I got this from the Little Professor. But I’m answering these questions selectively—just those I had a strong reaction to.
1. Favorite childhood book?
Just one? Childhood lasts awhile, you know. Tastes and abilities change between 5 and 12. They change between 11 and 11 1/2, come to that. But if you insist, I think I was and am particularly fond of Noel Streatfield’s Ballet Shoes.
2. What are you reading right now?
A blog, you silly person.
5. What do you currently have checked out at the library?
More than 60 books, on assorted medieval topics.
6. Do you have an e-reader?
Yes. It was a gift. I haven’t put anything on it in the, um, year and a half? that I’ve had it.
8. Have your reading habits changed since starting a blog?
Not since starting my own one. Since starting to read blogs, yes: I read fewer novels.
10. Favorite book you’ve read this year?
What is it with the favorites? I like different things for different reasons, in different moods and circumstances. It’s not as if I keep a pile of this year’s books around organized from top to bottom in order of how much I loved them. It’s not even as if I can remember what I’ve read this year or last year.
15. What is your policy on book lending?
Fuck right off! Put that down, now!
17. Do you ever write in the margins of your books?
In pencil, lightly. I find it difficult to write in books, even my own. Post-it notes are very common, though.
22. Favorite genre?
Again with the favorites. I am not such a simple character.
26. Favorite cookbook?
Get a grip! Depends on what I’m cooking.
30. How often do you agree with critics about a book?
Depends on which critics (is this a “favorite” question in disguise?). I encourage grad students to get to know the works of scholars in their field so they’ll know whether they can count on their reviews. From some people, a bad review means I know I’m going to want to read the book.
32. If you could read in a foreign language, which language would you chose?
Modern language? I already read fluently in French and Spanish; with a dictionary I can get through Italian and German adequately. So I think I’d go for something more exotic, like Arabic or Japanese. Dead languages . . . I’ve made a couple of attempts at classical Greek, so it might be nice to get a shortcut to fluency there, but then again, if I’m taking shortcuts, I’d probably pick hieroglyphic Egyptian. Or cuneiform.
33. Most intimidating book you’ve ever read?
For the love of . . . listen, a book is an inanimate object. It’s not even a dangerous object, like a gun or a guillotine. I have never been intimidated by a book. And neither should you be. No one can intimidate you without your consent.
35. Favorite Poet?
W. H. Auden. Or Louise Labé. Or A. C. Swinburne. Diane Wakoski has her points. So does Charles d’Orléans. And Francis Jammes. I think I should go back to my “that’s too simplistic” stance on the topic of “favorite.”
36. How many books do you usually have checked out of the library at any given time?
I decline to answer this on the ground that it may tend to incriminate me.
38. Favorite fictional character?
39. Favorite fictional villain?
Go away, I’m tired of these.
40. Books I’m most likely to bring on vacation?
Take. Unless you are currently on vacation, in which case you have indeed brought books, you will take a book or books on vacation.
41. The longest I’ve gone without reading.
You mean, while I’m awake? I can’t read after an eye doctor has dilated my pupils for that one test they do . . . that may last 4-5 hours.
43. What distracts you easily when you’re reading?
46. The most money I’ve ever spent in the bookstore at one time?
La la la la la. Not answering. You don’t want to know, anyway. But I’ll tell you this: two years ago I spent $250 on a single book and knew I had a bargain, though the people I was traveling with gasped when I answered their question about the cost.
55. Favorite guilt-free, pleasure reading?
Why would you feel guilty about reading? This is like the intimidation question. Whoever thought this thing up has some psychological problems.