Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006

The Bookish Meme


Karrie tagged me and in the interests of good blog manners I’m doing this meme. It’s nothing to do with how much I love books or picking lint out of my navel or the fact that I really, really don’t feel like packing away the daily toy explosion; no, none of that.

Hardback or trade paperback or mass market paperback? Anything I can get my hands on, really. I don’t buy myself hardbacks, but receive them gratefully as presents. I don’t believe that a good-looking bookshelf needs to be filled with hardbacks; paperbacks are just as pretty to me.

Amazon or brick and mortar? I’ve largely kicked my Amazon habit now that most German bookshops have a decent English section. I do prefer to touch a book before I buy it, give it a few strokes and see if it would like to be mine.

Barnes & Noble or Borders? Neither, since I don’t live in the States, but if I did it would be whichever is closest to my home.

Bookmark or dogear? Neither. I remember my page number. Sometimes I forget it and spend a few minutes swearing and trying to find my place again.

Alphabetise by author, or by title, or random? Um, random.

Keep, throw away or sell? Keep or give away.

Keep dust jacket or toss it? Keep, if possible.

Read with dust jacket on or remove it? Remove! I find them pretty but irritating.

Short story or novel? I love to get lost in a big fat novel, preferably one that lasts for days. I find short stories far too short and seldom satisfying. Except for Raymond Carver’s – those I love.

Collection of short stories or anthology? If I have to read short stories, I definitely prefer a collection. I don’t like the stop/start of an anthology and with a collection I get some sense of authorial voice even if the characters and narratives change.

Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket? I haven’t read Lemony Snicket yet, but I love Harry Potter. He can be blamed for my first home-birth – I spent so long reading HP in the bath while in labour with Daisy that we never made it to hospital. Then I lay in bed reading some more and feeding my beautiful newborn angel.

Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks? When I fall asleep, usually, or when a small child needs something from me.

“It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”? Both. Either. Whatever. Let’s get on with the story.

Buy or borrow? I prefer to buy but am happy to borrow.

New or used? Don’t care. They’re books, aren’t they?

Buying choice: book reviews, recommendation or browse? I like to browse me a book or two, and I like recommendations from other readers I respect. I can’t remember the last time I bought a book on the strength of a newspaper review.

Morning, afternoon or nighttime reading? Usually at night when there is quiet in my home, but I will read whenever I am given the chance.

Favourite series? Stephanie Plum!

Favourite children’s book? The Narnia series. I can’t wait to start this with my kids.

Favourite book of which no-one has heard? My Indian Family by Hilda Wernher.

Favourite books read last year? Restless by William Boyd, Middlemarch, A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews, What Poets Need by Finuala Dowling, Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky.

Least favourite book finished last year? Can’t remember.

What are you reading now? Number Six in the Stephanie Plum series.

What are you reading next? Either Timothy Findlay’s The Piano Man’s Daughter or Snow by Orhan Pamuk. Can’t decide.

I tag the Pillow Blogger, My Dear Lizzy and Lia.


Author: charlotteotter

Novelist, feminist, crime writer

12 thoughts on “The Bookish Meme

  1. Thanks for playing, Charlotte. I have mixed feelings about memes, but thought this was a good one.

    You also reminded me that I have a copy of Snow tucked away unread.

  2. I agree generally about short stories, but found Peter Carey’s short stories good to read, also Tim Winton’s collection called ‘The Turning’. My fave series is No 1 Ladies Detective Agency, and best read of 2006: ‘The Book Thief’ by Markus Zusak.

    I can’t believe you had a home birth unplanned!! This is an amazing story. The way you just wrote above as a matter of fact, almost like a dead pan delivery – funny stuff.

    I love Harry Potter also – finding the wait excruciating. On the release date for book 7, we’ll actually be in the UK!

  3. Thanks for the tag, Charlotte. I love book memes. I’m working on it.

  4. With you on H.P. and Raymond Carver – to my shame, I haven’t read any of your favourites from last year – which would be the must-read out of them?

  5. Aren’t these memes great? Lots of fun to read your answers, Charlotte!

  6. I’m not a huge fan of short stories either Charlotte, but I make an exception for Helen Simpson. Modern life with a wicked touch of humour. She has produced at least four collections of stories, and I have enjoyed them all. ‘Four Bare Legs in a Bed’; ‘Hey, Yeah, Right, Get a Life’; ‘Constitutional’ and ‘In the Driver’s Seat’. Definately worth trying her – ideal for reading in a queue at the supermarket or post office, and to keep by the loo in case a little light reading in called for!

  7. Great meme! I hope you don’t mind that I’m going to filch it 😉

  8. Karrie, let me know when you read Snow. I’d be interested to hear what you think.

    Bindi, I also love the Detective Agency. It reminds me of home. As for the unplanned home birth, I tend to mention it quite frequently, which is why it got a mere oblique reference above. It’s my badge of honour. I wear it quite proudly.

    Pleasure Miss Lizzy. Enjoy it!

    Hi (Un)relaxeddad. I can’t pick one. It would be between Restless and Suite Francaise.

    Litlove, I’m always happy to think about my reading habits.

    Herschelian, thanks for the tip. I’m going to look out for Helen Simpson.

    Hi there, Velocibadgergirl! Feel free to filch …

  9. Halfway through Restless and loving it. It may be a long night!

  10. I’m delighted to find someone else who reads both George Eliot and Janet Evanovich!

  11. For a transplanted South African, you seem to read a great amount of Canadian authors…. Findlay, Toews. It is encouraging to me to see this. Being a Canadian, I feel that for such a small [population-wise] country we have some of the finest authors writing today.

  12. Lesley, I remember also not being able to put it down. Such a great story.

    Hi Lucette! I have somewhat catholic tastes … what can I say?

    Hi Cipriano, you’re right. I do love Canadian authors – also Atwood, Carol Shields and Robertson Davies.

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