After a bit of a hiatus - exciting changes ahead! - I decided to jump right in again with the fourth instalment of Bloggers Read & Tell. And I couldn't have asked for a better interviewee than Holly Marie Gibbs of the cre8tive. We recently met during Holly Becker's outstanding Blogging Your Way e-course and quickly discovered we both have a thing for exceptionally fine typography and packaging, scrumptious gelato (yes, the packaging is delicious too) and, dare I state the obvious... books, of course.
Do you like to eat while reading? What's your snack of choice?
I try not to eat while reading for fear of messing up my pages [as I am very fond of collecting books], but sometimes hunger strikes and resistance is futile. My favorite snacks while reading would probably be hummus and pita or orange sherbet.
What conditions do you find most conducive to reading? Describe your ideal reading moment.
I love to read on my porch with a cup of tea, a cool breeze blowing and my two dogs laying at my feet. My ideal reading moment involves minimal distractions and nothing to do but soak up a great novel and forget about everything else!
Do you have a guilty literary pleasure (a book, writer or even genre you love but are just a tad embarrassed about)?
I do, and since I consider myself a pretty avid reader, it's definitely embarrassing. Upon the suggestion of a friend, I picked up the Twilight series and was not able to put it down. The story was just so addicting. I literally stayed up until 4 a.m. with one of the books — I was a mess. I'm also a big fan of chick-lit... the brainless reading that's perfect for a day at the beach and has absolutely zero literary value.
Is there a book you feel you really ought to have read by now but just can't seem to bring yourself to start reading/a book you really don't want to read, ever? And why is that?
I have been 'getting around' to reading The Great Gatsby for about seven years now. I picked up the book on tape a few weeks ago and have been listening to it on my way to work, but it still hasn't got me. I know if I get into it I will love it, but I just haven't dove in far enough yet. A book I have zero interest in reading, ever? I picked up Prozac Nation once and forced myself through two chapters. When I finished reading the second chapter and put the book down feeling absolutely depressed, I realized it just wasn't for me. I don't think I'll ever be revisiting that one.
Books are full of words (simply put that is), is there a word in the English language you're particularly fond of?
There are so many, I can't even think of them all right now. I am always coming across words that I love and they are sprinkled all over the pages of my notebooks and the margins of my lists. Some of my favorites, off the top of my head, are: debacle, humdrum, trinket, rogue, panache, hogwash, haberdashery, sprinkle and atone. There are many, many more. I love how diverse the English language is.
Have you ever run into a fictional character that annoyed or enraged you to the point you wanted to scream 'snap out of it already!' or made you want to throw the book away in disgust? Who and why?
There's one book that will forever be burned into my memory because reading it was like a car crash — tragic, and yet you can't seem to look away. The book was called I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, and it was a collection of true stories in the life of a fraternity-type guy named Tucker Max. It was absolutely vile, especially the way he treated women, and yet I remember reading it and thinking, "There are really guys out there who think this way! These are people I want to avoid! I have to keep reading so I know as much as I can about jerks like this." The weirdest part is that I actually caught myself laughing at parts of the book because the guy is pretty funny. Then I realized that my reaction was probably how he sucked people into liking him. I ran away, fast.
How do you mark your page?
I hate to admit this, but I usually dog-ear it. It's a bad habit and I try to remember to use a bookmark (my go-to bookmark is a magazine subscription card), especially when a book is on loan.
Is there an image of someone reading a book that you have never forgotten (painting, picture, movie scene, book passage, real life...)
There is, and I'll include it as an attachment. It's a photo of my father and I on the beach when I was a baby. He's reading aloud and I keep stealing his hat off his head, and [as my mother tells it] I would proceed to get upset every time he stopped reading to get his hat back. Then I would steal it again :o) It's one of my favorite photos of us.
You're in a bookstore and can buy just one book for just one person. What book would you buy and for whom?
I would buy The Glass Castle for my sister. It's a book that I've read a few times and loved every time. It's a very sad story, but I'm a big fan of stories about personal struggles and families.
Finish the sentence: 'Reading is...'
...essential! My father was both an English professor and a librarian, so I have always been surrounded by books. I go to them to unwind, to go on adventure, to learn and to forget. I couldn't imagine not having a deep and profound love for literature and all it has to offer.