Book Q&A.

I spotted this questionnaire on Emily’s fantastic blog a couple of days ago (go check the post out, she’s doing a great UK book giveaway!) and I just had to write my own. It’s made up of 35 questions about books, reading and everything to do with it. If you love reading and you get curious about other people’s reading then this is definitely for you. I hope you enjoy reading it!

1. Favourite childhood book? I have so many childhood books which I adored when I was younger, The Wind in the Willows, The Secret Garden, Black Beauty… But my real favourite, because of its lovely stories and the simply beautiful illustrations, is Brambly Hedge. I hope you all got a chance to be enchanted by this book like I did.

2. What are you reading right now? I’ve just started reading a new book, The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger. It’s a book which has been on my to-read list for a very long time!

3. What books do you have on request at the library? None. I feel bad because I think public libraries are really important but I almost never go. I adore buying books, mostly second-hand, and I dream of collecting enough books to one day have my own library room in my home.

4. Bad book habit? I’m not really sure what constitutes a bad book habit but something that annoys me is reading more than one book at once.

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library? Again, none. I should really use the uni library…

6. Do you have an e-reader? Yes, I love my kindle for travelling. I used to take about 10 books for two weeks away and now I only need my kindle, it’s also great for reading really long books which are a pain to read in bed.

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once? I much prefer just reading one book at a time, uni makes that impossible though!

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog? Not massively, I have found that I have to divide my reading time even more carefully now between reading some fantastic blogs, reading for uni and reading for pleasure.

9. Least favourite book you read this year (so far?) Adam Bede by George Eliot, it’s just so wordy and moral.

10. Favourite book you’ve read this year? Without a doubt The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. I think I just fell in love with it.

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone? Well as I study literature at uni I often have to read outside of my comfort zone.

12. What is your reading comfort zone? There have been several genres of literature I struggled with at uni, for instance political pieces from the Renaissance or Modernist poetry, the former I’m not so keen on, the latter fascinates me.

13. Can you read on the bus? Yes, the only place I really can’t read is in the car, otherwise I’ll pretty much always be able to read!

14. Favourite place to read? Either curled up in bed, in a coffee shop, or lying in the grass outside somewhere beautiful and full of nature.

15. What is your policy on book lending? I’ve always been fine with lending books, I’m good at keeping track of what’s mine 😛 And I like to write my name inside the cover of my books. In my opinion sharing books is a wonderful thing

16. Do you ever dog-ear books? Not often because I like having bookmarks but I’m not precious about books the way some people are. Personally I care more about the stories within the pages than the pages themselves…

17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books? When a quotation captures my imagination or inspires me. Shock horror to some people. But I’ve studied the history of the book and in the Renaissance people heavily annotated their books and it’s brilliant to look at really old books and see a little note or illustration written by a scholar from the 16th Century.

18. Not even with text books? Especially in textbooks haha!

19. What is your favourite language to read in? English because I’m the most fluent in it, but I would love to read more in French which is my maternal language.

20. What makes you love a book? There is no set pattern, it could be anything… The beauty of the words, the main character, the narrator, the inspirational story…

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book? Just if I couldn’t put it down. If I read it cover to cover almost without stopping then I will recommend it to anyone who will listen.

22. Favourite genre? Either Victorian, Modernist, or contemporary fiction.

23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?) I’m not sure there is one. I read all of the genres I enjoy!

24. Favourite biography? Virginia Woolf by Alexandra Harris. Woolf’s life really captivates me and its very well written.

25. Have you ever read a self-help book? I’ve read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and I thoroughly enjoyed it, she made me think about how I can control my own success and contentment in life.

26. Favourite cookbook? How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson and River Cottage Veg Everyday by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)? Artful by Ali Smith. It just made me want to learn to write the way she does, and to have read enough books to be able to know each and every one of the references she makes. (Not that you can ever really read enough.)

28. Favourite reading snack? Although I love to eat almost as much as I love to read, I rarely snack whilst reading.

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience. Beowulf: I hated it.

30. How often do you agree with critics about a book? Quite often but definitely not always.

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?  Not too bad as I feel when you publish something you open yourself up to criticism but at the same time I could never rip something apart which has clearly been worked on by someone.

32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose? Italian, so that I could read the very first sonnets in their original language.

33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read? Milton’s Paradise Lost. It’s quite a daunting task to take on.

34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin? Dante’s The Divine Comedy which I’ve read passages of but am way too intimidated to attempt reading the whole thing. I do own a copy though…

35. Favourite poet? This may not be an exciting answer to some but although I like my fiction to be post 1830, I like my poetry much older. Shakespeare’s Sonnets are unrivaled in my affection. My absolute favourite of the collection is Sonnet 116, I can recite it from heart and it just stuns me every time.

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Well done if you’ve made it all the way through this questionnaire, if you have then you probably love books as much as I do!

Do answer any of the questions in a comment, I’d love to learn about your favourites and your own reading experiences 🙂

Sophie x

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7 comments

  1. I’ve been loving my local library lately. I tend to check out 2-3 books at a time and can finish them within a couple weeks. That’s quick for me haha. I never dog ear my pages though, that drives me insane!

  2. I loved this! I think I would quite like to do one for my blog! How great was The Bell Jar? Sylvia Plath fascinates me, her poetry is so shocking, yet so moving. I use local libraries too much, in the sense that I hire so many books that I always have overdues!
    My grandparents in England have the biggest book collection I’ve ever seen, and when they lived in Brighton they had a study room they called the library because there were heaps of bookshelves all filled to the brim. I remember as a child my Grandfather created a library system and would let me scan all of the books and write in the titles and authors. It was the highlight of my childhood!

  3. This is a neat survey! Since I’ve been out of school the past semester, I’ve been reading a lot more. I love going to the library near my house and checking out books there because they have a lot of good ones. I read “The Bell Jar” last year, and I really enjoyed it as well. Sylvia Plath’s writing is just so beautiful and her story so emotional. And I have never used a Kindle! I don’t know if I would like reading on it or not. I think I prefer actual books, although it would be nice to be able to carry around ten different books at once!

  4. Oh goodness, this was such a brilliant idea! Loved reading all your answers! I have no desire to attempt any of those daunting books you’ve mentioned. In fact, I’m afraid my have read repertoire pales in comparison to yours. *blush* But really, you inspire me to read better quality stuff.

    I will answer the first question though. My two favorite childhood books that made quite an impression on me are ‘A Little Princess’ and ‘The Secret Garden’. Those two are just wow. 🙂

    1. Most daunting book for me would be The One Hundred Years of Solitude! I can never seem to get past page 100. It just makes me confused.

      And favorite poet is Pablo Neruda. Now that I speak, read, and understand Spanish I want to read them in Spanish 🙂 The English translation is very good but the original must be even better.

      Yes, I love to read but can’t say I have read as much as you have probably.

      Daphne xx

      http://cadadia-esdiferente.blogspot.com.es

  5. Really interesting read – I’m so stealing this 🙂 and I’m glad I’m not the only one who can’t stand reading more than one book at once, it seems to be quite a common thing to do but the thought makes me shudder! x

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