Reading questions

Sherry at Semicolon had some questions relating to reading the other day, and I thought I’d borrow them for a post.

1. What classic book do you hate? I can think of several I was disappointed in — The Man in the Iron Mask, The Three Musketeers, and even Pride and Prejudice, but I can’t think of any I hated. Of course, one will probably come to mind about 3 seconds after I post this.

2. To what extent do you judge people by what they read? It depends on how you mean “judge.” If someone reads, say, trashy romances by preference, that does say something about them. In fact, one favorite book blogger I used to read went from having a vibrant testimony to reading those kinds of books to posting almost exclusively from those kinds of books to then getting divorced to now never saying anything about the Lord.

On the other hand, I think reading various book bloggers has opened my eyes to the fact that good people can have widely varying tastes, and some can be interested in things I am not interested in, and that’s okay. And some can have good reasons for reading things that I wouldn’t. And just because the Christian community raises an outcry against a book doesn’t mean it’s worthless, though there are a handful whose opinions I would greatly trust.

3. What television series would you recommend as the literariest? If you mean what series referenced the most books, “LOST” referred to many and often had people scrambling to read books shown or mentioned on the series for clues about it. If you mean what series  stayed closest to its book origins…I think I’d agree with Sherry‘s answer of the “Pride and Prejudice” with Colin Firth, which was originally a TV mini-series, or the first “Anne of Green Gables” film (also originally a PBS series), or the very early days of “Little House on the Prairie.” Both of the latter two strayed wildly from their origins as they went on (which doesn’t make sense. A series is a success because it’s based on beloved books and characters, and then producers want to go a completely different direction with them…no, it just doesn’t make sense.)

4. Describe your ideal home library.

Oh, I dunno, maybe this one? 🙂

Incidentally, while looking for that link, I came across a post showing different libraries in films that was pretty neat, though I’d not recommend all the films listed. The site Beautiful Libraries is a feast for book-loving eyes.

Though I prefer light, airy colors for decorating most of the time, I do like some warmth in a library. I’d like a plethora of real wooden bookshelves, with a desk or table to spread things out on, some cozy seating with rich upholstery, a window seat, good lighting, big windows and a fireplace. A ceiling like the one in the Biltmore Library would be a plus. 🙂 I fact, I like everything about that library except the red upholstery.

5. How do you decide what to read next?

I usually have a few books at a time stacked up to read and choose from there. If I’m participating in a challenge like Katrina’s Fall Into Reading, I might check the library or choose from what’s on the list. I also keep a running “To Be Read” list compiled from books I see others recommending. From one of those stacks or lists I usually just go by whatever strikes me as interesting at the moment, but there are some books I have to “make” myself get into. Sometimes I end up enjoying that kind, others I have to make myself keep going (not because it is not worthwhile or uninteresting — I’ll dump that after a fair try — but just because there are some books I don’t gravitate to. Though I benefit from nonfiction, I do usually have to make myself start and keep with it.)

6. How much do you talk about books in real life (outside of the blogging community)?

Not much but probably more than most people I know. I don’t know many people “in real life” who like to read much. I do often find myself mentioning something I read or recommending a book.

I do try to be careful about not just recommending a book when someone is talking about a problem. It’s natural for my mind to go that way, but some years back I read of someone exasperated at people “throwing books” at whatever problem she was talking about. While the recommended books would probably be helpful, there are times someone needs an answer, an expression of sympathy, etc, in the moment.

Feel free to borrow these as well, and let me know if you do!

4 thoughts on “Reading questions

  1. I enjoyed reading the post, Barbara.

    ” I don’t know many people “in real life” who like to read much.” — I totally empathize!!! And guess who gets to hear about my reading-related musings — my husband, hahaha!

  2. This is an interesting questionnaire. I never judge anyone by their reading choice although I may seriously wonder about them. I don’t believe it is our place to judge anyone.
    My club which has 23 members keeps up with the number of books read as a way to promote literacy, I suppose. I’m surprised by the answers each month. Some of them seldom read a book, where as I read between 50 and a hundred a year. I’ve read 42 since June.
    I have favorite authors and try to read their latest books. I like to have books recommended by people who I know enjoy reading. I scan the recommended reads at Amazon and then there is our book club. I have enjoyed it because some of the books we’ve read, I never would have chosen on my own.
    I am always interested in the reading the reviews on your blog and others.
    Mama Bear

    • Well, as I said, it depends on what you mean by “judge.” We’re not to jump to conclusions, put someone down, assign motives to them that they don’t have, etc. But the same Bible that says “Judge not, that ye be not judged” (Matthew 7:1) also says “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment” (John 7:24). Jesus made both of those statements. He did not contradict Himself, but you have to take both statements in context. I wrote more thoughts about “judging” here:

  3. Fun post. So much that could be commented on.

    I get asked about books a lot in “real life” and actually DO spend a lot of time talking about them, now that I think about it. I talk about other things as well but books really do seem to be a running theme. Which I never thought really odd until I read the answer to your question. Huh!

    I could stand a library like the one in Beauty in the Beast, yes!!

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