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  • Kristina Elyse Butke

55 Quirky Questions for Readers

Updated: Jan 25


Stack of library books on cart - 55 Quirky Questions for Readers
Photo by Freddie Marriage on Unsplash

Today's blog post comes courtesy of The Literary Lollipop. Considering I'm reading a lot of stuff to familiarize myself with the YA fantasy genre, I'm finally in a place where I can probably answer more than one question about books! Plus, it'll be nice to talk about things I read outside of YA, too.

✧・゚: *✧・゚:*    *:・゚✧*:・゚✧

1. Favorite childhood books:

The Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series; Goosebumps; Fear Street; Bad News Ballet, and many others.


2. What are you reading right now?

The Invincible Compendiums. I'm in Japan right now and while Invincible is available on Amazon Prime for me to watch here, they did not include the original English cast that I want to see so badly -- it's all dubbed over in Japanese with no English subtitles. While I can remember the gist of the couple issues of it I had back in the day, I forgot most of it and never finished the series, so I decided to just read all of Invincible because I can't wait anymore to see what happens.


3. What books do you have on request at the library?

I don't use the library here because I don't know enough Japanese to figure out how to get a library card.

4. Bad book habit:

For a long time, I wrote my name in pen on the inner cover of all of my books. I did this for at least a decade. Dear God, WHY?!?!

5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?

Nothing; see answer to #3.

6. Do you have an e-reader?

Yes, I have a Kindle Fire and I might invest in a Kobo, too, because I have books on the Kobo app that are exclusive to Kobo, and I can't access the app on my current devices here.

7. Do you prefer to read one book at a time, or several at once?

I prefer to read one book at a time, but I do read multiple web comics at a time. Right now I'm actively reading 28 comics on a single app alone. I subscribe to five different web comic apps. 8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?

Yes. My first blog was ten years old and over the course of its existence my reading has waxed and waned. When it started out as a homework assignment, I read all the time because we were required to, and I wrote about what I read in actual reviews. Then it became sort of a journal about my writing journey and I stopped reading for a very long period of time. Then I started reading more because of Speculative Chic, and now that I'm doing my YA reading project, I'm back to reading regularly. However, I don't know if I'll ever go back to writing book reviews like I've done in the past. This is largely because I dislike way more books than I like, and I don't want to put that negativity out there into the world.


9. Least favorite book you read this year (so far):

I made it a goal not to name and shame authors because I'm an author, too, and it's considered unprofessional to shoot down your coworkers. All I'll say is this least favorite book focused too much on lyrical language and not on storytelling, repeated phrases in dialogue and narration all of the time to the point of annoyance, and its twist was predictable.

10. Favorite book I’ve read this year (so far):

A Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson.

11. How often do you read out of your comfort zone?

I buy books out of my comfort zone all the time -- nonfiction and literary fiction, mostly. But reading them depends entirely on my mood. The last time I read nonfiction was over the summer...so it looks like I'll dip into something else once every six months or longer.

12. What is your reading comfort zone?

Fantasy, horror, and comics (manga/manhwa).

13. Can you read on the bus?

Nope!

14. Favorite place to read:

In bed!

15. What’s your policy on book lending?

I do not like doing it. Every time I have done it the book never comes back to me or it comes back damaged. I don't like to borrow books, either, because I think of the anxiety that I feel when I'm separated from my own books, and I wouldn't want to wish that on anyone else. Plus, I take way too long to read if I'm not overly enthused about a book being recommended to me, so I feel guilty if I end up borrowing a book for months on end.

16. Do you dogear your books?

I did when I was little. *SMACK*

17. Do you write notes in the margins of your books?

Not unless they were textbooks for school, otherwise they're sacred!

18. Do you break/crack the spine of your books?

NOOOOO!

19. What is your favorite language to read?

English because that's all I can read. I have attempted to read manga in Japanese several times and I'm literally just sounding out noises as I do. I don't actually understand anything that's happening. Sometimes I can still remember a little French if it pops up, but I'm not fluent in anything except English.

20. What makes you love a book?

The characters!

21. What will inspire you to recommend a book?

If the characters and story are memorable and the pacing is excellent. If the book has solid imagery, too, I'll recommend it.

22. Favorite genre:

Fantasy.

23. Genre you rarely read (but wish you did):

Romance. I've read maybe three in my life but I feel like we all have something to learn from romance authors when it comes to writing.

24. Favorite Biography:

I don't really read biography so I'm just going to say My Life by Isadora Duncan because that was the first biography I ever read and my mother gave it to me as a present because I was a dancer.

25. Have you ever read a self-help book? (And, was it actually helpful?)

I read writing and publishing self-help books all the time. As I read them, I feel like there's power surging through me, and then when I finish the book, I instantly forget what I learned.

26. Favorite Cookbook:

I don't read cookbooks so let's just bless whatever cookbook or family recipe handed down through the generations that enabled my mother (and I!) to make the best damned cake frosting in the world.

27. Most inspirational book you’ve read this year (fiction or non-fiction):

Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron ended on a surprising inspirational note!

28. Favorite reading snack:

Popcorn, but only if it's light on the butter! (Don't want it on the Kindle screen or on the book pages!)

29. Name a case in which hype ruined your reading experience:

Again, not naming and shaming, but...I didn't hear the hype about the book series I read until after I read them, because I had a mixed reaction to them. I loved reading them but I found a lot of problems with them, so I read reviews to see if I was alone in my criticisms. The hype the books continue to get kind of turn me off because they don't recognize what's problematic and weird about these books.

30. How often do you agree with the critics about about a book?

I usually disagree with the "blurbs" authors put on each others' books for each other, and I disagree almost always with the "for folks who like Title of Book by Author" because I think those comparisons (called "comps" by the industry) are almost always wrong and they're only connected in the loosest ways. I tend to avoid critical reviews from the New York Times and similar publications altogether, so the only other time I look at criticism is through Amazon and Goodreads. Reader reviews are very important to me. I pay attention the most to the two-star reviews because I think most books I've read lately have been two-star books, and I read those reviews for validation of any negative experience I've had with a book. I find one-star reviews and sometimes five-star reviews wildly off the mark.

31. How do you feel about giving bad/negative reviews?

I used to be open about sharing how much I disliked a book and didn't really censor how I felt about it. Sometimes I got downright snarky. But I'm a writer and I'm friends with writers and now that I've seen behind the curtain I *know* how personal it is for writers when they are given any feedback whatsoever. So I think I want to curb how and where I criticize a work. I will still openly admit what I've liked and disliked, but I don't think I'm going to bash anything publicly anymore. I might razz heavily on a book in private, but I'm not going to devote time on my blog to negative reviews anymore.

32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you choose?

I want to read in Japanese SO BADLY! I have soooo much manga on my Kindle that I can't read! I keep buying it without understanding any of it!

33. Most intimidating book I’ve read:

I was going to say Les Miserables but I just remembered I didn't read an original version, just an adaptation...so now it's The Lord of the Rings. If you haven't picked up on it yet, size is very intimidating.

34. Most intimidating book I’m too nervous to begin:

Every book in George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. I will probably never read them.

35. Favorite Poet:

Edgar Allan Poe. He's the most-memorized poet, anyway.

36. How many books do you usually have checked out from the library at any given time?

Usually eight to twelve books.

37. How often do you return books to the library unread?

Pretty often, if the book doesn't grab me right away. But I do try to at least skim books before returning them.

38. Favorite fictional character:

Josephine March

39. Favorite fictional villain:

Loki

40. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation:

Comics

41. The longest I’ve gone without reading:

I've always been reading something, but good old-fashioned fiction novels had an almost ten-year break there.

42. Name a book you could/would not finish:

There was a book written by a famous author who wrote under a pseudonym of a fictitious character she created in a different series. I dumped this book within a few pages. I could NOT stand the narrative's simultaneous pretentiousness and whimsy.


43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?

Sound and movement.

44. Favorite film adaptation of a novel:

Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings adaptation. I'm surprised it's still held up over all these years!

45. Most disappointing film adaptation:

Ok, I *never* read these books but I couldn't get through about 20 minutes of the Mortal Instruments movie before finding it absolutely ridiculous, so I'm sure if I was a fan of the books I'd be devastated because the movie made those books look awful.

46. Most money I’ve ever spent in a bookstore at one time:

Over $100, easy.

47. How often do you skim a book before reading it?

Maybe just the first couple pages of the LOOK INSIDE feature online or physically in the book store. Sometimes I do skip to the end.

48. What would cause you to stop reading a book halfway through?

It's been happening a lot lately. I will stop halfway through a book when I realize all of the other things I could be doing with my time and that spending my life on something mediocre isn't worth it. It shouldn't be effortless, but it shouldn't take a huge amount of effort to wade through a book, either. If it feels like a punishment to get to a reward, or there is no reward in sight, I'm done.

49. Do you like to keep your books organized?

I do but I can never *keep* them organized.

50. Do you prefer to keep books or give them away once they’ve been read?

I prefer to keep them but over the years I've gotten rid of them by giving them to Half-Price Books when I've been in desperate need for cash. Hence my frustrations at writing my name in the front covers of my books for many years. I've essentially ruined them.

51. Are there any books that you’ve been avoiding?

I follow book twitter and read Goodreads reviews a lot, and trust me, once I know an author is problematic, I avoid their work.

52. Name a book that made you angry:

The books I talked about in the question about hype are the same books that made me angry. I love these books and hate them at the same time.

53. A book I didn’t expect to like but did:

I read an Alice and Wonderland retelling that I wasn't sure would be good, but it ended up being excellent and has stayed in my memory.

54. A book I expected to like but didn’t:

There was a book I read with beautiful a beautiful layout and illustrations, and an interesting premise of monsters in a forest, and science versus magic...but it was really meandering and just when the story started to pick up, it was over.

55. Favorite guilt-free guilty pleasure reading:

Yaoi! 😘


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