Category btt

2009: Booking Thru Thursday – Preferences

It’s been a while since I participated in BTT! Well, here goes… This week’s topic is:

Which do you prefer? (Quick answers–we’ll do more detail at some later date)

  • Reading something frivolous? Or something serious?
  • Paperbacks? Or hardcovers?
  • Fiction? Or Nonfiction?
  • Poetry? Or Prose?
  • Biographies? Or Autobiographies?
  • History? Or Historical Fiction?
  • Series? Or Stand-alones?
  • Classics? Or best-sellers?
  • Lurid, fruity prose? Or straight-forward, basic prose?
  • Plots? Or Stream-of-Consciousness?
  • Long books? Or Short?
  • Illustrated? Or Non-illustrated?
  • Borrowed? Or Owned?
  • New? Or Used?

(Yes, I know, some of these we’ve touched on before, and some of these we might address in-depth in the future, but for today–just quick answers!)

  • Reading something frivolous? Or something serious? frivolous
  • Paperbacks? Or hardcovers? paperbacks
  • Fiction? Or Nonfiction? fiction
  • Poetry? Or Prose? prose
  • Biographies? Or Autobiographies? ergh, neither?
  • History? Or Historical Fiction? historical fiction
  • Series? Or Stand-alones? no preference!
  • Classics? Or best-sellers? best-sellers
  • Lurid, fruity prose? Or straight-forward, basic prose? straight-forward, basic prose
  • Plots? Or Stream-of-Consciousness? PLOTS
  • Long books? Or Short? medium! I find myself pulled more towards shorter stuff nowadays, but I’m not afraid of long.
  • Illustrated? Or Non-illustrated? non-illustrated
  • Borrowed? Or Owned? owned
  • New? Or Used? Given my druthers, new.  But I mostly buy (or swap) used.

Check out other answers at!

2009: Booking Thru Thursday – Storage

This week’s question is suggested by Kat:

I recently got new bookshelves for my room, and I’m just loving them. Spent the afternoon putting up my books and sharing it on my blog . One of my friends asked a question and I thought it would be a great BTT question. So from Tina & myself, we’d like to know “How do you arrange your books on your shelves? Is it by author, by genre, or you just put it where it falls on?”

It’s really hard to diagram my shelving in words, as it is a system only I can understand at first glance.  So I made a picture!


As you can see, it’s quite a convoluted order, partially dictated by shelf height and my need to keep my unread books separate from my read books.  The first 6 shelves of unread paperbacks actually have 2 rows of books.  I also have 3 boxes of books to swap in an upstairs bedroom.

Within these shelves, all of my books are arranged alphabetically by author.  Otherwise, I’d *never* find anything.  Especially with the books I’m swapping, because I have to seek out specific titles one at a time.

In addition to these, I have two stacks of review/ARC books sitting on top of the small bookshelf in my living room.

It’s all just a little bit ridiculous, no?

Booking Through Thursday is hosted at

2008: Booking Thru Thursday – Conditioning

I haven’t done one of these in several weeks! Months, maybe!

Mariel suggested this week’s question.

Are you a spine breaker? Or a dog-earer? Do you expect to keep your books in pristine condition even after you have read them? Does watching other readers bend the cover all the way round make you flinch or squeal in pain?

When I was in high school, I had a friend (Hi Anna!) who was definitely not a spine-breaker.  Borrowing a book from her was stress-inducing as I tried to read it very delicately.  Because I am a spine-breaker.  Not purposefully, mind you… I just don’t care if the spine is broken or not and take no steps to prevent it.  I figure that if a book looks well-read and well-used… well… it must be a pretty good book!  My personal library is full of books that I got second-hand, whether through used book sales, family members, or Paperbackswap, and as long as the book is still readable I don’t care what sort of condition it is in.  I am mindful of other people’s preferences and don’t swap anything that’s in horrible shape, and I’m always careful with books that don’t belong to me.

I have tried to break myself of the habit of dog-earring. When I was younger, it used to be the only way I kept my place.  Now, I try to use a bookmark (right now I’m using some Mini-Moo cards I got for free when I signed up at Flickr), but if it’s a bookmarking emergency, I’ll still dog-ear.

The way I see it, people can love their books however they please! Bend or don’t bend, it’s up to you!

2008: Booking Thru Thursday – Stories

This week’s topic:

If you’re anything like me, one of your favorite reasons to read is for the story. Not for the character development and interaction. Not because of the descriptive, emotive powers of the writer. Not because of deep, literary meaning hidden beneath layers of metaphor. (Even though those are all good things.) No … it’s because you want to know what happens next?

Or, um, is it just me?

I definitely read for the story.  Sure, a good, engaging, well-rounded character helps, but if the story is crud, or doesn’t move along, or is just boring, then that is a book I won’t finish.  I don’t care if a book has any “literary value”… I’ll read any ol’ fluff! My shelves hold anything from Harlequin romances to Steinbeck.

2008: Booking Thru Thursday – Libraries

(Yes, I realize it’s Sunday.  Busy week.)

This week’s topic is:

Whether you usually read off of your own book pile or from the library shelves NOW, chances are you started off with trips to the library. (There’s no way my parents could otherwise have kept up with my book habit when I was 10.) So … What is your earliest memory of a library? Who took you? Do you have you any funny/odd memories of the library?

The library in my hometown was (and still is) a tiny little historical house with no bathrooms and barely any electricity.  One side of the house is children’s books, the other side is the adult books.  It was also only open for a few hours 3 times a week.  It wasn’t long before I exhausted the children’s side and started wandering into the adult fiction.  I was beside myself when I discovered the hidden back room full of sci-fi and fantasy.

I don’t think I visited that library much once I hit 5th or 6th grade. The libraries at my elementary and high schools were a better source for me.

2008: Booking Thru Thursday – Gold Medal Reading

This week’s topic:


  • Do you or have you ever read books about the Olympics? About sports in general?
  • Fictional ones? Or non-fiction? Or both?

And, Second:

  • Do you consider yourself a sports fan?
  • Because, of course, if you’re a rabid fan and read about sports constantly, there’s a logic there; if you hate sports and never read anything sports-related, that, too … but you don’t have to love sports to enjoy a good sports story.
  • (Or a good sports movie, for that matter. Feel free to expand this into a discussion about “Friday Night Lights” or “The Natural” or whatever…)

I can’t think of any books I’ve read about the Olympics, but I have read some about sports.  The one that most recently comes to mind is Sometimes You See It Coming by Kevin Baker, which is about baseball.  I’d link to my review, but apparently I read this before I started reviewing books.  The back of the book reads:

Based in part on the life of baseball legend Ty Cobb, this book belongs in the pantheon of great baseball novels.

John Barr is the kind of player who isn’t supposed to exist anymore. An all-around superstar, he plays the game with a single-minded ferocity that makes his New York Mets team all but invincible. Yet Barr himself is a mystery with no past, no friends, no women, and no interests outside hitting a baseball as hard and as far as he can. Not even Ellie Jay, the jaded sportswriter who can out-think, out-drink, and out-write any man in the press box. She wants to think she admires Barr’s skill on a ballfield, but suspects she might be in love with a man who isn’t really there.

Barr leads the Mets to one championship after another. Then chaos arrives in the person of new manager Charli Stanzi, well-known psychopath. Under Stanzi’s tutelage, the team simply falls apart. Then Barr himself inexplicably starts to unravel. For the first time in his life, his formidable skills fail him, and only Ellie Jay and another can help – if he will let them. Hanging in the balance are his sanity, the World Series, and true love.

I’m not a big baseball fan, but I rather enjoyed the book.  I also tried to read The Innocent Man by John Grisham, which I guess isn’t so much about baseball as it is about a guy who played baseball, but I got really bored and stopped reading it.  I guess Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer would count if you consider mountain-climbing a sport. I don’t have much interest in reading non-fiction sports books. 

I also have Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger in my TBR pile.  Football is by far my favorite sport to watch.

I’m not a huge sports fan, but I like certain things.  Football.  High school basketball.  Baseball on occasion. And I watch what I can of the Olympics, where sometimes you happen upon a sport you’ve never before seen in your life (handball, anyone?)

But sports movies? Love them. I love those stupid, over-emotional, inspirational endings.  They get me every single time.  The one I watched most recently was We Are Marshall, and I had to pause it for a while because it made me cry so hard.

And yes…. I cry watching the Olympics too.  Can’t you see the giant SAP sign on my forehead?

2008: Booking Thru Thursday – Endings

This week’s topic…

What are your favourite final sentences from books? Is there a book that you liked specially because of its last sentence? Or a book, perhaps that you didn’t like but still remember simply because of the last line?

As bad as I am with first sentences, I think I may be worst with last ones! I can’t remember a single one. However, someone (I wish I could remember who, but I clicked too many times and lost the page!) linked to the 100 Best Last Lines from Novels from the American Book Review, and I thought I’d look through that and pull out the ones I have read.

  • So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past. –F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (1925)
  • He loved Big Brother. –George Orwell, 1984 (1949)
  • ‘It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.’ –Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities (1859)
  • He was soon borne away by the waves and lost in darkness and distance. –Mary Shelley, Frankenstein (1818)
  • The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which. –George Orwell, Animal Farm (1945)
  • Don’t ever tell anybody anything. If you do, you start missing everybody. –J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye (1951)
  • The old man was dreaming about the lions. –Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea (1952)
  • “Tomorrow, I’ll think of some way to get him back. After all, tomorrow is another day.” –Margaret Mitchell, Gone with the Wind (1936)

I think the only one of those that really resonates with me is Gone with the Wind.

2008: Booking Thru Thursday – Beginnings

This week’s topic:

What are your favorite first sentences from books? Is there a book that you liked specially because of its first sentence? Or a book, perhaps that you didn’t like but still remember simply because of the first line?

I guess I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to the first sentence of a book.  Or at least, I don’t remember them for long.  I’m more likely to have a particular passage stay with me than the first sentence.

I’m currently reading The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig, and the first sentence is, "The Tube had broken down."  Which isn’t something you’d expect in a book that’s primarily historical fiction!

2008: Booking Thru Thursday – Vacation Spots

This week’s topic:

Another question inspired by the Bunch of Grapes on Martha’s Vineyard having burned down on the Fourth of July.

Do you buy books while on vacation/holiday?

Do you have favorite bookstores that you only get to visit while away on a trip?

What/Where are they?

I don’t generally buy books when I’m on vacation, but I certainly bring plenty with me!  I tend to bring a book for ever 2 days I’m going to be gone, which is usually overkill, but I hate being caught without one!

I don’t really consider going to visit my parents in Nashville a "vacation", but I do occasionally hit a couple of used bookstores when I’m heading in that direction.  One is The Book Cellar in Crossville, TN.  It is a *great* used book store… humongous selection, and good prices.  Most of the paperbacks are less than half off.  Another one I’ve visited is Book Attic in Goodlettsville, TN.

We also stop at the Green Valley Book Fair in Harrisonburg, VA if we happen to be passing by when it’s open. I love that place. I once bought a set of all of the Sherlock Holmes books, in hardcover, for $14. You can’t beat that!

2008: Booking Thru Thursday – Doomsday

btt2 This is my first week participating in the Booking Through Thursday meme

What would you do if, all of a sudden, your favorite source of books was unavailable?

Whether it’s a local book shop, your town library, or an internet shop … what would you do if, suddenly, they were out of business? Devastatingly, and with no warning? Where would you go for books instead? What would you do? If it was a local business you would try to help out the owners? Would you just calmly start buying from some other store? Visit the library in the next town instead? Would it be devastating? Or just a blip in your reading habit?

The source I currently get most of my books from is There’s a good selection, it’s easy, and it’s cheap.  I like to think that I’m pretty versatile, so I don’t think it would be a huge deal if they suddenly went under.  I might be a little irked about the $8 I recently paid for my box-of-books membership (that’s a book I could buy!), but I’d get over it.

The truth is, I have so many books in my TBR (570, not counting audiobooks) it would be a long, long time before I’d need to find another source.  Like, 3-4 years. But if I ever found the bottom of my pile I’d go back to the sources I used to use before Paperbackswap… The library, used books on Amazon, a local used book store, flea markets, and I’d give eBay a spin.

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