Saturday, March 14, 2009

Reading Habits

I’m an avid bibliophile – I’ve been devouring books for years and have angered my parents many times by "wasting" my time and money on amassing a public library’s worth of books (some of which still reside at their home – hence the recent side of that anger).

My friend Avi recently answered a “reading habits questionnaire” on his blog (it’s in Hebrew). Avi suggested I do the same on mine.
Apparently, this questionnaire has bee making the rounds in the blogosphere for a while now. I urge anyone who loves books to take it. Feel free to post your replies as a comment. If you intend to run the survey in your blog, drop me a note and I’ll link to it.

Finally, as a service to the reader, I tried turning every book name to an Amazon link, so you can get immediate gratification, if you so choose. But feel free to buy the books elsewhere, or better yet, check them out of your public library and save money.

  1. What’s your favorite book?
    How can you answer a question like that? I had several favorite books in several times in my life. But 3 jump to mind:
    1. I, Claudius (and its sequel Claudius the God) by Robert Graves, the book that got me interested in the Romans and their times. It also let me to read The Twelve Caesars by Suetonius, a highly gossipy book that confirms some of the key plot points of, the otherwise fictional, Claudius.
    2. The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King. A complete departure from his usual horror and gore trade, King tells a simple fairytale, that looks like it came from the Grimm brothers chest of stories – including the heavy hidden layers of adult subject matter. The story is told effectively, and has you find yourself identifying with the heroes, hating the antagonists and rooting for good to triumph. This book foresaw his Dark Tower Series (and indeed, if you read both, you know they may be tied on more than one playing field) and is the best proof that King is one of the most effective writers living today.
    3. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. This book took me by surprise. It has so many layers and stories within stories, that it reminded me of a recursive function. Yet it all ties together nicely in the end and you feel like you just took the most wonderful journey. I'm thankful to my friend Ilan for giving me this book.

  2. What book do you have by your bed right now?
    Several, actually. I’m notorious for starting a book and jumping to another one and back again:
    1. The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman
    2. The Children of Hurin by JRR Tolkien (stuck in the middle, will probably have to restart)
    3. The Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey (finished first book in the trilogy)
    4. I am Legend by Richard Matheson (nearly done!)
    5. The Art of War by Sun Tzu (done!)
    6. Anime from Akira to Howl's Moving Castle, Updated Edition: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation by Susan Napier (struggling)
    7. An MSDN magazine that I finished long ago (fine, I’m messy :))

  3. Which book did you enjoy reading, but never admitted it?
    The Ninja by Eric Van Lustbader. Intriguing, suspenseful, but extremely sleazy :)

  4. Which book you never read, but never admitted to it?
    The Catcher in the Rye by Salinger. Also War and Peace by Tolstoy. Classics are easier to buy than to read.

  5. Which children’s book has burned into your consciousness?
    Flat to Rent by Lea Goldberg (it’s in Hebrew, but I found it on Amazon – maybe there’s an English translation, but it would miss all those amazing rhymes that stay with me until today). It contains everything a child needs to learn about loving the different, camaraderie vs. bigotry, and being a good neighbor.

  6. What quote do you remember the most?
    ”It is not that I object to the work, mind you; I like work: it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.” – Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome

  7. With which fictional character would you trade places for 24 hours?
    My immediate answer would be Peter Parker (aka Spiderman) – I’d like to see NY from his point of view for a day. But if we want to take a deeper literary approach, I’d have to say Sherlock Holmes. To have that brain for just a day…

  8. Who affected your reading habits the most?
    My mom. She is also an avid reader, and some of the first full length books I read are hers. She also pushed me to our local library and taught me some “hacks” that allowed me to check out as many as 7 books at a time – something she later regretted.

  9. What’s the strangest place you ever read in?
    On a private beach in Aruba, in the Caribbean, surrounded by pink flamingos. They seem oblivious to the fact I’m there. Beautiful blue ocean and a devious sun that burns you to a crisp, regardless of how much sun tan lotion you’ve smeared on yourself.

    I actually have a much more bizarre place, but upon writing the experience down, I scared myself so much, I had to delete it.

That’s it. Waiting anxiously to see your answers.

1 comment:

avi said...

The Twelve Caesars - Claudius connection reminds me of Midnight in Sicily, * which shows that whatever you've seen on The Godfather is true (although happened in Sicily).