Questions about books

My thanks to the Orangutan Librarian for the following questions …

What book has been on your shelf the longest?

Nothing has been there that long for, having travelled across three continents and downsized dramatically over the past 10 years, not much has survived. The oldest are Centennial and Chesapeake – both by James Michener – great big lumps of books about America, telling the tales of one place across the generations. Both are falling apart now after so many re-reads.

What is your current read, your last read, and the book you’ll read next?

I’m currently reading a non-fiction book on the subject of depression. My previous was a light-weight read from Jodi Taylor – Doing Time – a new spin off from a much enjoyed history/time travel seriesThe next one? Something off my wintry reading list if I didn’t finish it last month (which seems highly likely).

What book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t?

I used to think I should read more classics – Dickens in particular – but I’ve decided life is too short, and there’s not nearly enough time to read all the books I actively want to read, so why bother with should? If I like the idea of a book – I’ll read it.

Pretty much as above. I’m now in my early sixties and don’t see myself retiring anytime soon, having just started a new career as a Life Coach. I’ve not saved a book, since one of the later Harry Potters came out, when I waited to start it until I’d have the opportunity to read it straight through without a break. But I only had to wait a couple of days …

Last page: read it first, or wait ’til the end?

Wait till the end, of course. Why on earth would I want to know the ending before reading the story?

Acknowledgement: waste of paper and ink, or interesting aside?

Not interesting, even occasionally verging on the pretentious. When they’re the equivalent of an Academy Award speech where you give airtime to people whose work would otherwise remain in the dark, I guess there’s some merit.

Which book character would you switch places with?

I can’t say I’ve ever had that thought. If pressed to make a choice – perhaps Jo March.

Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life? (place, time, person?)

Cocktail Hour under the Tree of Forgetfulness – one of Alexandra Fuller’s memoirs of her life in Southern Africa. I’ve not lived in that part of Africa, but there was much about her depiction of family dynamics which resonated strongly with my own experience.

Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way.

The Complete Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome by Tony Attwood. I was given this by a man fairly early on in our relationship. He had Aspergers and believed it was important I understand fully what I was taking on, to ensure that I had the necessary support in place. He was a smart guy. The relationship didn’t survive, but it wasn’t due to his Aspergers.

Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person?

The same book as in the previous question. I gave my copy to a dear friend who was just embarking on a relationship with a man who clearly had Aspergers. Unlike the man I’d been dating, he was still very much in denial. Their relationship is still going strong, I’m delighted to say.

Which book has been with you most places?

Only my Kindle …

Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad two years later?

Nope. There was only one book I hated reading in school and I’ve no intention of wasting my time trying it again for it was dull, dull, dull.

Used or brand new?

A mix. My previous preference was for brand new, for my dream was to live in a house filled to the brim with overflowing bookshelves. That dream has been considerably downsized, so much is now purchased on kindle and only gets upgraded to paper/hardback if I know I’ll want to keep to re-read it. I buy a fair number of used books nowadays – especially professional reference books.

Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

Yes – two. At the height of the noise about Da Vinci Code, I took a copy on holiday. Unknown to me, my other half took Angels and Demons on the same holiday. I ran out of books to read and, in rural Italy, finding anything not in Italian proved an impossibility. So I read both. At least I can say I’m not commenting negatively on something I’ve not read, unlike Fifty Shades …

Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?

Nope. But I do love the film of To Kill A Mockingbird as much as the book.

Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks included?

Every single cookbook I’ve ever read 😉 although I’ve a preference for those which tell a story, not just provide you with recipes; I particularly love Nigel Slater’s books for that reason. I’m especially delighted with a recent purchase which has taken me back to my childhood in India – Dishoom: From Bombay with Love. We stumbled upon one of their London restaurants while looking for somewhere to eat a late breakfast on the morning of my daughter’s wedding; it proved to be a fabulous way to start the day.

Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?

There are people I engage with on Goodreads whose opinions I value highly. But, until recently, there was no one in real life. After reconnecting with someone from schooldays, I was delighted to discover we share a love for many of the same books. So, Sarah is the one person whose book advice I do now take.

World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. Zombies are very much not my thing, nor is horror of any kind, but this outstanding read was selected by another member at my old book club. One of the many reasons I advocate finding a good one, if you can.


This one was just for fun, so do pick a question – any question – and share your response with me! You can pick more than one to answer if you like …

© Debra Carey, 2020

9 thoughts on “Questions about books

Add yours

  1. Last page: read it first, or wait ’til the end?

    Ok, I understand your answer, but here’s the thing… when I majored in English Lit in college, I was taught to always read the last page, or chapter even, of a novel so that I’d know who to focus on as the story went along. It was considered the smartest way to get the most out of a book, and to this day I do it. I realize this may seem radical to you, but I felt the need to share it here. 🤓


  2. I’m currently reading “Three Woman” and “The Extraordinary Tale of the Fakir who got Trapped in an IKEA Wardrobe”. I just finished “Dear Edward” and I’m next going to read “the tea rose”. Love this idea FYI….


  3. Wow Ally, that has blown my mind, ‘cos it totally makes sense from an analytical perspective.

    You know I’m going to have to try it the very next book I read too 🤓

    I may be in my sixties but I’m all about learning new stuff.


  4. LA, I’ve not read any of those – what are you trying to do to my TBR pile! Which would you recommend I try first? The Fakir tale appeals if only for the quirky title, but I generally end up being disappointed by those! 🙂


  5. Jo March would be one of my picks too. At this stage of my life I’m probably closer to Miss Marple though – LOL. Right now wading through Pride and Prejudice. Trying to get as many scratched off my new poster and off the PopSugar Challenge list as possible. Great questions!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Janet, so glad you’re with me on Jo March. I’m very much closer to Miss Marple that you are m’dear 🙂
    Are you enjoying P&P – I last had a re-read of that a couple of years back & I dare not start another reading challenge for fear my TBR will explode!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh that’s lovely James & I don’t blame you for holding tight to that one 🙂 I have no books from my childhood – sadly we travelled so much & relocated so many times across countries & continents that none have survived. I did manage to save a few books of my youngest sister’s (she’s 15 years my junior) which I recall reading to her & they’ve been passed on to my daughter for my granddaughter.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You know, I’m wading through P & P. I’m not sure what all the hype is about. I think perhaps Austen is a little too wordy for me? Almost done though.

    Liked by 1 person

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