I think you can learn a lot about a person by their book preferences, and I hate the question, “What’s your favorite book?” There is no favorite. There never will be. Here’s an interview (with myself) about my own penchant for books and reading.
1. What is your favorite childhood book?
I was obsessed with The Redwall Series by Brian Jacques. I now own almost every book in the series and have read them all at least once. These hefty adventure novels detailing the adventures of mice, badgers, hares, otters, and other woodland animals prepared me for my love of adventure books such as Lord of the Rings today. I loved many of Brian Jacques’ books, but the ones I re-read over and over again were Redwall, Salamandastron, Mossflower and Triss.
2. What makes you fall in love with a book?
There are several qualities that amaze me when I come across them that I try to embody in my own writing. One is the use of original, creative, accurate similes/metaphors/descriptions. These writers see an ordinary thing in an extraordinary way and are able to cast a new light on this thing, giving it a fresh perspective. Another is something that happens to me with any good book–when I am able tom completely forget the world I am living in and become utterly submerged in the world of the book. Or when I find myself thinking about the characters and where the plot will go next when I’m not reading it. Yet another is when a writer manages to express a feeling or thought that resonates with me. When I struggle to find the right words to convey these feelings, it pleases me to see someone who is able to do so successfully.
3. Most inspirational book you’ve ever read?
A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini. Not only is one of my favorite quotes from that book:
“And that’s the thing about people who mean everything they say. They think everyone else does, too.”
but it’s also a unique perspective inside life in Afghanistan. The characters are authentic and they go through real problems, but they still manage to keep their heads up and go on living. It reminded me that while I may think I have problems and my life is “oh so hard,” it could always be worse and I’m one of the lucky ones. It’s a great lesson on positivity and love and the importance of treating people equally. I would recommend this book to every single person who plans on participating in politics, getting married or interacting with other people. Basically, everyone should read it 🙂
4. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?
The Sound and the Fury. I was so confused when I first started reading because of Faulkner’s stream of consciousness style, but I was determined to see it through. Every time I got used to his style and run-on sentences, he would switch it and I’d have to get used to it all over again. It took me 3/4 of the book to discover there are actually two characters named Quentin, one a girl and one a man. Very daunting but worth the read!
5. Author you’d want to meet?
Sarah Dessen. So many of her books are about people who go through a variety of different problems: self-confidence, abusive relationships, eating disorders, family problems, etc. I am always so curious how she knows so much about all these subjects and can create a believable character who deals with each of these things, but at the same time it’s never a pity story. They are always stories of growth. I want to know what problems she’s personally dealt with and how she solved them: did her writing help her get through them or is her writing a reflection of her past?
6. What is a book you thought you’d like but you didn’t?
The Time Traveller by H.G. Wells was very unimpressive to me. I read it several years ago, and maybe it’s an acquired taste, but I found myself bored reading it. It never captured me like I thought it would and it was drawn out unnecessarily. No insults intended; merely my honest opinion. And maybe I’ll give it another chance someday.
7. Buy your books or check them out from a library?
Buy them. I have a bad habit of bending the spines as I read, and I like to mark them sometimes. Mainly to find new words or quotes, but you can see how this would be annoying to a library!
8. Do you like other types of writing? (i.e. poems, short stories, essays)
I love poetry! Ancient poetry is often beyond me–I don’t like the over-usage of capital letters and exclamation marks, but I really enjoy recent and modern works. I also like to write poetry; it’s a skill I’m working on. I would love to get just one poem published someday. I occasionally write short stories but I find that they are too short a medium to develop character well enough for my taste. But I’m working on that, too!
9. Paperback or hardback?
Paperback, always. Like I mentioned above, I’m a spine-bender, so hardbacks are the bane of my existence!
10. Do you lend your books to other people?
Only if they are trustworthy friends. After an ex never gave back my first two Harry Potter books (these copies had been mine since I was five years old), I have grown very protective of my books. I don’t want to lose any more of them!
But now I’m looking at my bookshelf, and there are so many other wonderful books I’ve read that deserve a mention too. Tigana, Gone With the Wind, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Dearly Beloved, A Tale of Two Cities, The Knife of Never Letting Go, The Book Thief, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Book of a Thousand Days, all of these are cherished and well-read. Truth be told, I simply love books and that’s a quality that will only continue to grow throughout my life.
Thanks to Rise With Jamie for this idea!
Feel free to answer these questions yourselves. Make sure to tag me so I can see your answers!