Friday 5: Clean

I thought I’d do a meme today. I haven’t done one in a while, having missed out on yesterday’s Booking Through Thursday (though I can probably catch up). Today’s Friday Five is all about cleaning. How apt.

  • What’s in need of a good cleaning?
  • My room!!! It’s clean when you look at it, but in the corners, the nooks and crannies… oh my. I’m ashamed.

  • What’s your idea of good, clean fun?
  • Hanging out with friends, watching a movie, going on a food trip, browsing a bookstore…

  • How clean is your driving record?
  • Very clean. I’ve only driven once in my lifetime, when my dad was trying to teach me. I don’t really know how to drive.

  • When did you last make a clean escape?
  • Hmm… Probably in a meeting or a seminar. I can’t remember.

  • What are your feelings about dirty language?
  • If it was said in jest, or as part of a story, fine. But don’t turn the air blue with it, or say it to me as an insult. I’d be uncomfortable.

BTT: Something Old, Something New

I haven’t participated in Booking Through Thursday for a long time! I’ve missed it, so here I am again.

All other things being equal–do you prefer used books? Or new books? (The physical speciman, that is, not the title.) Does your preference differentiate between a standard kind of used book, and a pristine, leather-bound copy?

I find this question really fitting as my “comeback” to BTT. I love books, no question. New or old (secondhand), I love them. However, the cost of books often has me reaching for secondhands more than brand new ones, especially since I can buy four books to the price of one brand new paperback.

I don’t collect first editions or those leather-bound books, so I’m set with my choices. That isn’t to say that I don’t want to have first edition copies, especially if it’s of my favorite titles. Since my need is to read, I’m good with used books. Also, I find a lot of very good condition paperbacks in used book stores. I’m very good at sniffing them out, much to the delight/ire of my friends (their reaction depends on whether they have the budget to buy the book or not).

Then again, if I really want a book so bad and I can’t wait for a used copy, I’ll shell out the amount I need to get a new copy. Hey, I’ve stood in line for new book releases, and I’ve reserved a lot of books even before the release date. I’m not so very picky… not really.

To know more about my fascination with used books and used book stores, you can read “The Art of Book Hunting“. Some things may apply not just to the Philippine setting.

How about you? 🙂

BTT: Mark the spot

Booking Through Thursday

What items have you ever used as a bookmark? What is the most unusual item you’ve ever used or seen used?

Here are a couple of bookmarks I’ve used.

A – an erasing sheet
B -A napkin holder made out of cardboard and ribbons. It was originally in a tube form but I opened it up to how it looks now
C – calling card (any)
D – a playing card
E – an actual bookmark from Kinokuniya

Other bookmarks I’ve used: Photos, laminated photocards, receipts, bills, money, my finger, other books, a pencil (but I never push it to the spine, just leave it between the pages), a sheet of Post It… quite a lot 🙂

BTT: TBR

Booking Through Thursday

Follow-up to last week’s question:

Do you keep all your unread books together, like books in a waiting room? Or are they scattered throughout your shelves, mingling like party-goers waiting for the host to come along?

In times when I purchased more than one or two books at a time, the books are usually stacked somewhere on the floor by my bed. I have no bedside table, unfortunately :p But that isn’t because of any preference. I do most of my reading in bed, so it’s more for my convenience so as soon as I finish one book, I can easily grab the next one. 🙂

BTT: Unread

An idea I got from The Toddled Dredge (via K for Kat). Here’s what she said:

“So here today I present to you an Unread Books Challenge. Give me the list or take a picture of all the books you have stacked on your bedside table, hidden under the bed or standing in your shelf – the books you have not read, but keep meaning to. The books that begin to weigh on your mind. The books that make you cover your ears in conversation and say, ‘No! Don’t give me another book to read! I can’t finish the ones I have!'”

I don’t know if this will make me sound weird or what, but I don’t have a to-be-read pile. When I say TBR, I mean the actual books that I already have and have lined up to read. See, when I buy a book, I immediately read it and finish it in a maximum of three days. When I buy I book, I set aside time to read it. That’s why I can finish more than a hundred books in a year.

I do have a list of books I want to get and read, but since I can get only a book or two at a time, I have enough space in between books to finish them all.

I’m currently reading Nora Robert’s “Black Hills” and Diana Wynne Jones’ “The House of Many Ways”. I’m looking for something to read after I finish them.

BTT: Fantasy and Sci-Fi

Booking Through Thursday

This week’s question from Debbie: One of my favorite sci-fi authors (Sharon Lee) has declared June 23rd Fantasy and Science Fiction Writers Day. What might you do on the 23rd to celebrate? Do you even read fantasy/sci-fi? Why? Why not?

I think that everybody has read at least one sci-fi and fantasy book once in their lifetime, sometimes not even knowing that they did. Look back into your childhood reads and the familiar stories of Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz and Peter Pan would count as fantasy works. As for sci-fi, well, that may be a little hard to think of haha.

I definitely read fantasy. I read sci-fi too but I’m more into the realm of the magical and mystical than the technical and industrial (although there are many books that wonderfully combine the two).

Among my favorite fantasy writers are *drumroll please!* Neil Gaiman (Stardust, The Graveyard Book, Coraline), Diana Wynne Jones (Howl’s Moving Castle, Castle in the Air, The Magicians of Caprona), J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter series), David and Leigh Eddings (The Belgariad, The Mallorean, The Elenium), Jostein Gaarder (The Solitaire Mystery, Sophie’s World) and even Isabel Allende (City of the Beasts, Kingdom of the Golden Dragon, The Forest of the Pygmies).

I suppose my sci-fi readings belong mostly to the manga and comic book section. Somehow, I never really enjoyed reading those kinds of stories but if its accompanied by illustrations, I’m more liable to read it. One of my favorite manga is Moto Hagio’s They Were Eleven. My favorite mangaka Rumiko Takahashi also delves into the world of sci-fi and fantasy with many of her works.

And that has yet to include the paranormal and sci-fi themed works that the other authors I read write. Nora Roberts for one, and Sherrilyn Kenyon.

What sci-fi and fantasy works do you read?

BTT: Niche

Booking Through Thursday

What niche books do YOU read?

This question made me realize that I actually grew up reading niche books on various topics.

My mom is fond of buying books (when she can afford to) on various subjects that she’s interested in. When I was a kid, that was mostly about gardening, houses, interior design and cooking. Over the years she’s added books on travel, art (this is further broken down to painting and drawing), language and music, all of which I’ve read one time or another growing up.

Myself, I love reading books on web design, graphic design and manga (I have an academic interest in them). I’ve inherited my mom’s love for the languages and have contributed my own language learning books to the mix (she has French, I have Japanese & Spanish). Her art and design books have also become helpful for me in learning more about illustration.

And these are the sections I often go to when I pass by the bookstore.

What are your niche books? 🙂

BTT: Unread

Booking Though Thursday

Is there a book that you wish you could “unread”? One that you disliked so thoroughly you wish you could just forget that you ever read it?

Actually… there are quite a few! It’s mostly those books whose endings I didn’t like, or those books that had many disturbing scenes that didn’t give my mind some rest for many days. Then there are the books whose plots were good, but they were written in a such a way that wasn’t enjoyable, I would just pity the characters and their stories and wish I never picked it up in the first place. Although usually, the thought of that occurs when I’m reading it or after I’ve just finished it. After a while, I forget about it.

Then again, there are some books that did have some odd moment or two in them, but if on the overall I liked it, I’ll keep it “read,” thank you very much.

Oh, and the book blockade issue has been resolved. Thanks to everyone who helped. 🙂

BTT: A Second First Time?

Booking Through Thursday

What book would you love to be able to read again for the first time?

Hmm, interesting question. I can’t think of a specific book to cite as a “second first time” because there’s just so much. Not that I want to “unread” those books, but the anticipation of a good read is sometimes just as fun as the actual reading of the book itself.

Occasionally, I experience this every time I pull a book that I haven’t read in a long time. Sometimes, the title doesn’t ring any bells, so I re-read it and slowly begin to discover the joy that I had when I first read it. That works for me.

On a book-but-not-a-btt-question related note, I’d like to share with you this current concern that the Philippines is having about books. It’s been dubbed as “The Great Book Blockade of 2009” by Timothy McSweeney in his blog, Dispatches from Manila. To sum it up, customs officials here have been taxing all book imports, which is a violation of the Florence Agreement of 1950 and Nairobo Protocol of 1976, which the Philippines signed. More details can be found in the link to Timothy McSweeney’s entry, or read my entry to see more links.

Regular readers of my BTT would recall I’ve mentioned the sorry state of public libraries here. This is just as worse.

BTT: Gluttony

Booking Through Thursday

Book Gluttony! Are your eyes bigger than your book belly? Do you have a habit of buying up books far quicker than you could possibly read them? Have you had to curb your book buying habits until you can catch up with yourself? Or are you a controlled buyer, only purchasing books when you have run out of things to read?

If it’s possible to be somewhere in between, that’s where you can place me. 🙂

See, I love to read, and if I can get my hands on every book I wanted to read, I would. But there’s the hurdles of 1) finances and 2) availability of said books. The time to read them is not a problem. I don’t really have a stack of unread books at home because as soon as as I get a book, I sit down and read it.

Now, I do get carried away when buying books. When I have the budget, I head over to my favorite places to see what they have. I often end up grabbing every book that I like (either because the author is a favorite, or that I find the story interesting), I have to take some time and decide which ones I truly want to get. So in a way, I’m an “impulsive serial buyer who has a control streak”… if that makes sense haha.

Which reminds me, I have some books I need to buy.