Although you can gather a bit of information about me as a reader from my other posts, I thought it would be nice to give more insight into my habits and opinions! One thing I love about the online book community is how strong we all feel about how we read and what the right way to treat our books is, it’s so interesting that a group of people who share the same hobby can be so divided. If you agree or disagree with any of my answers, let me know in the comments!
I was looking for a while to find a set of questions that I thought would be fun to answer, and I stumbled across this tag completed by A Book Owl’s Corner (her post can be found here). I’ve split the tag into two because I don’t want this post to be super long, and I don’t want to hold back on any of my answers.
I’m ready to get into this, and let you all get to know me as a reader better!
How many books are too many books in a series?
This is definitely a cheat answer, but it really depends on the series. I think there’s never a set amount, but starting a series that has more than five books is intimidating and probably would put me off if I wasn’t super invested in reading it. In general I’d say I’m a fan of shorter series- I love being emerged in one world for a long time, but I think I get nervous that my favourite characters or plot points would get dropped or diluted somehow as more books are added.
Interestingly, I think the idea of having eight shorter books in a series is more off-putting to me than having six long books. I think that’s just me being strange.
How do you feel about cliffhangers?
If you’ve read my recent review of Rumaan Alam’s Leave the World Behind (you can find that post here if you haven’t), you’d probably think that I don’t. That’s quite a fair assessment, but it isn’t as simple as that.
I don’t mind a cliffhanger, but I often find they tip more into an anticlimax than a super suspenseful and effective ending. Maybe it’s because I do get quite invested in the fictional world and characters as I’m reading, so cliffhangers (especially when they aren’t being used to set up a sequel) kill me a bit because I know I’ll never get closure for that book. If a cliffhanger in used to leave the characters at a certain moment in time and not everything is resolved but the story being told feels complete, I’m more than okay with it. But if the book is very intense and suspense-driven, and then I’m left on a complete cliffhanger with no answers to explain what happened in the book, then it’s a hard no.
Hardback or paperback?
I know a lot of people will disagree with me on this, but I am team paperback all the way. I can count the number of hardbacks I own on two hands, and a lot of them are not full-sized books.
Of course, hardbacks are undeniably more aesthetically pleasing than paperbacks. They don’t crease in the spine, they tend to have beautiful dust sleeves and skins, and they just have an air of refinement about them. The reading experience is just not for me though, and I can’t sacrifice my enjoyment of reading books to have a pretty bookshelf. Paperbacks are just lighter and easier to read in my opinion, and I like to be able to properly manipulate the book I’m reading to suit whatever position I’m in.
Oh, what a question to ask a book lover. Honestly, this question puts the fear of life in me when someone asks me at a party because I know they’re going to judge what I say based off of the fact I’m a literature student. They expect a classic, or maybe a book they’ve never heard of, and honestly the first place my mind goes to is Harry Potter.
However, swallowing all that fear and anticipation, I think my current favourite book is The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennet. I have a review for it coming very soon, but I would recommend it to anyone who wants an emotional coming-of-age read. It’s beautifully written and I couldn’t put it down.
Least favorite book?
I think I’ve been quite lucky that I haven’t really ever hated a book to the point where I’ve blacklisted it on my ‘least favourite’ list, because I actually had to think about this for a while.
The first that comes to mind (and I realise my blog is beginning to sound like a smear campaign against this book) is Leave the World Behind. I was just very disappointed in this book, and because of that I wouldn’t recommend it. I won’t say much more.
My other choice would be Moby Dick. I loved the plot about Captain Ahab chasing the white whale, but wow does Herman Melville showboat his whale-related knowledge. I had to study this book last year, and it was a struggle to read. This book put me in a reading slump halfway through reading it, which has never ever happened before. Honestly, the main plot that everyone knows takes up around 20% of the novel, so unless you have an avid interest in out-of-date whale information, maybe give it a miss.
Love triangles, yes or no?
I think when people think about love triangles in fiction, they go straight to an Edward-Bella-Jacob in Twilight situation. That version of this trope is a bit old, and sometimes it feels like an easy, lazy way to create drama in a romance book.
I do like love triangles when they feel more realistic, because we don’t always have a simple journey to romance. It’s nice to see characters being humanly imperfect in the pursuit of love, and I find it comforting to read something other than the ‘love at first sight’ and ‘you’re the only one for me’ classic portrayals of relationships. I want to read messy romances where there might be a love triangle or confusion over who the character should be with, because that’s real life. Sometimes we don’t just love one person.
The most recent book you just couldn’t finish?
I don’t remember ever DNF-ing a book. Ever. I have a really weird obsession with completing things, so I think it would bother me more to never finish a book rather than struggling through something that I hated. The only reason I would ever stop reading is if the book was unnecessarily triggering and offensive.
Edit: I have just laid eyes on my secondary bookshelf and I remembered that I have, in fact, DNF-ed a book. It was Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Not much more needs to be said on that. If you’ve read it, I’m sure you understand.
A book you’re currently reading?
I’ve had a really productive week in terms of reading and absolutely stormed through my August tbr, and I’ve only just finished the last book I read (all reviews to come soon) so technically I am currently reading zero books.
That’s a boring answer though. The only book left on my tbr list is The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri, so that’s probably going to be my next current read. Unfortunately, as term creeps closer, I am going to have to start peppering in some preparatory reading for my course, so I might have to divert away from strictly reading for pleasure for a while. If you asked me this question again in a few months, you might get a strange answer.
Last book you recommended to someone?
I recommend The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman to anyone who mentions to me that they want to read something but they aren’t sure what they’re in the mood for. Murder mysteries are always good (especially when they’re well-written and funny), and I just think this book is a great feel good, holiday read. I actually have never spoken to someone who hasn’t already had this book recommended to them by a relative or friend, so I think that speaks to how great this book is and how much anyone would enjoy it.
Oldest book you’ve read?
This is a torturous question for someone who loves historical fiction and who has chosen a lot of historical modules at university. I’m going to have to make an estimation, because I honestly can’t remember all the things I’ve read in the last three years. I’ve also excluded poetry and plays, purely because I really can’t remember every single poem I’ve read, and saying Shakespeare feels like a cop out.
So, I’ve read The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole, which was published in 1764. Earlier than that, I’ve read a good portion of The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer (1392). I’ve also read things like Homer’s The Odyssey (8th Century BC), but that technically is an epic poem, and therefore doesn’t qualify here.
So, there are my answers for the first ten questions of the twenty question book tag! I hope you enjoyed reading this, and it’s helped you get to know me as a reader better. Please leave your opinions in the comments, and let me know what you would have answered for this tag!