On Reading

Some random questions, taken from a mailing list.

  1. How often do you read?
    I read something every day. As oftentimes as not in bed before nodding off to sleep. Some things are best read in small chunks, like a book I’m working on presently–Garrett P. Serviss’s Edison’s Conquest of Mars, which was written as a newspaper serial in 1898 and trying to read anything more than a chapter at a time is, frankly, painful. On the other hand, something like Francis Parkman’s history of the French and Indian War, Montcalm and Wolfe, to take another recent book, though written in the late nineteenth century, is very readable.
  2. Who are your favorite authors?
    I can think of several. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Philip K. Dick. Isaac Asimov. Larry Niven. C.S. Forester. Mark Twain. Ian Fleming. We’re all over the map here, as you can see.
  3. What genre most interests you (For example, suspense, romance, horror, contemporary, etc.)?
    Lately, as in the past year or two, I’ve been on a decidedly non-fiction kick. Science and history, mostly.
  4. What elements of a book most appeal to you (character development, plot, dialogue, etc.)?
    The smell of ink on the page, actually.
  5. Do you buy books written by celebrity authors? Why or why not?
    That would depend, I suppose, on what’s meant by a “celebrity author.” J.K. Rowling is a celebrity now, but she became a celebrity because of her writing, whereas someone else might have been a celebrity before writing a book or three. I’m not someone that follows celebrity.

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