Questionnaire extraordinaire

9:09 AM

We all like questionnaires, right? RIGHT? Well, I like both reading and answering them. They remind me of my childhood and it makes me feel like I'm being interviewed. 

The lovely Devynn from Quicker than a Kiss posted this literature questionnaire, which I really enjoyed reading. It's a good way of learning about a person's tastes and getting to know each other. I took the liberty of shortening it a bit, I hope she doesn't mind. I'm a shy person, I can't stand being interviewed for too long.

1. Favorite childhood book?
I actually love children books and have plenty of them. Some of the most known that feature in my collection are The tale of Peter Rabbit, Le Petit Prince and Ink Heart.

2. What are you reading right now?
The Chronicles of Narnia - I didn't mention this, but I still read children's books.

3. Bad book habit?
Reading even if I'm sleepy and totally not paying attention.

4. Do you have an e-reader?
No and probably will never have - I'm not much into gadgets.

5. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?
Not several, but always two. Usually a non-fiction and a fiction book, because this way I don't confuse names, dates or locations.

6. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
A bit. I try to be more organized now to easily spot passages I want to blog about.

7. Favorite book you’ve read this year?
Emma, by Jane Austen, hands down.

8. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?
Hum... pretty much never. I read difficult books and books I don't fully understand but never things that make me uncomfortable or scare me.

9. Can you read on the bus?
Yes, but I haven't ever since someone told me you can go blind by doing this.

10. Favorite place to read?
Anywhere quiet, but probably my bed after sleeping in on Sundays.

11. What is your policy on book lending?
I pretty much lend any book people ask me and even lend them voluntarily if I think someone should read them. 

12. Do you ever dog-ear books?
Not really, I like using (and making my own) book markers.

13. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
Always. I write comments, opinions about characters, an occasional "haha".

"I hate her"written on the side of my copy of Emma
14. Favorite genre?

15. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?)

16. Have you ever read a self-help book?
Well, I don't know if this qualifies as self help, but I once read a Dr. Phil book on how to lose weight.
17. Favorite cookbook?
Any from Martha Stewart - or my mother's.

18. Favorite reading snack?
I don't eat while reading, but I do like to drink some hot cocoa.

19. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience.
Since I mostly read classics, there's not a lot of hype going on. But I do hate those modern interpretations of Shakespeare, for example, that have nothing to do with the text and are only valid on the critic's mind.

20. How often do you agree with critics about a book?
50/50 I guess. I know I just bad mouthed literary critics, but I do enjoy reading criticism even when I don't agree with it.

21. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
I have never done so in my blog, despite doing it in conversations in real life. I prefer to offer good recommendations as opposed to criticize.

22. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you choose?
French. I would really like to read Flaubert's correspondence in the original.

23. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read? 
Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon. I actually never got around to finishing the book.

24. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?
Ulisses by James Joyce.

25. Favorite Poet?
I like a lot of poets. Louis Macneice, C. Day Lewis, Robert Frost, Fernando Pessoa are some of my favorites.

26. Favorite fictional character? 
Off the top of my head, Hamlet.

27. Favorite fictional villain?
Ivan from Brothers Karamazov. Maybe he's not such a villain-villain, but his mihilistic speech frigthens me.

28. Books you’re most likely to bring on vacation?
Any short paper back - I like to pack light.

29. The longest you’ve gone without reading.
For the past 5 years (when I started college), a couple of days, I guess.

30. Name a book that you could/would not finish.
A lot of books because I recently decided not to finish a book just to finish it. If it doesn't seem right, I stop and never look back.

31. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?
That's a tough one. There are many movies I like that were based on novels (Dr. Zhivago, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, A Clockwork Orange, Lord of the Rings) but since I never read the actual novels, I can't really compare. I really like 1984 with John Hurt, though.

45. Most disappointing film adaptation?
Pride and Prejudice with Keira Knightley. Not a popular answer, but I didn't really like the portrayal of Elizabeth and Jane.

31. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?
I never really spent a lot, that's just not my style. I use the library and shop at used book stores. Plus, I'm lucky enough to always receive books as gifts.

32. Do you like to keep your books organized?
I sure do. As a matter a fact everytime I dust my books (once every 2 or 3 months) I rearrange their order - for fun and to exercise my memory a little.

33. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?
It depends. If I'll want to read again or consult it in the future, I keep them. The ones I didn't like or are not relevant to me anymore are donated to church.

34. Name a book that made you angry.
When a book starts making me angry I actually stop reading it. But To the Lighthouse made me a little angry. I mean, how about just going to the Lighthouse already?

35. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?
Something I read only for the pleasure of it is Nero Wolfe detective books, but I haven't read any for a while.

I hope you enjoyed the questionnaire. Do answer it too so we can know a little bit more about each other. I'd love to check your answers! 

Images via For the love of books (except image 2)

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  1. Woa!! I am going to answer this questionaire! Just wait!!

  2. 1. Favorite childhood book?
    Hmm… Robinson Crusoe, Gulliver’s Travels and some Prince Valiant.
    2. What are you reading right now?
    The Godfather
    4. Bad book habit?
    Giving up on books a few chapters in. I really should just finish them but if I'm not immediately interested, I won't finish them. Ditto!!
    6. Do you have an e-reader?
    Nothing compares to a good paper book
    7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?
    Sometimes two, but it’s the limit
    8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
    Not really.
    9. Least favorite book you read this year (so far?)
    One about Brazilian singer Mario Reis. Too monotonous!!
    10. Favorite book you’ve read this year?
    To marry an English Lord
    13. Can you read on the bus?
    Oh, yes, I do. That way, I get rid of morons
    14. Favorite place to read?
    In the bathroom, in the bed
    15. What is your policy on book lending?
    I share them, when the other party is interested on the matter …
    16. Do you ever dog-ear books?
    Unless it is expendable (old pocket books), I use book markers.
    17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
    YES!!! Love to do it!
    19. What is your favorite language to read in?
    Portuguese (both Brazil & Portugal), English, Spanish, Italian
    20. What makes you love a book?
    Sometimes the first paragraph. Sometimes the way the book is written (The last days of summer is made by letters and small notes exchanged by the “hero” and his friends. 84 Charing Cross Rd. too
    21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?
    If I like it. I tend to be very wary of my friends' book tastes so if I read something I will automatically think of someone that would like it and I recommend away. Ditto!!
    22. Favorite genre?
    Mistery, Biographies..
    23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did?)
    24. Favorite biography?
    Carmen, by Ruy Castro (about Carmen Miranda) & By Myself (Lauren Bacall)
    25. Have you ever read a self-help book?
    A lot of!!!
    26. Favorite cookbook?
    Hmm … Martha Stewart’s
    27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction)?
    Not read ….
    28. Favorite reading snack?
    I don’t eat while reading..
    30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?
    Almost never.
    31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?
    If I really feel like a book was bad, I'll say so.
    32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you choose?
    I’d like to read in Japanese.
    33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?
    The portrait of Dorian Gray.
    34. Most intimidating book you’re too nervous to begin?
    None that I can think about ….
    35. Favorite Poet?
    Fernando Pessoa, John Donne
    38. Favorite fictional character?
    Count of MonteCristo
    39. Favorite fictional villain?
    Voldemort. Love the backstory. Ditto
    40. Books you’re most likely to bring on vacation?
    Pocket Books
    41. The longest you’ve gone without reading.
    Oy …!! Not a day without a line (written or read)
    42. Name a book that you could/would not finish.
    Mary Higgins Clark
    43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?
    44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel?
    The Godfather
    45. Most disappointing film adaptation?
    The Three Musketeers
    46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?
    I don’t spend this much … in one serving (hehehehe). Maybe 50 bucks at Barnes & Noble, last trip to NYC.
    47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?
    Not much
    48. What would cause you to stop reading a book half-way through?
    Just not liking it. Lack of cohesive storyline, drab characters. DITTO!!
    49. Do you like to keep your books organized?
    Not necessarily.
    50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once you’ve read them?
    From time to time, I put the ones I don’t read anymore and give them to charity.
    53. A book you didn’t expect to like but did?
    The Princess Diaries.
    54. A book that you expected to like but didn’t?
    55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?
    Jessica Fletcher’s books ….

  3. I loved reading this! I laughed really hard at 13! And I sooo wished I were like you in questions 41 and 43. Thanks for sharing your answers!

  4. Reading in bed after sleeping in is the most amazing thing in the world! Loved reading this! :)

  5. I can only do this on Sundays but it is so worth it! Thanks for stopping by!

  6. I might not agree with you on #19. Half of the fun of Shakespeare is that so much of his work has such beautiful ambiguity. I love watching different interpretations of the work. As for the "fun" adaptations, I can't argue against them, because they're an invaluable tool in getting my students to have any interest in the bard!

  7. I like different interpretations as well, it is one of the things that makes a book a master piece. However, I've seen so many modern interpretations that seem to hammer meaning into the text, things that are just not in the text, you know?

  8. Can I give it a shot too?
    1. Robin Crusoe... it's not technically chilren's book, but this is what we had to read in school pretty early... it kicked-off my love for literature... and made me wanna become Daniel Defoe, to the point I wrote a Crusoe-like novel at 12...
    2. "Austro-Hungarian Navy in World War 1" by Karoly Csonkareti :) yeah I read a lot of historical monographs ;)
    3. hm... forgetting some of them too quickly :(
    4. Never! Books or death! I could never stand pdfs anyway + I'm incompatible with high-tech ;)
    5. As much as I'd like to concentrate on one I usually read couple of them - one in a backpack, one before bed etc...
    6. pass... not much about literature on my blog yet. Will work on it ;)
    7. Vienna 1814 - David King... and "Sharpe's Havoc" as the only good novel last year.
    8. What is comfort zone? ;)
    9. All the time...
    10. Any where the good story would abduct me completely...
    11. Nobody asked for a long time but I wouldn't mind... although I do have some bad experiences with people „borrowing” and no giving back.
    12. I don't mind making notes in a book but this is like vandalism to me ;)
    13. Didn't try it yet, but as above, I don't mind... though I try to keep my books „new”... it always kind of disturbed me when reading library or used books... although I would of course let Paula write in them ;)
    14. History & adventure as for novels.
    15. Diaries, classics, philosophy...
    16. These could be split into two categories actually
    a) guide books about cooking/writing/weight loosing etc which are ok...
    b) all those „reinventing the wheel” books... like „how to achieve success/make money/get women in 50/20/10 days” ;) ... I try to avoid them and could never understand how can one boast about reading them as these people are usually fake, full of complexes and lack their own point of view and often... intelligence.
    17. Hm... I am hungry...
    18. Tea & zwiebacks... with yoghurt, cocoa and haribo colas on the substitute's bench sometimes ;)
    19. I choose my own books, never carred about which book is a bestseller and which is not... and I'm probably the only person in the world who haven't even touched Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings ;)
    20. I don't read book reviews as often as movie reviews, but most of the time I disagree as these are usually amateur-made by either die-hard-fans or haters :/ Paula's approach ( and professional book blogs in generall ) is a new and great experience for me :)
    21. No objections as long as these are objective... but I would prefer people to talk about books they really like. It's a waste of time to talk & talk about bad things when there's hundreds of great titles one will never have time to read... + there's already too much hate in this world ;)

  9. 22. Right now it's only english and native polish for me, but I can't wait to learn French, Dutch and Danish to read more about age of sail, pirates and XVII century warfare + I'd love to learn some great oriental languages like Arabic to read more about these great cultures.
    23. Most of obligatory books in school I guess...
    24. Akunin's „Winter Queen”... this it the only Fandorin novel which I'll never read as I already know the ending and hate needless killing of innocent people :(
    Same knowledge about „Sharpe's Prey” killed my love for this series after just one book :/
    25. School kind of killed my interest for poetry and lack of time makes me read different things... but I like Diwans in general...
    26. Robinson Crusoe and my own characters :)
    27. As opposed to movies or comics books I don't really think I like one. Maybe I concentrate too much on a protagonist. I do remember Achimas Welde from Akunin's „Death of Achilles” but it's more do to unusal structure of the story – different chapters telling it from antagonist's and protagonist's point view respectively.
    28. Something light... history&adventure, but more likely a good monograph.
    29. Last couple of months I think... I did read more than most people but I couldn't find enjoyment in reading for some reasons...
    30. A lot!... I don't see a reason to go trough a bad book... The other thing is that some books are actually being self-destructed by authors who suddenly kill of a character or even change their own style! – like with „Catch 22”... which is always great for about first 100 pages but it's impossible to read it beyond that.
    31. I have to say „Hunt for Red October” and „Jurassic Park”. These were even better than novels actually. Sienkiewicz's „Deluge” had a very good adaptation too...
    32 (45). This case is simpler... There's not a single Crusoe I like :) and I don't think they'll ever make a good one...
    33 (31). Can't tell... 50-100 $ I guess... which is much in Poland.
    34 (32). Never had a chance to do that really. Most of them I have to keep in cardboard boxes :( The day I'll finally expose my collection will be mentioned in history books ;)
    35 (33). It changed recently. In the past I wanted to build a collection and kept everything, but now ( it's also do to the decrease of the editorial quality ) I see clearly that there's a lot of books there's no reason to store. I was thinking about donating them to a library or even start my own... the thing is that giving books away to existing libraries is not very smart as it usually gave me more problems than kind „thank you”s... + I generally argue with their „book policy” ;)
    36 (34). All of those that I gave up reading, all of those where a character is needlessly killed off or one becomes a different person with no reason, all of those that spread hate or false information + those written by or for celebrities that ruin the market... and there's also one, a very good one actually, where an author decided first to leghten the story when it already happily ended (!) and then suddenly... finished the book leaving a note that he doesn't want to write more!... and that readers can think of the (new) ending themselves! And imagine that this novel had about 600-800 pages...
    37 (35). All of those I choose I read for pleasure :)

  10. Hey, glad you answered it too! While reading your answers I felt like answering this again - some of my answers changed!

    Some comments:
    1) Fascinating. I wonder what your novel was like. Were you the protagonist? Was it set in current times?

    6) What's your blog's address?

    8) It's the books you feel more comfortable reading and therefore read more often. You mentioned reading lots of historical monographs. That's part of your comfort zone. If you usually don't read, say, sci-fi stories, that's out of your comfort zone. Makes sense?

    12) Ha!

    13) Thanks, but I probably wouldn't, knowing how you feel about dog ear books!

    17) Me too, but I want to eat most of the time. ;)

    18) As a side note, I had a Polish student who gave me some Polish tea and they are much stronger than Brazilian ones.

    25) But you can read Wislawa Szymborska in the original!

    (Sorry the numbering got a little crazy afterwards, I hadn't noticed it...)

  11. Wow... I was kind of becoming afraid that You've lost interest in blogging during Your vacation ;)
    It's great to see You're back! :)

    1) I don't remember much, as I unfortunately threw it away becoming a teenager - I was going through that period when people deny a lot of things from childhood as being childish and pathetic, and so I threw away lots of my comics and other art! Can You believe that! What an idiot I was. Would have a great souvenir, maybe could work something our from it...
    I do remember that my protagonist's last name was Callao ( first being Fernando or Francisco I think ), he was a spanish XVII-century teenanger travelling by sea to Italy, fighting with Portuguese, and later taking part in a colonial expedition, which eventually crushes on a unhabited island where their forces divide and start a "civil war" for this new land - I guess this case was a bit inspired by "Paul Street Boys" too...
    You know that it reminds me a little bit of "Lord of the Flies" now!... which I've read years later!
    I am not sure if I've actually ever finished writing that novel... but I did use a typewriter to write it back then :)

    6) - I've mentioned about this in my e-mail btw :)
    We've just finished our special "Week with Indiana Jones" series... and I am very eager to start an english-language version since Poles are too lazy to read us ;)

    8) wow... I've missed that part with "comfort zone" relating to the genre... sorry for that!

    I was rather thinking about not having my special reading zone - my "magic reader's corner" ;) Back in my childhood I had my favorite large green pouf, and I always loved to read in it... Right now it's much harder with my largely unorganised life ( although I am an organised person ). If I would have my own flat with my own furniture I'm sure I would easily turn it into a reader's retreat ;)
    And it may sound shocking but I have to say I do feel pretty comfy reading in a bus :)

    12) eeh... does it mean that You do like dog ears? Then I absolutely love them too ;) ... "vandalism", what "vandalism"? ;)

    13) maybe I was a bit too sharp... please make notes in my books, please, please ;)
    it's funny that I take a lot of notes from books but never leave them inside... I'll tell You what.. You convinced me... next time I'm gonna give it a try :)

    18) Well our brands are generally considered cheaper and of worse quality. I actually prefer Lipton, well any kind is good for me :) this includes ice tea of course ;)
    I haven't tried brazilian though!

    25) Thank You :)
    Surprisingly we didn't have her in school, although she was extremely popular at the time she received her Nobel, and our teachers are usually obsessed with Nobel prize winners :)

    Don't worry about the numbers! We are literature freaks, not mathematicians ;)

  12. I am slowly going back to blogging, actually. I'm planning on posting regularly again starting next week.

    Your story seems very creative! And I really want to read your posts on Indiana Jones, it's one of my favorite movies.

  13. Then I'm gonna start translating them for Ya! :)
    Wanted to to that anyway for blog's english version but since we have our first "order"... ;)

  14. Oh, that's great but I can just use the Google Translator tool ;)

  15. Glad You managed to go through that translation :) and thanx for Your comment :)


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