What I Read (5): Angus

What I Read

What I Read is a semi-regular guest feature in One More Page allows them to talk about what the title says: what they read. I believe that every reader has a unique reading preference and no reader is exactly the same. What I Read explores that idea, where I let the guests talk about their favorite, genre preferences, pet peeves and everything else in between. :)

I promised a series, right? So here’s another What I Read feature for this month, also from another good book club friend: Angus of Book Rhapsody. :)

Angus and I don’t have much books in common. I remember the first time I heard him talk about the books he read, I said, “Oh, serious books.” Hee. We don’t really talk about the books we read but I thought he was such a funny and vibrant person that I always liked seeing him around our book club activities. Then we started the monthly book discussions and now our shelves have more books in common! :) I remember feeling very proud when he finally read his first YA book (mentioned below) and now he’s one of the people who introduced me to David Mitchell’s works. See, even readers of entirely different genres can be get along! :D

But other than being a “serious” reader (haha you’ll see why I kept that label on him there in his interview), Angus is a very good friend, and I’m really honored to have him here on my blog. :)

Hello, Angus!

Hello, Angus!

In ten words or less, what kind of books do you usually read?

Stylistic, serious, thematic, challenging, unconventional, classic, genre-defying, breath-taking, mind-bending, and…

In your most favorite genre, what are the things you like to read about? Any pet peeves?

I like to read depressing stuff. Probably it’s my way of dealing with loneliness. It makes me think that there are people (or characters) out there who are in worse conditions. Never mind that they are fictional, but hey, if the writing is really good, they seem more real than most living people. The problem with this is that I end up emulating them and carrying their weight. It can get out of hand that I sometimes feel I’m losing my mind. Such books would affect me for days like a hangover that wouldn’t go away. I’d just brood over the novel like they were real events.

Pet peeves? I hate melodrama and maudlin sentimentality. Drama is good, but don’t prefix it with melo-. I hate it when characters are blatantly used to express the opinions of the writer. One could read those on essays, please. I hate it when the obvious is stated. I want things to be implied subtly, not directly. I hate extended sex scenes. I do love graphic descriptions (sex included), but only for at least a paragraph. But if lengthy descriptions are necessary, I can forgive them. It’s different when one is trying so hard to be cool or liberal or shocking. The reader can sense that in a lot of ways.

List the shelves you look at when visiting a bookstore in chronological order.

I first check out the literary winners section. If there’s none, I go straight to general fiction. And then classics. And then I go back and forth. Sometimes, I check out the Filipiniana section, especially if it’s a big book store. And then the sale bins, if any.

If it’s Book Sale, I go to the upper trade paperback shelves/bins first. These are the ones that are fresh from … somewhere? And then the lower ones. If I’m in the mood, I scour the mass market paperbacks, upper and then lower. I think that was confusing?

And oh, I also visit the notebooks and pens section. Teehee!

Angus' booksWhat’s one genre you’ve never really ventured into? Would you ever try reading it?

Hmm, I tired myself thinking for an answer to this. I think I haven’t read a horror/thriller/paranormal/(insert synonym here) novel yet. I just don’t like the stuff that they are made of. I’m not an easy to scare person, so it’s hardly because of that. The same is true with movies. I don’t hate horror; I am just not fascinated by it. But maybe I will try reading at least one. I don’t like closing my doors to possibilities.

Have you ever tried reading a book recommended to you that is outside of your comfort zone? Did you like it or not?

Yes, I did, although it’s not really a recommendation. I have read a young adult novel, which is Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, thanks to our book club, Goodreads-The Filipino Group. It isn’t as bad as I thought, but I have to admit that it doesn’t have what I am looking for in a novel. Of course, it’s targeted for young readers, not to grumpy old souls like me.

What’s your reading guilty pleasure? Come on, I know you have one. :P

Do fashion magazines count? I mean, I don’t read the articles. I just stare at the fashion spreads and photo shoots, especially if the models are my celebrity crushes. Heck, I even used to buy magazines that feature my crushes on their covers. And how could I forget Cosmo’s annual centerfolds of 69 bachelors? But I lost that habit now, which could be a good thing.

Other bookish facts about me that you might find useful:

  • I don’t cover my books. If a plastic covered book is given to me, I take the effort to undress the book.
  • I remove the price stickers. I believe books are priceless.
  • I don’t dog-ear, I don’t highlight, I don’t use bookmarks. I know that I’m a notorious bookmark snatcher, but I just, well, hoard them.
  • I write my initials and the date or purchase at the inside cover of my books.
  • I maintain a spreadsheet that has simple bookish tasks, like marking the books that I own, the books that I will read, the books that I should buy, and others.

Thanks so much, Angus! :) Don’t forget to visit his blog, Book Rhapsody. :D

If you want to be featured for What I Read, you can drop me a line through the contact form or by sending an email to hello[at]tinamats.com. :) You don’t have to have a blog to be a guest, you just have to love books and reading, too. You can read other What I Read features here. :D

9 Thoughts on “What I Read (5): Angus

  1. “I maintain a spreadsheet…”

    I tried to do this before but I never even made it halfway!! *bows*

  2. Hi Tina! Let me just say that I am as honored as you are for being featured here. I was really surprised when I got your email regarding this. The surprise came from the meager number of books that we have in common (but that has changed now since we’ll be sharing at least 12 books every year, right? :D).

    Thanks again and enjoy your trip! (I’m really having a lot of second thoughts!)

  3. Oh yeah, Chami! You looked so… pogi! LOL

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  5. And how could I forget Cosmo’s annual centerfolds of 69 bachelors?

    I forgot to buy a copy! Hahaha. :) And Maria is right, ampogi.

  6. LOL, on grumpy old soul. Nice shelf angus! …..and hi tina! *waves*

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