Ebook or physical book?
Physical books, all the way. I have a kindle and it saved my life when I was living abroad, especially in Rostov-on-Don, a kind of… provincial city in southern Russia where there is pretty limited access to English language books. But at the end of the day, there’s nothing quite like a physical book. I love books as objects, the cover design, the endpapers (I have this thing with endpapers…) And since I’ve started working in a publishing company, I’ve understood how much work goes into them, and why designers make the choices that they do, how much thought and work goes into it.
Paperback or hardback?
Hardbacks piss me off. I like them as objects, but they’re just annoying, because I like to carry a book everywhere I go, and it’s a pain in the arse. I’m currently reading Caitlin Moran’s Moranifesto in hardback and I might as well be lugging a brick around in my handbag. I also feel slightly weird about writing on hardbacks.
Online or in-store book shopping?
In store, generally, because I tend to shop for books in quite a random, sporadic way, where I just pick up whatever catches my fancy. I bloody love a bookshop.
Trilogies or series?
This is a weird question. These are not two opposites, trilogies are a subsect of series. They’re series of three. If I have to pick one, I think I’ve read more series, but the honest answer is standalone books.
Heroes or Villains?
I’d rather read a well-written villain, but I think the key there is well-written. I just want an interesting character, whether they fall into good or bad or neither.
Used Books: Yes or No?
I love second hand bookshops. Oxfam bookshops are some of my favourite places to buy books, and the second hand book stalls on London’s Southbank and the banks of the Seine in Paris are some of my favourite places in the world. I tend to buy more new books, but that’s something I’d like to balance out a little more.
Borrow or Buy?
As I mentioned in my last post, I write on books, so I would always prefer to buy so that I can do that. I also love owning books, having a collection of them. The argument could certainly be made that I own too many books.
Characters or Plot?
You kind of want both, but I lean more towards characters. I deeply love Samuel Beckett and Waiting for Godot is famously a play in which nothing happens… twice. I’m more interested in people than in events.
Long or Short Books?
I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about this before – I am bad at long books. Come to think of it, maybe that’s related to the question above. I’m looking at my bookshelf now and the long books that I’ve enjoyed are much more plot driven, and tend to be funny. Although I don’t love short stories, as a general rule.
Long or Short Chapters?
In contrast to the question above, I prefer longer chapters, generally, because I tend to find lots of break interrupt the flow of my reading.
Books That Makes You Laugh or Cry?
For a long time I would have said books that made me cry. I am a crier in life, I love a good cry. But more and more, I am getting into funny books. I think it’s Mhairi McFarlane’s fault, she’s one of the few writers who make me laugh out loud when I’m just sitting by myself reading.