I’ve tracked this tag across a few different blogs before I finally found the original video and creator. It’s from ReadLikeWildfire. I really like these kinds of tags, because you get to know the blogger behind the posts. I like talking about myself and my book habits, there’s a free guilty reader confession for you! Let’s dive right in and if you like this tag, consider yourself invited to join in on the fun.
Have you ever regifted a book you’ve been given?
I don’t believe I have. If I’m gifted a book I will always give it a try, and once it’s been read you can’t really wrap it up as a present for someone else. If I was given a book that’s not for me, and I knew that beforehand, I definitely would regift it to someone who will love it. I’m a bookseller, so getting excited about books for other people that I don’t necessarily like myself is no big deal for me.
I did regift a book I had bought for myself, but that’s a different story entirely. It’s one of my favourite books, Ready Player One. I had loaned it to my brother to read, and he fell in love with it as well. It is the first book he ever asked to borrow again, because he wanted to re-read. I was so proud of him! My brother never used to be a reader, but once he started he hasn’t stopped and I love watching him do things for the first time. Such as buying books himself instead of me loaning them to him, giving me tips instead of the other way around, and rereading favourites.
He was on a year-long trip around the world when I decided I would give him my copy of Ready Player One. I put a quote in there, on the title page. It’s from Beauty and the Beast: “If you like it all that much, it’s yours.” I sent it to him after a few months, together with a care package filled with stuff he liked.
Have you ever said you’ve read a book when you haven’t?
Yes, at work. As a bookseller, it’s my job to recommend books to people that I think they will love, even if they aren’t to my personal taste. They don’t need to be! But book buyers can become a bit apprehensive if you’re telling them you’re recommending a book you don’t have personal experience with (even though someone with a similar taste to the buyer just raved to me about that particular book the day before). They want to hear me say how much I loved it. But I can’t read everything.
Sometimes, when a customer comes in for a genre I really don’t read, it gets a bit weird to say “No, I haven’t read it myself, but I hear such amazing things about it from others who’ve read it”. It starts to sound as if you’re just throwing books their way to see which one sticks. So by the third time I just say I’ve read the book myself and loved it. And lo and behold, customers often immediately take it to the cash register. This is mostly people who are a bit older, teen readers never have this problem (and those books I actually do read myself, though).
Have you ever borrowed a book and not returned it?
Yes, twice. Once I’ve borrowed a book from a friend by Kate Mosse and completely forgot about it. She did too, and it’s still in a box somewhere in my mom’s garage where all my excess book boxes are (I don’t have a lot of space in my studio and every square inch is already covered in books). I think I’ve had that book for more than 15 years. It’s a friend who moved to Ireland years ago and who I hadn’t seen since school. We met up a few weeks ago when I was on holiday there!
Second time was when I borrowed a book from the library with the intent not to bring it back. I was about sixteen or seventeen, and in love with this particular series (Rhapsody by Elizabeth Haydon, for those interested). I had bought all the books myself, but the first book was out of print. So I talked it over with my mom, being a very conscientious and goody-two-shoes teenager. We borrowed the book, then went back about three weeks later saying we couldn’t find it. Could we perhaps pay for it? They looked up the cost, we paid the fee, and the book was clandestinely mine! I still have it.
Have you ever read a series out of order?
I don’t believe I have! The series I read have a storyline that continues to develop all throughout the books, so you can’t just pick and choose which book to start with. I do have a tendency, if I start thinking about a series but am not in the mood to reread, to sit down and look up my favourite scenes for a temporary fix. And that can be out of order.
Oh, no, wait. Children’s books, forgot about them. Yes, there are a lot of children’s books that have single book arcs, but there are multiple books about the group of friends. I have read a fair bit of those. Balletclub de Zwaantjes, Ramona en Ragebol, Bianca, De droomvriendinnen, De vier speurneuzen… And now that I’m thinking about it, I read Agatha Christie novels out of chronological order as well. So yes. Loads.
Have you ever spoiled a book for someone
Omg, yes I have by accident. I’m still so sorry about it, Annika! We were reading Emma by Jane Austen for class, and my friend was telling me she had never read it before, but she had seen the movie Clueless, which is a modern adaptation. Because she was only halfway through the book, she hadn’t figured out who all of the characters were yet, especially George Knightley. We started talking about Clueless with another friend and I accidentally misspoke, telling her it’s stepbrother Josh. Again. So sorry.
Have you ever dog eared a book?
Yes. I take my paperbacks with me everywhere, reading on my commute. They do not look pretty after being dragged around everywhere, and in those books I fold corners. I actually like the look of them. If a book looks like it’s been read it at every possible opportunity, to me it looks truly loved. I don’t care for that “museum-feel” of books, in which I should be afraid to touch them for fear of making them look less pristine. Books are there for enjoyment. And I enjoy engaging with my books.
I have a good sensory memory: I often remember when I read a certain book, where I read it, what music I was listening to then. By having many dog ears I can see I read the book even when I only had a few minutes to spare because I just HAD to carry on reading. But for pretty hardcovers and my collectibles, no, of course not.
Have you ever told someone you don’t own a book when you do?
No, never. What do I care people think about the sort of books I read? I must say it’s something I learned in getting older. I used to be a bit ashamed about the fact that I had this full year I really loved those cheesy historical romance novels you can buy at the supermarket for a few euros. I had rows and rows of them because I bought them every week. Nowadays, I tell that story all the time. I’m old enough to stop making excuses for my personal life and tastes.
Have you ever told someone you haven’t read a book when you have?
… That’s the same question, really. Why would I lie about owning a book but copping to reading it? What difference would that make? I tell people freely I’ve read a 100 pages of Fifty Shades of Grey, just so I can get into my reasons for hating it beyond belief. I can get a gorgeous rant on about it, but first I have to tell people I’ve partly read it.
I can’t think of any book I would be ashamed off, considering the story about the cheesy historical romance novels I told you about in the previous question. Even better, I was recently telling my brother about the Meredith Gentry– and Anita Blake-novels I was very into at some point. (If you don’t know them, it’s a lot of sex in a fantasy setting.) So no. No shame here.
Have you ever skipped a chapter or a section of a book?
Yes. If I don’t like a book, I start skipping until I get to the end just to know overall how it wraps up. And I do this with books I’m rereading as well, when there’s a part I’m just not that into. Sometimes something can be a bit painful at the moment, or you’re not into it. One of my favourite books has a separate plot about a little brother who is going to be prevalent in the next books (The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly). I don’t like the character, it is completely separate fom the main storyline and I’m just not there for it. By skipping them I miss out on nothing.
Have you ever bad mouthed a book you actually liked?
No. I’m honest about what I like and don’t like. I don’t even think I’ve pretended to like a book I actually hated. I have strong opinions and I’m not afraid to share them. We can’t all think alike and I’ve learned to not be susceptible to peer pressure.
I have a review on here for Did I Mention I Love You by Estelle Maskame. While I picked apart that book on its bad writing, stereotypical cardboard characters and convoluted plot points, I freely admitted I enjoyed the hell out of it nonetheless. It reminded me so much of the fanfic stories I used to write at sixteen about the boy I had a crush on in school. It brought me back to a time when I wrote like that, and I loved every minute.