Cheerfully, shamelessly, swiped from Charlotte.
1. Do you remember learning to read? How old were you?
Like Scout in To Kill A Mockingbird, I never learnt to read. My mother remembers playing with flash-cards with me when I was two or three, but I simply do not remember not being able to read, or being taught in any way. At six, I had a reading age of twelve, at twelve, of an adult, as an adult, I now have the reading age of a depressed adolescent geek.
2. What do you find most challenging to read?
Currently? Course books on Management and Computing. Dear God, but is writing in English an ability not vouchsafed to anyone who knows what a policy documentation trail is?
3. What are your library habits?
I work in a library. I am studying librarianship. I prowl libraries territorially. I rearrange the shelves if they’ve got out of order even in the local public library. I belong to five libraries. I max out all my library cards on a regular basis. You could say I have boundary issues when it comes to libraries.
4. Have your library habits changed since you were younger?
I grew up a long long way from a library, in a land where libraries were not so much of a big deal. And then, age ten, I went to a school with a library and, oh my, I could read any of it, all of it, take it home if I liked… Hooked. Since then, I have always thrown myself into all and any available libraries with desperate abandon. I don’t think much has altered since that first magical visit. Oh, apart from all the books on HTML now littering the floor around the computer. Never thought that would happen.
5. How has blogging changed your reading life?
I had meant to do more reviews, which meant I started reading more thematically, but, really, I read but I don’t think these days. I do see other people’s reviews and make mental notes, but did I mention lack of thinking? Notes all lost. Carpet fluff in there. Sorry.
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?
10% new (huge and huge and gigantic and huge bookshop right next door to work. Tempty tempty), 5% second hand, 70% library, 10% online retailers, and I suppose the rest are gifts.
7. How often do you read a book and not review it on your blog? What are your reasons for not blogging about a book?
I rarely blog about my reading because, actually, I am too darn chicken. I always meant to. It was one of the original aims of the blog. But alas I have such a horror of looking shallow, or unperceptive, or dim, or having anyone judge my reading habits. This sounds a little wet, really [A little? A little? - Ed]. I know. But you haven’t grown up being told you are as nothing, as nothing, d’you hear? until you’ve read The Brothers Karamazov. And this at an age when Narnia is so much more… appealing. Nope. Still haven’t read Dostoevsky.
8. What are your pet peeves about the way people treat books?
Writing in books. Even in pencil. Folding paper-backs in half at the spine (which, of course, rips all the pages out of the spine and makes the cover permanently warped). Leaving books lying around for hours, days, open and face-down. Again, screws the spine permanently. Using those metal giant paper-clip-like ornamental book-marks – they always tear a page in the end.
9. Do you ever read for pleasure at work?
Of course not! [Bwahahahah!]
10. When you give people books as gifts, how do you decide what to give them?
I try to think what they like, what they’ve liked in the past, what they have already, and basically spin round and round in the middle of the shop until my brain explodes and I have to go and recover in a coffee-shop. Sometimes I get self-rightous and give books I think they ought to read. I try to control this urge, but, hey, certain people just need telling.