Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Seven Deadly Sins of Reading

I saw this question and answer session about books and reading habits over at Reading in Winter, and thought it would be fun to do ("but Jen, shouldn't you maybe write a review since you are only 25 behind instead of doing a meme"- well, I guess here's another thing that can be added to reading sins, or maybe I should do a whole other one about blogging sins!)  Kristilyn in turn got the idea from another blogger, and it all started with Malyza.

Greed: What is your most expensive book? What is your most inexpensive book?

I don't really have any collector's books or super nice editions, so for me expensive books tend to just be the ones that I actually buy in hard cover.  However, I do have a few that were a bit more expensive from college, such as my Norton anthologies, a used version of the complete works of Shakespeare, and I have also splurged one or two academic type books, such as Psychoanalysis and Black Novels (although it was only $30 when I bought it).  I think they are expensive because they are relatively limited and specialized.  Other than books that were simply gifts, I wouldn't say there is one book that qualifies as cheapest.  I've gotten a few for around $3 or $4 from bargain bins before.

Wrath: What author do you have a love/hate relationship with?

I wouldn't go as far as love/hate, but there is of course the issue that any Stephen King fan has - love the books but always worry about the endings.  George R.R. Martin for killing everyone, and taking so long between books?  Chris Bohjalian's last few novels have been a bit disappointing given how talented of an author he is.

Gluttony: What book have you deliciously devoured over and over with no shame whatsoever?

I don't reread nearly as much as I should or would like to.  The majority of my more recents rereads have been school-related, such as The Odyssey.  For some reason, I also read Twelfth Night in quite a few English classes so that is my most read Shakespeare play.  On my own, though, I would say The Mists of Avalon is the novel I've read most often.  I've owned probably at least three different copies of it, one in German, and I actually realized recently that I don't have a copy at my apartment because I was thinking I'd like to read it again some time.  So I'll either need to have my mom check if I still have a copy there, or possibly give more money to Bradley's estate.

Sloth: What book have you neglected reading due to laziness?

So many classics and non-fiction books.  I'm not sure if it's entirely laziness but sometimes (most times) I don't feel like investing a week or more into a book, and those always tend to take me longer to read.  If I had to pick one, I guess I would go with Shakespeare: The Invention of the Human, Camilla by Fanny Burney or David Copperfield by Dickens (now there is an author where I'm still not sure what my feelings are).

Pride: What book do you talk about most in order to sound like an intellectual reader?

I don't think I have one specific book I use to do this, but would say I do a combination of things to sound like an intellectual reader, if that's what I'm trying to do.  First off, there are of course references to classics I've read, as well as discussing various more modern literary novels and award winners.  Mostly though, I think I attempt to sound intellectual by referencing lots of books rather than anything specific, like "oh yes, that reminds me of this which has an interesting reference to that ..."

Lust: What attributes do you find most attractive in male or female characters?

This is one I actually have to think about.  I like characters that are sarcastic and intelligent, and capable.  Also, with women I like it when they are capable and own it.  For example, I would take Elena of Armstrong's Women of the Otherworld series over Sookie Stackhouse because Sookie does still occasionally hide behind the "I'm so innocent and naive" even after four or five books in.  Of course, both are better than characters like Bella.  Overall, I think I just want a character with complexity and layers rather than black and white.

Envy: What books would you most like to receive as a gift?

I have a huge Amazon wishlist, and pretty much every time I walk into a bookstore I see something I want so receiving any of those as a gift would be great.  Basically, any book as a gift is a bonus.  However, since the question specifies "as a gift," I'm going to focus on the books I wouldn't buy for myself so a first edition or signed version of a favorite book, or a special collection.  There are so many books that I have and love but then I see new versions of them that I want purely for the covers, such as the new Harry Potters, or the leather bound Barnes and Noble classics, a newer, nicer version of Shakespeare's Complete Works, or some of those huge coffee table books that are $50 and full of pictures, like art history or architecture books.  Basically, the books I really want to receive as a gift are ones I wouldn't actually read.

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