I'm heading out on a secret, solo mission, so classified that I can't reveal where it is I'm going or why I'm going until my return, and even then I might have to take out the black pen and redact most of what I try to tell you. Anyway, I'll be back on Wednesday unless I can't escape the hands of my potential captors.
Hardback or trade paperback or mass market paperback?
Doesn't matter much to me. I still have some designs on being a collector one of these days, but for now, I'm more of a hoarder and the real reason I keep the books once I've finished them is because I just don't know how to say goodbye.
Amazon or brick and mortar?
Brick and mortar with Amazon being the choice of last resort.
Barnes & Noble or Borders?
I loved the Borders in San Diego. They always had a great selection and rarely came away disappointed even when I went there with a pretty specific list. The North Raleigh Borders isn't so good and the Barnes & Noble ain't much better.
Bookmark or dogear?
A sore subject. I use a bookmark, then another, then another. Depending on the size of the book, I lose on average three to four bookmarks. Fortunately, the bookmarks are usually receipts or marketing copy or anything that's handy. As for dogear, I do tend to do this to a page in which I want to return, either for a good excerpt or just to re-read.
Alphabetize by author or alphabetize by title or random?
I have a bastardized alphabetization system that I employ when I can. Basically, I keep the books alphabetized by author or grouped in alphabetical order though not in order within the letter. So Hemingway may come before Hannah but all of the Hs will be together. Does that make sense?
Keep, throw away, or sell?
Hoard. Never throw away. I sold only when I was desparate for beer money back in the bad ole' days.
Keep dustjacket or toss it?
I keep them but I've been known to get frustrated enough with the ones that won't stay on that I set them aside and then lose them.
Read with dustjacket or remove it?
Short story or novel?
Depends on my mood.
Collection (short stories by same author) or anthology (short stories by different authors)?
I do enjoy me a good anthology, but I prefer the collection by same author.
Harry Potter or Lemony Snicket?
Couldn't tell you.
Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?
I try to time it so that I'll end the night's reading at the end of a chapter break, but when this isn't possible, I'll try to find a good spot, a lull in the action, the end of piece of dialogue, a pretty picture.
“It was a dark and stormy night” or “Once upon a time”?
It was once upon a dark and stormy night time.
Buy or Borrow?
New or used?
Mostly new, but I've been known to hit up a used book store or two. And don't get me started on the library book sales.
Buying choice: book reviews, recommendation or browse?
These days, recommendations mostly.
Tidy ending or cliffhanger?
Um, not sure. I don't want a sloppy ending but I don't necessarily want things left unresolved. Not that I want everything explained either. So maybe a combination of the two, a tidy cliffhanger.
Morning reading, afternoon reading or nighttime reading?
How about reading when I can sneak it in these days. Usually I prefer a good afternoon read.
Standalone or series?
Updike's Rabbit novels. Kerouac's Duluoz legend.
Favorite book of which nobody else has heard?
I wouldn't say "nobody" but the one book that too few people have heard about is Jujitsu for Christ.
Favorite books read last year?
See this post.
Favorite books of all time?
This one's too hard and I have too many miles of road ahead of me to try and come up with and then defend my answer. For now, I'll just use the standard one that I usually give when asked this, Moby-Dick. But all of the books that fight for position on my list should be given some attention at some point, when I have more time.