Bookish Deadly Sins

We do not do tags often, and when we do, it’s usually so late everybody’s forgotten about them ๐Ÿ˜‰ but we did like this one, one explored by several friends of Re-E, and now we’re ready to post ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Piotrek: Well…I paid ยฃ75 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 ยฃ0.01 + 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ˜€

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ™‚


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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ Or new ones that I can choose myself ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ Having said that, you (almost) can’t go wrong with classics and a beautiful edition of Shakespeare’s tragedies in Baraล„czak’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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ But probably not anymore ๐Ÿ˜€

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

51 thoughts on “Bookish Deadly Sins

  1. First off, replying to your guys’ posts is always a lot of work. There are two of you and each of you always say such interesting things ๐Ÿ˜€

    Thanks for the shoutout.

    Ola: I’ve seen some folio society books and my goodness are they gorgeous!
    Pio: That “Dune” edition was the one I was referencing to Ola ๐Ÿ˜€ My goodness, the blogger who showcased definitely had me jealous.

    Pio: Any idea how many times you’ve read it?
    Ola: 10 times for you?!?! I did a quick calc and I think I’ve only read it 5 or 6, at the absolute most. There’s only one book I’ve read that many times.

    Pio: Your answers made me laugh because I can relate. Makes me wonder if heavy readers have a deep streak of narcissism?
    Ola: Do they have to like long walks on the beach, cuddling and drinking wine by a roaring fire? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Pio: Yep, book buying for a heavy reader is an activity fraught with danger!
    Ola: You have strong opinions? Say it ain’t so! The only time anyone buys me books is when I list an exact title and edition on my Christmas list. Half the fun is in the buying after all.

    Pio: I wish I could remember enough from books to quote them.
    Ola: Glad to learn some german slang. Now I can use it and sound awesome ๐Ÿ˜€

    Pio: Oh, why would you even read Hobbs? I’m glad you never read more.
    Ola: Any series that is a “Never Ending” series always puts me off too.

    Ola: I actually just traded my bookclub editions of Books of the Fallen for some magic cards the other week. I could almost hear my bookshelf groan in relief ๐Ÿ˜€
    Pio: Have you read his Otherland decalogy? That and memory, sorrow, thorn are about the only stuff of his that I’ve solidly liked. Everything else? Meh to dislike.

    Once again, great post. This was a lot of fun to read ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 4 people

    1. LOL, I’m very glad you enjoy our posts, and if they make you work a bit – that’s for the better! ๐Ÿ˜‚
      Don’t worry, though, responding to your comments takes time too – and it’s always very enjoyable ๐Ÿ˜€

      Greed – Yeah, Folio truly creates something beautiful. I love my The Once and Future King, and if I were a bigger Dune fan I would absolutely want to have that edition. I’d seen Piotrek’s copy and it’s a work of art. But Folio has also really great editions of less hefty books – Heart of Darkness, Lord of the Flies… There are some I couldn’t care less about, either because of the book or because of the art, but if I had enough money and space, I’d definitely splurge on a few more Folio books!

      Gluttony – I read it for the first time when I was 7. It was a borrowed copy, and a day or two after I finished it I went to the nearest bookshop and bought my own edition with my savings, and read it again ๐Ÿ˜‰ I read it quite regularly for a long time, but I figured I should stop at 10 readings, 10 being a nice round number. I feel I will re-read it, though, sooner than later.

      Lust – you made me laugh so hard at this! ๐Ÿ˜‚ Actually, my Mr Perfect already possesses all those qualities, and even plays guitar, so long walks on the beach are really optional ๐Ÿ˜‰ But truth be told, the majority of the characters I enjoy reading about the most is in some way troubled and bruised by life, and while I’d love to befriend them, I can’t imagine having crush on them or any literary character, really ๐Ÿ™‚

      Envy – Who, me?? ๐Ÿ˜‰ But yeah, half the fun is buying, especially if it’s something you really wanted and waited for :).

      Pride – ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ Actually, I am not aware of any Polish equivalent of the word. But I think know-it-all would be a good English one!

      Sloth: Yeah, at some point it just stops being about a story, and turns into a soap opera. That’s something I can’t stand.

      Wrath: I actually like how they look on my shelf, it’s a really nice edition. Aaand I’d probably have a bit of trouble selling them in Poland for a decent price ๐Ÿ˜‰ I still hope I’ll get back to them at some point and discover something new and unique, and start to like them again. And if not… I usually give books away, so maybe I’ll find someone interested ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Thanks again! It was a cool tag, maybe we should create a seven heavenly virtues tag as a follow-up! ๐Ÿ˜‚

      Liked by 2 people

    2. piotrek

      Thank you, my fellow narcisist!

      I read LotR about… 5 times, I guess? Not that many ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Well, I happen to like Hobbs, I definitely will read the rest of her saga. With Williams… I love Memory, Sorrow…, but nothing elso from him I tried worked for me. Otherland sounds intriguing though, so I might try it one day ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like Piotrek’s answer about what books you bring up to sound intellectual. I class that as my answer as well!

    Also, like Ola, I have read the first two in the Wounded Kingdom and not bothered with the 3rd. I just don’t feel drawn to it. I am reading an ARC of Barker’s Bone Ships at the moment. Really enjoying that. Was expecting it to be similar to Live Ship Traders by Robin Hobb but is nothing like it, thankfully.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Aaron! ๐Ÿ˜Š
      That’s good to know that Barker’s Bone Ships read better than his previous books – I saw some favorable reviews but as Wounded Kingdom was also raved about, I wasn’t sure if I could trust them ๐Ÿ˜…
      Man, Liveship Trilogy is for me the worst part of the Realm of Elderlings – I even liked the Kelsingra tetralogy more ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Wow, really? I just couldn’t get into it. I actually read it twice to see if I just read it in a wrong moment or something – but no, the second time was equally uninspiring ๐Ÿ˜‰ Don’t get me wrong, it’s still great compared to other authors, but it couldn’t hold a candle to Fitz&Fool&Nighteyes. What I did like, however, was like all of it converged in the last trilogy ๐Ÿ˜€

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I loved how everything ties in to itself. I haven’t finished the final trilogy yet ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

            I also loved the Rain Wild Chronichles. Despite how slow-going it was. I suppose I just wanted different fantasy, and those two series were certainly different.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I liked Rain Wild Chronicles surprisingly much; I really appreciated how Hobb created there a whole ecosystem and mythology bound in one, broadening and deepening the realm of Elderlings. It had a YA feel to it, sure, but it was intriguing and well written and a pleasant journey all in all.
              You haven’t finished the final trilogy? Oh, man, get lots of tissues ๐Ÿฅบ It’s wonderful and perfect, but really harrowing at the same time.

              Liked by 1 person

                1. I thought so too. But then I read it and was deeply satisfied (after crying my eyes out ๐Ÿ˜ญ). Hobb knows how to say farewells.

                  As for that, I wouldn’t be so certain, Aaron ๐Ÿ˜‰ That last book was a harrowing experience. It was immensely rewarding too, but heart-rending to the highest extent.

                  …Not sure if I’m selling this right ๐Ÿ˜… Read it!!!!

                  Liked by 1 person

                    1. Oh I know what you mean. I don’t think you’ll be made to be sad – though you’ll definitely be sad, for a plethora of reasons. It is a trilogy about a change of guard, to some extent, and about letting go (though never being forced to let go), and necessary goodbyes. But there are also immensely rewarding scenes, and just retribution, and absolution and a sense of rightness about the end.

                      Liked by 1 person

      1. Maybe, it’s not a superficial tag as so many others. On the other hand, and I don’t intend this as a critique to you guys, posts like this remain a bit self-centered, and I don’t often feel like writing about myself – at least not in such a direct manner. It’s also a bit of a time issue.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. Yeah, I know what you mean. I took us a while to go there and actually write something about ourselves and not only about the books and movies. I was considered by many other bloggers as an older white male for quite a long time ๐Ÿ˜‰

          Still, I figure that once you write about books long enough, you write about yourself quite a deal in the process as well ๐Ÿ˜‰

          I would love to hear your thoughts on it nonetheless, so if you’re in the mood and have the time, please consider ๐Ÿ™‚

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Very true, reading my reviews will tell people some things about me, albeit very incomplete but I guess I like it a bit murky like that.

            Anyhow, I’ll keep it in mind for a rainy day, if I get to a new review slump (as well as one of your previous tags, that was a nice one as well)

            Liked by 2 people

        2. piotrek

          Well, we’re still on the internet, so are we revealing our darkest bookish secrets, or just adding layers to our artificial blogging personas?

          To be honest, though, I do not mind revealing a bit about myself as a reader here, people reading these posts are more likely to understand what I’m about than most casual acquaintances of my other life…

          Of course, Ola is also right when she points out even the most dry review says a bit about its author and not just about the reviewed book.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Yes, the fact is that I don’t have that many real life friends that are into speculative fiction, only two or three, and they are not as invested like me, so that makes the internet important. The same goes for my interest in experimental music.

            On the other hand, these days I simply don’t really want an ‘online persona’ anymore. I’ve been very active on messages boards for about 15 years, and I have lost interest in all that as I got older. It takes up too much energy, and the return is pretty low these days, as most of my interests/tastes have settled, and I’m simply not really interested in discovering a whole lot more (art, music, philosophy), with the exception of good books.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. I think it’s one of my life goals to get all of those Folio Society Edition of the classics I’ve read and loved (or need to reed). But to have Dune and The Once and Future King???? And that beautiful edition of Dante ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I didn’t even know such a thing existed. I recently got my hands on Le Guin’s Books of Earthsea, the complete illustrated edition with art by Charles Vess and can’t wait to find finally dive into it (with high hopes it’ll be epic after your thoughts on it.

    At least now I know what books I need to pick sooner rather than later!! ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 2 people

    1. A worthy goal, though I suspect you’d be able to buy a yacht or a decent car with all the money you’d have to invest in Folio library… ๐Ÿ˜‰

      The Charles Vess edition of Books of Earthsea is something I’d like to own! Maybe I’ll just make a list and hope someone will find it in time for Christmas… ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Would you be interested in doing the tag? I would definitely love to read your answers! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I think a yacht or a car would have to come before a whole library of their beautiful books. ๐Ÿ˜‚

        Iโ€™d gladly hook you up with a copy if you lived next door or something. ๐Ÿ˜ A happy reader is a happy friend. ๐Ÿ˜

        Duly noted! Iโ€™ll try and get this tag done soon. โ˜บ๏ธ

        Liked by 2 people

        1. piotrek

          I do love Vess’ Earthsea, even if it’s not a Folio ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’d let it to Ola, but currently she lives equally far from both of us, and from about anybody else ๐Ÿ˜‰

          Hurry with the tag, as we are preparing a new one ๐Ÿ™‚

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Excuse me, I live just by the hobbits ๐Ÿ˜› Not good enough for you? ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’ll have you know that next year we’ll also have in Auckland the World of Harry Potter (and Ikea) ๐Ÿ˜‚

            Liked by 1 person

        2. You teaser ๐Ÿ˜› I’ll bear it in mind if I ever consider moving to yet another country – Canada will be high on my list ๐Ÿ˜€

          Yay, can’t wait to see your answers! ๐Ÿ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Yay! Awesome post Ola and Piotrek!! (Thank you for the nod too). ๐Ÿ™‚
    I find it interesting that others also enjoyed Tad Williams’ Memory, Sorrow and Thorn, but not his other books – I just can’t get on with anything else he’s done, but M,S & T remains one of my favourite trilogies/quadrilogies. Although I’m not sure how I feel about his new Osten Ard book โ€ฆ
    And, oooo I love that word “besserwisser” – that’s definitely going to get used from now on. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. piotrek

      Thx & welcome ๐Ÿ™‚

      WIlliams… well, the new trilogy started, in my opinion, weak, with the author just repeating whatever worked the first time, but without the freshness of the first books. I listened to the first book, but I don’t think I’ll be picking up the second one.

      I have “The War of the Flowers” on my shelf, bought cheaply a few years ago, that I will read one day, the premise is interesting, maybe I will be pleasantly surprised ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Thank you! ๐Ÿ˜€
      I’m not a fan of Tad Williams in general, I must confess – there is something plodding and unoriginal in his writing – but I do find it curious that people generally praise his Memory, Sorrow and Thorn, but almost nothing else.
      “Besserwisser” works wonders – and sounds a tad better than know-it-all, right? ๐Ÿ˜‚ ๐Ÿ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I think seven virtues are actually much less known – not so sassy as the seven sins ๐Ÿ˜‰ However, we plan to remedy that in the near future here on Re-E – so stay tuned! ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: The Seven Deadly Sins Book Tag – Bookidote

  6. Oh, my timeliness when it comes to tags is nonexistent, so I feel you guys. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Hahaha Olga–that *does* sound like a dating ad. I liked the first Wounded Kingdom book well enough, but I wasn’t really wowed by it either. I’m curious about his upcoming book, though! And one day I’m going to cave and buy myself a Folio Society book. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I heard a lot of good things about The Bone Ships, so might give this a try. I don’t expect myself coming back to the Wounded Kingdom, though! ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Yeah, Folio books… Have you seen their new edition of Game of Thrones? What a beauty! ๐Ÿ˜€


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  10. I’ve been enjoying these Sins/Virtues lists on various blogs, so I’m happy to have found yours (and you gave us a double dose in a single post!). Your mention of Bulgakov may be the final push to get me to read TMAM, which has been on my TBR list for at least 15 years. I do indeed thank you for that, Ola and Piotrek.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re very welcome, Lizzie!
      I’m sure you’ll enjoy Bulhakov’s masterpiece, and I do hope to read your account of this adventure ๐Ÿ™‚
      Maybe you’d like to create your own set of answers for these questions? ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Seven Bookish Virtues/Sins Tag | Lizzie Ross

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