Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Books and Secrets


The fangirl is unleashed!

Several lifetimes ago, Lauren from Always Me nominated me for the Book Fangirling Blog Award. (You see, I do do my awards, it just sometimes takes me ... five months ... or so ...) I'm not exactly sure what this award is for -- am I just good at fangirling? 

I mean, I like to think I am.
Anyway, thanks, Lauren! Don't you love that award button, by the way?

1. Would you rather read a fantasy/sci-fi novel or a comedy? 
I have to say, I'm disgruntled that fantasy and sci-fi are grouped together. 

From these three genres (and if you read that in a pointed and frosty tone, you were right), I'd rather read fantasy, because, well, I'd always rather read fantasy. I don't read the other two much at all. What even is comedy? Just because a book's funny, it's not a comedy ... right?

One of my favourite books is The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, which is a farcical comedy but also sci-fi. There you go.

2. What is your go-to book recommendation?
Right now it's The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt, for reasons that I've repeated on this blog till I'm blue in the face. Of course, I differ my recommendations to suit the person.

Apart from The Goldfinch, I'd always ask “Have you read The Book Thief?" and if the answer is no I'd tell them to sort their life out and get to it. Then I have genre-specific recommendations: The Raven Cycle for paranormal fans; Emma for people who like Pride and Prejudice but haven't read any other Austen (Emma is the best one, I'm just saying); A Song of Ice and Fire for lovers of an epic fantasy; A Farewell to Arms for those prone to “literary fiction"; Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler or How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff for YA fans; The Cuckoo's Calling for anyone who likes crime. And if they were looking for some fantasy aimed at twelve year olds I'd point them to the Icemark Chronicles by Stuart Hill, which I just finished rereading, because they are AMAZING, and I've never met a single! other! person! who's read them! How, I ask you? How and why?!?

3. What song best fits the personality of the main character of your current read?
I love this question! I'm reading The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith, AKA JK Rowling (and it's amaaaaazing!). The MC is ex-army London detective Cormoran Strike, a man whose personal creed is  “do the job and do it well." I can't really think what he'd listen to. But for fitting his personality:

 “I'll write you a story, but it loses its thread, and all of my witnesses keep turning up dead."

Two of my favourite songs.

4. Are there any books you want to rewrite? If so, which one and what would you do differently?
A tough one! I absolutely adore A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin, but I really wish I'd been his editor. I could have a) weeded out the infuriating Americanisms; b) warned him off some of the more unpleasant sex scenes; and c) helped him to cut down the books, which are freaking gigantic. 

Equally, though ...

So I wouldn't really change anything.
5. What book would you like to see a movie or TV adaption of and who would you cast to play the main character(s)?

I'm pretty weird amongst bookworms, but I, uh, don't like movie and TV adaptations. I mean, we all know that the book is always better, but equally, most bookworms enjoy an adaptation now and then. I'm not saying I don't -- there are plenty of enjoyable films of books, of course! -- but I always prefer to keep my favourite books out of it. Seeing them onscreen invariably changes things and pollutes my headcanon, and whilst I can always retain my unsullied version, it makes it harder. 


Now, let me spill my secrets.

Another few lifetimes ago, Cait from Paper Fury nominated me for the Bookish Facts Tag. Thank you very much, Cait! 

1604882_755034217928693_2428613194777611300_n.jpg (540×720):

1. I have never owned, and hope never to own, a Kindle. (This, taken with my previous answer to question five, may lead you to suspect I'm a technophobe ... you wouldn't be wholly wrong.) I get all the arguments for them -- light, accessible, a lot easier than carting a load of books on holiday -- but I like holding books. I like buying books. I like lining books up on my shelf and looking at them. I like drawing a book from my bag. I like seeing what other people are reading on the train, which you can't do with a Kindle. I like the different weight of different books in my hand. I like unusually sized books. I like smelling books. You can't do those things electronically.

Catrin Welz-Stein - The Storybook:

2. The only way I can handle bookish organisation is alphabetically. People who just throw them on the shelf however are not to be trusted, and as for colour organisation, it freaks me out! How can you bear to split up a series? What about books with many-coloured spines? Hmm? HMM??

As for organising by genre, it also stresses me. Is The Lord of the Rings a classic or fantasy? Does Harry Potter go side by side with A Game of Thrones, or should it be in the children's section? I CAN'T MAKE THESE CHOICES!

Alphabetical is the only way. 


3. I never read two books in the same genre in a row. Right now I'm reading a crime novel, which means I'll have to move onto paranormal, then contemporary, then classic. Even if I love a series, I'll never read the books one after the other (unless I'm binging); I'll always jump genre in between. 

4. Despite my deep and enduring love for this graphic, I don't use the library often. We have literally thousands of books in our house, and I have my own collection of two hundred and something, half of them unread. So I rarely, in fact, borrow books.


5. I believe that reading is its own, quite particular, pleasure. Watching a great TV show or film encircles you in a visual world; drawing gives you a different kind of immersion; writing has its own world-changing intensity; but reading is different to them all. I really can think of few things better than a whole morning or afternoon -- even, dare to think it, a whole day -- spent with a good book and lot of tea. I am so very happy to sit unmoving with my book (apart from to get up and make more tea, of course), allowing its world to fill my mind and the space around me, giving me the gift that only a book can.


  1. WHEN WILL PEOPLE STOP THE SCI-FI/FANTASY ABUSE ITS REALLY ANNOYING. ahem. I loved your answers, especially the kindle one because kindles/nooks are no.



      Thanks, Noor! :)

  2. Agh, yes. Sci-fi and fantasy are not the same. Yes, there are authors who mingle elements of (keyword) BOTH genres into a single book (eh, I may have done this). But they are still separate genres. JUST BECAUSE THEY'RE BOTH 'WEIRD' DOESN'T MAKE THEM THE SAME!

    Honestly, the only allure that an electronic reading device can claim is that e-books are cheaper than tangible books. Tangible books rule, on all fronts.

    According to your book organizing fetish, you may not want to trust me. *grins evilly*

    I don't normally read two books in the same genre consecutively either! It just gets. . . I need something different or else I bore easily. Although I am about to read The Scorch Trials and The Hunger Games. So, we'll see how well that goes.

    "The first thing that reading teaches us is how to be alone." -- I LOVE that quote. It's so true though. I've noticed people who don't read, really do not know how to be alone. They must be around someone at most times.

    I agree 100% with the last point 5.

    1. Right?!!? For a long time they were pretty niche, and general booksellers lumped them together, but Philosopher's Stone was published in 1997, A Game of Thrones in 1998, and both series have been in instrumental in bringing fantasy into the public eye, so that it's now almost normal. Sci-fi is still quite niche, but fantasy should be getting its own section in bookshops, at least!

      True, although if you buy your books secondhand it's not bad. I'm not sure how long it would take for the initial lump sum of the Kindle's cost to be paid back in terms of savings. Classics are free on Kindle, I guess, but ... I want to hold a classic. It's a book imbued with age; I want to hold, physically, an old object.

      Uh-oh! ~sweats nervously~

      I, too, bore extremely easily. Interesting. I've read TMR but didn't pursue the series. I'll be interested to hear what you think of THG.

      RIGHT?!?! It is so very true. That's why when I live with someone -- uni flatmate, and maybe one day husband -- they will have to be able to be alone, because I cannot handle people who want to be together all the time. Hello. I like being by myself.

    2. Really? I didn't realize either were so niche. Although, I read fantasy frequently, so it doesn't feel like a niche to me, which could be why.

      Emily, are you kidding me? You really want to know what I think about The Hunger Games? Are you sure you want to ask this question? Like do you want a super long comment on your blog, or do you want me to opt out and just write a whole blogpost? THG rocks. Let's put it at that. I love the whole trilogy. As well as the whole TMR series. But it seems I like dystopian nearly as much as fantasy, so. . . This could be why.

      Ugh. Yes. I treasure my alone time. I like to be alone. People who want to be around people 24/7, just. . . I don't get it. What is so great about human interaction? If I have too much human interaction, humanity as a whole starts to depress me.

    3. I think we a have a high exposure to them because of the book blogging world, but for the normal human, they're "weird genres", I believe.

      OK! Wow. OK. I saw that you posted about TMR; I will read it soon! (Actually I'm being a good person today, I replied to your email and I've got your fourth post of the night open in another tag. I'M TURNING MY LIFE AROUND!)

      Likewise! I'm glad we think alike. If we ever meet we can just sit in different rooms ;)

    4. "For the normal human, they're the 'weird genres'. . ." Normal people? *internal laughing* Oh man, I'm laughing too much! What do normal people think about anyways?

      Aren't ordinary people so adorable? ;)

    5. Yes they are Moriarty ;)

  3. I'm so sorry to have put the two entirely different genres together - I have no idea what came over me there! :D

    I can't wait to read Rowling's Galbraith books - I like your music choices for the character's personality.

    I definitely understand what you mean with ASOIAF. It's interesting, though, I was never very bothered by the Americanisms - maybe because I am an American...?

    I'm actually reading this post on my Kindle right now. :) I used to be the same way before I got this thing. While I still love my physical books, I like the opportunity that this gives me. On that note, I like using Overdrive which is a library ebook and audiobook borrowing app on my Kindle and my phone. But there's just something about holding a print book in your hands! I would like to be able to see what people are reading on the train, but there aren't any passenger trains anywhere nearby, or really any kind of public transportation for that matter...

    You may not trust me all that much when it comes to organizing my own personal book collection, but in my defense I am actually a librarian. Usually for my personal collection, my books are more loosely organized based on when they were purchased, and then I try to organize a few at a time for reading order.

    1. Haha, you have upset the comments section if you have a read! ;)
      (Joking, of course!)

      THEY'RE SO GOOD! I CAN'T! EVEN! TELL YOU! I love her so much I just //// asd;lgkjas;ldkgj

      I think that's probably it. You don't notice them because to you, they're normal.

      No way! I do know a lot of people who used to be anti-ebook and have changed their minds since getting one. I don't know, though. I am very sceptical indeed.

      No! I do not trust you! Anything that says “loosely organised" has me hyperventilating!

  4. Oh my gosh, I hate the organizing-by-color thing too. I guess it looks pretty to some people, but it just stresses me out. *flails in a stressed manner*

    1. It does look pretty in photos, but I could never do it myself! My bookshelf is opposite my bed; I know it very well, I know the order, and I could not deal with anything other than alphabetical!

  5. Big points for the Once Upon a Time gif! XD

    I'm with you on the real books vs. Kindle thing. *nods*

    And the color organizations LOOKS pretty . . . but to even consider doing that to my books is almost horrifying. I don't order them alphabetically either--I mostly just keep series and authors together, and they're kind of organized according to how much I like the books, if that makes sense. Two shelves contain mostly my core favorites, and then I have a shelf for second-hand books, and another shelf elsewhere in the house for less-favorite reads. (Problem is, those two Favorites Shelves are overflowing! Bookworm problems...)

    By the way, totally unrelated to books, but you know how you mentioned in a comment that you wanted to see what a Canadian winter looks like? For your sake, I included a few pictures in my most recent post. ^_^

    1. ~whispers~ I don't actually watch it ...!

      ~nods also~

      “Almost horrifying" <-- this made me smile! It's very true. Although, I have to say your way is almost horrifying to me, because I find it really hard to quantify favourite books. Like, I love X a lot but it's nowhere near as good as Y, which is amazing, yet I feel bad not putting X on the favourite shelf? Also, imagine this. I've read Shiver and Linger by Maggie Stiefvater, which I LOVE, and they'd go on the favourite shelf, but I also own Forever, the next book in the series, which I've not read yet, so should I put it elsewhere? I'd hate to split up the series, but could I have a book I'd not read on the favourites shelf? It would seem dishonest! Or, like, I have matching gorgeous editions of Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Persuasion. P&P and S&S are favourites but I love Persuasion less, but could I split it up from its sisters? I don't think I could, but that would feel like a betrayal to the favourites shelf, I mean it would feel that I devalued my other favourites because I was letting Persuasion stay for aesthetic reasons, like I was basically picking it for its looks, like a boss hiring someone cause she's pretty not for her skills--


      That was a proper monologue.

      I've got no idea how long I spent typing that.

      Book organisation REALLY RILES ME UP!


      Thank you! I'm absolutely terrible at reading posts at the moment -- you see how late I am at replying to these comments, even -- but I will get to it, I promise!

  6. Em! I've missed reading your blog so much! And I totally get where you're coming with on the movie/TV adaptations thing. Most of the time, the cinematic version completely ruins the book! And I get pretty bothered when people try to argue that the movie/TV show is SOOO GOOD but they've never even read the book. Plus, I hate how when you see a movie you can't unsee how the characters looked and then whenever you read the book, you can only imagine the actors, not how you used to see them. Ugh. Now you've got me all worked up, haha! Sorry for the mini-rant :D
    Anyway, how are you??? We haven't chatted for a long time!
    - July,

    1. I have missed you, where've you been?!

      It often does, and YES ME TOO!

      Right?! I do an OK job with HP, at least, I do not see Rupert Grint, but Emma and Daniel are pretty firmly in my head ... :S

      I'm great! How are you!?!

    2. It's so great to be back :) I've been gone for a while, mainly because I've been uninspired and feeling lonely over at my blog, haha. But I'm going to try to come around a lot more now!

      Ohhh, I can't even remember how I imagined the HP characters before seeing the movies, and that makes me so sad! It's kind of hard to avoid such well known actors filling the imagination.

      I'm good too! Busy, but good.
      Can't wait to read your next post :D

    3. I'll be around to stop you being lonely!

      I know. For me, though, I don't see faces anyway, so it's not such a massive problem.

  7. OMG BUT COLOUR IS THE ONLY WAY, I HAVE TO SAY THIS, I JUST DO. I don't know if it's just because I'm a visual person??? but I have to have my books lined up by colour and I only remember books by their colours, so not titles/authors so if they're not in the colour order I LOSE THEM. XD Splitting up series does suck, though. I actually keep my favourite series together on top of my bookshelf. hehe.

    I also agree ASOIAF could be edited a bit more... D: I mean, I love it!??! But sometimes when they'd just launch into long monologues of noooothing, bleh. SLEEPY SLEEP TIME. -_- I swear, if I hadn't have had the audios I would've been skimming. xD (Although the depth and detail does make the world exquisite, right?!)

    I'm glad you ended up doing this tag!! :D

    1. Your shelves do look v pretty in your pictures, I have to say! BUT I COULDN'T HANDLE IT. (Which is why it's a good thing we all get to choose how we organise our own shelves!)

      Right?! But yes, the worldbuilding is amazing. Just too much dialogue, sometimes, and slightly pointless questing.

      Thanks for tagging me! :D


Thanks for commenting! :)