Firstly, thanks to Jenny in Neverland for this 20 question tag! Books are something I love immensely that I don’t get to talk about enough. Also fun fact: I can’t stop listening to Cat Stevens. But what else is new?
1. How many books is too many books in a series?
THE LIMIT DOESN’T EXIST! Let’s not put limits on creativity, shall we? If your brain can keep whirring out more, I think that’s fantastic and inspiring. Plus, I understand… I love writing standalones and short stories, but dang, it’s hard to let your characters go. So maybe this is more of a writer’s point of view, but I definitely don’t think it’s my place to limit authors as a writer or a reader.
2. How do you feel about cliffhangers?
I think they’re a very smart way to keep a reader engaged and I’m all for them, as long as they’re not too glaringly predictable. But nothing hits you as hard when you’re reading a book than an unexpected twist at the end of a chapter.
3. Hard copy or paperback?
When I was younger I insisted on only owning hard covers, because I thought they were so much more fancy and official. But now I’m more of a paperback gal (probably because I’m broke and actually pay for things). I don’t care what a book looks like or its “aesthetic,” it’s all about the content. The cover’s pretty irrelevant to me honestly, at least until I’ve read the whole book.
4. One book you read because of the cover:
So as such, this really isn’t applicable to me. I have such a huge list of books to read that I wouldn’t even consider picking up a random book for years, and even if I did, the cover wouldn’t hold weight for me.
5. Favorite book?
Two answers: Les Misérables and The Little Prince. The most opposite when it comes to length that I could possibly think of but so, so powerful in their own ways. Les Misérables represents my love of redemption and the resilience of the human spirit. It really epitomizes all of the ways I deeply appreciate the human race, because I think too often we let the bad blind us to the immense beauty we can create if we want to. The Little Prince highlights other values of mine that are equally important to me–childhood, naivete, and imagination. I need hard-hitting realities and imaginative complexities in my reading life, and I think these books showcase my personality well.
6. Least favorite book?
I’ve only ever given one book a one star rating and it was THE FOUNTAINHEAD. I’m sorry if you happen to like it, but I swear I’ve never had a book rub me in such a horrible way before, like this one did… I deeply loathe every single character–just like my love for Les Mis, The Fountainhead is everything I despise about humanity in one book. I do not think I’ve ever disliked any piece of entertainment as much as this book… even thinking about it makes me clench my teeth in anger. Yikes…
7. Love triangles, yes or no?
I know this is an overused trope in books, but I genuinely only think I’ve properly read about one–The Hunger Games. I’d like to say I hold a strong stance on this since so many readers do, but I don’t lean either way very strongly. As long as the confusion and ties within the triangle are realistic and it’s a genuine struggle because of the characters’ personalities, I’d say it’s perfectly fine. When it comes to aspects of book plots, even if they are overused methods, as long as you’re portraying humanity accurately–that’s all I really ask of writers.
8. The most recent book you just couldn’t finish?
I feel like these questions are just proving I’m an abnormal reader… I really can’t not finish books, unless you count being little and having a small attention span, so you subconsciously switch books every two seconds. Technically I haven’t finished a couple books in college, but that’s only because I had zero time, not because I actually didn’t want to finish them. When they’re free choice I feel obliged to finish them, even if I don’t love them, because it seems like an unwritten code of polite conduct. And as a writer, I’d hope people would stick it out to the end of my works…
9. A book you’re currently reading?
For my Advanced Fiction Writing class, we’re currently reading Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich, and I think she paints such gorgeous pictures and characters with her words. It’s comprised of short stories that are all centered upon two families, but they can each also stand alone. I’ve always been super drawn towards fictional works involving Native Americans so this has been an intriguing read, and while some of the stories can be harsh in nature, Erdrich’s words showcase the hope and evil we each possess in a heartbreaking and authentic way.
10. Last book you recommended to someone?
Yesterday I recommended The Little Prince to someone. What else is new?
11. Oldest book you’ve read?
The Odyssey, but haven’t we all?
12. Newest book you’ve read?
Failing Up: How to Take Risks, Aim Higher, and Never Stop Learning by one of my favorites, Leslie Odom Jr.
13. Favorite author?
I always think of a smattering of people when this question comes up, but never one particular person. But there’s something about J.D. Salinger’s writing that has always stuck with me, and I love incorporating his dialogue accents in my own work. In general, I love simplicity in writing–both the words used and the plot–and when simple language can generate such powerful emotions within us, that matters. We say simple things every day that can have long-lasting impacts on our loved ones, so there’s no pressure to write so abstractly or eloquently all the time. The simple stuff sticks.
14. Buying books or borrowing books?
In case you forgot, I’d like to reiterate how poor I am. But I’m also weird about buying books; I tend to only buy books I’ve already read or authors I know I already love… I don’t like taking chances on books I’m unfamiliar with. Not when it comes to money… #PennyPincher. So I’m forever praising the fact that we have libraries and I’m forever borrowing books.
15. A book you dislike that everyone seems to like?
Moby-Dick. I only read snippets for class, but it was painful. Too slow-moving and abstract for my taste.
16. Bookmarks or dog ears?
Books are beautiful objects and I try to keep mine as beautiful as possible for as long as possible. Bookmarks 500%.
17. A book you can always reread:
Third time’s the charm… The Little Prince. It’s so short, well-written, and easily accessible that I highly doubt I could get tired of rereading it. But also the Harry Potter series, as I’ve successfully reread it who knows how many times already.
18. Can you read whilst listening to music?
Nope. I adore music so much, I just pay attention to music when I put it on.
19. One POV or multiple POVs?
For the most part, one point of view. But Rick Riordan did a great job in the Heroes of Olympus series with multiple characters having their points of view incorporated, and I think he firmly established that by giving each character separate chapters. If the point of view is changing in the midst of a chapter or story without a change of voice established, I think that can read very sloppily and becoming immensely confusing for readers.
20. Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days?
Unless it’s a really short book, I have to read books over multiple days. I think that’s mostly a sentimental thing; I don’t like leaving characters that quickly.
Well I’m officially sad I have hardly any time for choice reading right now. But only two months until Christmas break, right?!