Questions of Book Lust

Sophie from Her library adventures adapted these for a recent blog post of hers- these questions are the original questions for a bookworm.  And then after, it was stolen by bookgrrl, and I borrowed it from her.  It’s traveled a long way, my friends, feel free to spread it over the book nation.  It’s bloggers uniting, just imagine that picture of all the stick people holding hands around the world and let your heart “jump, jump, jump around.” (Yes, old school rap, and MC Hammer pants definitely go with book blogging, just in case you were wondering.  Also, those glasses that look like window shutters that Kanye wears – book blogging essential).  Lastly, random note, I just tried to spell “shutters” like “udders.”

Marco Polo - Favorite Tea. I don't quite look as shadowy as her though when I drink it.

Imagine you sit in front of a fireplace. You read and beside you there is a cup with something hot in it. What would that be in your case: tea, coffee or hot chocolate?

Well given that I waitressed at a tea shop in Australia (with Alice in Wonderland high tea’s, big bonnet hats and old women with lots of enourmous jewels on their hands) I want to go with tea.  Specifically: Orange Spice Tea in America, or Marco Polo in Australia.  However, I’m thinking this is in the evening and I have boyfriend sweat pants on (meaning they’re 9 sizes too big and I can fit all the cheese I want in them) and fuzzy socks adore my feet, so tea would be better than keeping myself up all night with coffee.  Then again, if this is the morning, and I have just finished the newspaper that I don’t really read – just scan, and there are sunny-side-up eggs on the side with an everything bagel, lightly buttered (I’m such a princess), then I would choose coffee.  I also choose coffee at the RR, when I’m sitting in an over-large chair (preferably leather), while I’m driving (because the chance of spilling is 1 in 1) and when I go to IHOP.  I do not like to drink hot things when I’m eating hot food though, and I much prefer to eat honey nut cheerios while I read, out of habit and dedication to the honey bee.

If an author gave you the chance to rewrite or to change the fate of a book character, who would you chose?

SPOILER: EASY.  Emma in One Day by David Nicholls.  (Well…maybe not easy because Bovary needs a few tweaks in Madame Bovary).  But, seriously…you’re going to write a book where the main female character waits twenty years for the main male character to get his shit together (aka dump the frigid blonde, take care of his kid, quit his rock star ways and sweaty drinking) and then you kill her at the end.  What kind of anti-feminist lesson are you trying to pull here, David?  I LOATHE this book…I would make it eat worms if I could.   So frustrated.  I haven’t even seen the movie because I refuse to give any more money than my seven dollars (for the book) to David Nicholls or anyone on his team of readers and editors.

Did your parents read stories to you when you were little? if yes are there any special ones you remember the most?

Little Golden Book: Dumbo Edition

My mom always tells this story of me when I was still crawling.  It seems I had a book shelf and while my parents watched television on the couch I would crawl back and forth from bookshelf to parent feet and pile up my books.  When I was finally ready and the pile was about my height, I would climb up on the cushion, sit patiently and point at the books expecting either parent to read every single one.  Some of the favorites were: The Giving Tree, Goodnight Moon, Love you Forever, and the Little Golden Books (example to your left).

What do you like more the smell of old antiquarian books or the smell of new fresh ones you just bought?

Oh my, nom-nom-nom, old books.  I could literally smell page one, turn the page, smell page two, turn the page, smell the spinal crack, turn the page, smell the left corner, turn the page…all the way through an antiquarian book.  It’s the dust, or the molding of the old wooden shelves, or the finger smears of everyone before me that makes it worth it.  It’s the book flower, the anti-daisy smell.  It’s more nursing home, than fresh baby.  More grandpa’s elbow-patched jacket than a thirteen year old’s Victoria Secret perfume.  An antique book is its very own smell…like the back of a Victorian closet, or a crawl space below Hemingway’s house.  If it’s not browned at the edges, it ain’t for me.  I would literally, if I could, smell like an old librarian.  Speaking of, if anyone is selling old librarian cardigans – send them to this girl.

Holden, swoon.

You get the opportunity to chose between two secret talents: either to be able to make things come to life through reading them or the gift to read yourself into a book. Which one would you like to have?

….Are you joking.  I would be on my way to the catipillar, or the walrus, or the tea ceremony….I would educate myself on croquet if I could read myself into Alice.  I would wear petticoats ALL DAY LONG.  You have no idea how many goosebumps, and how cold my fingers got when I read this question.   I would also be dating, saving, fixing, Holden Caulfield because I like my men baggy, and used…clearly.

Do you have a favorite children’s book or a favorite fairy tale?

Children’s book(s) would be Sweet Valley High books (which Diablo Cody is writing into a movie – YES YES YES YES).  But, fairy tale, I’m not so sure.  I have an attachment to Blue Beard, Hansel and Gretel, and then Red Riding Hood (mostly because I want to own a pine-smelling red cloak.  But, I would want to be The Little Mermaid...because she’s a redhead and a breathes in the sea.  I would also like to be Jessica Rabbit, but she’s not really a fairy tale character.  Give me a Grimm, and I’m a happy girl.

Someone would talk to your friends and ask them to compare you to a book character. With whom do you think would they compare you?

Alice, times one million.  But if I can’t be Alice….(am I pushing my opinions too much here?)…I would have to be…wow, I have no idea. Friends, I need your help.  (Make her witty, or else).  Miss Havisham maybe, if she would have had oodles of cats and sat on her porch more.  I could see where my husband would die and I would wear the same dress caked with dirt for years and years.

Anne Sexton

Tell me the name of a writer whom you would like to have as a friend.

There’s way too many choices.  I think Edgar Allen Poe would drive me insane, and Dickens would be so damn depressing and Dr. Suess would always be rhyming, so really…a woman.  My head keeps flashing, “Anne Enright” because she’s Irish, and I’m in love with the majority of her books, but I feel like I’m missing someone.  Oh, duh, Anne Sexton.  Rather than Sylvia, I’d love to be the lady on the other line of her twisted, corking phone cord.  I’d like to talk in metaphors over dinner, and paint our nails dark colors on the floor of a tiled kitchen.

You can hide in a written down world for only one night into which world do you escape?

Man, oh man….Odysseus’ castle when he returns from his journey and finds all of the suitors and the ladies-in-waiting and kills each one except Penelope (his wife).  What a scene, it’s like Hamlet on steroids with less sex-gone-wrong.

Arthur Rackham Grimm's Illustration

Something terrible happens: you have to flee to an unknown place and all you can take with you are three books of all the ones you own. Which three ones do you put into your bag?

Hm.

1. Grimms’ Fairy Tales because I’m sure I could always discover something new, and when they got old I could tell myself my own tales, curling up into the sand and palm leaves in which I lay.

2. Norton Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction (same mindset as Grimm).  There are a lot to read and they can be read repeatedly with still fresh encounters.  I mean, just think about how many ways you can unwrap The Yellow Wallpaper.  Is she losing her damn mind?

3. Sylvia Plath’s Diaries.  I have been unable to complete them for some time now, although I’ve read most and she was a *ucking genius (pardon my french).  Plus, although I’m angry with Ted Hughes for publishing them without her knowledge especially due to the fact that they are deeply personal, I’m in total gratitude to him for letting us into a glimpse of her perfect diary.  I started to read this book and asked myself – why does anyone else write when this has already been brought into the world?  It’s like a creative writer’s bible.

In closing, I’d like to share this Conversation with B.H. Fairchild about poetry.

And also, the original writing and drawings of Lewis Carroll Alice’s Adventures Under Ground online.  Thanks to Beauty and Dreams I found this.

48 thoughts on “Questions of Book Lust

  1. PM says:

    such a wonderful post! i love your answers. it smells of a true blue book worm. i enjoyed your answer to question 5. i think i would love to learn a few things myself off book plots and characters. my sisters have seen one day but they told me the plot and i thought it was crazy too. i originally wanted to read it but i changed my mind!

    • Cassie says:

      Well thank you!! I hope you answer the questions as well so I can see your bookish answers! And ehhh…one day made me really angry. Have you seen the movie?

  2. La Deetda Reads says:

    Wow Cassie, This post really reveals your innermost “you”. I’m totally impressed and frankly, intimidated. You know I read genre fiction and only stumble into literary by chance so come by and add your thoughtful comments, often please.

  3. ClaireMcA says:

    Habits of a lifetime start young, love that pile of a books and insistence as a toddler, very telling. It reminds me of my son who from a very young age would ask draw me a giraffe, draw me an elephant, draw me a wilderbeast, we very quickly encouraged him to learn to draw and he has never stopped, completely obsessed with wild animals, drawing them and taking documentaries and animal books from the library. I can’t imagine him doing anything else in later life.

  4. Kimberly says:

    Love this post. If there was a “Love” button, instead of “Like” I would press it! I feel as though it’s serious, yet endearing and humorous.

  5. Bea M. says:

    I have to agree with Claire, above, about habits starting very young. The story of you as a toddler is true, but actually you were even younger. You were crawling, so I believe that would make you under 1. It was sweet and funny to watch you pile those books as high as you could. Then, the wonderful look on your face as you looked up to mine, and said, “Read Mommy, please”.
    You are so Alice, curioser and curioser!!

    • Cassie says:

      Haha, apparently. Although, I don’t remember. And it faded in and out for a while there. Hopefully, it’s here to stay now – I can’t imagine my life without reading.

  6. alitareads says:

    Re: One Day / Emma

    YESSSSS. The ending totally ruined the whole book for me. Just glimpsing the cover in a bookstore makes my stomach tighten & churn (it’s a weird feeling). But my issue with it? **SPOILERS** He took two unlikable characters that I did not want to root for at all, then proceeded to work sooooo hard to make me care about them, just to kill one off. AND THAT WAS THE WHOLE POINT OF THE BOOK. Ugh. I felt emotionally manipulated.

    But… I still kind of want to see the movie. No, I don’t know what’s wrong with me to want to go through that again.

    • Cassie says:

      Wow, I completely agree – it’s like your in my head. I could not stand Emma or alcoholic boytoy. I’m trying to block him out. And I kept imagining every other nice guy in the world in the place of her roommate/sometimes boyfriend who wasn’t really that funny and she was obsessed with too-witty alcoholic mess-up. UGH UGH UGH. I felt the same way. I finished the book and was like, WOW…REALLY GUY…REALLY?!?! And then everyone here, in the “books” topic says it’s an invigorating love story, and heartbreaking. WHERE…SHOW ME WHERE.

      Okay rant over.

      We should pick a day and both rent the movie from red box and then come on here and chat about it so that I don’t feel like I still want to see a movie of a book I hate (I just love Anne Hathaway..she’s a bookish princess).

  7. Farah Ng @ Broken Penguins says:

    Hi Cassie! Thanks for dropping by my blog! Yes, dancing penguins are quite annoying. And you bet I’d fight you for Holden Caulfield. Although, I have a strange feeling he wouldn’t shower. I also think that Dr. Seuss would be able to hook you up with all kinds of uh, pharmaceuticals.

    • Cassie says:

      You’re so right – he wouldn’t shower. And I’d have to deal with that street/cig smell. Great mix. Maybe I’d convince him in my “saving” of him. And Dr. Suess would definitely have all kinds of ….pharmaceuticals…and plants in his large brown coat (that also happens to have a lot of watches)…

  8. unfinishedperson says:

    I love your inclusion of the women poets Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath. I haven’t thought of them much since taking a class on contemporary poetry in college, but they were, and are, among my favorite poets.

  9. tinalinatime says:

    Hi! I have a few things to say:
    1. I will gladly help spread these questions all over the bookworld! I was formulating my own responses after reading yours :)
    2. SWEET VALLEY HIGH MOVIE?! By Diablo Cody?! Ummm holy crap?! How did I miss this?!
    3. I also love The Yellow Wallpaper! I first read it in senior AP Lit and my mind exploded. I thought it was that wonderful.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting :)

    • Cassie says:

      YAY! Spread the book love! And yes, SWEET VALLEY HIGH MOVIE. I’m so ready. BAHHHH! Just reading your comment made my heart jump around again. And The Yellow Wallpaper is fantastic, it’s just the right amount of insane for me.

  10. p2c2u says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog, Cassie! I loved this post of yours…I wouldn’t know how to answer half these questions! But I think I’ll give it a shot anyway…mind if I ‘borrow’ the questions for a post of my own?

  11. Kirsty says:

    I loooove Anne Sexton, never known anyone else to like her. I’m totally going to have to steal these questions.
    And my god, the Sweet Valley High books?! What a blast from the past!

  12. Cipriano says:

    Wow, I must comment.
    When I was a child [quite while ago, indeed] our family had that EXACT edition of Alice in Wonderland in our home. It was such a blast from the past to see it, here.
    Only a couple of years ago have I finally read the story in my own Folio edition. Loved it.
    Thanks for this visual reminiscence.

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