Tuesday, 13 October 2009


I came across the following meme on the excellent The Rap Sheet and I thought it would be fun to participate.

Anyone else who’d like to take up the challenge of answering the questions below is encouraged to add a link in the comments section of the original post over at The Rap Sheet, a double digit gets you there folks but please leave a comment on Brit Grit if you wish.

Do you snack while you read?
Yes. My day job is in a busy office and I try to take a lunchtime break away from the PC and read in the canteen while tucking into my sarnies.

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?
I hate marking or damaging books that’s why Post It notes were invented.

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears?
Bookmark - usually with old train tickets. I never dog ear.

Laying the book flat open?
I always close the book and try to avoid over stretching the spine.

Fiction, non-fiction, or both?
95% fiction. Any non-fiction tends to be sports bios. I’ll read author interviews on the web or in a newspaper and nosing around favourite blog sites takes up a lot of my time.

Hard copy or audiobooks?
Paperback, particularly mass market format. I’ve never tried audiobooks but I’m sure I will someday. There is a tremendous amount of great short fiction available from Webzines such as A Twist of Noir, Beat to a Pulp, Blink-Ink, The Flash Fiction Offensive, Plots with Guns, Powder Burn Flash, Pulp Pusher, Six Sentences and Thrillers, Killers ‘N’ Chillers. I thoroughly recommend anyone to pay these sites a regular visit.

Are you a person who tends to read to the end of chapters, or are you able to put a book down at any point?
I’ll always read to the end of a chapter but as much of my reading is on the train I have to stop when the journey ends – if it is at a crucial part of the story you will often find me hanging about on the platform reading to the end of that part.

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop to look it up right away?
I’ll make a note and look it up later. Usually the context of the storyline will help explain.

Are you the type of person who only reads one book at a time, or can you read more than one at a time?
One at a time but my TBR pile is getting so high I think I might have to have two on the go at the same time.

What are you currently reading? Crime fiction:
Just finished (today) James Crumley’s Bordersnakes.

What is the last book you bought?
The Dirty South by Alex Wheatle, which I bought after one of his book readings and signings. I’m attending one of his creative writing workshops this weekend.

Do you have a favorite time of day and/or place to read?
My lunchtime canteen haven. A comfy chair or sofa in a nice coffee shop is always good.

Do you prefer series books or standalone books?
I read and enjoy both. If I can I’ll read a series in the correct order but that’s difficult to do.

Is there a specific book or author that you find yourself recommending over and over?
Ken Bruen – the man is a genius.

How do you organize your books? (By genre, title, author’s last name, etc.?)
Shelved and also in a bookcase. Alphabetical by author’s last name but the shelves are a bit messy, in particular that TBR pile.


  1. I've only read SANCTUARY by Ken B. I really liked it. Which others would you suggest?

  2. I’ve read pretty much all his stuff Paul. The Jack Taylor PI novels are superb - try the first one The Guards. Equally good are the White Arrest books featuring Sergeant Brant and DI Roberts – great black humour. His early standalone books like - Rilke On Black, The Hackman Blues, Her Last Call To Louis MacNeice and London Boulevard are also highly recommended.

  3. My wife loves audiobooks. I have never listened to one. I do my best to not mistreat my books, but well stuff happens what with cats and dogs ruling the roost here.

  4. The idea of a haphazard margin notation, a full-on attempt at a gloss, anything, makes me shudder, even in a ten buck paperback. Notebooks, people!

  5. Al, you got a hat tip at the Rap Sheet!

  6. Wow - thanks Paul, that was an unexpected hat tip. Alan who? I can hear them all cry! Cheers.


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