Valerie Rutherford (fireflys_locket) wrote,
Valerie Rutherford

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20 Questions Book Tag

What? I stole another question tag because I never get tagged in anything? Yeah, I guess I did. I got this tag from Paper Fury, a new blog that I started following recently. So, enjoy me talking about books again. But often veering into talk about writing instead, because I guess I can't help myself.

1. How many books are too many for a series?
I don't think there's ever a set amount that is "just right" for every series. It's just about what feels right for the story in question. Some stories are just naturally longer than others. Right now, my plan for Magic Inc. is 12 books. That might seem like a lot, but it's actually down from 15/16. Haha. But I've known from the beginning that it was meant to be a long story. A slow-burn, if you will. Some stories are just meant to be that way. Other stories are just naturally shorter. They might be faster paced, or just taking place over a shorter period of time.

2. How do you feel about cliffhangers?
I'm really into cliffhangers. Or at least, I'm into endings that really leave you impacted. I try to end every chapter in a meaningful way. And I often write the last lines of the book long before I get to the ending. But I see a lot of people complain in reviews about cliffhangers, and I don't understand it. Don't you want to feel invested in reading the next part of the story? Sure, there are probably some cliffhangers that come off feeling cheap. But in general, I like a book to leave with me a lot to think about after I finish the final page. I like the anticipation and theorizing between books and will often give myself time between books in a series, even if they are already released.

3. Hardcover or paperback?
Definitely hardcovers. I've always preferred hardcovers. That's not to say that I don't own my fair share of paperbacks. But I find they get damaged much easier than hardcovers, and since most of my unread books are now in storage bins that get moved up and down from the basement a lot, I find myself gravitating towards hardcovers even more than before.

4. Favourite book?
The Harry Potter books will probably always be my favorites. I change my mind often about which book in the series is my favorite, but I tend to prefer the odd-numbered ones to the even ones for some reason. You can see more of my favorite books here. Or read my list of 7 Most Influential Books here, with commentary.

5. Least favourite book?
I don't know that I have a least favorite book. I'm inclined to see the good in stories over the bad, and I'm often pretty good at picking books out for myself. Even books I have to drag myself through usually have one or two good points. But if you want to know a book that really disappointed me... it was Cursed Child.

6. Love triangles, yes or no?
So, in general, no. I prefer romance to focus on building between two characters who get closer and closer over the course of the story. Characters who have an instant spark, but also take the time to have long conversations and bonding moments. It's hard to do this when there's a love competition at the center of the story and the focus is split. However, I find myself often writing very uneven love triangles in my own work. I hesitate to even call them love triangles, simply because it's never two people in love with someone who can't choose between them. There's always an element of unrequited love in there. And yeah, it's usually quite obvious (to me, anyhow) who the real soulmates are. But that's the point. I'm not trying to trick anyone into thinking it might go either way. I'm just trying to represent how confusing and complicated forming bonds with others can be.

7. The most recent book you couldn’t finish?
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld. I got this book as a Valentine's Day "blind date" in 2017. It wasn't a great date. The book was just too immature for me. (It read more like Middle Grade than YA and made a lot of poop references.) Also, there was something about animals being used as machines? It just wasn't the right book for me at all. Which is too bad because I did mostly enjoy the Uglies series, even if there were parts of that I didn't love, either.

8. A book you’re currently reading?
I am super close to finishing City of Fallen Angels. Which I've been reading for over a month. It's honestly not the book's fault. I'm loving The Mortal Instruments series as much now as I had when I read the first three books a couple of years ago. I am still very invested in these characters. But I've been re-editing Magic Inc. Book One. And I often find myself uninterested in reading when I'm in the process of editing, since that requires a lot of reading. Also, Kingdom Hearts has been taking so much of my attention this year.

9. Last book you recommended to someone?
...I can't remember. I really don't recommend books very often because I'm always terrified someone will hate what I've recommended. This leaks into all media, honestly. I am very nervous about being judged for the things I love. And I don't necessarily have many friends who enjoy similar things. Or many friends, period. But hey, I have a few. Sort of.

10. Oldest book you’ve read by publication date?
Anything I read for school. Which was ages ago now. I don't know that I count that. Just for enjoyment? Maybe Peter Pan or The Secret Garden? I don't read a lot of classics. Sometimes I feel bad about that. I wish I enjoyed them more, because I'm sure there are some I would benefit from reading. But I can't even drag myself through most modern Adult Fiction.

11. Newest book you’ve read by publication date?
I read (and reviewed) Nyxia last year. It was fairly new. Also, The Crimes of Grindelwald in script form. But that's about it. I'm always behind on EVERYTHING.

12. Favourite author?
I mean, J.K. Rowling. Still. But in terms of authors whose books I always buy (even if I don't actually read them for ages), Sarah Dessen or John Green. All my favorite Fantasy authors have too many books in the series I haven't read yet. Behind on EVERYTHING.

13. Buying books or borrowing books?
I've always preferred buying my own books. I'm a hoarder collector. Plus, I don't like the time pressure of getting a book read and returned. But once in a while, I'll donate books I don't see myself rereading to the library my Mom works at. If they don't end up on the shelves, they end up in the twice-annual book sale that supports the library. And provides a great way to buy cheap books!

14. A book you dislike that everyone seems to love?
Maybe Game of Thrones? I mean, I didn't hate it. I just struggle with reading long descriptions and keeping up with a vast fantasy world. I thought the characters were interesting. (The ones I could actually keep track off, anyhow.) I liked some of the lore. But I just prefer fantasy to be set in modern times. And also to be more focused on the characters than world-building. I like bonding with a character deeply. Feeling what they are feeling. I feel like that often gets lost in the long, impersonal descriptions in books like these. I doubt I'd ever continue the book series, but I might continue watching the show... at some point. But there's so much blood and nudity.

15. Bookmarks or dog ears?
BOOKMARKS. Please don't hurt my books if you borrow from me.

16. A book you can always re-read?
Harry Potter. Though these days, I do my rereading mostly by audio books. I have way too many books I've never read to spend much reading time rereading, but I can listen to audio books while in the shower every morning. And I love it!

17. Can you read while listening to music?
I can't stand silence, so I definitely listen to music while reading. But I do find lyrics distracting. Not while writing, for some reason. But while reading, lyric-less music is key.

18. One POV or multiple?
Ideally, only one or two. Because I feel that lets you get closer to the characters. But I've definitely enjoyed books that jump around more than that. (The Mortal Instruments, for instance.) So, it's not an absolute rule. I used to write fanfiction that jumped around until I started writing almost exclusively in first person. And while I LOVE first person, I do miss getting to tell stories from different angles in the same book.

19. Do you read a book in one sitting or over multiple days?
I haven't read a novel in one sitting since Deathly Hallows. And that was only because of necessity. I'm a fairly slow reader, and I like to take my time.

20. Who do you tag?
Anyone who needs blog content. Haha.
Tags: books, fandom, harry potter, magic inc, writing

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