Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Facts About Me

"Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list  that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post and, if you want to, add your name to the Linky widget on that day's posts (typically put up midnight EST on Tuesday) so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers."

Top Ten Tuesday is a great way to get back to blogging after another longish break... Unfortunately, this post will come out on Wednesday instead of Tuesday because the Internet connection here at our summer cottage didn't agree with me at all yesterday. This week's topic from The Broke and the Bookish was Top Ten Facts About Me, with the choice of theme in bookish, bloggerish, general, or whatever else. I chose to go with the bookish line, with a couple of suggestions from some of my Facebook friends – thank you for helping me with this post!

Top Ten Bookish Facts About Me

1. I know no such thing as "lightweight travel reading". Whenever I pack a book with me for a holiday (obviously I can't travel otherwise), I get ridiculously paranoid about whether or not the book is going to last long enough. I need to read on the plane/train/other mode of transport there and back again, and during any convenient time on the trip itself. It's the most frustrating thing in the world if I finish the book halfway through the holiday. So, my travel reads are always brick-sized. I've had The Lord of the Rings with me on one holiday and Nicholas Nickleby on another. My sister thinks I should read less and do more other stuff while holidaying, I naturally disagree.

2. I'm completely OCD about keeping books clean. Folding page corners or scribbling into books is completely out of the question, and I'm always picking my parents' wine glasses off their books, we have coasters for that. 

3. I don't usually eat while reading (because that would result in crumbs on the pages and that would be awful), but a cup of tea goes very nicely with a good book.

4. If my house was on fire and I could only rescue two of my books, I would probably choose my Wordsworth Library edition of Complete Works of Shakespeare and The Victorian Frame of Mind by Walter E. Houghton. The former because it's such a beautiful edition (dark green covers with the title in gold and thin, Bibleish pages) that I just couldn't bear to let it burn; the latter because I haven't got round to reading it yet and it was such a perfect stroke of luck for me to randomly find it at a book fair, in Finland. I doubt I'd get so lucky ever again.

5. I'm trying really hard to come up with some book that I'd call a "guilty pleasure". The nearest equivalent I can think of is all those tons of teen horse novels that I read when I was younger – old enough to know they were conveyor-belt-written crap, but still hauling armfuls of them home from the library.

6. I'm trying to collect books in every language that I know. Currently, I think more than half of my bookshelf is in English, the Finnish ones being mostly childhood favourites that I've kept over the years. My French library consists pretty much of Les Misérables and The Little Prince. I recently found the original Swedish version of Jan Guillou's The Road to Jerusalem (Vägen till Jerusalem) and I can't wait to get to it and see how my Swedish skills have kept up. My main motivation for learning Spanish is to be able to read Federico García Lorca in the original language, but I'm not nearly there yet.

7. A random fact that I've learned from fiction: If you feed cheese to a dog for a longer period of time, its sense of smell will deteriorate (according to Cornelia Funke's Inkspell, can anyone tell me if this is actually true? I haven't checked.)

8. I was asked how much value I put on the quality of writing compared to the quality of the story – would I continue to read a book with unimpressive use of language if the story was promising? The truth is, I can't remember ever reading a book where the story was great and the language was awful. I can only think of cases where a mediocre writer also had mediocre powers of imagination. I do think that good language is hugely important to me, something that I take note of from the very first pages. If I don't like the style of writing at all, I would probably be too frustrated to see if the story had any potential in it.

9. I'm extremely picky about poetry, but at its best, I think it is perfect magic with words and reading a good poem is like being in a dream. The few poets I like, I adore. If I get my hands on John Keats, Emily Dickinson, W.B. Yeats or Kirsi Kunnas, I find it very hard to stop.

10. Some world-famous, loved-by-all books which I, in all honesty, thought were completely stupid: Paulo Coelho's The Alchemist, Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary, and The Time-Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.

So there you have it, a glimpse to my weird, bibliophilic ways. I love comments, as always, therefore be my guest if you want to discuss anything. I am seriously getting back to more regular blogging from now on because making this post was tons of fun, so keep coming in!


  1. haha, yeah, I'm like that about my books too (all concerned about keeping them in nice condition) My sister wants to read Sense and Sensibility, so I keep reminding her to be careful with my copy, haha. That Complete Works of Shakespeare sounds so beautiful!

  2. What?! You wrote this almost a month ago and I didn't even realise! I don't know how I missed it!

    I used to really stress about running out of reading material on holidays as well but it's gotten a lot easier ever since I was given an e-reader. I don't know how you feel about e-readers but they're so wonderful for travelling because you can download a load of books on them without having to worry about them taking up too much weight in the luggage. And haha, I absolutely love that we're united in our mutual disdain for 'The Time Traveller's Wife'! I didn't like the characters in that book at ALL, the writing in it was nothing special, I found all of the name-dropping and various references to things deeply pretentious and annoying, and the story itself totally boring.

    As always, it's so great to hear from you again! :D

    1. I love the weight, the feel and the atmosphere of "real" books too much to get into e-reading. :D I do realize its benefits and won't turn my nose up at people who use them, but I'm too attached to the old-school way. Squeezing a brick-sized book into my luggage has never felt like a bother, really – if there's trouble fitting it in, it simply means I've packed some other space-consuming thing that I don't really need. It's never the book's fault!