Book Quiz

Swiped from Jaq:

1. Do you remember learning to read? How old were you?
Just vague memories. Nothing concrete. I'm quite sure it happened over a long period of time. My mother read to me a lot prior to my school years. I do remember distinctly, in 3rd grade, actually having the freedom and capability to choose and read books at my leisure. I'm sure I could read some before that, and that I read much better after that. I guess in the grand scheme of things, I'm still learning to read at age 35.

2. What do you find most challenging to read?
There are times when I find almost anything challenging to read. Even the most engaging books lose my attention. The fault is mine. I like such a wide variety of writing, that I'm not sure I could pick one that was most challenging. I even like reading footnotes, endnotes and mathematical proofs. Coming from a different angle, I guess I do find reading things on the Internet more challenging that a good old fashioned book with which I can curl up onto my pillow for hours.

3. What are your library habits?
We don't use the library nearly enough. I make a trip every couple of months, and usually end up keeping the books a month past their due date. I really have no excuse for this, as the library is less than a mile from my house. And, I like going to the library. Sadly, I've become more accustomed to going to Borders or Barnes and Noble and purchasing books instead of borrowing them from a library. A nice side-benefit of this is that we are getting a top-notch collection of books at our home. A not-so-nice side effect is that there are children starving in Africa that could be fed with the money I spend on books that I could borrow at the library. One more thing--I do tend to write a lot in books, underlining certain passages & words, making notes in the margin, etc. So, I guess there is at least one practical reason of why I like to own the book I am reading.

4. Have your library habits changed since you were younger?
In college, I actually went to the library to study (sometimes). Probably the most I've ever used a library was in high school, when I'd check books out from the school library. I think my use of libraries has tapered off over the years. This is discouraging, because I'm sure my access to better quality libraries has increased, as well as the overall quality of libraries themselves. I am going to try to get my kids into the habit of using the library. Our local library also offers various programs that provides a nice option for entertainment with the family.

5. How has blogging changed your reading life?
I do try to maintain a blog to review books that I have read, although I've never gotten it far off of the ground. Most of it consists on entries simply stating the title and attributes of the book. However, I think that I am more conscious as I read these days that I might want to write something akin to a review or a book report, and this perhaps helps me pay closer attention than I otherwise would. Not sure. This is stretching a bit. I also pick up some ideas about books to read from blogs, however I've mostly stuck to a list of 100 works of literature that I've been trying to get through for the past couple of years. And, I guess I would be remiss to say that if I didn't spend so much time on the computer, I'd probably read more. Then again, I might just anesthetize my brain with more TV.

6. What percentage of your books do you get from: New book stores, second hand book stores, the library, online exchange sites, online retailers, other?
My estimates:
New book stores: 90%
Second hand book stores: 2% (I'm including garage sales)
The library: 1% (I tend to get more books on tape from the library than actual hard copy books)
Online exchange sites: 0% (I'm not even sure what these are, but they sound interesting)
Online retailers: 7% (I do pick up some books from eBay, Amazon & B& every once in awhile)

7. How often do you read a book and NOT review it in your blog?
Well, I haven't been blogging much over the past year, so I have not written about much over this time frame. I was at a minimum noting the books that I've read, and I've tried to catch up on at least doing this on my book and movie review blog. My goal would be to review all of the books that I read on my blog. I think this makes me a better reader and a better writer, and hopefully a better thinker.

8. What are your pet peeves about ways people abuse books? Dog-earing pages? Reading in the bath?
Funny, it used to really bother me that people would write in their books, but now I write almost constantly in my books, mostly underlining words that I would like to learn, or passages upon which I would like to reflect. If I have a really nice book, I will try not to dog-ear the pages. And, I do have a firm belief that books that are borrowed should be treated with the utmost respect--no writing, highlighting or bending pages. Other than that, I liked Jaq's answer to this question--that the most abused books are those that are not read. And, if book abuse were a crime based on that criteria, there is enough evidence at my house to put me away for a lifetime.

9. Do you ever read for pleasure at work?
Most definitely!

10. When you give people books as gifts, how do you decide what to give them?
I just try to find something in which I think they would be interested. I do like to give actual books, as opposed to gift certificates. And, I think I usually make good choices, though I'm not sure someone would tell me if they didn't like the book I've picked for them. Of course, sometimes people make specific requests, and sometimes I oblige.


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