Another Tag

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.

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15 thoughts on “Another Tag

  1. I did this last week, and some of these just make NO SENSE. Female versus male authors, for example. WHY? And top twenty versus all new. YOU DARE FORCE ME TO CHOOSE SOMETHING LIKE THIS???

    Excellent point on #4. I said movies just because I don’t really watch TV shows, but you’re right, Riordan writes in a way that would translate perfectly to a show. Though honestly, anything would be better than those movies….

    Love your answer to question six. Why be just one when you can be both?

    (And no. I’m not sorry for the all caps. It was completely necessary to show my contempt for these questions…)

    1. I can choose between two options, but when it’s silly stuff like this, it just doesn’t make sense. I’m glad I’m not the only one.

      It’s funny, I didn’t realize how true it was until I started writing it out. Riordan’s stuff would make an awesome TV series, even if it followed none of the books. Lots of special effects, lots of humor, and you’ve got a pretty good adaptation.

      That’s what I think. So many authors are wonderful reviewers, because they know their craft better than anyone else. That said, professional reviewers write better reviews than authors can, but that’s understandable.

      (Don’t apologize. Using all-caps when you know what you’re doing is completely respectable. Just like all lowercase, or even toggle if you’re feeling particularly bold.)

      1. Yeah, if they got the characters right, I would happily watch any show even loosely based on Riordan’s books. Heck, they could do one detailing Octavian’s backstory or something and I’d still happily watch it if they kept the humor of the books.

        And I agree, authors know books better than anyone, so they make great reviewers. Though admittedly, I’m still wary of anything with a blurb by Riordan–the last one I tried was possibly the most boring book in the history of boring books–and good luck getting me to go near anything with Marie Lu’s blurb on the cover. It will inevitably be a romance disguised as fantasy or sci-fi.

        I agree with Katie, you should make your own tag! If you’re just going to bemoan the terrors of unanswerable questions, you might as well…

  2. Amazing answers, Liam. 😀 I have to agree with you on pretty much every one. (Also, I miss Borders as well. :-()
    In other news, I started watching Doctor Who and like it a lot. I probably could never pick a favorite Doctor, though, because I’ve only seen Nine and Ten so far and HOW’M I SUPPOSED TO CHOOSE BETWEEN THEM?! I have a soft spot for Ten but Nine is awesome too. Also, I think their way of being ready for anyone to trade out for the title character is sheer genius, because it’s the same character, but with different facets of {his? their?} personality coming through more… I am also a fan of Rose, but I’m afraid I might be at the point where she leaves the series… :’-(

    1. Thanks! I’m glad you agree with the questions, and Borders— alas and alack.

      I’m honestly not sure. I don’t watch Doctor Who anymore, and I never watched enough of the former episodes.

      1. *sigh* I have two books of Sherlock Holmes mysteries that all cover the same ground, mostly because I wasn’t paying attention when I bought one. But you can never have enough books. 😛
        I’m probably not sure, either. I forgot what my question was. *head desk*

  3. Oh hey! I didn’t realize that Maggie Stiefvater wrote The Scorpio Races! I absolutely adore that book. Read it in a day. Obsessively. Really love that story. I just don’t pay too much attention to authors as much as the story itself. Now I’m totally going to look into her other books.

    Also- Male vrs Female authors? what the heck? Why is there even a question like that? I’m not asking you so much as being confused and irritated.

    1. Stiefvater is amazing. You should definitely find her other books and read them as obsessively.

      It doesn’t make sense to you, it doesn’t make sense to me. I’d like to live in a world without that question.

  4. Lovely answers. But I must ask, are there any tag questions that you do like?

    Borders was lovely. My uncle used to work at one. There were Nancy Drew books (which was my obsession at the time… I was 10, or thereabouts). (If this comment ends up scatterbrained, I do apologize. But you do know how late I was up chatting last night.)

    I’m still upset about the male vs female authors. But I do wonder how it happens that you’ve read more male authors and I’ve read more female. I mean… I guess I can figure how it happened, but… I don’t know. I don’t know what I’m thinking anymore…

    1. Unfortunately not. That’s why I got rid of tags for a long while— I haven’t met many I liked.

      It’s really just social stigma. I, as a young boy, felt pressure without and within myself to read books written by boys, about boys. Once in a while I’d read a book written by a girl, about boys. Only in the past couple years have I found myself branching out and reading some amazing books by girls about girls, by boys about girls, and not caring about genders anymore. It shouldn’t matter, but somehow boys are ashamed to read books with pink on the cover, or any females at all.

      1. I still think you should make your own tag.

        That makes sense. It’s exactly why my brother won’t read some books and why one sister claims to dislike Tolkien. (She’s 11. She’ll come around, I’m sure.) I don’t think I was ever like that, though. I was just the girl who’d read whatever she could get her hands on.

  5. Nice answers! I’m having a hard time not rethinking my own answers, hehe. Good thing I haven’t posted mine yet. But some of those questions are hard.

    (Also, I want to give you a tag, but I can’t even find any that are worth giving; I don’t want to do something completely mediocre. So…you might luck out with me, hehe.)

    1. They are hard. I wish I didn’t have to answer, but they’re kind of fun.

      (No problem. I’m glad I opened up for tags again, but I suddenly remembered why I had closed them off in the first place.)

  6. 1. I agree with everyone who says you should make up your own tag.
    2. I never really had the problem of “boy books” and “girl books,” even as a kid. But I think that problem was more on the boy side of things. I have brothers who read and really enjoyed the American Girl books as kids. Know what? Give me a good story that lets me relate to the character and I don’t care if it’s a boy or a girl or a puffin.

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