1. How many books do you own? I think more than 2,000, though some of those I inherited from my mother.
2. What type of books do they tend to be? About 3/4 of them are fiction; many fantasy, many children's books. Also "english literature" - contemporary novels, "classics" etc. Then reference: a bunch of gardening and cookbooks, dog books, mythology and religion.
3. How are they organised? Alphabetically by type and genre. So I have three shelves of fantasy, several shelves of children's books, general fiction, and non fiction by subject.
4. Where do you like to read? Mostly in bed, though I also read in my armchair in the sitting room, and sometimes in the garden
5. Have you ever done something because someone in a book did it? Yes - hiking in the forest or on the lakeshore because of "Swallows and Amazons" also cooking "buttered eggs" Also reading certain things because they were mentioned in other books.
6. Whose recommendations do you listen to? My mother was very good at finding and recommending books that I would like. Also there was a children's librarian whom I used to listen to a lot. Now, I do pay attention to Amazon "also reads" and my flist.
7. Do you prefer to read books in one sitting, or to read a little at a time?I read a little at a time these days - mostly because of time, not necessarily inclination, though I don't think I could do the three/four hour at a stretch reading marathons I used to do as a child.
8. Which forthcoming book are you most looking forward to? Not sure, really. The next George RR Martin, maybe, but also the next anything that I love.
9. Which book has been the greatest disappointment to you? Can't think of one off-hand.
10. What can make you throw a book down in disgust, even if you'd been enjoying it up to that point? Um, if I get bored. I think an "it was all a dream" or complete switch in mid-stream might lose me.
11. What sort of book will you not even contemplate picking up, even if you were stuck in a doctor's waiting room for two hours and it was the only reading material there? True crime, or westerns. Also certain "self-help" books if they look exploitative.
12. What was your favourite book at 5? 8? 11? 14?
At five: Winnie the Pooh
At eight: The Narnia books.
At eleven: Alan Garner - The Wierdstone of Brisingamen et al.
At fourteen: The Lord of the Rings. This was my favourite book until I was in my mid-twenties.
13. Which series did you use at school when learning to read? I can't honestly remember, except I do remember something called SRA, which was a reading comprehension thing that I quite enjoyed.
14. Did studying a book at school ruin that book for you? To be honest, no. I hated doing poetry at school, but I've got over that.
15. What is your book equivalent of junk food? Mercedes Lackey
16. What do you read when you're ill? "comfort reading": Howl's Moving Castle, or A Little White Horse, or the above Mercedes Lackey
17. Which is normally better: the book, or the film? Usually the book. Sometimes the movie is good even though it's nothing to do with the book (like Howl's Moving Castle)
18. Which book character would you like to sit next to on a train journey from Penzance to Inverness? Lymond.
19. What book character would you like to be on your side when alien armies invade from the planet Xarg? Lymond.
20. Which book character would you like to imprison for life in an unpleasant cell with only a mean-spirited rat for company?Thomas Covenant
21. Which character would you like to sit next to at school? One of the Marlowes. Or maybe Hermione Granger.
22. What was the last book you opened? The Norton Anthology (teaching)
23. What book(s) do you have on the go at the moment? Just finished The King of Attolia, starting The Merlin Conspiracy (reread), and Saturday by Ian McEwan.
24. What's on your "to read" list?The one that just one the Booker; Sarah Monette's Melusine.
25. Recommend up to five books or series.
1. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell is still my favourite contemporary novel from the last few years.
3. The Fortunate Fall by Raphael Carter is the best stand-alone sf novel I've read for a long time.
4. Garth Nix's Sabriel and sequels are better, I think, than Philip Pullman.
5. The Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart (the sequels are on MY to-read list!)