The Ultimate Book Tag

So, it’s no secret that I really love reading – what I love even more, actually, is talking about the books I read so, I’m always susceptible to book tags, and challenges. This one, I took from the beautiful Helena @ Accepted Wisdom.

My kitten Nookie on my colourful book series shelf. My organisational system leaves something to be desired.

My kitten Nookie on my colourful-book-series shelf. My organisational system leaves something to be desired.-

1. Do you get sick while reading in the car?

Violently so, yes, and within a minute, basically. I don’t drive myself and I also go months without driving as a passenger sometimes, so I even get sick without reading. I have to look out the window and watch myself move, or else. 😉

2. Which author’s writing style is completely unique to you and why?

I talk about Haruki Murakami a lot, but his definitely is and that’s why I love his books so much. It’s not only that each book is a trip into a different kind of world, both stylistically, linguistically and just story-wise, but also that every time I pick up a new book, it’s like returning to that place. It’s lovely.

Other authors on this list, who’s books I’d recognize without a cover or any clue as to the author would be Nick Hornby and Christa Wolf.

3. Harry Potter Series or the Twilight Saga? Give 3 points to defend your answer.

This question fundamentally offends me and it always has. I don’t know why we still compare these two. One is Middle Grade adventure (slowly transitioning into YA) and the other is YA romance – the basis for comparison is slim at best. I also wouldn’t compare Eragon to To Kill a Mockingbird.

However, as the question is posed: Harry Potter, obviously. Look at the picture above. I’m actually right in in the middle of my pretty much yearly Harry Potter audio-book marathon; and although I see some flaws now where I saw none when I was younger, I still think it’s a beautiful book that encourages kids to be awesome, and I saw a lot of myself in Hermione (as pretty much every girl reading it). So much so that reading about her now gives me all kind of nostalgia for my younger self.

4. Do you carry a book bag? If so, what is it in (besides books…)?

I do not. I usually have a backpack and I am also now pretty firmly convinced on e-readers, so I don’t schlep multiple books around anymore, much as I always wanted to be Rory Gilmore.

5. Do you smell your books?

I actually try to avoid it. Yes, I know I belong to be shot, but it’s rare for me that I can afford the high quality books that smell good. Most of them make me not want to smell them.

6. Books with or without little illustrations?

I love illustrations and I actually have seen a slight increase in them recently – be it just little ornaments around the beginning of chapters. It makes me think people put care and thought in their books and I like it when text is broken up by a graphic and visually stimulating element.

7. What book did you love while reading but discovered later it wasn’t quality writing? 

There is the realization that it wasn’t that good and you don’t care – like, for me, the Earth Children Series by Jean M. Auel. Yes, some of it makes me cringe a tiny bit now, but that series still meant so much to me as a young teenager, and I still love the characters, it never left me with a bad feeling.

And then there is feeling somewhat let down – and that’s Dan Brown’s books for me. I really enjoyed the Da Vinci Code, I’m almost embarrassed to say, when I listened to the audio book. Then I wanted to give the book to my grandparents and I so bought it… and, yeah, it was a let down seeing in it writing without a trained voice artist to smooth over the prose.

8. Do you have any funny stories involving books from your childhood? Please share!

Most of my funny childhood stories are writing related, but here’s one that made me and my mother laugh recently. We were talking about reading to children, and she mentioned how much time she invested in doing that, how many books we read and how we all enjoyed it and I realized — I don’t remember this at all. Not one instance. I do remember vividly my father reading to us though, because he’s dyslexic and he would constantly read a wrong word without realizing it and that just lodged itself deeply in my brain. My mum was a little offended, hehe.

9. What is the thinnest book on your shelf?

I thought it would be Silk, by Alessandro Baricco (so good!), but it’s actually an exact tie between a learn-to-read-in-Spanish book called Marianela by Benito PĂ©rez Galdos (adapted for student nivel 3 reading by Esmeralda VarĂłn) and a German play I read in high school called Woyzeck by Georg BĂŒchner.

10. What is the thickest book on your shelf?

It’s the hardcover edition of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, like with a lot of others. It makes me a bit sad, because that’s actually my least favourite in the series; also it’s an unfair advantage because I own very very few hardcover books. I have a feeling that on equal standing – soft-cover to soft-cover, my copy of Frank SchĂ€tzing’s The Swarm would actually win (according to goodreads, it has about 10 more pages, and as it stands is the second-thickest book on my shelves).

11. Do you write as well as read? Do you see yourself in the future as being an author?

I loved writing before I actually loved reading. Books were always around in my childhood but the real passion for talking about them, collecting and cataloging them came later; writing was always there.

12. When did you get into reading?

It’s hard to say, like I said above, books were always abundant in my house and I probably took them a little bit for granted for a long time. I seriously got into reading around the time the first Harry Potter book showed up in my school library – long before the hype, then the Lord of the Rings trilogy had me in its grasp and… I started doing the 50 books a year challenge for the first time in 2005. So that’s when I got really serious and blogged in an old live journal about my process ;).

13. What is your favourite classic book?

English: Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham; Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
German: Kassandra by Christa Wolf

14. In school was your best subject Language Arts/English?

Naturally. In Germany, we elect two majors in our last two years of high school. I chose German and English lit and ended up with top grades in both. It was a great time reading a lot of great books.

15. If you were given a book as a present that you had read before and hated…what would you do?

I have actually come to a point in my life where I don’t care anymore. I have given people books they read before, and people gave me some and at this point, I’ll just tell them so that they can go get their money back. I have to say, though, as much as I love books – I find giving books as presents a very very personal thing, and rarely do it anymore unless I really know the person. And I mean really know them.

16. What is your favorite word?

Just one? This is hard. I would have to go with something like fragile or volatile. I also have a deep and intimate adoration of the f-word.

17. Are you a nerd, dork, or dweeb? Or all of the above?

I’m definitely a nerd, but I’m a dork, too. Of course, I am still a bit hazy on where all those words intersect, because I’m a geek too; I can’t get enough of science documentaries. And my friend calls me a dork when I make stupid puns, so… all the things!

18. Vampires or Fairies? Why?

Fairies. Self-servingly because I write about them – but the reason is that I am very fascinated with the concept of immortality (or near immortality) but I have never really been interested in vampires. All that death and blood sucking and stuff *shudders*. I like the way with fairies, they are connected to earth and nature and the magic all around us.

19. Shapeshifters or Angels? Why?

Shapeshifters. Mostly because I really dislike angels. I know it’s a bit trendy right now, but I want my PNR/UF/Fantasy etc. far away from religion. Call me a literary secularist.

20. Spirits or Werewolves? Why?

Werewolves, I admit shamefully. Here is the thing, I know they are overdone but I still feel like the genre/species has not reached its pinnacle yet, I think so much cooler stuff can be done with werewolves and I just love them; can’t stay away from writing about them.

21. Zombies or Vampires?

Zombies. I mean, they scare the crap out of me, but I really like them as plot devices for human characters. As with vampires – again, it’s rare that I find myself drawn to that species.

22. Love Triangle or Forbidden Love?

I am a deep, deep sucker for forbidden love and always have been. So that. It’s just an insta-connection for me. As for Love Triangles – I do think they get a bad rep right now because it’s always a girl who finds herself between two hot guys without any rhyme or reason to it all. I actually liked the love triangle in the Infernal Devices Trilogy, and I would love to see more variations of the trope — a girl between having feelings for a girl and a boy, or three people all having feelings for each other and getting together as three people who commit to each other, etc.

23. AND FINALLY: Full on romance books or action-packed with a few love scenes mixed in?

This is really difficult for me to answer because, I prefer to have things besides romance in books, yes. But I prefer that not to be action. I am just not a fan of action packed books. Even in the ones that have it and which I liked, I was usually drawn to the non-action parts. I like books with character development, and discussions, books that pick up on important issues, about family and friendship etc. I like my action to be used sparingly and to good effect rather than packed throughout the book.

I never tag people, I don’t know why – it makes me feel like I’m being imposing, but if you do pick it up let me know! And Lorrie, you should totally do this :-P.

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