What was the last book you bought?
Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (I still haven’t read it, so I can’t really discuss it)
Name a book you have read MORE than once
There’s a certain set of books that I read almost every summer. I don’t consciously tick them off from a list and read them, but they are invariably what I’ll re-read during the hotter months. I think it’s because they all have a distinctly summer-like atmosphere to them: “The Great Gatsby” by F Scott Fitzgerald, Ian McEwan’s “Atonement”, Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”, “The Other Boleyn Girl” by Philippa Gregory and Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility”
Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life? If yes, what was it?
Several books have contributed to my perception of the world, but no single book has ever fundamentally changed the way I think.
How do you choose a book? eg. by cover design and summary, recommendations or reviews
Most of the books I choose to read are based on recommendations and reviews. I’m not so particular about book covers if I’m borrowing from the library. However, when I’m at the bookstore, I’ll base my purchases on covers. I rarely ‘browse’ at the bookstore though; I’ll go with the intention of buying a certain book, or I’ll have some sort of list, at least. And if I happen to be browsing, it’ll be in the classics section, where I know I won’t regret a purchase. I do always judge a book by its cover, but I think that’s perfectly fine – what else are covers there for?
EDIT: On second thought, I think I choose books through titles. If I like the title, I’ll check it out
Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?
I like both, but I infinitely prefer fiction over non-fiction. Simply because non-fiction can never veer from truth – or at the very best/worse – speculation, whereas fiction is a place of limitless exploration and imagination
What’s more important in a novel – beautiful writing or a gripping plot?
Beautiful writing, by far. Of course, this question is highly subjective as it depends on an individual’s perception of the value of literature. Those who read purely for entertainment might say that a gripping plot is more important than beautiful prose. In my opinion, a gripping plot is worthless without the writing to support it. I think it’s also much easier to get away with a bad plot than with bad writing. A beautifully written book with a quiet plot can still be remembered as poignant or moving. It’s harder to say the same for a poorly written book with a gripping plot.
Most loved/memorable character (character/book)
Most loved male character: Mr Knightley, from Jane Austen’s Emma, is the sexiest thing alive. Captain Wentworth comes in a close second. I actually can’t stand Darcy.
Most loved female character: Alice, from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. She’s a prim little ignorant snothead, but I love her all the same.
Most memorable male character: Albus Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series. Actually, I think he’s my most loved character. How adorable/funny/insane is he?
Most memorable female character: Jane Eyre. She impressed me so much as a little girl; I was amazed at how witty and unfazed she was in front of Mr Rochester. I would have been so tongue-tied in front of him, sardonic thing that he is.
Which book or books can be found on your nightstand at the moment?
Les Miserables Volumes I and II (Victor Hugo), A Suitable Boy (Vikram Seth), but both are massive books, so in height they are equivalent to six ordinary paperbacks
What was the last book you’ve read, and when was it?
I’m pretty sure it was Saturday by Ian McEwan – I finished it a few days ago? A week ago? Something like that; I can’t really be bothered to check.
Have you ever given up on a book half way in?
Countless times. But I usually go back and finish them, no matter what. One book I gave up on completely? Hmm. Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens. It was grim and gritty, and I didn’t like the protagonist. That was a long time ago though – I should go back and re-read it.