Get To Know Me

I have quite a few new followers since I started this blog almost three years ago. I figured I’d give a little info about myself and fill out this random survey I found in the depths of Tumblr.

First off, my name is Camille (or Millie or Milliebot), I work in finance, I’m getting close to 30, and when I’m not reading or adding to my book hoard, I can usually be found on the couch with one of my two cats (Lilu and Artemis) and my husband (commonly referred to as Sweetbeeps.) I have a hard time focusing on movies and TV (though I was very recently sucked in by both John Wick movies) but I have a weakness for cooking competitions, especially Cutthroat Kitchen, Chopped, The Great British Baking Show and more recently, Cooks Vs. Cons.

I also enjoy arts and crafts, have been known to doodle (especially during meetings) and I write creatively (and if you couldn’t already tell, an addiction to asides via parentheses.) I have a slight purse addiction and a slightly larger necklace/pendant addiction. I’m a mild neat-freak and a firm believer that you look with your eyes, not with your hands. 😀

I like video games (Skyrim has been my obsession for a while now) though I’m terrible at them and don’t play often and if I could afford to eat sushi, or at least avocado maki, every day, I would. I’d like to travel outside the U.S. more (oh yeah, I live in New England) but I have been to France and Aruba.

I started this blog as a way to share my thoughts on the books I was reading and connect with other readers and I still think I’m finding my voice. I’d like to develop a review style that feels less formal, as well as add more unique features to my blog, like my Judging A Book By Its Cover posts.

That’s sort of me, in a nutshell. On to the survey:

What/who got you into reading?

I’m not really sure – I know it started when I was young. I assume much of my passion for reading comes from being read bedtime stories by my Mum and Nana. I do recall trying to steal library books from the school library in earlier grades – don’t worry, my Nana made me return the books. I’ve been book hoarding for so long now that I’m not even sure when that started. When I try to think back, it seems like I’ve always been drowning in books, though I know that’s not the case and I assume my hoarding truly picked up in late high school once I had a job.

Your first favorite book?

Harold and the Purple Crayon? Ollie Forgot? Or maybe, judging by how beat up my copy is, Goodnight Moon – though I don’t have concrete memories of being read this, apparently Mum read it to me often. One of the earliest books I remember wanting to re-read was Blood and Chocolate and it’s a book I still love to revisit.

Your current favorite book?

I could never pick just one book! But I often reread Pride and Prejudice and The Hobbit. Warbreaker, The Lies of Locke Lamora, and The City of Dreaming Books as well as almost anything by Tanith Lee are up there too. But I could go on for ages about my favorites.

Least favorite book of all time?

That’s an awfully big title to award a book – I will say I failed to finish Little Women in high school and at the time, truly detested all the characters. Since then I’ve read quite a few terrible YA books and I’m really not sure who would take the crown, though Lumiere comes to mind.

What book/s can you not live without?

All my books! Seriously, don’t friggen take away any of my books! I would certainly not be the same person without books.

Any authors that you hate?

I kind of hate Helen Fielding for what she did to the characters of Bridget Jones’s Diary with her sequel (though I still love the original). I also heartily dislike Sarah J. Maas even though I’ve only read one of her books – it’s unlikely I’ll give her a second chance. But I don’t think I truly “hate” any author.

What popular book do you just hate?

See prior comment about Sarah J. Maas. 😀 I also disliked Uprooted and I seem to be very much in the minority on that one. A lot of YA books just don’t grab me the way they do for others, and generally leave me downright frustrated. I haven’t completely given up on the genre but it’s just not for me. Again, hate is too strong a word.

How many books to you read in a month?

Anywhere between about 6-12 depending on what’s going on in my life. It’s a vain attempt at keeping up with the amount of books I buy a year and my insurmountable TBR pile.

How many books to you read in a year?

In the past couple years, upwards of 110. But my TBR list literally consists of several hundred books (and those are just the ones I own!)

What do you do to get through a reading slump?

Buy a new book! Honestly, I don’t get slumpy too often, but if I do, I tend to just take a day off from reading and binge some crap on Netflix. That or I re-read a favorite.

Favorite genre?

Again, I can’t pick just one! My tops are sci-fi, fantasy and middle-grade (is that really a genre though? I feel like it’s more of a recommended reading age or something…I don’t know. Anyone else have thoughts on middle-grade and YA and NA being genres or some other type of cateogry?)

Least favorite genre?

Romance

How many bookshelves do you own?

Nine! And they’re not nearly enough.

How many books do you own?

Around 1,800.

Biggest book haul?

I was on vacation a few years ago and my friend took me to five bookstores (or maybe more, I can’t even remember.) I bought somewhere around 45 books (mostly used) and ended up mailing most of them home because even though I could actually fit most in my bags, they would have been too heavy for me to carry through the airport.

How many books do you get/buy in a year?

Not sure – I’m currently trying to track that this year and differentiate between what books I buy versus receive as gifts or trades. I have a feeling the number is higher than the number of books I read in a year though. –insert heavy sigh here–

Favorite series?

Like with many questions on this list, I don’t think I can pick just one answer. But I especially love the Claidi Journals, The Abhorsen Trilogy, Artemis Fowl, Enola Holmes, The Deverry Series (despite still only being about halfway through with that) and Lady Trent’s Memoirs. I’m sure I’ve left out a zillion other favorites, but I can’t sit here all day!

Least favorite series?

Nothing immediately comes to mind – at least not a completed series. If I don’t enjoy the first book or two of a series, I don’t waste my time reading the rest. I read half of the Twilight books…does that count?

Longest series you own?

Probably my Deverry series by Katharine Kerr, weighing in at 15 books. I think Sweetbeeps has a series that’s longer, but at the time I read it there were only 13 books.

Pick the 23rd book on your bookshelf, open it to page 86 and find the 13th line. Type it out.

I happen to be nearest to my largest bookshelf and I just went along the top row and landed on The Absence of Nectar (which I’ve read multiple times, though not in quite some time) by Kathy Hepinstall.

“Boone,” I shouted, “get the tweezers!”

Do you read:

Classics? I do, though I haven’t read many. Sadly, many don’t interest me and my focus has mainly been on Jane Austen. But I do have some Dickens I’d like to get to, as well as a handful of classics on my Nook that I might give a shot someday. I am currently reading (and enjoying!) Gone With The Wind. Is that a classic yet?

Fanfiction? Not nearly as often as I did back in high school, but I’ve been known to browse for Skryim, Doctor Who, Sherlock and Once Upon A Time fics in recent years.

Smut? Typically only when I’m reading fanfiction! Every now and then I’ll pick up a “steamy” romance but usually the cheesiness leaves me groaning and I find them hard to get through.

Poetry? Not usually, no. I do own a book of haikus by Wang Wei that I enjoy, but that’s about it.

Any other readers in your family or circle of friends?

In more recent years, yes! My mum is often too busy to ready though she enjoys it. Sweetbeeps is a fairly frequent reader (though better at starting books than finishing them) and I’ve managed to get a couple of my close friends into hoarding recently. I’ve got a good handful of people I know that read and sometimes we even read the same stuff.

Does your family support your reading habits?

Yes, though they don’t fully support my buying habits – at this point I hope they’ve realized there’s no stopping my hoarding.

Favorite book turned movie?

Sadly, I’m too much of a critic to enjoy most movies based on books. But I do think Howl’s Moving Castle, Memoirs of a Geisha and Austenland are great movies, even where they differ from their sources.

Least favorite book turned movie?

One of the recent ones that comes to mind is The Martian. I think the movie really sucked all the tension and drama out of the story. I also despise The Hobbit movies and actually dozed off a little during the first one. Ok, so I didn’t watch the other two and you can rag on me for hating them without having seen them, but why would I support movies that are (unnecessary) sequels to one I didn’t enjoy?!

Do you like e-books?

Not particularly. I mainly read them when I receive them for review or, more rarely, if there’s a book I really want that’s on crazy sale for $1.99 or something. I appreciate their convenience, but the reading experience is lost for me when a book goes digital and I often have a hard time focusing on the story, even with authors that I love.

Paperback or Hardback?

I love them both! When I’m looking to own a nice edition, I make sure to buy the hardback. In fact, if I had more money to spend on books, I’d buy more hardbacks as they’re also sturdier. It’s really budget that has me buying paperbacks more often than not. Paperbacks are typically more portable too.

Do you use a library?

I do! The real reason I don’t visit my library as often as I’d like is because I borrow too many books and I need to focus on the books I already own. But I’ve been visiting mine more regularly in the past year and I hope to go there more just to read or write – it’s a lovely little place.

Do you want to be an author or are you content to just be a reader?

I would love to be published someday! I write here and there, but I don’t work at it as often as I should yet.

Book/s that made you cry?

There have been many over the years, including the work of the great George R.R. Martin. But memorable a pair of books that got my waterworks going are The Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and its companion, The Love Song of Queenie Hennessy. Both made me cry, but I was basically ugly sobbing at the end of Queenie. If you haven’t read them, I highly recommend – and please, read Harold first, to maximize the pain and heartbreak of Queenie’s story. 😀

Book/s that made you scared?

I don’t read many books from the horror or thriller categories, but one book that shot my anxiety through the roof and had me almost jumping out of my skin was Into the Darkest Corner. I think my reaction was a mix of the excellent writing and the fact that it was one of the first thrillers I’d actually read.

Won any writing competitions?

I have actually, in high school. I think it was my sophomore year (or maybe freshman…) and I submitted a short story and won first place and a bit of a cash prize too! I hope that wasn’t my peak. XD

A book/writing related job that you would love to do?

I bet there are many I would like, if given the chance to try them out! I might make a fair agent or editor. If I’d kept up with graphic design, book design would be fun as well.

Do you have book buying bans for yourself?

I tried once and after a month of not buying books, I went nutso the second the ban was up and bought way too many. I’ve been doing better at budgeting and setting spending goals instead (eg: spending less than a certain amount each month). Especially this year I’ve been working on being more discerning in regards to the books I’m buying and how badly I want to read them. But I’ll always buy books and it’s not something I ever want to stop doing!

What do you use for a bookmark, if any?

I typically use bookjigs for hardcover books (they’re metal clips that you can slide on the cover of the book and have a lovely picture and a ribbon to use as your actual page marker) and magnetic bookmarks for my softcover ones. I have several of each style and find they work best because there’s really no risk of them falling out and losing my place.

Congrats if you’ve made it to the end! Thanks for sticking around!

Seven Deadly Books…I Mean Sins!

I found this little questionnaire over on Chelsea’s blog – Books For Thought.

1. Greed. What is your most inexpensive book and most expensive book?
Inexpensive: I’m not sure if I can pick just one. I’ve received several over the years as gifts and free review copies as well – so any that don’t cost me money are inexpensive!

Expensive: I enjoy vintage books, though I can’t often justify spending a lot of money on copies that I’m afraid to touch. But I did find a lovely copy of Andrew Lang’s Red Fairy Book at an antique store and shelled out around $30 for this copy from 1890. It’s in pretty decent condition too. I would love to have the rest of the colors from this time period, but I doubt if I found them all I’d be willing to invest the money.

2. Wrath. What author do you have a love/hate relationship with?
Charlaine Harris! I used to love her Sookie Stackhouse series – it was fresh, innovative and full of sexy vampires! Then each book began to repeat the same old story – Sookie gets beaten badly, somehow survives, still associates with the people who put her life in danger.  Then there were more and more descriptions of her daily routine – I felt like each page was talking about her putting on her uniform for work, doing her hair and makeup, and oh my gawd I wanted to throw the books across the room! Sadly, I continued on as the quality of writing deteriorated and gave up after reading book 10. After investing so much time (and money into several hardcovers!), it was sad to give up but I just couldn’t take it anymore. I didn’t finish the series and ended up swapping all but the first five books, which I consider to be her best. It still saddens me to think of how that series went downhill (for me at least!)

3. Gluttony. What book have you deliciously devoured over and over with no shame?
Blood & Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause. I am planning on re-reading it for the first time in a couple of years, but I absolutely love this book. I discovered it in middle school and after borrowing it from the library I immediately bought my own copy and it has to be the book I’ve re-read the most. It’s not life changing, but totally engrossing. Maybe I’m nostalgic, but I’ll  never get tired of this book. If you’re interested in young adult…well I guess it would be considered “paranormal romance”…check it out! Here’s a link to it on Amazon!

4. Sloth. What book have you neglected reading due to laziness?
Oh man, probably ALL of the classics. Okay, exaggerating a little,  but I’m seriously lacking in my classic education. And there are some that I very much want to read (i.e. Moby Dick, Treasure Island, Wuthering Heights) and some that I don’t think I’ll bother with (sorry Steinbeck!)

*Side note: Does anyone else find that as an avid reader your friends, family, or even strangers, just assume that you’ve read every book ever? I constantly have people who are outright shocked that I haven’t read book x, y or z, especially where the classics are concerned! They say things like “Oh, you must have read East of Eden, what did you think?” Nope. Haven’t read it. I’m sorry, I read what I want to read, when I want to read it!

5. Pride. What book do you most talk about in order to sound like a very intellectual reader?
I don’t think I have anything that’s really intellectual – realistically the most intellectual books I’ve read are Ishmael and My Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. They both truly made me think about human life and how our society works and how desperately we need to change some aspects of how our societies and cultures function. However, I don’t really talk about those books. I’d say that I actually brag about the fact that I read (and loved) The Hobbit for the first time in fifth grade.

6. Lust. What attributes do you find most attractive in male or female characters?
Personality. I know it sounds cliché, but as a reader I  have the freedom to imagine a character any way I please. Even if you give me specific details (or a full-blown description of every inch of their body – anyone else run into that and roll their eyes?), I can choose to ignore that and make people as beautiful or ugly as I please. But it’s how the character talks and acts that makes them attractive. That’s what makes me want to really know them. I like my men a little snarky, a little stubborn, maybe willing to fight – depending on the genre – but also with a sense of humor. A little sweet, but not overly so because then they just seem like those unrealistic, overly romantic, painfully dreamboats that internet memes are always going on about. You know…something like this:

That stuff just makes me roll my eyes.

7. Envy. What books would you most like to receive as gifts?
THESE

But in all honesty, I love books so much than any book is a wonderful gift. My amazon list is over 100 books, that that’s not even every book I’d like to own.

~

How about you? Any book indulgences or special relationships?