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Thursday, October 28, 2010

55 Quirky Questions for Readers: Part 3

TS Eliot (1888 - 1965), the Anglo-American poet, critic and writer in his office at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, New Jersey, November 17, 1948.  (Photo by Al Gretz/Keystone Features/Getty Images)
T.S. Eliot (1888 - 1965)
41. The longest I’ve gone without reading.

I've read fewer books this year than I can ever remember. It didn't happen by design. My business has required more out of me. I probably went for a month during one stretch this year without reading and it made me crabby. 

42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.

Ulysses by James Joyce.  

43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?

The phone and poor quality – both in the construction of the book and in the writing. 

44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?

The Notebook

45. Most disappointing film adaptation?

The Time Traveler's Wife. The film just didn't develop the relationship between Clare and Henry well enough.

46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?


47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?

If skimming means, flipping all the way through it, never. If skimming means, reading the first paragraph or two, always. 

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?

Poor writing is at the top of the list. I picked up a light-hearted Christmas novella last December and it was awful. Nearly every dialogue tag contained an adverb (she said indignantly, her mother said sternly, he asked politely, he asked curiously, she asked sharply, she asked dubiously – all actual examples from the book). I really wanted to ask for my $16.95 back, but I couldn't because I underlined all the adverbs.

49. Do you like to keep your books organized? 

Loosely. I keep fiction and non-fiction separate. For non-fiction, I divide them into categories: biographies, theology, etc. But since re-organizing my books a few years ago, I've bought many more books and they rarely end up on the correct shelf.

50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?

Keep them. 

51. Are there any books you’ve been avoiding?

Books I've already purchased? Sort of answered this one already. See number 34.

52. Name a book that made you angry.

Can't recall any. 

53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?

The Cocktail Party by T.S. Eliot. Technically, it's a play, but I think it qualifies. 

54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?

I don't finish books I don't like.  

55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?

Character-driven, contemporary fiction – the types of books in which plot-driven readers jeer.


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