Team Murder No Brain No Headache.

11Nov/04Off

If You Can’t Beat ‘Em

For once I'm going to join in the listing thing as Bob did and join in the book meme. I live a life largely in books so this one is applicable for a change. The "What Am I" quizzes will soon follow no doubt.

Hardback or Paperback
To begin with, I'm currently in school as an English Literature major so I carry around a fair number of books on a daily basis. My lower back loves paperbacks. My favorite format for actually reading is the trade paperback. It's exactly the right size for handling as some of the smaller additions are pretty easy to drop.

Highlight or Underline
Highlighting is probably one of the most idiotic things people do in college. It's far too easy to highlight huge chunks of text that you're never going to read again. I've seen used textbooks with highlighting that looked like it was applied with a paintbrush. I underline and annotate.

Lewis or Tolkien
Tolkien is much more enjoyable reading.

E.B. White or A.A. Milne
Ummmmm....

T.S. Eliot or e.e. cummings
One is amusing on the first read and the other might be entirely full of shit. Cummings relies too often on clever.

Stephen King or Dean Koontz
As Koontz is one of the worst pop fiction writers I've ever tried to read I'm going to default to Stephen King. Although King definitely sticks to well trod devices and seldom surprises anyone the man can develop characters very well. That may be the single redeeming thing about many of his books. I've given some of his later books a whirl as brainless bus reading but the writer who could concoct characters that you cared about seems absent from the text.That might be an age thing both for King and I.

Barnes & Noble or Borders
If I'm going to get my hands dirty with the big boys I usually just opt for Amazon. I'm a complete non-believer in the necessity of little indie bookstores as they tend to pay their workers starvation wages.

Waldenbooks or B. Dalton
See above.

Fantasy or Science Fiction
Science fiction is usually a safer bet.

Horror or Suspense
Horror.

Bookmark or Dogear
Both. The bookmark keeps the place and dogeared pages are the ones that I need to revisit. Reading a book after I've finished with it generally isn't worth it.

Hemingway or Faulkner
Both of them have their well known defects but how can you pit something like As I Lay Dying against A Movable Feast and expect a clear winner. I love both of those books dearly although I enjoy Faulkner on the whole more than old Ernie. I think it's criminal that most people have no further acquaintance with Faulkner than the often anthologized "A Rose for Emily." It really isn't his best work and doesn't really represent what he became capable of.

Fitzgerald or Steinbeck
Fitzgerald was a one hit wonder and even the hit wasn't that great. I recently re-read The Grapes of Wrath and it was much more engaging the second (or third?) time around.

John Irving or John Updike
I oh-so-totally don't care. Don Delillo.

Homer or Plato
Plato. The Republic is one my favorite books.

Geoffrey Chaucer or Edmund Spenser
By the time I finished reading Canterbury Tales not only was Middle English much less daunting but I began to get some of the humor in many of the tales. I think that the humor which is very hard to understand given the lingual and other complications with the text. Spenser is Spenser. I'm not a huge fan of Christian allegorical writing and I've been required to read a shit ton of it.

Pen or Pencil
Pencils are for Scantrons, drawing, and absolutely nothing else.

Looseleaf or Notebook
The idea of dealing with looseleaf paper terrifies me and always makes me think of those collision in a hallway scenes in movies where an entire novel or dissertation is scattered into chaos.

Alphabetize: By Author or By Title?
Neither. I don't alphabetize. Maybe when I have sufficient bookshelf space for all of the books but right now they're organized by the stack and stuff methodology.

Dustjacket: On or Off?
Take it off and pitch it in the trash.

Novella or Epic?
Usually epic although right now I'm reading Jane Eyre, Frankenstein, and a collection of H.P. Lovecraft stories.

John Grisham or Scott Turow?
Kill them all and let god sort 'em out.

J.K. Rowling or Lemony Snicket
Ibid.

Fiction or Non-fiction
Non-fiction about fiction? I'm a student so I read more critical articles from literary journals than I'm happy to admit. I tend to read fiction because I want to and non-fiction because I want to know about something.

Historical Biography or Historical Romance
Biography, by a huge margin. My plate is too damned full already and there needs to be some value in what I read.

A Few Pages per Sitting or Finish at Least a Chapter
I read really, really fast so usually between 30-50 pages in a sitting. I don't like being interrupted when a major event or revelation is happening in the story.

Short Story or Creative Non-fiction Essay
I'd usually default to the essay as short stories aren't my favorite. Essays usually provoke some kind of reader engagement while short stories are often convenient ways to waste twenty minutes.

"It was a dark and stormy night" or "Once upon a time"
Both would make me stop reading with equal rapidity.

Buy or borrow
Buy. People tend to get pissed off when you fold, spindle, and annotate their books. I like to keep the friends I have.

Book Reviews or Word of Mouth
I hate reading book reviews. I like talking to people about what they've read and knowing that if I do read what they recommend at least one person I know will be able to talk about it with me.

Comments (4) Trackbacks (0)
  1. Have you READ Lemony Snicket? Those books are amazing! Please tell me you haven’t read them and are basing your analysis on prejudice.

  2. The problem with children’s books is that minus the child they really aren’t that fun. They’re more fun to read to someone than they are to just read. Maybe I’ll give the young adult lit section at the library a peek, though. You’re right, though, I haven’t read them. The last book I read that was written with the intention of a young audience was a Horatio Alger book and it was pretty damn creepy.

  3. Wow! I am impressed. But, not surprised. (Can’t wait to see which Madonna song you are.)

  4. Seriously, Lemony Snicket is for grown-ups, too. It’s like reading a novel written by Edward Gorey. I highly recommend it. The only advantage to having actual children around is you have an excuse to read it out loud, and it’s great reading out loud material.


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