The “Would You Rather” Book Tag

A short one for you today, but still a nice little book tag. I don’t know who the original creator is, but I found it on Sincerely, A Book Nerd. I like for my book tags to be a bit more expansive, but I liked the questions, which is why I’m posting it nonetheless.


Would you rather…


… read only a series or stand-alone books?

I would rather read a series. I like stand-alone books, they offer different challeges for the story to be told in its entirety and it certainly has its advantages of keeping the plot tight and paced. But I predominantly read fantasy, authors of which I do also credit on their ability to build worlds. And a good world needs room, or you will feel cheated out of half the story. I felt that way when I read V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic. It is a YA fantasy, which means it will always have a smaller word count, but I felt the world was only bare bones. It was so promising, and could have made use of the space by delving into it much more. When I’m in a world, I feel loathe to leave it. So, I do prefer series over stand-alone books.

Also, even when you must choose to exclusively read series, you still have the option of just reading the first novel and treating it as a stand-alone. I’ve come to notice that series are usually set up in a way that is profitable to the publisher. Meaning, the first book has a satisfying enough arc with a few loose threads that can be expanded on in a second and third novel. If sales for the first book are disappointing enough, they leave it at that without having to anger fans who did like the first book by leaving them hanging. This is why the second book almost always ends on an open ended cliffhanger, because by then the publisher has decided to take on the entire trilogy, making sure you are hooked enough to boost sales for the final book. This does only work for trilogies, not longer series, but authors usually aren’t allowed to write longer series these days without first having proved their selling ability.


… read a book whose main character is male or female?

I was going to say female, but then I thought a bit longer on my favourite series. Because I read a lot of fantasy, I read from a male’s perspective often enough. I’d say the balance, taking YA into account, is about one third male and two thirds female. I actually don’t really mind either way, as long as it’s a well written character. When it’s contemporary, I assume I care a bit more. Contemporary reads equal actual real world problems on a more personal scale, and I would be able to get into the story better if it’s a girl. So, mostly impartial, but if I have to choose, I’d say female simply because I’m a girl.


… rather shop only at an actual bookstore or online?

I’m a bookseller. I can’t say otherwise than shop in an actual bookstore. It’s true, though. I love browsing in bookstores, and I amuse my mom to no end when – while I do this – I start straightening piles and stacks. I can’t help it, it has become such a part of me after eight years of doing it! My hands itch when things are on the wrong shelf, or an author is misplaced out of alphabetical order, or when a stack is croooooked.

But I cannot discount the online experience. I find my books through what I see on Instagram, blogs and Goodreads. I usually browse online because I read predominantly English, and we get only a small sample of that in Dutch bookstores. I would have to go to a bookstore in another city to find an English department bigger than 3 bookcases (yes, the whole of what English books have to offer, all genres). And even though I work in a bookstore, I can get them cheaper online. It saves me about 3-4 euros (5 dollars) per book, and that means that when I buy three online, I pay the same as when I would buy 2 in a physical bookstore. I don’t like doing it, but with money being quite tight due to student loans, I don’t have much of a choice until I become a rich enough woman to support my book-spending habit.

Well. At least I’m honest about it, right?


… Rather all books become movies or tv shows?

TV series. You cannot tell me that you can cram an entire book into one two-hour movie. It’s an abomination. It will and can never be as good as the book and don’t we all want it to be exactly like how we pictured it in our minds? At least when they make a limited tv series (yes, limited to the actual scope of the book!), you can be a bit more at ease about them actually wanting to make a go of it.

This is not always the case, however. I thought The Hunger Games movies were very well done, although I think they were more enjoyable to the people who have actually read the books, because they felt like an addition. My brother hated the third movie because it’s all preparation and no action, considering it’s made from the first half of the third novel. I know what happens next, but he didn’t, and he felt he got absolutely nothing out of that movie except for the “Coming to the tree” section. And on the other side of the spectrum, I seriously don’t want to talk about the Shadowhunters series. Great job using all that space to recreate the books to change everything.

To be honest, I really rather they didn’t at all. We might wish for them, but we’re almost always disappointed by them.


… rather read five pages a day or five books per week?

Who would choose to read five pages a day? What booklover could put a book down after five pages independent of there possibly being a huge cliffhanger? This is a dumb question. I would of course rather read five books a week, even though I would probably have to quit my day job doing so.

I once almost convinced my boss to let me sit in the store window and read all day. I think he would consider it if I can attach some sort of record breaking to it and invite press to watch. *Googling right now*.


… Rather be a professional book reviewer or an author?

Easy. I’d rather be an author. I write myself, although I’ve never shown anything to a publisher. I might, but I keep writing and rewriting and thus never truly finishing it. It’s also far too long. I would love to send it in one day, but I write in English and live in The Netherlands, and I have no clue how I would send in a manuscript in England or the US, considering they have different rules and you would need an agent.

And I like doing book reviews a lot, much more than I thought I would. I would love to do it professionally, considering I can literally read books all day and get paid for it. I bet it would also be a bit (although not much) easier to achieve than becoming a known author with a contract at an actual publishing house. (Just imagine, Tor Books calling me…. And here I go, in the middle of advocating being a book reviewer, dreaming about being an author again. I think I definitely made my choice.)


… Rather only read the same 20 books over and over or get to read a new book every six months?

Hm. Depends on if I have to stop reading for the remaining 5 months and three weeks in between those new books. I really like rereading my old favourites, and there are books I’ve been dragging around the country (by moving a lot) for years. I can never understand people who really love a book and then never read it again because they already know what happens. Who cares? It’s about reliving those emotions, discovering new things in words and lines you hadn’t seen before, in seeing things from different perspectives as you grow and get older.

But, if I have to choose between sticking to the same 20 books or exploring new books and never rereading, I would still choose the latter. I love finding new authors, new books. To find something that resonates with you, strikes you, unexpectedly. It’s the discovery I love most about books, even more than the nostalgia. So I would choose the new book.


… Rather be a librarian or own a bookstore?

As I am currently a bookseller, I would definitely choose having my own bookstore. It’s my world, it’s were I live and work. I have so many ideas for my own bookstore, all I lack is the money to set it up. I do admit I have been working in a bookstore for long enough that I want to do a lateral move into publishing or something like it, I think I would eventually return to that idea of my own bookstore.

I’ve been wanting to do a little coffeeshop in my future bookstore before it became the next big thing, and I feel most have been doing it wrong. It’s supposed to mesh with the books, a place where you can hang out and read surrounded by the things you love. Yes, of course the ultimate goal is you buying something, but when you feel welcome somewhere, you will be loyal to it forever. People are an investment. Dutch bookstores focus too much on the selling and not the experiencing part. They are trying, but as usual, running to catch up with it now that it’s been proven that the concept works. Oh well. I’ll just have to be innovative myself when I get that money from somewhere.


… Rather only read your favourite genre or your favourite author?

Favourite genre. It’s going to be tough without my favourite author in the genre, but there are so many good books out there, I would seriously be missing out more if I chose the other way around.


… Rather only read physical books or ebooks?

Physical books. I have nothing against reading on an ereader (my brother does so exclusively), everyone must choose their own medium. How you read is not important, that you read is important. I have tried reading ebooks, but I find it much harder to get into the story and care about the characters. I don’t feel as much of a connection with books when I read them electronically. I need to feel paper in my hands, turn pages the old fashioned way. Flip through them obsessively to get to the passage I’m looking for, instead of just using a search function. I need the tactile experience to get the whole experience. I would read an ebook if there was nothing else available, but it’s physical books all the way.


That’s it for this book tag, I hope my answers at the very least have entertained you! If you feel inspired to do so, go right on ahead and tackle the questions yourself.

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