I just found this tag on Book Dragon 1017’s blog and I just had to do it to, because I love the questions. Answering these is going in to those kinds of things that don’t usually come up in book-related conversation. When is the last time you admitted to a person you read a name wrong? It’s the kind of trivia that doesn’t pop into your head at the right time, because I would find it immensely interesting reading all of your answers to these same questions.
So: if you want to do this tag and you found it here, consider yourself tagged as well!
A character appearance that you misread or imagined differently?
Paige Mahoney. I know that she is blonde, I know that they do not call her The Pale Dreamer for no reason, but I can’t imagine her any other way than with chestnut brown hair. I have always had this image of her, so whenever I am rereading this book, I am purposely ignoring the clues and keep seeing her the way I’ve always seen her. Maybe it’s because my own hair is that colour, or because I feel it fits her personality better, I have no idea.
I don’t often ‘mistake’ a character’s appearance, but I do often take issue with movies casting people that don’t match the book’s description or my personal view of them. I know it is impossible to please everyone, and every single person sees someone differently based on their own preferential taste, but I also know this is a main problem we book readers have. We just want the movie in our heads to be the movie on the screen. I am lobbying for science to build us a thought reader. Wouldn’t it be freaking AWESOME if you could read the book and tape the movie in your mind? To see the movie other people made reading the same book, to see how it compares and differs? Such things just get me so enthusiastic!
A character name you’ve been pronouncing wrong
I am still doing so, because I cannot think of this name any other way. Kaladin from The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson is pronounced KAL-a-din. It is even mentioned in (I think) the second book of the series, probably because the question was posed a lot. I read this name with the emphasis on the second syllable: Kal-A-din. I think I do so because it is a more common inflection my own language, Dutch.
Another one is Patrick Rothfuss’ main character Kvothe in Name of the Wind. You pronounce it as ‘quote’, only with the extra v. I pronounce it that way, but also stress the last ‘e’, which you are not supposed to do. It’s supposed to be silent. Well, call me a rebel. It’s easier for me to read that way! Do you also have this problem? When I find it difficult to pronounce out loud, I have trouble reading it as well, even though I do not have to sound out the name to read. Am I just weird that way?
An overused trope that is your guilty pleasure?
Hatred or severe dislike turned into love. I cannot help it, I love it. It is the opposite of insta-love, which I really cannot stand. I do freely admit I can understand why others don’t like this sort of story, and it really has been done a lot, but it just gets me every time. Every story in which two main characters are forced together against their will – sign me up. Luckily, it is the basis for many stories, and I can read about it as much as I desire.
I am also a big fan of unlikely matches. I usually wind up shipping a couple that never get together in real life. I mean the book. Draco and Hermione were that for me, for instance, but I know I’m not alone in that. I just like to imagine how two people, who are very unlikely to ever find common ground, can still fall in love and create their own middle ground. The process of two ends meeting is just alluring to me.
A cliche character type that you liked better seeing on-screen than reading about?
Hm. I don’t think this ever happened to me. I cannot think of a single character I would like better on screen than on a page. I connect better to a character on the page because you have more time with them, more insight into their emotions, thoughts and motivations. If I think of a character I disliked, I don’t think I would prefer them any better if I saw them in a movie.
So I am going to have to pass on this one, but if you have an opinion on this, please let me know! Maybe I’m just not thinking about the right character cliche, and your answer will spark something in me that does make me want to contribute to this argument!
A word/phrase that you learned because of its use in a book?
I would say about 50% of what I know about the English language I learned from books. My first language is Dutch. I learned English at school, of course, but it wasn’t until I started watching movies and series without subtitles and reading in English that I truly learned the language. I am fluent in it now, and there are so incredibly many words I learned simply from reading the page. I also have a large vocabulary I cannot use in direct conversation, such as fantasy terms, pirate lingo, dystopian geek.
One term that really comes to mind is when I first read a word that my mom didn’t know. She is an avid reader, and it was extremely rare to find her not knowing a word. When I learned to read, I would always ask her when I didn’t know the word. She would always have the answer. But once, when I was about 15, I read the word ‘meanderen’ (meandering). I was baffled there was even a Dutch word in existence she didn’t know about, and I never forgot its meaning since.
Have you ever not read / not completed a reading requirement for school?
Try about 90% of them. I HATED reading for school, the required literature. It almost put me off reading entirely. I read book reports and based my own on them, or watched the movies. Sometimes I could put a popular book on my list and I’d just talk about that one. When I started Literary Sciences at university, there were still books I failed to complete. I hated Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. The entire Romantic period is a drag. I loved Jane Austen, and I loved King Arthur stories. I really liked comparing old stories to new incarnations, which always made me read them more intently.
It took me a long time to accept that I am not into heavy literature, being a student of literature and an avid reader. But once I embraced it, I started to see that it’s not just the heavy literature that should have a place among the things we study. So I am avidly lobbying to include more popular literature, and am doing my thesis on fantasy, science fiction and YA, and their worth in literary science.
Have you ever (or have wanted to) skipped a chapter from the POV you weren’t interested in?
Ohh, I did. I am a bit ashamed of it, but I have a habit of skimming those chapters. I do usually read them, because you would miss to much otherwise, but then I find myself unhappy with the book because of the discrepancy. I think – in general – that switching POV’s takes a reader out of the story, a momentary break in the immersion, and I personally have to work harder to get into it again. I do not care overly much for it. Having said that, in some instances it works very well. Books with a grander scope do better with multiple POV’s because there are multiple storylines, and in that case I do not mind them at all. Brandon Sanderson’s Way of Kings, for instance. But to answer the question: no, I’ve never outright skipped. I am guilty of skimming it occasionally, and of disliking the switch in POV.
Have you ever canceled social plans to read a book?
I have not so much outright canceled social plans to read, as that I just don’t make social plans when I want to read. I don’t know if that is much of a difference, but I do prefer reading to social engagements a lot of the time. I love reading. I am interacting with characters in a way that somehow, I do consider social. I have a rich emotional life because of the books I read, and I travel without leaving my home. I don’t feel like I am missing out when I balance social plans with reading. But I would not cancel a social plan to read. The social plans I do make mean something to me, because I don’t make them arbitrarily. When I have them, I am going to see people I really, really like seeing. Let’s just say that I’m a bit picky with my time, and leave it at that 😉