Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday is a meme created at the blog of the same name that poses a different question about reading each week.

This week’s questions is:

Two questions about selecting your books.
Pooch asks:

Overall, what factor most influences your choice of your next read?

Sefcug asks:

What is it that makes you want to read a book by an author you have never read before?

As an avid reader and, especially, as a book blogger, far more factors go into my reading decisions than mere interest. I have review copies that I have to read before release dates, NetGalley titles that have expiration dates, and untested authors or series taking up valuable shelf space that I might not wind up loving (the quest to free up space for more books is ruthless and neverending). However, ultimately, no matter how many books are piling up in my TBR list, I simply can’t get motivated to read unless the books matches my mood at the moment. Often, this means looking through my review pile or backlog for a title that seems to fit, but if I can’t find one, I’m not afraid to spend precious reading time revisiting an old favorite. I’ve never quite understood readers, especially ones who avow to love reading as much as I do, who claim they simply don’t have the time to reread. Great books are about so much more than the initial experience; they beg to be returned to. They are our old friends, and there is so much hiding within their pages that we didn’t pick up on the first time or perhaps simply don’t remember.

As for what persuades me to read an author I’ve never tried before, reviews and comments from my fellow bloggers are almost the exclusive means by which I build my TBR pile. If my various websites or other reviewers liken an author to one who I have already read and loved, then chances are I’ll check out their work too. Rarely do I find a new author by browsing in the store. While I might spare reading time for old favorites, I’m wary of wasting time on books that catch my eye yet that I know nothing about. I do my research before I buy or request titles.

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Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday is a meme created at the blog of the same name that poses a different question about reading each week.

This week’s questions is: Series or Stand-alone?

Earlier this summer I posted an article in which I lamented the lost art of the standalone. I summed up the many reasons why I love reading singular titles as well as the benefits to becoming invested in a long-running series. For those who don’t want to read the whole post, I’ll simply recap and say that, while I’m in for the long haul with the series currently on my shelf, there’s a wonderful simplicity to being able to pick up a book and know the whole story before the day is through. While contemporary titles are easy to find as standalones, the fantasy genre seems thoroughly steeped in the series cash cow, especially for young adult titles.

Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday is a meme created at the blog of the same name that poses a different question about reading each week.

This week’s questions is: What book(s) have you read that you’re secretly ashamed to admit?

I feel rather sheepish when I admit that I quite enjoyed the Twilight series on the first go-around (and they still remain on my bookshelf). Thankfully, I never feel the urge to reread them. Many of the historical romances that I’ve read throughout the years have caused me shame, but that’s usually due more to the fact that so many of them have embarassing covers than to the actual content.

I don’t tend to feel much shame for the books that I read. I’m an advocate for my reading choices, for the most part; as long as you’re reading something, I usually find that there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Usually, the only times that I feel reticent to admit to reading something is after popular culture attaches a media-related stigma to it. I never felt that Meyer’s writing was stellar (or even good), yet I would have had no problem admitting to reading the books before the movie franchise reached epic heights of teenage obsession. Now, I’m a bit more hesitant to reveal my association with the series not necessarily because of Meyer’s abilities, but rather because of the ridiculousness that the films represent. Still, I’m a proponent of pride in reading, whether your choice winds up providing true literary merit or something more akin to shallow entertainment.

Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday is a meme created at the blog of the same name that poses a different question about reading each week.

This week’s questions is:

So other than books … what periodicals do you read? Magazines? Newspapers? Newsletters? Journals?

Do you subscribe? Or do you buy them on the newsstand when they look interesting?

I really don’t tend to read periodicals. Occasionally I’ll buy one at the checkout when it catches my eye, but I prefer to save my money for buying books. However, there is one periodical that I buy religiously: Halloween magazines are my addiction come autumn. Martha Stewart might not be a personal idol for eleven months out of the year, but come October, she’s the queen.

Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday is a meme created at the blog of the same name that poses a different question about reading each week.

This week’s questions is: Who taught you to read?

I was one of those frightening children who could read nearly as soon as I could walk. That’s because my mother took it upon herself to teach me to read at around two years old.  I have vague recollections of looking through primer books while sitting on the living room sofa.  I think my mom also used to send me to the pantry to pick out cans of food. At the time, I thought this was a delightful game; little did I know my enterprising mother was simultaneously training me to become her own private scribe and sous chef.

Honestly, though, I do remember being rather bored during kindergarten classes in which other children were learning to spell their names. I was much more interested in climbing up into the reading loft and avoiding nap time. (Who decided that children should be made to sleep on towels on the hard floor in the middle of the day? What’s even sadder it is the fact that there’s little I wouldn’t give for a nap hour these days, but now that I finally want it, I’m denied).

Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday is a meme created at the blog of the same name that poses a different question about reading each week.

This week’s questions is: Do you have a favorite quote from a book?

Do I have a favorite? Oh, what a choice. I recently compiled a list of my favorite book quotesfor a Top Ten Tuesday post, if you don’t care to limit yourself to just one. However, if I had to choose, I’d go with my standby for all things literary:

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

“I sometimes have a queer feeling with regard to you — especially when you are near to me, as now: it is as if I had a string somewhere under my left ribs, tightly and inextricably knotted to a similar string situated in the corresponding quarter of your little frame. And if that boisterous Channel, and two hundred miles or so of land, come broad between us, I am afraid that cord of communion will be snapped; and then I’ve a nervous notion I should take to bleeding inwardly.”

It’s more of a passage than a quote, isn’t it?

Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday is a meme created at the blog of the same name that poses a different question about reading each week.

This week’s questions is: Have you ever bought a book, started reading it and then realized you have already read it? If so, how far did you get? And-did you keep reading?

I’ve had this happen once to me, as far as I can remember. Sometime around the seventh grade, I checked a book out of the school library after reading the intriguing back cover promising mystery and romance. I was just entering my gothic romance phase (having discovered the wonder that is Jane Eyre in the fifth grade) and so thought this book would be a great fit. As it turns out, I loved it. I even remember what the cover looked like: a sort of deep mauve with a dark red rose across the front.

A few years later, during an early morning troll of the high school library (my regular stomping grounds, as I was not cool enough to hang out with actual people before the first bell rang), I picked up a few intersesting-looking books to keep me occupied for the week. A few days later, I was about twenty pages into my new book when I realized that I had, indeed, read it several years before, and had in fact been wondering as to its identity ever since. I guess names and titles weren’t high priority information to a seventh grader. As it turns out, thus was the beginning of my long love affair with Victoria Holt. The book? Bride of Pendorric.

A similar occurrence happened a few years ago, but it didn’t so much involve an unknowing reread as it did the search for a long-forgotten title. This one was another book that I’d nabbed from the library back in middle school, and once again, while I remembered loving the story, I had no clue as to the author or title. For years, I searched for this book, having very little to go on except for a vague recollection of the title sequence and book cover. Then, while antiques shopping a year or two ago, I came across a dusty collection of old scifi books, and a slim blue book jogged my memory. Apparently, the book that had kept me guessing for years was The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula Le Guin. Unfortunately, Le Guin’s writing didn’t enchant me as much the second time around, but I’m assuaged that at least the mystery of its identity has been solved.