Thanks to Peat Long for tagging me in this! It’s a fun set of questions to think about, and you can read his answers over on his blog, available here. He’s just written a great post about the differences between high and epic fantasy too, which is very interesting reading! But enough stalling. Bring on the questions!
Would you rather read from a hardback, paperback or eBook?
It’s got to be paperback for me. Although I have a lot of books on my Paperwhite (I couldn’t use NetGalley without it, I am not reading a whole book on a laptop screen), a paperback doesn’t run out of batteries and is more practical to carry around than a hardback.
Would you rather crack the spine of a paperback book or ruin a hardback’s dust jacket?
Definitely crack the spine. Another reason why I don’t like to carry hardbacks around is because they get so battered, and after they’ve been in and out of a bag a few times, they end up looking really tatty. I’m generally pretty good at taking care of things, but don’t think of cracking a paperback’s spine as all that bad.
Would you prefer info dump on a world/magic system to a drip-feed technique?
It very much depends on the skill of the writer, but in general, no. I like details about the world to be revealed in a way that feels more organic. I do appreciate a well concealed info dump too though, like a mentor imparting knowledge in a history lesson or something like that.
Would you rather jump on board with a book series and see if it gets traction or wait for a successful book series to be brought to your attention?
I love to discover new things for myself, so I would probably prefer to jump on board with a series, then recommend it to anyone who makes the mistake of standing within earshot for too long. How successful a series is or might become doesn’t really have much bearing on whether or not I will read it though. I tend to go by a number of other factors really – whether the author has written things I like before, if the publisher is one I have read and enjoyed books from before, the blurb of the book… and I will never, ever buy a book without reading the opening, no matter how good people tell me it is!
Would you rather have dinner with your favourite character or author?
What a good question. Ooh. Author, I’ll say. I never got to meet Sir Terry when he was alive, and I would love to shake him by the hand and thank him for Vimes, Rincewind, Death and Pteppic (Pyramids was my favourite Discworld book for a long time).
Would you rather have a soft magic system or a hard magic system?
I think it has to be a hard magic system. I just find it too convenient when any corner the writer might have got themselves into can be solved with what might as well be a magic wish! I really enjoyed reading about Kvothe’s tuition in The Name of the Wind, and the system of magic in the Discworld series – as much as it might seem quite soft in the later books – has rules about how results achieved through magical means should come with just as much difficulty as if they were done in real life. Really, it’s making a point about how the lengths that some people will go to in order to avoid doing things the long winded, normal way makes their supposed shortcuts laughable, but there is a system there.
Would you rather read duologies, trilogies or standalone books?
I’m struggling to remember now if I’ve ever read a duology. I do have A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine to read, which is the first part of the Teixcalaan duology, so that might actually be my first! I’m going to go with the “Always leave them wanting more” mentality though, and say standalones. I’ll read anything really, but I do like a nice self-contained story I suppose.
Would you rather read self-published or traditionally published authors for two years straight?
Traditionally published. I already have a stack of traditionally published books to get through, with many, many more that I want to read, and friends who recommend and lend me traditionally published books all the time. It’s less that I don’t like the idea of reading self-published books – I’ve read some excellent ones, and some terrible traditionally published ones – more the fact that I would have a lot tougher time consciously not reading traditionally published books. I’d just feel like I was missing out on a lot of discussions!
Would you rather be stuck in your favourite fantasy/sci-fi world or your favourite fantasy/sci-fi book?
My favourite sci-fi world is probably the Warhammer 40,000 universe, and I absolutely would not want to be stuck in there, so I’ll say book.
Would you rather be allowed to read one book series (as it’s published) or all the books by one author?
I suppose I’d rather read all the books by one author – if I like a series that they’ve written, I might well like other standalone books of theirs, or other series they’ve written. Oh, unless “all the books by one author” refers to authors who exclusively write standalone books? Actually, I’d probably still say the same.
Would you rather read fantasy or science fiction?
Science fiction. Despite being a huge fan of the Discworld series and various other fantasy titles. sci-fi is where my heart truly lies, and always has. More about that in later tags/posts!
Would you rather have your favourite book adapted into a film or television series?
I don’t get particularly excited when they announce adaptations of books I love. I’ve been disappointed by film adaptations (Harry Potter) and marvelled at their faithfulness (A Scanner Darkly). I suppose it would have to be television, because they can devote more time to developing the characters that way, but then if it’s bad it just goes on for so much longer. Of course, I’m not forced to watch it. Am I? There’s not some dark undertone to this question is there? Oh god, why are you putting toothpicks in my eyes? No! Nooo!
Would you rather have to reread your least favourite book every month, or never read your favourite book again?
If I had to reread my least favourite book every month, I wouldn’t get time to read any other books. I won’t say what the book is, but it was 800 pages long and I wish I’d not bothered finishing it. I would definitely take not being able to read my favourite book again, I don’t tend to reread that much these days anyway.
Would you rather secretly love a book everyone else hates, or secretly hate a book everyone else loves?
Oh, secretly hate, definitely. I find it easy to go on hating stuff when everyone else is singing its praises and not say a word, but if people are bashing something I like, I’ll speak up.
Would you rather dog-ear your book, or never be able to mark your place?
Dog-ear, definitely. I didn’t used to be so careful with my books, and would fold the corners of pages over in all of them. I don’t understand those people who don’t mark their place with anything, aren’t they worried about spoiling things accidentally?
Would you rather listen to your favourite book as an audiobook narrated by the worst narrator ever, or never read it again?
I actually haven’t listened to an audiobook before, so this is a very easy choice for me. I’d choose to never read it again, as it seems silly to put myself through an unpleasant experience that I’ll forever associate with the book. Plus, as I mentioned before, I don’t tend to reread that often.
Would you rather have a disappointing end/unfulfilled cliffhanger, or lose your favourite character?
Some of my favourite reads end with the death of one (or in some cases, all) of my favourite characters – when it’s done well, it’s a big, emotional note to end on. A disappointing end or unfulfilled cliffhanger is just bad writing.
I hope that was enlightening, or at the very least, somewhat entertaining!
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