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Ceridwen

Ceridwen

You kids get off my lawn. 

Either/Or

I was tagged by Themis-Athena.

 

The folklorist in me wants to find the source of this quiz, but the several glasses of wine in me assures that that will not happen. Instead, I'm just going to answer some questions.

 

Booklet or Tome?

I feel like the "right" answer here should be tome, but I'm going with booklet. I've grown more impatient in my reading as I age, and I'm less willing to indulge indulgence. As far as the tome goes, I'm more likely to enjoy a shaggy dog over the magnum opus. I have grown to appreciate the stiletto, that fine, smooth blade that cuts even without pain. 

 

Pre-Owned or New?

 

Pre-owned, I guess? I'm cheap. I use the library hard, and tend to buy the books I've enjoyed only after I've enjoyed them. I have no problem waiting for a used copy. 

 

Historical Fiction or Fantasy?

 

Doy, fantasy. I like and respect history, but when it comes to my fiction, I'm more interested in the fractures in the way we construct narrative than, you know, facts. I do have a serious interest in the alternate history - talk about your fractures - and it irritates me no end when authors take the lazy road of "it's all fiction; anything can happen." So I guess I want my fantasy to have some historical sense to it. To split that baby good. 

 

Hardcover or Paperback?

 

Blah, I don't know. There's a bunch of these either/ors that seem either bullshit or specious. I hate mass market paperbacks because they are too small and the spine breaks, which sets off the very small amount of vampire OCD I have rattling in my personality. I like the big trade paperbacks because they are the right size and they're soft. Hardcovers are great, obviously, because they have slipcovers that you can use as bookmarks, but they don't cuddle well. So. 

 

Funny or Sad?

 

Scary? Stupid? I hesitate to say sad, because I have no patience with tear-jerkers or stories I feel are intentionally manipulative. Now that I've thought about it a bit, I guess I'd say funny, but with the caveat that much of what I find funny is either juvenile or grotesque. I'm not necessarily looking for funny ha-ha when I read, but more funny what the fuck was that? 

 

Do you prefer reading in summer or in winter?

This question is dumb.

 

Classics or Mainstream?

 

 

Both, obvs. I feel like there's a ratio here: the considered up against the disposable. I was talking to my husband the other day about a couple trash books I'd read when I had a cold, and he was like, you read two books in a day? Sure, I said, they had a lot of words in them, but it's not like the words were hard. I enjoy being challenged by literature that challenges, whether by historical shift or deliberate feint, but I also read as a pastime. Reading, for me, is often quite literally passing time, and I don't necessarily want to be all in depth right before bed or when I'm listening to some audiobook on the commute. 

 

Guidebook or Fiction?

 

This question is also dumb. Why not fiction or non-fiction? I have yet to see anyone choose Fodor's over the entirety of make believe. And to that person: who are you? 

 

Crime Novel or Thriller?

Thriller, I suppose. I don't have much interest in this edge of fiction, and I don't see a huge difference between the two. Certainly, this could be ignorant insouciance, like the time I said something about metal to my death metal Satanist friend, and he schooled me for a half an hour about all the various different kinds of hardcore metal music. Good times.

 

Ebook or Print Edition?

 

Both again. Books is books. 

 

Collecting or Clearing Out?

A stupid mix of the worse of both. I have teetering stacks of books all over the house, but I do not have the personality of a collector, so they're ill-sorted and badly maintained. I tend to give away books I truly love, and hang onto stuff I feel like I should read - even for dumbass reasons like "I own it, might as well" - so what I have in the house tends to be both unread and unreadable. I'm a non-collector with thousands of books in no particular order. Fuck. 

 

Internet or Bookstore?

Library. Library. Library. 

 

Backlist or New Publications?

 

Realistically, new pubs. I'll stretch back for many reasons, but I really enjoy the churn of new publications, the unfolding serial, the timely statement. 

 

Best or Bad Seller?

Another dumb question. I could go anti-populist and rag on the best seller, or I could argue that millions of people can't be wrong. For myself, I tend to gravitate to either trash or pomo wankery -- either the high or the low brow. I have some problems with this nomenclature, but the middle brow -- the stuff that tends to sell best -- tends not to be for me. 

 

Cookbook or Baking Book?

 

Baking, all the way. I'm an indifferent cook, and I tend to play out the same dozen recipe variations because I simply don't care. Cooking tends to require a kind of flair for invention I can't muster when it comes to food. Baking though, baking is chemistry. Given the right writer, you cannot fuck up a baking recipe, because it is exact. Plus, baked goods omnomnom. 

 

And so, that's it! I think I'm supposed to tag people, but, given the wine, that's not going to happen tonight.