We do not do tags often, and when we do, it’s usually so late everybody’s forgotten about them 😉 but we did like this one, one explored by several friends of Re-E, and now we’re ready to post 🙂 Seven deadly sins, but for readers!
What is the most expensive book you own? Which is the least expensive?
Ola: Huh, the book that springs to mind most quickly is my Folio Society’s edition of The Once and Future King, because I paid for the pristine, mint condition book personally 😉 But I do have a few signed books, or rare first editions, that may be worth more. Never really considered it though, and besides, I left them all back in Poland, for now – with a promise I made to myself, that I will bring them home one day, wherever it will ultimately be.
Least expensive? Old used books bought on Amazon Marketplace. I’m not counting the gifts, because those that I received as a gift were definitely expensive, to the giver 🙂
Piotrek: Well…I paid £75 for a Folio Society Edition of Dune, but some of the XIX-century volumes I own might be actually more expensive, I’d have to have them evaluated. They are family heirlooms, so I’m not going to sell them anyway.
Least expensive… I have dozens of volumes bought from Amazon Marketplace at £0.01 + postage and packing, great value for money, although recently the postage got more expensive, and less reliant – I blame notoriously unreliable Polish Post Office.
What book or books have you shamelessly devoured many times?
Piotrek: The Lord of the Rings, obviously 🙂 Multiple editions, quite a few times over the years. It might be time to revisit! This one never gets old, and you can always discover something new.
Ola: The Lord of the Rings, at least ten times, but I did that a while ago and finished the cyclical re-reading some time during highschool. My special Polish edition of Celtic myths and legends was a comfort read for a while, and I have returned to Bulhakov’s Master and Margarita many times, as I did to Cortazar’s Hopscotch and Mann’s Doctor Faustus. Lately I don’t find much time for re-reads, but I do read Pratchett’s Discworld novels time and again; Night Watch, Light Fantastic, Small Gods and The Reaper most often probably – which reminds me, it’s time for some refresh in Gran Weatherwax’s exploits 😀
What attributes do you find most attractive in your characters?
Piotrek: I like characters – and I do not necessarily mean I consider them the best written ones, just my favourite – I can relate to, sympathise with. I need to feel they need to share some characteristics with me, usually, I am a bit narcissistic at times. Rincewind, Croaker, Corwin, young Ged…
Ola: Psychologically realistic. Possessing potential for development, and actually growing. Aware of their faults and striving to become better. Wise and compassionate and responsible… Man, sounds like an ad for a blind date site, so I’ll finish right here 😉
What books would you most like to receive as a gift?
Piotrek: The problem is, I have many books and quickly buy whatever catches my interest. Family is afraid since a few times they bought me something I already had, or something I did not like. But when someone pays attention, I might end up with a beautiful edition of Dante that would never fit into my new prudent book budget 🙂
Ola: Usually those that I have already read and I’m sure I’d enjoy reading again, or pushing on others, or just as a thank-you for the author 😉 Or new ones that I can choose myself 😉 I read too much to expect my significant others to follow, I have a peculiar taste in books, enormous reading appetite, and tendency to formulate strong opinions – so giving me a book can resemble a game of Russian Roulette, very stressful and not always ending well 😉 Having said that, you (almost) can’t go wrong with classics and a beautiful edition of Shakespeare’s tragedies in Barańczak’s translation was my most recent treasured gift.
What book or books do you bring up when you want to sound like an intellectual reader?
Piotrek: It is really a question that one’s friends should answer. I like to think of myself as someone who resist such temptations. There are people who claim I do not always succeed… quoting political theory and classics more often than necessary. It really is not meant to show any “superiority” though, I’m just immersed in my reading to a higher degree than it’s wise to be.
Ola: Cough… Kaplan… cough 😉 But probably not anymore 😀
Huh. I will take the easy way out and point up to Piotrek’s answer. I have a tendency to buttress my opinions with data and theories, so I probably quite often sound like a besserwisser 😉
What book or series have you neglected out of sheer laziness?
Piotrek: Way too many of both. I have some books bought years ago, that I’m very interested in, and never found time to read. Vasily Grossman’s Life and Fate, a reportedly great novel about people caught in a war of two terrible totalitarianisms, many history books about several fascinating epochs and places, and even the entire Realm of the Elderlings by Robin Hobb. I only read the first trilogy, borrowed from Ola, and then bought all the books and never started reading the rest. I’m ashamed.
Ola: I’m in for some scolding… Barker’s Wounded Kingdom series. I read the first two installments and they were pretty decent, but I wasn’t awed. Too much Fitz, not enough originality, and by the end of the second book I was sure I didn’t care much about Girton or Rufra or anybody else, so ditching it came naturally. And Andrews’ Kate Daniels series, which I enjoyed a lot a good few years back, but found the quality markedly decreasing with several most recent books and stopped bothering two or three years ago. Don’t even know if the series was concluded.
What author do you have a love/hate relationship with?
Ola: I might have to go with Erikson. I loved and admired The Malazan Book of the Fallen, and then I read Cook and realized that most of what I loved about it was ripped off Black Company. I’m always impressed by Gaiman’s ideas and then let down by his conclusions – curiously enough, it happened even with Norse Mythology! But as I know what to expect from him by now, I can’t really say I get emotional about it – it’s just one of the facts of life, so suck it up 😉
Piotrek: That’s a difficult one! Tchaikovsky with Shadows of the Apt and Asimov with Foundation both made choices that made me really bitter about the endings of two of my favourite books series. Is it enough to speak of hate? Probably not.
T.H. White I love so much that even The Book of Merlyn, in my opinion infinitely worse, positively dumb compared to The Once and Future King, would not make me use the word hate…
Tad Williams is someone who, I believe, could really do better, but instead chooses to cash in on nostalgia (new books about Osten Ard) or popular cliches (his Urban Fantasy Bobby Dollar novels). Maybe he’ll be the correct choice to mention here?
We do not nominate anybody, all the bloggers who wanted to post their version – probably already did so 🙂