Two book lovers chat about reading...
SL: What do you think of the whole e-book craze? Are you a real book purist or are you okay with either format?
AM: I’m so NOT into that craze! Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for recycling and protecting the environment. But there’s something about the object itself, a BOOK, a pretty cover, the feel of the paper. I love to hold onto it, I like its weight and the action of turning the pages. The fact that I just need this one thing to be happy! I know those ‘machines’ can store thousands of books, but I think it loses the magic of reading. And I don’t believe the print industry will converse entirely to ebooks – I hope not, it’d be so sad to lose the Art of Books.
Which makes me wonder: what was your first book that made you fall in love with reading? For me, it was Christiane F. the non-fiction about a young German girl who falls headfirst into drugs and prostitution at the age of 13. I know, I’m a badass! But if you haven’t read it, you should – it’s very dark, but I still love how it shows a way of life so far from mine, choices I would never have taken, and this downward spiral that will never be my own. I travelled through that story, I lived something new and different – and THAT is the power of reading, even if it feels icky afterwards J
SL: I love flipping the pages of books too, but honestly I am really getting into the e-book thing! And there are so many great websites, like smashwords.com, that let you download books people have written who don’t have publishers. It’s so great to read things from lesser known authors and then discover that their books are just as fantastic. I think it is very interesting the way things have been happening and I can’t wait to see what happens in the future with e-books!
Christiane F. sounds pretty interesting! I have always liked books about downward spirals, and yeah, I also like living vicariously through books!
Hmmm I honestly don’t remember what book made me get into reading, I just always loved to read. But the book that made me passionate about reading paranormal reads was Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series. After I read those books I had to get my hands on anything and everything that had vampires, monsters, werewolves, witches, whatever. I was obsessed! The rest as they say, is history. I am now completely devoted to paranormal and urban fantasy reads. Although I do try to read other genres to spice up my reading life, I always go back to my vampires J
Do you have a genre that you favor over others?
AM: I do. Anything dystopian low sci-fi speculative fiction with a dark twist. Oh, and 14&up YA. I do love my vamps, but real, mean ones – nothing about those weak vegetarian types that try to stay human. No, no, no – give me those beasts that rip people to shreds!! And since you mentioned it, I do love a good dose of Vampire Eric, but the True Blood version, not the one on the books. I didn’t make it after the fourth instalment, I’m afraid (too chick-lit for me). Something like The Strain, Let the right one in, I am legend – all those books with a true menace, not the pretence of one.
You say you love living through your books (don’t we all!?), but was there one that made you change the way you see the world? One story that affected you so much that you’ve never been the same since?? For me, it was The Stranger by Albert Camus and L’Écume des jours (I have no idea what is the title in English) by Boris Vian. Both novels are very different – one is philosophical and the other digs into absurdism – but they have this quality of getting under your skin and pulling at your soul.
SL: Ooohh I loved I Am Legend! Richard Matheson really knows how to do creepy! I did not appreciate Hollywood ruining the book by making it into a movie and then CHANGING so much about it *shakes fist at Hollywood*
I keep trying to think of a book that changed me but I honestly can’t think of one. If one came close it was definitely Ellen Hopkins’ Crank or Jennifer Donnelly’s’ A Northern Light. Crank, because I loved that Hopkins could write a whole story in poem format and that you could read the paragraphs at least two different ways and it still told a story. It was pure genius. And the message touched a special part of my heart, not because I ever wanted to try hard drugs and this book kept me away from them, but because it hit close to home in terms of dealing with similar issues with a family member of mine.
I loved A Northern Light because Mattie really comes into her own and learns that she doesn’t have live the life she got stuck with. It took so much courage for her to go against what everyone told/expected of her and I really admired that.
I think I need to start reading some more serious books haha J I’ve got some really good ones to read like The Bell Jar by Slvia Plath, Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson and The Giver by Lois Lowery but it really needs a cover make over! I’ve been avoiding reading The Giver for SO long because of the creepy old guy on the front.
Do you have any books you avoid because of the cover, or any books you picked up just for the pretty cover?
AM: Wintergirls! The Giver! Such wonderful books – the author actually did the cover himself for The Giver - I know, the old man really doesn’t represent the book, which is always a problem for me. I mean, publishing books is an expensive business, so when I see a really ugly cover, it just doesn’t cut it for me. I refuse to read books with cheap covers. I am that shallow. And I won’t mention any names because THAT would be too cruel and I have the funny feeling in most cases, the author has very little input on what the cover will look like in the end.
I’m HIGHLY susceptible to buy a book just because the cover is pretty. Honestly, I don’t know if it’s because I have impeccable taste or I’m just plain lucky, but I’ve rarely been disappointed by my picks. Except a few YA fantasy ones with really gorgeous covers but boring stories, but I’ve learned my lesson: READ REVIEWS BEFORE PURCHASING!
**Anne Michaud blogs at Livy Parker's Journal**