Books & Reviews

Would You Rather?: Book Lovers Edition

As a book lover, some questions are harder to answer than others. What book do I read next? Do I continue reading that book I’m not really enjoying, just because I’ve started it? Is it okay that I cried more about the death of a fictional character than I’ve ever cried in real life?

So when I found this blog post of ‘Would You Rather’ questions based around books, I was curious to do a post of my own. So here it goes, my Would You Rather: Book Lovers Edition.

1. Read a Series or a Stand Alone?

This was a difficult one to start with. I love when you’ve enjoyed a book and then you find out it’s the first in a series, so you know you have so much more of that world to enjoy.

Of course, it’s always frustrating when you’ve loved a book and then find out that you have to wait impatiently for the next one in the series to come out (JK Rowling did this to me too many times. And I’m so glad I gave up on the Game of Thrones series because I don’t think I could handle the wait for the seventh one).

But I think I have to pick the stand-alone book. You get all your questions answered by the end of the book (at least most of the time), so there’s no waiting around to find out what’s going to happen. I’ve read more stand-alone books than series, so maybe it’s just a familiarity thing. All of the series I’ve read I have definitely enjoyed, so it’s nothing against a series, but I do prefer just one stand-alone book.

2. Read Only Female or Male Authors?

Out of curiosity, I looked through my bookshelf for this one, and I was pleasantly surprised that I have a fairly equal amount of both male and female authors. I thought I would have more female authors, if I’m honest, as that is what my mind automatically went to with this question. But I don’t know why I think I prefer them. Maybe it’s because a lot of the great books that I’ve read lately have been from female authors (Liz Nugent, Hazel Gaynor, Emma Donoghue, CL Taylor, the list goes on). So, female authors are in my head at the moment.

But, of course, there are plenty of male authors that I love as well (Jasper Fforde, Donal Ryan, Mark Haddon, Roald Dahl). It’s difficult to make a proper decision on this one. If I absolutely had to choose I would go with female authors, but I don’t like having to choose *shakes fist*.

3. Shop at Barnes & Noble or Amazon?

Okay, we don’t have Barnes and Noble in Ireland, but we do have some pretty great bookshops. Dubray Books is one that me and my friend, Lisa, have just discovered (and fallen in love with). Three floors of cosy, booktastic peacefulness, a café on the top floor, and a great stationary section. What more could you want?

And The Gutter Bookshop is a great independent bookshop in Temple Bar that always has a great atmosphere.

So, I would definitely go with shopping in a book shop over Amazon. My purse might not agree, but there’s something so calming about browsing a book shop and finding a new book just because it’s jumped off the shelf at you, that you just don’t get with Amazon.

Amazon is great if there’s something specific you’re looking for, and they do give good recommendations based on what you’ve already bought, but I can’t browse on Amazon. Perusing the shelves of a bookshop is so much more gratifying than searching Amazon.

4. All Books Become Movies or TV Shows?

I don’t even have to think about this one. It’s TV shows, definitely. If I have a problem with a book-turned-movie it’s normally that there’s not enough of the book in there. Something had to be cut to make it fit into a movie (I’m still annoyed that we didn’t get enough of Neville’s backstory in the Harry Potter films).

I think with a TV show there’s so much more time to get everything in, so not as much of the book has to be cut out or shortened. The new A Series of Unfortunate Events series on Netflix is a perfect example of this. After only one series, it’s already managed to be ten times better than the 2004 film. It gives every book 2 episodes and, as far as I can remember (I haven’t read the books in a few years), it’s managing to get everything in. A lot happens in those books, and getting all the necessary information in can’t be an easy feat.

The film, as much as I wanted it to be good, just didn’t live up to the books. It tried to fit in more than one book, which was never going to work in just one film. And it didn’t stick to the full plot of the series. The Netflix series is definitely doing the books more justice than the film ever could. So I do think that a TV show is a better option for a book, purely just to preserve as much of the story as possible.

I don’t think you get as many books getting turned into TV shows as you do films, but hopefully with the success of things like Game of Thrones there’ll be more in the future.

5. Read 5 Pages Per Day, or 5 Books Per Week?

Five books per week, no question. That sounds like an absolute dream. If I had the time to read even more than that I would. Reading five pages per day is just not enough to satiate my book thirst.

6. Be a Professional Reviewer or Author?

Author, definitely. As much as I love this blog, and reviewing and recommending books, it’s been my dream to be an author for as long as I can remember. Of course, being able to do both blogging and writing is the ultimate dream, but if I had to choose between shutting this down and being a published author, it would be the latter every single time.

7. Only Read Your Top 20 Favourite Books Over and Over, or Always Read New Ones?

This was another difficult one. When I first read the question, I thought hands-down it would be to always read new ones. But then I remembered that Gone Girl exists. Gone Girl is one of the best books ever written (if you haven’t read it yet, do it now..well maybe finish this blog post first, then read it). I can’t imagine a world where I couldn’t read this book. And then there’s Jasper Fforde and the Thursday Next series. I count down the days until I can re-read them.

But I’m not sure I have 20 favourite books overall. I have a few definite favourite books (American Psycho, Gone Girl, The Eyre Affair) but other than that, I have a lot of books I just like a lot. I would find it hellish to try to whittle that list down to 20. There are at least thirty Poirot novels alone. So, as much as I love Gone Girl, I’d have to go with always reading new books.

Reading the same twenty books over and over again would take away from the joy of them anyway. They would get boring and predictable, no matter how much you enjoy them the first time you read them. And at least with Gone Girl I could still watch the film.

8. Be a Librarian or a Bookseller?

It would have to be a librarian and my reasoning has nothing to do with actual books. I worked in retail for nine years, and I can’t do it anymore. I just can’t. There is nothing rewarding about retail. Even though I actually quite liked the shop I worked in for the last few years; the rest of the staff were lovely, my boss was the nicest guy on the planet, and even the customers weren’t all bad. But I just don’t have the proper love of sales to work in retail anymore.

Now, I’ve never worked in a library, so I can’t say for definite that it’s better than working in a shop. But it has to be. It just has to be.

Plus I feel like being a librarian would be quite calming. Just being in the silence of a library surrounded by books. I’m sure there’s librarians out there screaming at me right now about how stressful it probably is. But for now I’ll stay unaware in my romanticised, peaceful librarian world.

9. Only Read Your Favourite Genre, or Every Genre Except Your Favourite?

Genre is a tricky topic in general. So many books span different genres that it’s probably safe enough to say that I’d be happy to only stick with my favourite. I love a good mystery/thriller, but that really does incorporate so many different books that I don’t think I’d be running out of things to read for a while.

Whereas there are a lot more genres that I don’t like as much. I’m not as big a fan of YA or Fantasy, so I don’t think I’d like to give up thrillers forever in favour of those.

10. Only Read Physical Books, or E-Books?

Physical books, without a doubt. I am absolutely one of those people who loves the feel of a book, the smell of a book, the look of a book. My bank account may not agree that a physical book is better than an e-book, but my heart agrees profusely. I even recently bought a physical book that I already had as an e-book purely because I fell in love with the cover and the feel of the book (don’t judge me).

I don’t think e-books will ever completely take over from physical books; there are too many of us physical-book-lovers out there unwilling to let go of the faithful physical pages.

What about you guys? What are your book preferences? Leave a comment or make a post of your own, I’d love to know what other people think.

If you want some more inspiration, the original idea for the questions came from this video post.

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