Thursday, 21 June 2012

Seven Deadly Sins of Reading

I saw this over at Book Nympho and thought I’d answer it as well. If you are are doing the same, do send a link so I can see what your sins are.

GREED: What is your most expensive book? What is your least expensive book?
I’m not sure which my most expensive book is (not counting books I bought when I was at uni), probably my gorgeous 4 volume set of In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust. It wasn’t too expensive, considering how much I love it and how many times I’ll be re-reading it. Also, it’s so pretty I sometimes just stare at it. Yes, I'm that person.

Apart from books I’ve been given for free, I’d say about half of my books are my cheapest since I tend to go crazy at the annual book sale in Sweden every year.

WRATH: What author do you have a love/hate relationship with?
There are so many Brits (and Americans) I could write about, but I’ll stick to my favourite; Charles Dickens. I don’t know why, but his books are always such a slow and painful start for me, and yet when I finish them I’m always glad I made the effort. The truth is, I don’t really like the Dickensian world, so I have to get about halfway through to acclimate myself to it all.

I am Charles Dickens and you will love me.

GLUTTONY: What book have you deliciously devoured over and over with no shame whatsoever?
There is a Swedish book that I’ve read well over 20 times called Jag Saknar Dig, Jag Saknar Dig by Peter Pohl and Kinna Gieth (it’s been translated into English as I Miss You, I Miss You) and it always makes me cry at the exact same places. Every. Time.

SLOTH: What book have you neglected reading due to laziness?
Pretty much any of the hundreds of books in my library pile on the floor. Other than those, I’d neglected War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy pretty much all my life because I was daunted by its magnitude. However, once I finished reading it last year, I started wondering why it took me so long. No book daunts me in that way anymore.

PRIDE: What book do you most talk about in order to sound like a very intellectual reader?
First of all, most people label me as a book snob (which I was definitely in my youth – and may still slightly be), but I think that’s mostly because of the type of books I enjoy reading. Second, I am an intellectual reader, and I see no shame in that. Do I walk around with a copy of Nietzsche, Sartre or Camus just to prove how intellectual I am? No. But should a conversation about books arise, I refuse to dumb down what I enjoy so as not to come across as pretentious. I read (and blog) for my own amusement and have been known to go on about some random nothing novel for as long as I would a Russian classic.

LUST: What attributes do you find most attractive in male or female characters?
I want my characters broken in one way or another, both male and female. Whether it’s from grief, guilt, depression, addiction, mental illness or what have you – if they have experienced the darker side of life, I am likely to fall in love. It also helps if they have some form of neurosis. And I have a weird fascination with villains; the more evil the better.

ENVY: What books would you most like to receive as a gift?
I only want to receive books as a gift if I’ve requested them. Otherwise people tend to buy me something I have little, if any, interest in. I’m actually like this with everything in life, which is why nobody ever dares buy me anything unless I’ve specified exactly what I want.


  1. I thought for sure Call Me By Your Name would be listed under gluttony! But maybe I'll be able to find I Miss You, I Miss You if it's really that good. Although if it makes you cry, I'm not sure I want to read it. I don't like sad books. And now I want to read War & Peace so big books don't intimidate me anymore!

    I'm so glad you answered this! I think it provides a lot of insight into what kind of books and characters a reader likes.

    1. I was going to say Call Me By Your Name, but then I'd have to add The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, Macbeth by William Shakespeare and The Outsider/The Stranger by Albert Camus, so I made it easy on myself and just took the book I've re-read the most times in my life (I think). I Miss You, I Miss You is a YA novel that I read for the first time when I was about 13, and it's just so good I've continued to read it ever since. The film came out 2010 (in Swedish) and I sat in the cinema crying my eyes out (I wasn't the only one though, thankfully). I still think the book was better - as per usual - and I'll continue to read it until my dying days. Yes, it's that good.

      I was glad to read your replies to this (and therefore had to do my own) cos I agree that you learn a lot about a person; especially based on the answers to Wrath, Gluttony, Pride and Lust. One of my favourite quotes is: “Tell me what you read and I'll tell you who you are" is true enough, but I'd know you better if you told me what you reread.” ― François Mauriac

      Well, I like sadness, beautiful language, and broken people - in literature ad well as in real life.