BTT: March 2008 Archives

BTT: Cover-up

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From Booking Through Thursday:

While acknowledging that we can't judge books by their covers, how much does the design of a book affect your reading enjoyment? Hardcover vs. softcover? Trade paperback vs. mass market paperback? Font? Illustrations? Etc.?

It used to matter a lot. For a while I did most of my reading while carrying our son in a sling. He used to love sleeping that way and often slept for two hours. The sling left my hands free and I used that time for reading. As you can imagine, I really preferred small, light paperbacks at that point.

Now my favourite format is trade paperback. Trade paperbacks and hardcovers are usually most pleasant to read, as they often have slightly larger type. I have pretty good eyes, but still - larger type is more pleasing to read. Trade paperbacks beat hardcovers in weight, so they offer the best mix of features.

Airy, clear fonts are the best. Illustrations are usually a good thing, but I can live without. Maps I like a lot (thanks, BooksPlease, for reminding me of that).

As I mooch most of the books I read, I don't choose, I just grab whatever I can get. Given a choice, I would choose a trade paperback.

BTT: The End

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From Booking Through Thursday:

You've just reached the end of a book . . . what do you do now? Savor and muse over the book? Dive right into the next one? Go take the dog for a walk, the kids to the park, before even thinking about the next book you're going to read? What?

I have a big enough pile of books to read, so I tend to jump on to next one. If I have time, I'll go get the new book right away, but often when I finish a book it's time to quit reading anyway. But I usually don't have a need to savor the books, it's either new book straight away or off to do something else.

Choosing the next book is often a hard task. I feel like I should pick one of the books I've had for a quite a while now, but then again something new might be tempting me even more. Also, my moods swing, sometimes I want to read in Finnish, sometimes I don't mind reading in English. At times I feel like I want to read something small and don't want to jump in some big book (or a trilogy; I've got Lois McMaster Bujold's Chalion books waiting).

One factor is BookMooch: if I'm low on points there, I might choose something that's likely to go quickly there (and preferably something small that's cheap to send).

BTT: Playing Editor

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From Booking Through Thursday:

How about a chance to play editor-in-chief? Fill in the blanks:

__________ would have been a much better book if ______________________.

I had to think about this a bit, but then I came up with a perfect case. Frank Sch├Ątzing's The Swarm could've been an excellent book, but wasn't.

I'm fairly sure my wife wasn't the only one to give up with the book. She made it through 200-300 pages, then got tired of nothing happening - just before the first major eco catastrophe in the book. I made it through the whole 900-page book, but in the end it felt like a total waste of time.

So, had I been the editor of the book, I would've pushed Sch├Ątzing to make it at least 200-300 pages shorter. I'm fairly sure that would've been feasible, and I believe the result would've been a better book.

If there's ever a movie made of this book (and I think it's likely), they'll have to use scissors a lot, and that'll hopefully make a good movie out of a boring book.

BTT: Hero

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From Booking Through Thursday:

You should have seen this one coming ... Who is your favorite Male lead character? And why?

This is bit like last week, indeed... But perhaps a tad easier. At least few candidates come to mind immediately. Ged from the Earthsea series and Crispin from The Sarantine Mosaic are both interesting, well-rounded characters.

I also kind of liked Milgrim from Spook Country, though I wouldn't necessarily call him a hero. That book had some pretty rich characters, in general. Hollis Henry could've made it to my list of favourite heroines. Cayce Pollard from Pattern Recognition should've been on that list as well, come to think of it.

BTT: March 2008: Monthly Archives

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