Back to regularly scheduled programing:
I usually do ten questions on Friday. But today is my day off and yesterday, at Roots and Rings, I saw that all of the questions were about my most favorite non-breathing thing in the whole world. Suffice it to say that I'm pretty thrilled to get to gush endlessly about books. Now, let me go wash my face and re-fill my coffee and we'll just get right to it. Yeah?
And now for two side notes and a disclaimer.
Side note #1: When you live alone, sometimes you wake up and go to the bathroom and wash your hands without ever facing yourself in the mirror. Then you go about your day and take snapshots all over your house and edit them for your blog. You have two delightful telephone conversations with your sister and you feed your cat. At some point you've been up for three hours and decide to wash your face and you look in the mirror and audibly gasp at the way it looks when you forget to wash away all of the eyeliner and mascara from the previous day before going to bed. Yikes. Yikes x2.
Side note #2: When you run out of coffee creamer, you go on a mad dash about the kitchen looking for a suitable replacement. And you find it. In the freezer. Ice cream in my coffee. This simply can not happen every day but I'm just not going to fight it.
Disclaimer: Any question that asks for my favorite or best or most recommended or anything about the awesomeness of authors or writing or words or anything like that--I mean, the answer is going to have something to do with Anne Lamott. It just is. That's just the truth. But for the sake of the-opposite-of-monotony (who's the wordsmith now, Annie?!) I'll eliminate her as a possible answer. It's not fair to the rest of literature.
1. When someone asks you for a book recommendation, what is your go-to book? Gah! That depends. Is this person looking for something super challenging? The Sound and the Fury. Is this person looking for a classic? Their Eyes Were Watching God (that's the copy that I have and the cover is gorgeous to look at and also to touch). Something to make you feel nostalgic--like a kid again? The Little Prince. A really quick and impossible-to-put-down, fun read that is simple and yet immeasurably valuable? Paper Towns. Usually, I say Paper Towns.
2. Do you buy your books, or are you a library patron? Both. I love both. It's funny because when I walk through any given store, I will go on and on, over in my mind about whether or not I really want to spend this amount of money for this object. I tell myself, "do I really want to spend two whole dollars on boxed Pad Thai?" "Six dollars for razors? Ugh!" And I usually don't buy anything until I tell myself, "You will be hungry and hairy and no one will ever love you if you don't just buy something!" So then I do and I mourn that lost eight bucks. But when I go into a book store? I'm like, "I've never read this or even heard of it. Fourteen dollars? NBD!" And I generally drop thirty dollars or more on paperbacks and I experience no buyer's remorse whatsoever. Sometimes I end up reading these books.
But I also love the library. I love that the community makes reading and sharing important. Also, I can leave the library with hundreds of dollars worth of books at a time and it doesn't cost me a dime. The only time it's terrible is when I love a book so much that I don't want to give it up. Or when I love it so much that I want to underline, highlight and otherwise completely destroy it with my love. That happened with She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb. I didn't anticipate how much I would relate to and completely believe this story or this character. I read it in a week and I assure you, that's one long-ass book.
3. E-readers, yay or nay? Oh gawsh. I'm so torn about this subject. On one hand I'm all, "No! Please! God, don't let the books disappear!!" And on the other hand, we're living in a world where people are only happy when there's a blinking screen looking back at them. And we have to accept that. And I think that reading is so important that a little bit of me doesn't give a rip how you do it. Just read. Just read! Expand your mind. Think. Explore. Push your brains to the brink of exhaustion or just read about girls shopping and fucking their way through NYC. I don't care--just get out of your own head for a second. That's what's important. Also, I think that kids might be more apt to read when it's on a novelty item like a Kindle or an iPad and I say do whatever it takes.
But for me. For me. For me--I need the tactile sensation of turning a page. I like going back through my bookshelves and reading the things that I highlighted back when I was in college. I like finding $5 bills that I stashed inside of my old books to reward my future self for revisiting them. I need to feel the paper and the binding and I need to see how much I loved it. I can't even loan my copy of The Perks of Being a Wallflower to anyone anymore because there's too much of myself all over and inside of it. I made love to that book. And that's why I'll never buy an e-reader. Borders is closing and that makes me sad. But it kind of makes me excited because everything's so damn cheap. But it's still sad.
4. What was your favorite book as a child? The Velveteen Rabbit. I was a very sensitive kid, which we have discussed ad nauseum, and this book always made me feel. I had a broken heart for that little rabbit. All the way through the end. Also, once when I was in high school, my friend Tamra read it to a group of us late at night when we were all sleepy. That's a happy thing that I think about, sometimes.
5. If you could be any character in a book, who would you be? When I read The Bell Jar, I thought I was Esther Greenwood. And that scared the crap out of me. There's parts of all sorts of characters that I'd like to be, but I can't think of any one person that I'd like to be. I want to be any girl who was bold and confident and knew herself. I want to be innocent and childlike and brave. I think that maybe it's obvious that I just want to be Scout.
6. What book would you love to see turned into a movie? The whole time that I was reading Water For Elephants, I was hungry to see it. I wanted to see the horses and the acrobats and what it looked like to have a chase-down across the top of a moving train. And after I finished it, I scoured the internets to see if they were making a movie of it because there's no way that I was the only person in the world to have this idea. All I found was one little blurb that said that there were talks to make it into a movie. That thrilled me. And now that I see the cast... I'm kind of a little less excited about it. In fact, I was a little bit pissed about it. I know it's not fair but it's true. I mean, I'll still watch it. Don't get me wrong--but I know I won't love it. I'll probably have to re-read the book again just to put that taste back in my mouth.
7. What is your all-time favorite book? So many things to consider! Obviously the asker of this question isn't aware that to even consider answering this question would send me into a tail spin. So let's pretend that this question says, "Which book have you read more than any other book?" And the answer to that question is, of course, Ethan Hawke's Ash Wednesday. You expected me to say The Hottest State, didn't you? Well, I didn't. I like Ash Wednesday better. Also, speaking of The Hottest State, I have a copy of the uncorrected proof, not for individual retail sale version that was sent out before the book was published. And I'm pretty dern proud of it.
Did you know that?
8. How many books do you read at once? I like to read one at a time because I get so into my books that I get all of the characters and things confused. Unless I'm reading a novel and something instructional. I can do that, obviously. But I don't like it. Books are too much like people to me and I don't like having a telephone conversation with someone while my friends are sitting right in front of me. It's the same.
9. What is your favorite book genre? I have such a specific go-to genre. I have to push myself to read other things but when I just need something that I know I'm going to enjoy, then I go to the memoir section and I find something that was written in the past 20 years--preferably by a man, usually with mommy issues. I don't. know. why.
10. Which Harry Potter book is the best? Or haven’t you read them at all? *facepalm*