#BookishBloggersUnite is a weekly hashtag that a group of bookish friends participate in to talk about books. Posts will go up on Friday (or whichever time works best for our time zone!). This first post is about introducing who we all are. Katy is hosting our first week.
Who/What got you into reading?
My parents. It’s all their fault, hahahaha. Not only did they read to me, a lot, as a small child they modeled reading and we had tons of books in the house on all sorts of subjects. I was also encouraged to entertain myself with a book or to bring a book and “read” to my mom while she was busy with my baby brother long before I could read on my own. So books have always been part of my life.
What are your favorite genres?
Well…I definitely lean more “literary” in my fiction as well as classic literature but I also really enjoy breaking up my serious reading with romance and comics.
What are your least favorite genres?
Religion, politics, business, and Westerns.
If you had to choose between bringing a mediocre book series or one great standalone book to a deserted island, which would you pick?
One great standalone I can read over and over again. This island has sticks and sand, right? If I get bored I’ll just write my own.
How do you organize your bookshelves? Do you even have any organizational system?
Mostly by imprint/publisher, because I love how the colophons line up on the shelf, and then sort of by subject. So all my Penguin Black Spines are together, my Deluxe Classics are together, my Vintage International are together, BN Classics, Best American, etc. Unless it’s a Penguin Drop Caps or New York Review of Books edition, those are by Roy G. Biv, and I keep most of my signed books together in one bookshelf.
What’s the next book on your TBR that you’re excited about?
Ummm…..All the Names They Used for God by Anjali Sachdeva
Have you ever gone to any book signings? Which was your favorite?
Lots of signings. I think my favorites were Jasper Fforde, Celeste Ng, and Alexander Chee (three times, once at BRL and two with amazing interviews conducted by Garth Greenwell). And a signing for my friend Valerie, because having an actual award-winning poet friend is pretty awesome (shameless plug for Valerie’s poetry because it is really, really good, go read some).
Hardcovers or Paperbacks or eBooks or Audiobooks?
Both. But nevermind the bread please. (Pooh has a response for everything.)
I read across all formats. I do default to paper formats if it’s a book that I’m going to have a conversation with and scribble all over (like the new translation of The Odyssey from Emily Wilson). I will say that I loathe mass markets and avoid them if at all possible – the consequence is that almost all my romance and other genre reading, if no other paper format is available that I might like, is done as ebooks. Light nonfiction is often done as audiobooks borrowed from the library Overdrive site. A lot of times I read the digital galley ahead of publication because #booksellerlyfe.
What is your favorite book to recommend that isn’t a common recommendation to new readers?
What We See When We Read by Daniel Mendelsund – an interesting meditation from a graphic designer on how our brains fill in detail while we read.
What does the ideal reading day for you look like?
Coffee. Couch. Blanket. Kitteh snuggles. My Reading playlist on the stereo. (There’s probably a nap in there somewhere.)
What makes you DNF a book?
It has to really make me feel like I’m wasting my reading time (like Tom Hanks’s book – y’all, I have some screen shots of some really eye-wateringly bad writing), since I’m usually pretty good at avoiding crap books in the first place. Otherwise, if I start a book, and it’s not really doing it for me, I’ll put it in “hibernation” – and then years later I’ll finally decide to DNF it.
What book are you most excited about in 2018?
The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer, The Recovering by Leslie Jamison, Celestial Bodies by Laura Jacobs, and Too Wilde to Wed by Eloisa James.
Which series/book to you revisit for self care/nostalgia?
Winnie-the-Pooh is my “can’t function, can only lay in a ball” self-care read. I also revisit Jane Austen’s novels, Little Women, and the Thursday Next series (especially on audio).
Do you have a bookish pet?
This is my Chaucer-kitteh. Named not quite for the actual author of The Canterbury Tales, but mostly because I read a romance novel in high school (The Wedding by Elizabeth Bevarly) in which a secondary character, who was a professor of Middle English, had a horrible, nasty, beastly tabby cat named Chaucer. I wasn’t sure about the adjectives, but I thought a tabby cat named Chaucer would be lovely. Years later, I acquired one.
Until last Saturday, I had a Dante-kitteh, too. We miss him a lot.
Do you enjoy readathons? If so, which ones can people find you participating in?
An excuse to read as much I as I want all weekend? Yes, please! I usually participate in Dewey’s 24-hour Readathon and the 24-in-48 Readathon.
What is one part of bookish life you enjoy that isn’t reading?
The swag. We are living in an era of excellent t-shirts, pins, buttons, cross-stitch, knitting patterns, stickers, jewelry, and so on for book-loving people. Bookish podcasts are a huge part of my life, too. (Woo, all the Book Riot podcasts.)
Is there a genre you wished you read more of?
Philosophy. I really wish my eyeballs wouldn’t run screaming from my head when I tried to read the actual text instead of a precis/summary.
What is your favorite book cover of all time?
This is hard, because there are SO MANY absolutely beautiful book covers roaming around on my shelves. I will say that Penguin’s graphic design department is hitting it out of the park with the Deluxe Classics, Black Spines, Drop Caps, and Clothbound series. I think the Henry Holt anniversary re-jacketing of the Lloyd Alexander Prydain Chronicles series is one of my favorite redesigns (The Book of Three).
And that’s it! Visit Katy’s site or follow the tags to see who else is participating.
Bonus picture of the Chaucer-kitteh, because I found it while deciding which picture to use above and I couldn’t resist. He is sound asleep here.