The Rapid Fire Book Tag

Apparently this is how we do LJ memes here on WordPress.

Anyway, Read Diverse Books did it, and since they left a general free-for-all tag, why the hell not?  Besides, I love doing random things instead of the important things I need to do.

eBooks or physical books?

I’m an even split between the two.  Lately I’ve been reading more ebooks because I always have my tablet with me, but if I really love a book, or if it’s a certain type of book, I’ll get a physical copy.  I actually prefer physical, but I now have more books than space, so….

Updated from November, when I started, I’m now solidly back on physical books what with the ungodly haul you’ll see below.

Paperback or hardback?

Paperback.  The only time I buy hardcover is if there’s something special about it (Silmarilian with bonus map), if I have the others in a series in hardcover (there is nothing worse than getting a mixed set of a series), or if I just NEED a book now.  Otherwise, paperbacks save so much room.

Online or in-store book shopping?

Online always.  Mostly because there aren’t actually any bookstores near me (and I don’t shop at B&N).  When Borders was around, I shopped about once a month (there was one down the street from my college).  I love second-hand bookstores, but most have closed around me, so Amazon and online second-hand it is.

Trilogies or series?

Neither?  If depends on what the book is.  Like, a mystery series is fine if it’s just the same characters with maybe some mentions of previous cases.  I honestly just don’t have the patience to get into multiple-book things.

Heroes or villains?

Heroes, always.  I find villains generally boring.  Or maybe it’s because in every modern book the villain is so generically bad.

But most of all, I like heroes because I like the fucking hero.  I’m so sick of “good is boring” authors who think they have to torture their lead or give them some dark secret, when no, a person can be a hero just because they’re a good fucking person.

A book you want everyone to read?

And completely spitting in the face of what I just finished saying, Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz.  It’s a villain story done well with a twist that doesn’t matter if it’s spoiled or not because it just adds a layer to the read.

I super recommend listening to the audiobook either while reading it or before (though when I listened to it after, it was just another layer of joy), because there are certain clues that you only hear from listening (if you understand what the narrator’s doing).

I could talk about this book for days.

Recommend an underrated book.

I guess I can’t recommend what I just did, but, um, I don’t really know of any underrated books?  I can recommend unread books, I guess, or books that aren’t common anymore….

I know!  Agatha Christie’s Harley Quin series.  They’re really enjoyable, they’re short, hints of magic, and basically unknown to most readers, so hell yeah, read them.  The Mysterious Mr. Quin (available in ebook) has all but two stories, which are collected in The Love Detectives (which contains a couple other books Mr. Satterthwaite is a character in, though without Mr. Quin).

The last book you finished?

Laura by Vera Caspary.  Nice ’40s noir with some great twists and fantastic characters.

Used books, yes or no?

Absolutely.  As someone with a hobby (read: obsession) with old and unknown books, I couldn’t get them without being second-hand.  Also, I’m broke af.  Amazon is literally the only way new books are affordable to me; I only buy new books if it’s something or someone I’m really trying to support or need to read now.  Get your knickers in a twist.

Top three favorite genres?

Mystery/detective (an important distinction, not thrillers)

Ghost stories

Old solvey-puzzle mysteries

I’ve found that I’m less into different genres today as I used to, mostly because things like fantasy and sci-fi have all their books so similar, and so fucking depressing.  I don’t want to read the next 12,000 dystopias and no, your dark deconstruction of fantasy isn’t actually that clever at all.  I’m so fucking jaded.

LIKE MYSTERY HAS ANYTHING TO FUCKING SPEAK ON, THOUGH, FUCK.  If I have to read one more goddamned women-torturing “psychological thriller” with a woman who falls apart over a goddamn sandwich choice as a lead, I’m going to puke a fat one, I swear to god!  Everybody’s got a goddamn “dark and troubled past” and every investigation “threatens to spill terrifying secrets” like how are you fucking functioning at this point as a human?

Do you think anyone’s ever told these authors that most people, yes even most protags, have fairly standard and stable lives?  Because I’m starting to be concerned.

Weirdest thing you used as a bookmark?

An entire 8-1/2 x 11 piece of paper for a pocket book.

Borrow or buy?

I was buying everything that looked good, but as that’s not only filling up my room, depleting my money, and has come to bite me, I’m so into borrowing.  I’m constantly recommending ebooks to the county library and I’ve started going through my wish lists and searching for them in the library main catalogue to see if I like it before I buy it.

I mean, look at this shit:

That’s 14 books from the library.  This is how I roll now.  And it’s wonderful, except that it will take me a long time to get back into a mood to read.

Characters or plot?

Depends on the book.  Character-driven character pieces are actually my jam.  Nothing could happen at all in a book but examining people and characters and I’d be thrilled.  When that’s combined with a good STEADY plot (say, in a mystery), I’m extra stoked.

Long or short book?

Short, always.  My preferred length is 100 pages.  250 is pushing it for me.  When I get books that turn out to be 300-odd pages, I start to deliberate how much I’m REALLY interested in the book.  Anything over that and forget it.

This is why I’m all about short stories.

Long or short chapters?

Short chapters are great.  Easy to get through, easy to take a break from, easy to keep going.  Long chapters, like long books, drag me down.

Name the first three books you think of.

Laura, Inheritance, The Wooden Horse.

Books that make you laugh or cry?

As in which do I prefer?  Laugh, always.  Or if not, give me chills. I don’t read tragic books because there’s enough of that around anyway.

Our world or fictional worlds?

Our world, historically, or in its best sense.  I’ve not been reading other worlds much.

Do you ever judge a book by its cover?

Absolutely.  And I’ll buy editions based on covers, including buying the same book again.

Audiobooks: yes or no?

Yes, but I have trouble listening to them.  I can’t do anything else if I’m to concentrate on the reading, but then I get bored and my mind wanders and suddenly I’ve missed half a chapter.  BUT, I can listen to them while reading the book (I did this with Moriarty and it was amazing).

Book to movie or book to TV adaptation?

Old TV adaptations of books and generally older movie adaptations.  I haven’t seen many film adaptations now and TV adaptations of books seem to drag on.

Oh!  The Joan Hickson Miss Marple series is A+, do highly recommend.

A movie or TV adaptation you preferred to the book?

Ngl, Game of Thrones is a lot more watchable than the books are readable.

So, the Poirot adaptation of Cards on the Table changed up a lot (including killing the wrong person at one point, which I’m still bitter about), but it added some illicit queerness and I am all for that (and I am always for queer murderers, I can’t lie).

Series or standalone?

I super prefer standalones, because I’ve been burned by buying the second of a trilogy thinking it was the first.  Plus, I don’t have to deal with ongoing storylines.  I’m always here for one-and-dones.
Well, three months later, that’s finally finished.  That was fun, actually.  I’ll have to find more like this (or cross-post my own).  I’d love to see anyone who wants to do it, uh, do it.

About Fleet Sparrow

Writer, Reader, Critic, Bear.
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