Friday, September 28, 2007

Kimbooktu's Meme

I've been tagged by Bybee over at Naked without Books for an interesting meme that was created by Kimbooktu, so here goes:

1. Hardcover or paperback, and why?

I'd say that at least 80% of my books are hardcovers and that percentage is holding pretty steady. I buy most of my books with the intention of keeping them unless they turn out to be unfinishable or they bore me to death, so hardcovers have always been my first choice. I always aim for first printings of first editions and all but a few of my hardcovers are those. I do buy quite a few trade paperbacks when I find them marked way down at bookstores but I don't tend to keep those as a permanent part of my collection. Those usually end up getting traded on BookMooch or sold on eBay. I almost never buy the mass market paperbacks because I find them so difficult to read and I hate the way that they usually look so worn out after just one reading.

2. If I were to own a book shop, I would call it...

Book Chase...It would include both new and used books and would focus more on literary fiction than on those who dominate the bestseller lists because I find very few of those writers to be readable.

3. My favorite quote from a book (mention the title) is...

"When Augustus came out on the porch the blue pigs were eating a rattlesnake - not a very big one. It had probably just been crawling around looking for shade when it ran into the pigs. They were having a fine tug-of-war with it, and its rattling days were over." - Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

That's the opening of the Lonesome Dove epic, maybe my favorite book of all, and it perfectly sets the scene for McMurtry's story.

4. The author (alive or deceased) I would love to have lunch with would be...

Beyond a doubt, it would be Mark Twain. I can imagine the stories this man would tell and would hope for a long, long lunch.

5. If I was going to a deserted island and could only bring one book, except for the SAS survival guide, it would be...

Lonesome Dove because having Woodrow Call and Augustus McCray around would be like having two old friends share the island with me...and it's a big book with lots of stories and side-plots that make it easy to re-read multiple times.

6. I would love someone to invent a bookish gadget that...

really works for the long-term. I've tried several book lights, for instance, that either don't provide enough light, or are a pain to work with, or just quit working altogether after a few books. I've given up.

7. The smell of an old book reminds me of...

childhood. I grew up in a small town that had a very under-funded little library and most of the books I read as a kid were pretty old at the time. But now when I catch that odor, it's always a deja vu moment for me. On the flip side, I get the same feeling from opening up a brand new paperback and smelling the pages because it seems that I was either reading old library books or new paperbacks (when I finally saved up enough coins to buy one).

8. If I could be the lead character in a book (mention the title), it would be...

Augustus McCray from Lonesome Dove. Gus was a man's man but he had a soft spot for kids, knew how to treat women, and used his sense of humor to get his best friend to do the right thing. Robert Duvall was cast as Gus in the movie version of the story, and he was the perfect choice for that role. In fact, it was that movie that made me a lifelong fan of Duvall.

9. The most overestimated book of all times is...

the whole Harry Potter series. I think those books have their place, and I admire the successful marketing campaigns that sold millions of copies, but I just don't think that they are really all that well written and they seem very, very derivative.

10. I hate it when a book...

is written in such a pretentious manner, using obscure words as a first choice, for example, that it is a struggle to make sense of whole paragraphs at a time. I hate it when I consistently have to read a sentence three or four times just to get its meaning, only to find out that it really is just a simple aside that adds little to the story. Some writers seem always to be trying to impress literary judges and their peers more than their readers.

I'm supposed to tag five other bloggers for this meme but, since I was a little slow in getting to it myself, I imagine that some of you have already been tagged (these things grow like mushrooms). So rather than risk tagging someone who has already participated, I'll make this an open invitation to anyone who wants to jump in and share their thoughts: consider yourself tagged.


  1. Why am I not surprised that Lonesome Dove is your favorite book? I loved it, too, and recommended it so many people. I even had students who read it (every last page) and admitted that I'd done them a favor! Not that it was required, but it was on my "book of choice" list.

    I'm almost finished my meme from Bybee. It is an interesting meme, isn't it?

  2. I am so stealing this meme this weekend.

    Oooh! Heresy! lol. (Harry Potter.)

  3. I really love that book, Jenclair. I can imagine that teen boys, especially, would be turned on to reading by it...with a much more lasting effect than from something like the Potter books.

    I'll look forward to reading your responses to the meme.

  4. Have fun with it, Carrie. I'll be sure to stop by to see your responses.

  5. Of all my fictional crushes, Gus tops the list. I remember being worried about who would play Gus in the miniseries and was so relieved at Duvall's performance. He was exactly what I'd envisioned.

  6. You have good taste in men...fictional or otherwise, it seems. :-)

  7. I loved "Lonesome Dove!" It's one of the few books I've ever stayed up all night to read. ("Aztec" is another one.)

    Have you seen the photos in this month's Texas Monthly of the making of the series?

  8. Factotum, thanks for the heads up about the Texas Monthly article...gonna have to find that one. I don't read many magazines and would have missed that.

  9. I think you and my husband would get along. He's always on the hunt for the perfect book light, and he feels the same way about the HP series.

  10. If I say that I hated Lonesome Dove and only got through a third of it, will you still let me read your blog? Because I like your blog very much, sir.

  11. Sherry, I'm just shocked at such a statement...can't believe it...but please don't quit reading. OK? :-)