Hardcover or paperback? Why? Mass-market paperback, because they’re smaller and lighter. This means a. they’re easier to carry, and b. I can carry more of them.
If I were to own a book shop I would call it.... I would definitely not name it after my blog! Too much chance of false impressions there. Instead, I’d start by stocking it with anything at all mysterious, spooky, or suspenseful: ghost stories, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, mysteries, thrillers, true crime ... the lot. Then I’d give in to the temptation of a pun and call it Eclectic Shadows (after my hometown’s arthouse cinema, Electric Shadows. I’ve always thought that was a cool name).
My favourite quote from a book (name it) is.... I’m not much of a quote collector, but one that’s stayed in my mind is “Love meant to him nothing but sawdust and cinders” from Orlando. There’s also one from a no-longer-remembered book that I paraphrased to fit me: “If not for bad luck, she’d have no luck at all”.
The author (alive or deceased) I would love to have lunch with would be.... Hmm ... so many choices! I’ll have to say Shakespeare – there’s a lot of questions that could be answered there.
If I was going to a deserted island and could only bring one book, except from the SAS survival guide, it would be.... Can you get the entire works of Jane Austen in one volume? If so, I’d take that. (I’d take the survival handbook, too.)
I would love someone to invent a bookish gadget that.... would hold the book at just the right height and distance, turn the pages at just the right time, and put in the bookmark when I was finished. A bookaholic’s hands-free kit.
The smell of an old book reminds me of.... the Bookfest, a.k.a. heaven on earth.
If I could be the lead character in a book (mention the title), it would be.... My first thought was Elizabeth Bennet, but I’m sure at least one person has already said that. My second thought was Claire Randall Fraser, but I’m very attached to my mod cons and not even Jamie Fraser could induce me to rough it in the eighteenth century. So I’m going with my third thought: Temple Barr from the Midnight Louie mysteries by Carole Nelson Douglas. I’d get to stay a petite redhead (only more so); plus I’d have a cute apartment, a funky landlady, a cat with attitude, a great wardrobe, and two drop dead gorgeous men vying for my affections. Sure, there’d be a few downsides, but to have a chance at Temple’s dilemma - choosing between Matt and Max - not to mention her fabulous high heel collection, a succession of people trying to kill me might not be such a bad deal. (And besides, it’s a comedy series; it’s not like anyone’ll succeed.)
The most overestimated book of all time is.... at the risk of offending a good portion of my readers: the Bible. It’s claimed to be divinely inspired, the word of God, and held up as justification for any number of things. Yet it’s just an anthology by numerous - and frequently contradictory - authors, written years after the events described, and many of those events fall somewhere between the improbable and the impossible.
I hate it when a book.... uses ‘Australia’ in a historical set much before 1814, the year in which the name was popularised by Matthew Flinders. (It didn’t become official until 1824.) It never fails to take me out of the book while I mentally berate the author for not using ‘New South Wales’. (Earliest setting I’ve seen it in? 1797.)