What was the last book you bought?
Pamela by Samuel Richardson - 18th century bodice ripper. Well, sort of. It’s not the book I was intending to buy while I stood browsing but you how those shelves of Penguin Classics suck you in.
Name a book you have read more than once
The Jane Austen books, Harry Potter…and most of the children’s books I own – rereading The Outsiders was great fun, On Equilibrium – John Ralston Saul, I do a lot of rereading so I guess most of my bookshelf.
Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life?
A doubt a single book has done that. However, I was thinking about this as I read someone else’s answer and I realised that while a single book hasn’t changed my outlook books in general have changed the way I see life. Reading and humour and humorous takes on life give me a lightness that is not necessarily natural to my character. Or maybe that’s just growing up.
How do you choose a book? eg by cover design and summary, recommendations or reviews?
All of those things; though I rarely buy a book unless I’ve read the first page based on the theory that if I find the first page unreadable it’s unlikely I’ll manage the whole book. I also buy books because I think I ought to read certain things – I suspect this makes me both immature and a snob.
Do you prefer fiction or non-fiction?
I read a lot more fiction than non-fiction but I can’t say that I really prefer one to the other. Lately, all I can read is fiction my mind isn’t coping with too much thought all that well.
What's more important in a novel - beautiful writing or a gripping plot?
I often don’t notice the plot if the writing is beautiful and I often don’t notice the writing if the plot is gripping. Each has their own merits.
Most loved/memorable character
Oh dear, I’m bound to be caned for this one. The only character who (characters are who, aren’t they?) I can think of right now is Neville Longbottom. I like a good nerdy little underdog – what can I say?
Which book or books can be found on your nightstand at the moment?
*investigates floor beside bed* The Death of Napoleon Simon Leys and Seven Poor Men of Sydney Christina Stead. They’re awfully dusty too.
What was the last book that you read?
The last book I read that wasn’t a reread was The Quincunx Charles Pallister.
Have you ever given up on a book halfway in?
Constantly. I will forever remain one third of the way through Anna Karenina. Oh well.