Blog Hop: To Borrow, To Buy?

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is:  Have you ever read a library book you loved so much, you just HAD to own it, so you bought a copy for yourself after returning the library book you had already finished?

This is how I buy most of my books.  I read almost everything from the library first, then eventually buy the ones I particularly loved.  The only exceptions are authors I love so much I’ll buy their books unread (though I’ve maxed out most of them), and even those are authors I read from the library first.

I feel like this question implies a shorter time frame than usually applies in my case.  I usually don’t buy books until months or years after I read them the first time.  I’m trying to recall a book I loved so much I immediately went out and bought it…and though I’m sure it has happened, I’m having trouble thinking of an example!

Oddly, what comes to mind are movies.  I rented Jesus, a three-hour miniseries, and I think I ordered it on Amazon before I even finished it.  Both because it’s that good, and because I’d seen enough to be sure it was the one I vaguely remembered watching and liking when I was a kid.  Similarly, I rented Christopher Robin, loved it so much I meant to buy it immediately–got bogged down trying to decide how to apportion a gift card–and my husband bought it for me for Valentine’s Day maybe a week after we watched it (I promptly watched it at least twice more with other people within the following month!)

Have you read a book from the library, or borrowed somewhere else, and then rushed out to buy it?

Blog Hop: Pick Your Poison

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is: Have you ever enjoyed the same book in two or more formats (print, ebook, or audiobook)?

Not simultaneously, but yes, very much so.  When I first started listening to audiobooks (about…four years ago?  Seems longer) I listened almost exclusively to books I had already read in print.  I think it was sort of my gateway into the format.  For a while it seemed weird to only do a book on audio, as though it wasn’t quite the same.  I got over that, and it feels like pretty much the same thing now to do print or audio–though more audio-only books means I have no idea how to spell some characters’ names!

I still like re-“reading” favorites on audio, and have done entire series that way: Narnia, Harry Potter, most of L. M. Montgomery’s canon.  I’ve read Agatha Christie almost exclusively on audio, to the point that I think it might feel weird to pick up a paper one.  I’ve probably read 15 of her books, and only the first one was paper.

I’ve read very few ebooks–probably less than five.

The only time I can recall that I did one book in multiple formats in a single read was earlier this month when I had an audiobook out from the library, and had to return it with half-an-hour left in the book.  So I got a Kindle-unlimited free trial and just read the last portion.  Otherwise, I only move between formats on separate reads.

Do you go back and forth between formats?  Do you have a preferred one?

Blog Hop: Turning Back the Pages of Time

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is: Do you read historical fiction?

I do, although I suspect I read less than I think I do.  Along with actual historical fiction, I read a decent amount of fantasy books set in magical past eras–or as I like to describe the time period of my Beyond the Tales books, in the “faux medieval” era (loosely medieval, but I never worried too much about the details).

When I read historical fiction, I like books set in the first half of the 20th century,  the Victorian era, Napoleonic wars, Elizabethan…or ones that go all the way back to the Roman Empire, or ancient Greece.  With occasional forays into Camelot-era (though mostly that involves fantasy!)  I think the mere way I describe eras probably  indicates a preference for British historical fiction.  I tackled the enormous tome of London a few months ago, which pretty well covered everything of the last 2,000 years.  I especially liked the Roman era, both Julius Caesar and the days of Londinium.

There’s something fascinating about very different time periods, when life was very different–and, perhaps, the same to a surprising degree too!

Do you read historical fiction?  Do you have a favorite era?

Blog Hop: Duplication (Duplication Duplication)

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is: Do you own more than one copy of a book?

Only a few.  I don’t feel a need to own multiple copies of most books, since I only need one copy to read it.  But there are a few where different copies have provided a different value.  I don’t think the particular books I have multiples of will surprise anyone…

I have four copies of Gaston Leroux’s Phantom of the Opera–the cheap, paperback, bad translation copy I bought first and highlighted all over; the fancy, annotated, good translation copy; the French copy, just…because; and the illustrated copy because illustrations!

I also have a paperback Anne of Green Gables that’s part of a full set, and a 1914, “thirty-eighth impression” hardback, in the style of the first edition.  I have several of L. M. Montgomery’s books as both paper and audiobooks, because I wanted to  listen to them on audio and the library, alas, let me down on that score.

I have a complete Sherlock Holmes collection, and a paperback of Hound of the Baskervilles (my favorite, and easier to carry).  I also have a volume of Shakespeare’s complete plays, and a dozen or so individual plays as paperbacks (easier to carry, and better footnotes–actually, sidenotes, as I like the Folgers editions).  I have two copies of Walden–I inherited one I’m keeping for sentimental reasons, and also keeping the one I had already done all my underlining in.

And I think that’s it for duplicates!  All the other 700 or so books on my shelves are individual. Do you keep multiple copies of the same book?  If you don’t usually, what reasons would lead you to?

Blog Hop: Carrying Books

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is: Do you always have a book with you?

This used to be a yes.  I used to never leave the house without a book in my bag, even if I was going somewhere where I was very unlikely to read.  And then I started carrying a smaller bag…and this magic device in my pocket with endless access to entertainment!

I still carry a book a lot of places, and generally if I’m going to be stationary for an extended period of time I’ll make sure I have a book on hand.  I still bring a book to work every day.  I don’t do much reading out and about in the world, but the truth is, I don’t think I ever did.  I do seem to do far less reading in line at grocery stores now.  But I tend to do all my blog reading on my phone now, so at least some of that time is going to that.

I think I did read more when I carried a book everywhere–but I’m not sure about the cause and effect here.  Do I read less because I don’t carry a book as much anymore, or do I not carry a book because I’m not in situations with opportunities to read as much anymore?  Conundrum.

Do you carry a book with you?  Or is reading something you do at home?

Blog Hop: Titling a Life

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is: If you were to write your own autobiography, what would the title be?

Tangled in Things That Don’t Exist.

That was a line I wrote in a writing exercise I did in college that asked a similar question to this, and it still seems right.  As a storyteller and lover of fiction, I spend a lot of time thinking about things that don’t exist, be they my stories or someone else’s.  A good many of my friendships have been built around a shared passion for things that don’t exist–people, planets, future events, dragons…

I’m also an overthinker, something I came to terms with when I realized most of my novels came from overthinking (what happens to other people asleep in Sleeping Beauty’s castle?  Why did Christine flee to the rooftop to escape the Phantom of the Opera? And so on.)  And I’m a worrier, so, there’s that too.

I sometimes title volumes of my journal, and I title trip photo albums.  Which, so far, are the closest I’ve come to writing an autobiography–and might be the closest I ever do!  Maybe if one of these novels I’m tangled up in takes off as a bestseller… 😉

What would you title your hypothetical autobiography?

Blog Hop: Ancient Writings

book-blogger-hop-finalToday’s Book Blogger Hop question is: What’s the oldest work (by publication date) you’ve read?

I took a Greco-Roman class in college where we read a number of ancient Greek and Roman works.  I can’t name most of them from memory, so let’s give it to Homer (8th to 7th century BC) with The Illiad and The Odyssey.

The Bible is an ancient text I read daily–I’m currently reading the Gospel of John, which dates to around 100 AD, one of the later books.

Setting religious texts into its own category, the oldest author on my shelf I read on a semi-regular basis is probably William Shakespeare (lived 1564 to 1616).  Hamlet (1602) and Much Ado About Nothing (1600) are my favorites.

After Shakespeare, I think it would be Jane Austen, who lived  slightly before Charlotte Bronte.  My favorite Austen is Northanger Abbey (1818), my favorite Bronte Jane Eyre (1847).  And once you’re into the second half of the 1800s, I’ve read lots of books from that time.

Hmm, there’s a big jump in time from Homer to Shakespeare–about 2,300 years!  Makes me feel that I’m actually ignoring most of human history.  Anyone got a recommendation for a good book from around 600? 🙂