reading comfort zone? Ha! I didn’t read ahead. My answer: good writing. Compelling subjects.
15. What is your policy on book lending? More promiscuous than I probably should be, which results in the loss of books (often coinciding with relationships), but knowledge is meant to be spread, like certain other substances.
17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books? Constantly. I developed this habit around the time I started this blog.
27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)? Probably Stumbling on Happiness, although I think I’ve read it before too, mostly because it offers a lot of material presented well in a small space that caused me to substantially revise a large number of my positions and opinions. Very few books accomplish this.
32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose? Spanish, probably, which is boring but practical.
36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time? Couple dozen. Grad students, man…
38. Favorite fictional character? Gandalf, probably, or at least he’s the most cited by me.
39. Favorite fictional villain? Jorge of Burgos from The Name of the Rose, mostly because he was also the most unexpected, the most brilliant, the most intelligently villainous. He has a reason for being the way he is, however twisted his reasoning may be.
41. The longest I’ve gone without reading? A couple days, maybe?
42. Name a book that you could/would not finish. I stop books constantly. Lately: Mistwood by Leah Cypress. I never got through an entire Jane Austen novel until I read James Wood’s How Fiction Works, which taught me how to read Austen.
46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?. About a hundred pounds, when I was studying abroad in England. I was depressed at the time. Some take it out in the pub, I take it out elsewhere…
48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through? Bad writing; repetitive; blather; filling space; not being compelling; failing to be genuinely novel or interesting. Note that most of these reasons apply both to fiction and nonfiction.
50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them? Keep, mostly, although this is becoming a problem over time.