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June 13, 2014 / ljbradburn-Smith

Kirsty’s Bookerview



Meet Kirsty. An old school friend, a lovely lady and a fellow book lover….

1. How many bookcases do you have in your house?

One, for now, but that is mostly a space issue!

2. What is the most interesting book title you have come across?

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers. It’s his autobiography and it genuinely lived up to his title – however intentionally pretentious that title was.

3. Have you ever really loved a book by an author and then hated another one by the same author?

I don’t recall ever hating a book. I must have at some point or another been disappointed by another book by the same author but that is probably down to having been so enraptured by the first. I can’t actually bring an example to mind though!

4. Do you believe in Ebooks?

I get the positives of Ebooks and Ereaders – unlimited number of books in a tiny package, the opportunity to sample books before investing in them fully, easy access to reviews and upcoming releases and the chance to read essays and documents as well as books, and of course, the lower cost of Ebooks vs real books. However, I love everything about physical books. I love having bookcases as furniture filled with the “to read” pile alongside the battered and bruised favourites. Physical books become a talking point. If you’re in someone’s home you can’t help but check out their collections and discuss them, whereas you wouldn’t sit down in someone’s lounge and flick through their Kindle list. It would seem weird! If you’re on public transport and you spot that the person next to you is reading your favourite book you would strike up a conversation with them – or I would anyway. You can’t ask someone on the bus or train what they are reading on their Ereader, it would seem rude and invasive.

Technological advancement can be a funny thing. I think that my, and others, love of physical books and attitude towards the traditionalism of them has increased due to the advancement of Ereading, in the same way people get passionate about vinyl records over CDs and now MP3s, and the way people get all nostalgic and warm when using an old, battered, 35mm film camera over the instantly accessible camera on your iphone that uploads directly to Instagram. Yes, one is much more efficient, so seems to make more sense, but we aren’t robots and that’s not always how we process things!

5. If you had the chance which book would you like to rewrite and why?

I don’t think I would want to rewrite a book, unless it was as an adaptation for stage or screen, but even then I would want to stay as faithful to the original as possible. Everything about a book is individual to the author, I feel that if you were to rewrite someone’s work then it would be a completely different book not a rewrite.

6. What is the perfect amount of chapters?

As many as it takes to get the story across. I’ve read books where at the time I’ve felt that certain chapters are unnecessary to the plot as a whole – Tolstoy does occasionally waffle in Anna Karenina – but I still wouldn’t cut them out by the end of the book.

7. How many books do you think it would take to reach the top of the Eiffel Tower?

Stacked up or reading whilst climbing? If we’re talking stacked up then I don’t think there’s an answer. It would depend on how many pages each book has! There are probably far too many possible outcomes to be able to test!

8. What is the worst thing you could do to a book?

Lose it. Or not return it to the person who lent it to you. I used to hate cracking bindings or creasing covers but a pristine looking book doesn’t compare to curling up comfortably with it and it getting a little bashed and battered. I’ve spilt a fair amount of tea and tears on to pages in my time but as long as it’s still readable then I think it adds a bit of character to it!

9. What is your favourite genre?

I don’t really have a favourite genre. As long as it is engaging and actually readable then I’m happy. I like to mix up what I’m reading and I’ll occasionally read two completely different books at a time. Last year I read a Dave Grohl biography followed by Jane Eyre (again) and then topped off with The Godfather.

10. Do you have any books that you consider guilty pleasures?

I’m arguing with myself about whether or not it’s a guilty pleasure but I think the Harry Potter books make my whole generation feel a bit warm and fuzzy inside.

11. Have you ever stopped reading a book and if so why?

A couple of years ago I stopped reading a book (and I can’t for the life of me remember what it was) because a massive plot twist right in the middle really aggravated me, but after a day or two I couldn’t get my mind of it and I just had to finish it to know where it ends. I think if you’ve gotten that far into something without ever knowing the conclusion will have you thinking about it forever. It’s the same reason I felt I had to watch Lost long after it got weird and a little boring, I had to know what the hell was actually going on!

12. If you were to write a book what would it be about?

I’ve been toying with the start of a book for some time now but my plot and theme keep changing. I think that’s down to my method and my reasons behind writing it. One of my changes was so extreme that I actually took that chunk out of the equation and put it aside for a completely different book. Now I have two that I would like to finish and I think I need to prioritise one over the other right now.

13. Who would win in a fight between you and Shakespeare?

Shakespeare, hands down. He had the ability to insult and degrade before you’d even have the chance to notice.

14. Have you got a question for me?

What are YOU reading right now?

Recently I always seem to have a few books on the go at the same time! At the moment I am reading Divine Misfortune (a funny book about Gods), Insurgent (as I watched the film Divergent the other week and got all excited about the story again!) and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (which has been on my “to read” list for ageeeees!). 

p.s You are so right about Ebooks! As much as I love my Kindle, because it is handbag-sized and handy for holidays, if I go into a someone’s house it is never too long before I am drawn towards their bookcase. I always feel like a house looks naked without one! Also it would be weird to ask to borrow someone’s Kindle but book borrowing is always allowed!


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