Questions of Book Lust

Sophie from Her library adventures adapted these for a recent blog post of hers – these questions are the original questions for a bookworm.  And then after, it was stolen by bookgrrl and then by Cassandra. And then I stole it. I needed some respite from hard work and many deceased. I haven’ been able to eat meat since starting this rotation, which is unfortunate even by my own standards.

Imagine you sit in front of a fireplace. You read and beside you there is a cup with something hot in it. What would that be in your case: tea, coffee or hot chocolate?

In the parts of South Africa where I live, it is rarely cold enough for a fireplace. So if I am sitting in front of a fireplace it means it is a bone-chilling cold that I am not used to, and I am probably in a lovely little place called Hogsback (said to be the inspiration for Tolkien’s The Hobbit). This means that coffee or hot chocolate would be the choice drink. However, since these have been triggering my migraines, the choice drink would be tea – but not English tea: Rooibos (the only tea I thoroughly enjoy, and a gazillion times healthier than English tea).

If an author gave you the chance to rewrite or to change the fate of a book character, who would you chose?

SPOILER ALERT: In Mockingjay (The Hunger Games Trilogy) by Suzanna Collins, Katniss would not vote for a final Hunger Games. It goes against everything her character appeared to stand for. More importantly, she would not end up spending her life in solitude and marrying Peeta, a man she clearly has no romantic love for. The end of this book shows no victory on Katniss’ part – she remains a piece in a game, unallowed to be the master of her own fate. Only the gamemakers have changed. Yes, it is a tragic end, but is that what Collins was going for? I doubt that. It seems to me a glaring incongruence which destroys what was an excellent major theme for a YA novel.

(My second choice would be the Piggy in The Lord of the Flies by William Golding would not die. However, that would actually ruin the message of the book, thus I leave it untouched.)

Did your parents read stories to you when you were little? If yes are there any special ones you remember the most?

Yes and no. Dad is visually impaired and reading to me was an arduous process. Instead he created entire characters and stories for me, using only his imagination. I loved them. I beautiful butterfly grew as I grew, and when my sibling were born they, too, met her.

Mum did read to me – I loved Walt Disney and she bought many of the picture books for me. My earliest memory of learning to read was when she taught me the names of the seven dwarfs in Snow White. What began as memorisation turned into reading. A similar situation took place with a book about animals, called Kolle, Vere en Krulsterte (or “Spots, Feathers and Curly Tails”) by Nancy Tafuri.

What do you like more the smell of old antiquarian books or the smell of new fresh ones you just bought?

Uncultured as this may be, I like new books, the smell of fresh ink, the ability to cherish a book and break it in softly. Also, dusty books make my nose runny and my throat itchy. I have a thing for beautiful books, although I can also become terribly sentimental about a special book that has traversed many owners. But in all honesty, I am not in the position to complain, I own few enough books as is. The sad thing about ebooks is that they have no smell.

You get the opportunity to choose between two secret talents: either to be able to make things come to life through reading them or the gift to read yourself into a book. Which one would you like to have?

I don’t think it would be fair to make other people pay for my bookish fantasies. Anyway, they might influence my favourite characters. And what if I can’t put things back into books when I’m tired of them? No, I would much rather enter the books myself. As a little girl, my biggest dream was to fly with Peter Pan – I still have wonderful, soaring dreams. I have the travel bug, but as a student I don’t have the finances. What better way to travel?

Do you have a favorite children’s book or a favorite fairy tale?

As a toddler, I lived for fairytales. Princesses in pink made my toes curl, although I didn’t care too much for the knight in shining armour. Strangely (or perhaps not), my favourite childhood story had an independent little girl: Heidi.

I was so enamoured by her adventures that I tried to convince my parents to rename me Klara, and my little sister Heidi.

Someone would talk to your friends and ask them to compare you to a book character. With whom do you think would they compare you?

I would love to be compared to someone of a little more substance, but I am most often compared to Hermione Granger of Harry Potter. I suppose there are similarities – actually, no, there were similarities when I was still in high school, the golden girl. Somehow the comparison still sees the light every once in a while.

Tell me the name of a writer whom you would like to have as a friend.

Would I like to have a writer as a friend? Not really. I have never really got along with other writers. I either find that I do not understand them or that they do not understand me. I have friends who fuel my passion for writing, who inspire me, but none of them are really writer’s themselves. But maybe it is because neither I nor they identify as writers. Maybe befriending a writer will make me feel vulnerable.

Anyway, if I had to choose it would be Roald Dahl. He played such a major role in my childhood and his wisdom and experiences would be of such value to me. Obviously he’d be more of a mentor-slash-grandpa than a friend; I would like that.

You can hide in a written down world for only one night – into which world do you escape?

Fanart by Mogget1 and MoggetsOldKingdom

The Old Kingdom of The Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix. I don’t remember the books being very descriptive of the kingdom as a whole, but the oldness, the cobblestone, the vintage, spacious homes and the surrounding of the Clayr make my heart beat a little faster.  I would quite like to visit the Clayr, actually. And “hiding” would not prevent me from befriending or antagonising the locals…

Something terrible happens: you have to flee to an unknown place and all you can take with you are three books of all the ones you own. Which three ones do you put into your bag?

As said before, I do not own many books. I could cheat and take my iPad, which has acquired a good few books. But I detest rereading a normal book. It has to be special, entertaining, every time over.

  1. The Roald Dahl Anthology which I received for Christmas. Dahl offers some kind of comfort, and since my family gave it to me it has extra significance.
  2. Life and Soul by Karina Turok inspires every time I read it.
  3. Post Secret by Frank Warren is my guilty pleasure and always gets me out of my rut.


  1. Cassie says:

    Roald Dahl is wonderful. My favorite book, probably ever, at least has been my favorite the longest, is The BFG. I also had an affinity for fairytales and my friends think I look a lot like Hermoine – oddly enough. You must be competitive, and really intelligent if your friends think you are like Hermoine – total compliment. Loved learning more about you, and books. Had no idea you were living in South Africa – and the tea is MUCH better on that side of the world, I agree.

    I’m currently reading a memoir set in Nigeria by Elaine Orr. You should look into it – it’s really beautiful.

    1. Thanks! The BFG is also one of my favourite Dahl books.
      I’ll look for that memoir, it sounds right up my ally 🙂

  2. I would definitely view being compared to Hermione as a complement. And I love Roald Dahl! I read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory more than 20 times as a kid because I loved it so much. It makes me very happy that my nieces (now 5 and 7) are starting to be old enough to get into his books. I’ll have to look into the Anthology – it might make a good present for an upcoming niece’s birthday.

    1. I checked again, it’s actually called the Roald Dahl Treasury. It’s awesome and would definitely make a great present. All the illustration’s are also in colour, and they add some interesting snippets about the author.
      Thanks, about Hermione 🙂

  3. AWildDog says:

    Roald Dahl was read to me as a child as well, so I completely understand how his stories have a special place in your heart.

    Oh I so wanted that piggy to live too…

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