Thursday, April 28, 2005

Some Random Book Meme

Hardback or Paperback?
Depends on how much I'd have to pay for it. Hardback is always preferable, but I'd rather pay half as much for a trade paperback.

Highlight or Underline?
In a course pack, highlight. In books I own, neither; why would I want to fuck 'em up? I'll use sticky notes in books.

Lewis or Tolkien?
Tolkien, mainly by the fact that I haven't read any Lewis (though I suspect I'd like Tolkien more anyways).

E.B. White or A.A. Milne?
E.B. White by a long ways. As far as children's books go, I could go either way. But White's career as an essayist and critic blows Milne out of the water.

T.S. Eliot or e.e. cummings?
I very much like them both, but I am more interested in the themes Eliot takes on.

Stephen King or Dean Koontz?
Stephen King. Stephen King. Stephen King. Koontz is just an inferior stylist, his stories are much less complex, and I can't imagine that he has the self-awareness or ability to write a book on writing that could even come close to being as informative and insightful as King's.

Barnes & Noble or Borders?
Barnes & Noble has a larger selection, but Borders tends to carry some non-mainstream books that I'd have to order at Barnes & Borders by a hair.

Waldenbooks or B. Dalton?
B. Dalton. Better selection, better prices.

Fantasy or Science Fiction?
I read a ton of fantasy in Jr. High and High School, but since then I don't think I've read more than three or four fantasy books (over almost six years), and I haven't ready any in the last two years at least. Sci-Fi, on the other hand, has figured prominently into my literary studies (i.e. Vonnegut, Dick, Delaney, Shute, etc.), so I'd have to answer that now I prefer SF.

Horror or Suspense?
Horror. I have never read a suspense genre novel that I have particularly enjoyed.

Bookmark or Dogear?
Due to my abhorrence of ruining perfectly good books, I am very much a bookmark man.

Hemingway or Faulkner?
While I enjoy and respect Hemingway's work, Faulkner interests me much, much more.

Fitzgerald or Steinbeck?
While Steinbeck might have written much more than Fitzgerald (due to Fitzgerald's young death), Fitzgerald can claim one thing Steinbeck can't: He never wrote one book that wasn't great. For that, F. Scott is the man.

John Irving or John Updike?
I haven't read enough of either to give a definitive answer, but right now it's Updike and I doubt that'll change.

Homer or Plato?
While I like my philosophy, I'm a literature man at heart, and in Literature, Homer reigns supreme.

Geoffrey Chaucer or Edmund Spenser?
I've read a ton of Chaucer and only a little Spenser (and none of The Fairy Queen), so right now I'm going to have to stick with Chaucer.

Pen or Pencil?
I use pen now (required at work and all), but deep down I prefer a pencil.

Looseleaf or Notebook?
Notebook. If you give me loose papers, they'll be scattered across any given space within moments.

Alphabetize: By Author or By Title?
Arranged by subject (i.e., Fiction, Poetry, Drama, Philosophy, Literary Criticism, Mythology, etc.) then alphabetized by author.

Novella or Epic
It doesn't matter. I'm just interested in how good it is.

Fiction or Non-fiction?
Fiction is my primary focus, but I love to read in a wide range of academic non-fiction disciplines from Philosophy to Mythology to Literary Theory and Criticism to Politicas Theory to History to Biography and beyond.

Historical Biography or Historical Romance?
Give me a good literary Biography any day. I can't imagine I would enjoy a Historical Romance.

A Few Pages per Sitting or Finish at Least a Chapter?
At least a chapter. I hate stopping in the middle of a chapter. I ususally then feel the need to re-read the chapter to make sure I'm not forgetting anything.

Short Story or Creative Non-fiction Essay?
Either one is great, but again, I'm a sucker for good literary fiction, short stories included.

Buy or borrow?
Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy Buy. Over 1,200 books owned and climbing.

Book Reviews or Word of Mouth?
Word of mouth from someone whose taste I trust. I'm only really interested in a book review if it is by a reviewer with a more literary slant. In other words, no newspaper reviews (not evey the NY Times) or Web site reviews. I'll take reviews in literary journals first, and high standard magazines such as the New Yorker or Atlantic Monthly second.


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