I haven't indulged in these for a while, but this one intrigued me. I nicked it from Sheenagh Pugh's blog which is well worth reading in any case.
1. Which book has been on your shelves the longest?
Lord of the Rings – sorry!
2. What is your current read, your last read and the book you'll read next?
Currently reading Mainstream Love Hotel. Just finished The Lost Symbol, because I like reading pulp and giving out about it just as much as anyone else!
3. What book did everyone like and you hated?
Brooklyn by Colm Toibin. I really wanted to like it, but I got a bit annoyed with the heroine in the end. Probably just me being curmudgeonly, because I know the book went on to win great honours for its author, so it must be good.
4. Which book do you keep telling yourself you'll read, but you probably won't?
Ulysses by you-know-who. I know the plot, the characters and the story: I just need to read the damn thing.
5. Which book are you saving for "retirement?"
Isn’t that a bit ahead – who knows what I’ll be doing then!
6. Last page: read it first or wait till the end?
If I get annoyed with the book I will do this, but I’ll still read the rest of it. Mainly I wouldn’t do this on myself, as I enjoy holding back too much.
7. Acknowledgments: waste of ink and paper or interesting aside?
I can see both sides to that argument. A publisher I know said it was better to try and be concise, rather than thanking everyone, including the cat. Funnily enough, established writers don’t have long Ack. lists, if at all.
8. Which book character would you switch places with?
Watson, from Sherlock Holmes. I’d love to see Holmes in action, see the way his mind worked.I reckon I might have a bit of trouble in the trouser department, though.
9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life (a person, a place, a time)?
I have a book that I bought second-hand: Richard Scarry’s Big Book of Words. I bought it because it was the first book my parents bought me after a trip they had away and I loved it the way some kids love a teddy bear, or doll. I did let the kids read it – I’m not that precious – but I have reclaimed it, to ‘pass on.’
10. Name a book you acquired in some interesting way.
The Crowning Privilege, a book of Oxford lectures by Robert Graves. It was the first, and probably the last, book I bought on eBay. It was brilliant – Graves had a strange mind when it came to poetry and how it worked – if you’re in any doubt about that, try reading The White Goddess.
11. Have you ever given away a book for a special reason to a special person?
I find it extremely hard to part with books, but I have given them away - I gave a signed copy of a Billy Collins poetry collection to a dear friend of mine. I regretted it instantly, but she adored it.
12. Which book has been with you to the most places?
Probably that copy of The Lord of the Rings. It has moved house with me countless times.
13. Any "required reading" you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad ten years later?
Thomas Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd. I hated it in secondary school, but loved it later as one of twelve 19th c novels I had to read for a literature course.
14. What is the strangest item you’ve ever found in a book?
Dried flowers. And a shopping list. Not in the same book, obviously. Although who knows..?
15. Used or brand new?
I like both. I love the smell that second-hand books have, slightly musty and, well, bookish, but I love the feel of a book that hasn’t been opened yet, cracking the spine of it – that sort of thing.
16. Stephen King: Literary genius or opiate of the masses?
I’ve read him, but I don’t like categorising. Pass.
17. Have you ever seen a movie you liked better than the book?
I had reservations about Peter Jackson tackling LOTR. But I thought he did very well in the end. Can’t think of any movies that are better than the book, because I do like both mediums and also I like the world I create in my own head when I read a book.
18. Conversely, which book should NEVER have been introduced to celluloid?
Uh, can't think.
19. Have you ever read a book that's made you hungry, cookbooks being excluded from this question?
Paradise by Abdul Razzak Gurnah. It was aching. It made me hungry to experience eastern Africa. But that part of Africa probably doesn’t exist any more. All the more reason why the book worked for me.
20. Who is the person whose book advice you'll always take?
I used to have a great friend who was always dropping in really interesting books and CDs. Alas we don’t live in the same town anymore, but I always read those books – many of which I still have.
Now, if you feel like having a go at this yourself - nominate yourself. Go on, you know you want to!