Friday, 20 August 2010

Meme of Reading Questions

I saw this on Everything To Do With Books blog, and thought it was fun to answer it.

1. Favorite childhood book?
I used to love all the fairy tales. Red Riding Hood was probably my favourite. Although I like The Three Little Pigs as well (the first book I learnt to read!).

2. What are you reading right now?
Perdido Street Station by China Miéville

3. What books do you have on request at the library?
I don't request books at the library, maybe I should. I used to have a library card, but then I moved to another city and never bothered to get another one.

4. Bad book habit?
Does buying/mooching/borrowing more books than I can fit on my bookshelves count?

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?
See answer to question 3.

6. Do you have an e-reader?
No. I read e-books either on my laptop or on my mum's old PDA.

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?
I prefer to read one at a time, but I've been known to juggle between books

8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
I seem to be reading more English books (or ones that have been translated into English). I still feel a bit stupid doing a review in English of something that is not available to English readers.

9. Least favorite book you read this year (so far?)
Shadowmancer by G.P. Taylor

10. Favorite book you’ve read this year?
A new book: Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones.
A re-read: The Well of Shades by Juliet Marillier.

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?
I sometimes venture out of my comfort zone, but always come back. I'm not afraid of reading something different, but I usually don't expect much of it.

12. What is your reading comfort zone?
Fantasy, usually old and epic, with some political or mystical plot.

13. Can you read on the bus?
I used to be able to read on any type of vehicle, even at top speed on cobbled streets. Not any more. I still manage to read on the bus if the motion is fairly even, and I'm facing backwards. 

14. Favorite place to read?
On my bed, on my beanbag (on my beanbag on the bed), lying on the sun, on the bathtub. Pretty much anywhere I can be comfortable.

15. What is your policy on book lending?
I lend books to my friends, and they can have the books as long as they want. But I want those books back! Usually I lend them to book lovers, so I know they will be safe.

16. Do you ever dog-ear books?
When I was a teenager I used to, but grew out of the habit quickly.

17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
No, but if someone does it, it doesn't bother me. Sometimes I want to do so, but have no pencil ready (I would never write in ink on a book, only pencil, so it's easily erasable and doesn't stand out much).

18. Not even with text books?
I used to draw on text books. Well, I used to draw on almost anything. There were some cases the text was lost on the drawings.

19. What is your favorite language to read in?
It depends on the language it was written in. So, English books, I like them in English; Portuguese ones, in Portuguese. Everything else depends on the "closeness" of the original language to the translation. Romance Languages translate well into Portuguese, Germanic into English. And then it all depends on availability.

20. What makes you love a book?
Good plot, good characters, great wordbuilding.

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?
Whether I liked it or not, and, if making a personal recommendation, if I think the person will like it.

22. Favorite genre?

23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?)
Crime fiction. My mother loves it, and I do like some mystery in my books, but I rarely go for crime and detective stories.

24. Favorite biography?
I don't think I ever read a biography.

25. Have you ever read a self-help book?
Not really. I remember reading one those teen books about your first period (not sure if it qualifies as self-help), but that was it.

26. Favorite cookbook?
Pantagruel (Portuguese book). It's like the bible of recipes.

27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)?
I'm going with The Book of Imaginary Beings, just because it took me to the roots of why I like Fantasy: the imagination of Humanity, the things we can come up with.

28. Favorite reading snack?
I rarely eat when reading, I get too lost in the book to manage other functions. Sometimes I brew some tea to drink at night while reading before going to bed, but I end up drinking it cold the day after.

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.
Probably the Harry Potter series. I started it before it was such a big thing, and I liked it a lot (the first books, that is). Once it was the Big Thing it became, and the fifth book was about to come out, my father sent me what was being advertised as the Order of the Phoenix, but was only a very long (and not really good) fanfiction. But that lead me into fanfic, and once you're there, you are lost, because there is so much of it. I found some fanfic authors I liked, genres I liked, and when the next books came out, the original just couldn't hold up to the fanfic.
I like the first 4 books in the series well enough (and probably because I haven't read them since I went into fanfic), but the last three just weren't as good as some of the stories I had read with the same characters. Thing is, since the series has finished, I've left fanfic entirely.
So, the hype lead me to fanfic, which in turn ruined my experience of reading the original. But I still managed to get enough good reading out of it.

30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?
I try to find the one's I usually agree with, they are the ones with the same tastes as me. But sometimes we still disagree.

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
I have no problem at all giving a bad review, but I always feel like I should give it some redeeming feature, because it is a book, and as such should be treasured (at least by someone).

32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose?
You mean besides English? ^_^ Probably Japanese. Think of all the Manga I could easily read, without needing it to be translated into a language I understand (and that in some cases means there is some censoring).

33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?
Maybe Aparição by Vergílio Ferreira. Compulsory School Reading, everyone complained how awful it was. It's Existentialist Fiction, which is not easy, but I ended up liking it even so.

34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, or War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy.

35. Favorite Poet?
I don't read much poetry, but I'll go with Edgar Allan Poe.

36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?
See answer to question 3

37. How often have you returned a book to the library unread?
See answer to question 3

38. Favorite fictional character?
mmm, probably Faolan from Juliet Marillier's Chronicles of Bridei. Can some one be more awesome than him?

39. Favorite fictional villain?
Melkor, from the Silmarillion by Tolkien. Sauron is puny compared to this guy.

40. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation?
More than I can read, and ones that might be lighter reading. Since I took Lord of the Rings with me when visiting Prague and Budapest I try not to take such engrossing books with me. Because, seriously, there is not much I remember of those cities, my head was always stuck between the pages of the book (although from what I remember, I love Prague).

41. The longest I’ve gone without reading.
Around 3 months. After I finished Requiem for a Lost Empire by Andreï Makine, I was so disturbed by it that I couldn't read anything else. Now I'm careful of Slavic authors, they usually have this effect on me, on different degrees (hence my answer to question 34).

42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.
Psalm At Journey's End by Erik Fosnes Hansen. It was about the Titanic, and was so depressing that I eventually stopped reading it, and never bothered to start again.

43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?
Depends on how engrossing the story is. If I'm really into it, nothing distracts me (I once got severely sunburnt because of this). Lately if I'm listening to music while reading I sometimes get distracted by it. Don't know if I'm getting less able to focus on one thing alone, while drowning out everything else; or I am listening to more interesting music than before (or reading less interesting books).

44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?
Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer. The film has the same name, with Elijah Wood and Eugene Hutz, directed by Liev Schreiber.

45. Most disappointing film adaptation?
Earthsea, based on the Books 1 and 2 of the Earthsea series by Ursula K. Le Guin. They managed to kill everything that was unique to the story, and making it one of the worst movies I ever seen!

46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?
I prefer not to know. But it was probably around €40.

47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?
Never! Now skimming while reading and it's really boring, that's another thing.

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?
I tend to finish every book I start, but if the plot is going nowhere and I feel like I'm slowly dying while reading, then I'll stop.

49. Do you like to keep your books organized?
I would like to, yes. But it's impossible. Too many books, too little space, and I constantly need to pick some of them to go check a detail (or re-read favourite parts).

50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?
If I like them, I keep them. If I don't, I put them on Bookmooch. That way I can have points for more books, and more shelf space.

51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?
Besides Wild Animus, which was a freebie and going by the reviews, one of the worst books of all time, I seem to be avoiding The Children of Hurin by Tolkien. Don't really know why, but I have it since it was published 3 years ago, and I haven't started it yet.

52. Name a book that made you angry.
Empress by Karen Miller. I couldn't really like any of the characters and there seemed to be only bloodshed and crazy religious fanaticism. Argghhh!

53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?
When my parents gave me Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier some years ago, I didn't think I would like it. Historical Celtic Fiction? I thought it something my mother would like, not me. How I was wrong. Since then I love everything Juliet writes.

54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?
Ohh, so many :( Probably most of the hyped books. But of the recent ones I've read, probably the Suicide Shop was the worst. I was really expecting it to be great, and was disappointed when it was simply ok.

55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?
Juliet Marillier's Well of Shades or Son of Shadows or Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys and (co-authored with Terry Pratchett) Good Omens.


  1. For 3 my answer would be the same.
    And for 2 as well, altough sometimes I do drink it while reading, just because I'm thristy (mostly in summer).
    And I couldn't agree more with 31 and 32 (manga!).

    You know I have the same problem with music as you (43). Seriously, I used to be able to listen to just about anything while reading, but now I avoid it because it distacts me).

    I loved the movie "Everything is illuminated", and I really want to read the novel.

    Loved to read all your answers.

  2. Oh quigui, you're so funny and articulate! How long did it take you to answer all these questions? Good God, they are so many!

    So first I have to say that you will get your books back -eventually-, because I'm egocentric and know that answer #15 had only one purpose(don't try to deny it): me. And so that you know, your books are all comfy and happy in my best bookshelf. I sterilize them every week, just as I do with my own books.

    Secondly, no, no other fictional character can measure up to Faolan's awesomeness. I know one or two that can get pretty close, but never in fact excel him.

    And lastly, (you see, I have to stain your reputation a bit) you may not eat while you read -therefore not disgracing the books with greasy fingers(that's my girl!), but you can and will eat an entire meal directly from your laptop if necessary, and you do read e-books *cues evil laughter*

  3. @Ana
    You should really read Everything is Illuminated (I've told you this before, I think)

    I used to love listening to music while reading. There are some books that make me think of some songs (and vice-versa) because of this. But now it's hard for me to concentrate on the book if the music has any lyrics. I end up listening to the lyrics and only half-reading the book :S

    You're doing what to my books!? I've been cultivating those germs for ages! And now you've killed them :P

    I was very articulate this morning, and it took me a while to answer to all of those questions, but it was fun. Reminded me of when I was young and we all had these questionnaires for friends to answer (who do you like, what's your favourite colour, and such).

    I do eat entire meals in front of my laptop (I even can manage an entire meal with the pc on my lap, and eating from a plate, with proper cutlery!), but usually I'm watching series, not reading books. There something about coordinating putting food in my mouth while looking at the screen that is quite beyond me. And looking away every time I eat another bit just cuts the follow of reading.

  4. Hi, hope it's OK to contact you here. We would love to include your blog on our giveaway search engine: Giveaway Scout ( Have a look and if interested, use our online form to add your blog ( ). thanks, Josh

  5. Sorry, but the germs are gone.

    What?? Just one morning?! Holy Moley!

  6. @Josh
    I haven't hosted a giveaway yet (altough I might at the end of the year), but I'll check that website.