Here’s another tag post, filled with fun, whimsy, and questionable interpretations. I mean, interpreting questions. Because I can’t answer anything straight.
This is the Would You Rather book tag, given once again by Katie. Full disclosure from the beginning, I can’t stand either/or questions, because there is never a situation in which you won’t change your mind. Would you rather have pizza or rocks? Well, I’d probably pick pizza at first, but if I just spent the last eight months eating nothing but pizza while travelling around the magical and pizza-filled Pizzazia, I think I’d have to go with rocks. All I’m saying is there’s always a possibility. Thus, I’m not going to like any of my own answers, so definitely don’t read too much into them. So, would I rather…
1. Read only trilogies or stand-alones?
Stand-alones. Do I read a lot of trilogies? Yes. I love trilogies. Or, I think I should say, I love series. I love watching a giant arc unfold for a grand cast of characters, and I love how amazing such a series can be when written correctly. But guess what? I like things wrapped up without loose ends. Trilogies and series too often leave things open, which is obvious because something needs to happen in the next book. I want to read a book where things seem impossible to wrap up in a single book, but they still do. I want a book I can read, put down, and reread if I ever want to revisit the characters. Do I mind sequels and series? Not at all. But I love stand-alones so much more.
2. Read only female or male authors?
Why is this a question? Don’t ask me. Why do I have to answer it? Because I’m accepting tags, apparently. So here goes. Let the record show I despise this question.
Yeah, I’m going to sidestep it. I don’t care who the author is. I don’t care about their gender. I almost never look at the section of a book that says the author’s name, especially if I’m reading it for the first time. JK Rowling? Could be male or female for all I care. JRR Tolkien? Same deal. I need to read more female authors, but just to even the score. (I confess, I read a lot of male-written books.) So, I’m going to sidestep the question. Was it written by a person and not a monkey banging on a typewriter? Great! I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt. Now, is its summary interesting, its cover grabbing, and the title intriguing? Great, I’ll consider it. Is the beginning gripping? Awesome, I’ll keep reading. Did the ending succeed and did the entire book leave me satisfied (or at least moved)? Awesome! Looks like I’ve already read it. I have no idea who that author was, but I’m going to go see if they wrote anything else.
3. Shop at Barnes & Noble or Amazon?
Barnes & Noble. Always. Amazon isn’t any fun. I still mourn for Borders, and I wish I still lived near a Half-Price Books. Bookstores are always my favorite places in any community I find. Amazon: convenient, quick, and doesn’t leave a mark. If you’ve seen my bookshelves, you know I don’t buy books to be convenient or quick about it.
But why is this a question? You can buy books where you want. I won’t judge.
4. All books become movies or TV shows?
Here’s a great example of the pizza vs. rocks question. Let’s look at Percy Jackson and the Olympians. If you wanted to adapt that book correctly— by adapting the book I mean telling a good story— I’d go with TV show. One episode a week, highlighting a quest each time? What isn’t appealing about that? We see them go up against minotaurs and Gorgons and all this stuff, and we hear about them facing Titans and rabid puppies offscreen. Why not put it onscreen for a bit? Over the entire series, you have the overarching story of some ancient deity rising from their banishment. It seems like a really fun show, and a great way to explore this world in the same way that Rick Riordan has.
On the other hand, think about Mistborn: The Final Empire. This is not an episodic book. One thing leads to another in very quick succession, and if you expected everyone to remember everything week after week, you would be in for a surprise. Wrapping up that story in 1.5 hours would be difficult, but possible. It would be infinitely better than a weekly series, or even a Netflix binge-watch original.
Look at that. I’m sidestepping again. Some books would be amazing as movies. Others would be perfect as TV shows. What makes the difference? The intention of the author, and how the story plays out. Rick Riordan writes episodically, which actually turned into a flaw in his latest two books. Brandon Sanderson— in Mistborn, not in Way of Kings, because that’s a completely different book— writes a straightforward story, almost designed to be devoured. If you made Mistborn into a TV series, it would flop. As we already know, Percy Jackson as a movie would flop. So, no answer for this question. Not worth the grief.
5. Read 5 pages per day or 5 books per week?
5 books per week. This one is an easy one. There are too many books in the world to waste time on… Okay, now I’m reconsidering.
Again. This is a silly either/or. At the moment, I’m crawling my way through The Scorpio Races, by Maggie Stiefvater, because I’m annotating as I go. Almost line by line. It’s taught me a lot about her style, about pacing, about description, dialogue, whatever. Did I go that slowly the first time I read it? Of course not. I’d rather read quickly, because there are a lot of amazing books in the world, but there is always a time for slowing down.
6. Be a professional reviewer or author?
Author. That is to say, both. Because authors review pretty professionally.
7. Only read your top 20 favorite books over and over or always read new ones that you haven’t read before?
Already answered this. Too many books in the world. New books.
8. Be a librarian or book seller?
Book seller. New books appeal a bit more than old ones, although it’s the words that count. Still, I love bookstores.
9. Only read your favorite genre, or every genre except your favorite?
Every genre except. It’s more important to me to read widely than to read what I like— which sounds strange, but let me explain. I like a lot of different genres. I won’t say I like all of them, but I like many. It turns out that fantasy is my favorite, but without that, I’m left with mysteries, romances, science fiction, contemporary, and you know what, I’m not going to list all of the genres in the world because that would take forever. My point is that fantasy, while large and fun, is still a tiny slice of the pie compared to the rest of the world.
Also, I write what I want to read, so if I couldn’t read fantasy, I would write enough not to be sad anymore.
10. Only read physical books or eBooks?
Physical books. Again, convenience versus memories. All the memories I have of my Kindle are the same— either forgetting what I read because I’m reading too fast, or that one where I slammed its corner in the car door. (Sorry, Bartholomew. I know that corner still hurts.) Physical books, on the other hand, are specific. My ratty oversized paperback of Dragon Rider that I got more than ten years ago. The copy of Mistborn that I bought on the recommendation of someone I had just met five minutes ago on Twitter, which turns out to be one of my favorite books ever. The Scorpio Races, which, as I said, I’m annotating. My shelf full of Brian Jacques, which I have spent years collecting and perusing. My physical books are as surrounded with stories as they are filled with them. My Kindle is going to fail in a couple years, unfortunately, or become outmoded. No competition.
Those are the questions! Again, there is a place for everything, and I can imagine a situation for every question where I would pick the exact opposite answer. However, I am pretty confident with these answers for now, and I’ve skipped the ones I strongly disagree with. Now it’s time to tag other people, but because I’m lazy once again, I’m not going to. You can pick this up if you like the prompts— if you don’t like the prompts, you can still pick it up.