1. What’s your favorite time of day to read? Any time of day, each and every day.
2. Do you read during breakfast? (Assuming you eat breakfast.) No. My mum was big on table manners, and "no reading or watching television at mealtimes" was drummed into us from a very early age.
3. What’s your favorite breakfast food? (Noting that breakfast foods can be eaten any time of day.) Honestly? A fry-up. I love how it fills me up for hours and hours and I can honestly say that in all my travels, I've never found another more satisfying way to break my fast than this.
4. How many hours a day would you say you read? When I'm in work, I tend to spend quite a bit of time reading (reports, e-mails, etc.). When it comes to reading for my own enjoyment, it fluctuates from day to day. There are days I simply can't concentrate and can't read more than a couple pages before I give up. Then there are days I can read all morning, afternoon, and evening without let-up.
5. Do you read more or less now than you did, say, 10 years ago? I don't think my reading has ever been other than voracious. It really is my favourite pastime.
6. Do you consider yourself a speed reader? I read fast, but I'm not a speed reader by any stretch of the imagination. On average, I take between 2-4 days to finish a book, depending on the number of pages and my level of engagement. I read at a steady pace, which allows me to remember the major plotlines of my novels for years after I've read them.
7. If you could have any superpower, what would it be? To be able to eat whatever takes my fancy without fear of putting on the pounds.
8. Do you carry a book with you everywhere you go? Oh, yes, even on errands, because you never know when you’ll be queueing somewhere, or spend time stuck in a waiting room because the trains are delayed again (or something).
9. What KIND of book? Whatever I happen to be reading at the time,except when it's a volume that physically won't fit into my purse. Then I'll either select one from my existing library that does, or stop off at the nearest bookstore and get one (or two...three..four...).
10. How old were you when you got your first library card? I think I was about 7 or 8...Funny thing is, I've not set foot in a public library since completing my post-doc in 1993, having been too busy building up my own book collection, which currently stands at a disappointing 988 volumes.
11. What’s the oldest book you have in your collection? (Oldest physical copy? Longest in the collection? Oldest copyright?) Well...I have Thomas More's Utopia, which was first published in 1516... and Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach's Entwurff einer historischen Architektur dates from 1721; but obviously the copies I have are modern ones. The book I've personally had the longest would be my copy of Grimm's Fairytales. I've had it since I was 5, I think. The oldest physical copy on my shelves is F. Kugler's Handbuch der Kunstgeschichte (1841), but a 3rd edition, dating from 1855.
12. Do you read in bed? Sometimes, but never for very long. My bed, although comfortable enough for sleeping in, isn't really that comfortable a place to read in.
13. Do you write in your books? Hardly ever. I may correct a misprint here or there, but that's about it. Again, this is something my mum taught me: books should be handled with respect, and that means: no writing in the margins!
14. If you had one piece of advice to a new reader, what would it be? Read everything you can get your hands on! If you don’t enjoy it you don’t have to finish it, but if you don’t try reading it, how will you know?
15. If someone asked you for a book recommendation, what is the FIRST book you’d think to recommend (without extra thought)?
It would depend on the person asking, but if I didn't have to take their own interests, tastes, and probable prior book history into consideration, I would probably recommend The Little Prince by A. de Saint-Exupéry. It's such a sweet, tender, and profound novella, I don't think anyone can read it and not be moved.
There, I've memed.