Today I’m doing my first book tag. This one’s been going around for a while and I don’t know who started it, but if you do, tell me in the comments and I’ll acknowledge them. There are ten questions about bookish habits that might cause feelings of guilt. This could be embarrassing!
- Have you ever re-gifted a book you’ve been given?
Yes, if I know I won’t read it or won’t read it again. I always hang onto them for a while before re-gifting, but if I think someone else will enjoy the book, I’ll pass it on. Whether I’ll tell the gifter or not depends on whether I think it would hurt their feelings, but I don’t feel guilty about it. It would never bother me if someone re-gifted a book I’d given them – pass the books around, I say. Guilt level: zero.
- Have you ever said you’ve read a book when you haven’t?
Okay, second question, first twinge of guilt. I did this quite a lot in college. I minored in literature, but I really didn’t like many of the books chosen by my lecturers. I always started them, but the ones I truly hated, I gave up on quite quickly and bluffed my way through tutorials and assignments with the help of summaries and Cliff Notes. I never actually lied and said I had read the book, but I certainly implied it. I haven’t done it since, promise. Guilt level: 😞
- Have you ever borrowed a book and not returned it?
Yes, once, and it still haunts me twenty years later. I was taking a pottery class and I borrowed an expensive coffee table book about Japanese pottery techniques from an acquaintance, who has probably never lent a book to anyone ever again. I didn’t steal it on purpose – I just took a long time to get around to reading it and by then we had lost touch. She had moved to another town and I never found her again. This was before we all had mobile phones, you understand. I couldn’t even remember her last name. I kept that book for years – a silent accusation staring at me from my bookshelves – hoping the rightful owner might get in touch (she had my home phone number, but perhaps she lost it in the move?) Finally, I realised it was never going to happen and I donated it to a charity shop. Guilt level: 😞😞😞
- Have you ever read a series out of order?
Yes, lots of them. I think the first series I read out of order were the Poirot and Marple books by Agatha Christie. This was by necessity, as I was only 11 when I started and my only access to books was the library. I borrowed all the ones they had. Later, when I had a little money, I bought others from second hand bookshops and charity stores. I built up quite a collection over the years, finally filling the gaps with brand new copies. I’ve re-read them all many times, but this year is the first time I’ve read any in order. I’ve been participating in the Goodreads group Mission Marple and it’s been fun to see the progression of the Marple books. I also read Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels out of order, for the same reasons, and I’m now in the process of re-reading the ones featuring certain characters in chronological order, starting with the witches. What else? J.D.Robb’s In Death series, Lois McMaste Bujold’s Vorkosigan saga, plenty more. I still borrow a lot of books from my library and it just depends what they have available when I feel like reading a particular author. Guilt level: zero
- Have you ever spoiled a book for someone?
Not as far as I’m aware, and certainly never on purpose.
- Have you ever dog eared a book?
Yes, I do this. Don’t hate me. I hasten to swear I never do it with borrowed books, only the ones I own. And I don’t dog ear if the book is new and pristine. But I buy lots of used books and they’re fair game. I’ll use a bookmark if there’s one handy, but if not, I’ll dog ear away. But I’ve just started deliberately collecting interesting bookmarks, and I love finding one that suits what I’m reading, so who knows? One day I may drop my dog earing habit altogether. Guilt level: zero
- Have you ever told someone you don’t own a book when you do?
No, and I don’t think I would do this. The only situation where I can imagine wanting to do this would be where the only copy I owned was gorgeous and/or valuable and I knew the person was careless with things they had borrowed. But even then, I think I’d probably just say I wasn’t comfortable with lending it out (to anyone, not specifically them).
- Have you ever told someone you haven’t read a book when you have?
No, I’m not ashamed of the books I read.
- Have you ever skipped a chapter or a section of a book?
Many, many times. The older I get, the more willing I am to do this. There’s only so much time, you know? No guilt feeling about this one. In fact, I did it yesterday. I’m reading a steampunk fantasy and it’s a good story but I’m just not into detailed descriptions of how airships or other technologies operate. So after the first couple, I started to skim those bits. Much more enjoyable for me. I also skim parts of books I’m re-reading to get to my favourite scenes. Guilt level: zero
- Have you ever bad mouthed a book you actually liked?
No, never. If I’m with people who I think might look down on me for enjoying it, I’ll probably qualify by saying I know it isn’t great literature, or has problems, but I won’t pretend I didn’t like it. I try to be honest about who I am.
So, there are my answers. I hope you feel you know me a little better now. If you’re a book blogger and haven’t done this tag, then I’m tagging you. Otherwise, leave your comments below. What’s your guilty reading habit?