25 Bookish Facts About Us


We were tagged by our friend Myla to participate in a “25 Bookish Facts” tag! Alice posted hers on The Geeky Burrow (make sure to read all of her answers here), so Maria and Lily will be sharing their facts here on the Travelling Geek Show!


The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

#1 – I wrote my BA thesis on Tolkien’s LOTR.

#2 – I’m about to graduate with a MA in English and American Literary studies.

#3 – My MA thesis is about postcolonial literature in New Zealand.

#4 – Despite all this, I have a love-hate relationship with poetry. I prefer spoken word poetry over written poetry.

#5 – Same applies to plays. I love seeing plays performed on stage, but somehow I can’t enjoy that very same plays when I have to read them.

#6 – I love it when my books look used. While I do have a few expensive hard-cover editions that I’ll treat like a national treasure, all my paperbacks look like they’ve been through hell. And I love it!

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

Read more about Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? in Maria’s post about how sci-fi restored her love for reading!

#7 – The best book I’ve read in a long while is Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? By Philip K. Dick.

#8 – I have a thing for photography books of animals and far-away places.

#9 – My dad created this love for photography books of animals and far-away places because he used to give me these type of books for my birthday when I was a child.

#10 – Despite being an English Major, the only book I like that was written by Dickens is Sketches by Boz.


#11 – I absolutely despise Great Expectations.

#12 – I love my kindle.  I embrace my kindle. And I don’t give any damns whether my fellow English Majors will hate me for it and start reciting how E-Books are “not real books”. Listen, it doesn’t matter whether I read LOTR in a paper-back edition, hardcover edition or as an E-book, the story is the same. Let me repeat that, it doesn’t matter whether you read a book as a printed edition or as an e-book, the story remains the same!

#13 – I love Tolkien’s Middle-earth universe.

#14 – I read LOTR after I’ve watched Peter Jackson’s film trilogy.

"Maria, how could you?!" the hobbits seem to say.

“Maria, how could you skip over the Shire?!” the hobbits seem to say.

#15 – When I first read LOTR, I skipped most of the part at the beginning in the Shire and really started to read the book when the 4 hobbits arrived in Bree. For that reason, I didn’t knew Frodo’s real age in the books for the longest time and embarrassed myself in front of friends because of it.

#16 – I have a love-hate relationship with Jane Eyre. I love the first half of the book dealing with her childhood and school, but I really don’t like the second half as soon as she starts working for Rochester.

#17 – Throughout 2015, I’ve gotten rid of almost 50% of all my books in an attempt to minimalize my possessions. I’ve given away all of  my university related books that I’ll never going to read and my cheap paperback editions of classics which I repurchased for free as e-books on Amazon.

#18 – I have 14 books in my current TBR pile of printed books.

#19 – My TBR ‘pile’ of e-books on my kindle has 55 books. I plan on reading those e-books for when I’m in New Zealand for 6 months.


#20 – One of my favorite books of all time is Lolita by Nabokov.

#21 – I have two types of reading phases: I’ll either read everything I can all the time or I’ll read nothing for weeks at a time. There is no in-between.

#22 – I haven’t read A Song of Ice and Fire yet, and I don’t plan on reading it anytime soon.

#23 – I first read Harry Potter for the first time, aged 22, seven years ago in New Zealand. I reread the first three books 3 times in a row.

#24 – I can’t be bothered to read YA books.

#25 – The book I’m currently reading is The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula Le Guin.




#1 – Like Maria, I have recently reduced my personal library. Most of the books went to my local public library (though some went to my neighborhood’s Little Free Library), so I know I can always visit them!

#2 – One great (and kind of sneaky) thing about donating books is that your To Be Read pile shrinks, too! I had to come to the realization that I was never going to read Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy, Roughing It by Mark Twain, or The Juvenilia of Jane Austen, among others.

#3 – Like Myla, I really love making books my own. I like seeing them with creased spines, dog-eared pages…recently, I gave myself permission to start writing notes, observations, and questions in my books, and I love it!

#4 – Also like Myla, I would never imagine treated other people’s books that way! And I have had many books never returned after loaning them out, so I am very particular about returning books to their owners and in good condition.

#5 – Like Alice, I always have to take a dust jacket off of a book before reading it. The jacket makes it so difficult to hold, and if I leave it, I end up demolishing it.


Still got it!

#6 – One important benchmark for picking out a purse or a bag is if it can hold a book (and what size, how many, etc.). The purse I still use on a day-to-day basis was one I picked out that had to be able to hold Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix when it was released in paperback. It has always done right by me.

#7 – One summer, I tried to read all of the Harry Potter books (only the first five were out) in one week. I made good progress until I hit The Order of the Phoenix. I think it took ten days, all told.

#8 – I took a class titled “From Literature to Film” in college. The book list for that course was obviously huge, and I remember dropping all of my books all over the floor of the university bookstore!

#9 – My favorite book from that class was The Quiet American by Graham Greene. To this day, I try to convince myself that it’s not because it was the shortest book from that class!

#10 – The only other book that I kept from my “From Literature to Film” class was Les Liaisons dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos (though, not in the original French). I still have it on my bookshelf.

#11 – I didn’t read The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien until after I had seen The Fellowship of the Ring film.

#12 – In the year between Fellowship of the Ring (2001) and The Two Towers (2002), I read The Fellowship of the Ring book and listened to The Two Towers and The Return of the King on audiobook.

#13 – When I first read LOTR, I thought Tom Bombadil was a big weirdo and had no idea how I felt about him — it hovered somewhere in between afraid and perplexed. I didn’t mind that he wasn’t in the film. It wasn’t until a much later re-read that I discovered that I actually love that guy. And Goldberry, too!


#14 – I don’t have a blanket policy against book covers with movie images, but I tend not to like them. It was hard picking out just the right edition of The Lord of the Rings because there were so many movie covers at the time. I eventually went with Alan Lee illustrated box set, and I still love them!

#15 – I do absolutely pick books by their covers. Or at least, the cover is what draws me in, and if there are ever multiple editions of the same book for sale, I’ll pick the nicest cover (art is important, but so is texture). This has gotten me in trouble before…

#16 – I first read The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope as a library book. It was a nice cloth-bound, hardcover edition. I asked for it for Christmas, and a lovely relative got it for me, but the cover had a photo from the 1937 film. Not what I would’ve chosen, but it was pretty great that my relative went out and got it for me. The content was the same, and I loved it to death. Truly, it started coming apart, so I decided it was time for a new one. I scoured images on the internet, and found exactly the right cover. My brother purchased it for me (precisely the edition I had asked for). I was so pleased, until I started reading.


Don’t buy this edition unless you are fond of capital Ks.

I’m guessing that the publisher had found an instance of the word “king” that wasn’t capitalized when it should’ve been, so they did a giant replace all with “King” (capital K). The problem was that this altered every word with “king” in it — talking became talKing, walking became walKing, making became maKing — you get the idea. I found it completely unreadable after a few chapters.


#17 – I read The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux in the first year that I lived on my own. The book has some scary elements, but it was the front cover that scared me the most. I literally made myself a rule that I could only read when there was daylight.

#18 – In the past 5-10 years, I have given myself a new requirement before purchasing a book. I must read the first page (the first chapter, if I can manage it) before buying. I guess I have become a bit of a book snob, but I have picked up books just from their back cover descriptions, and I found that I couldn’t get over that author’s particular writing style.

#19 – Since we’re talking about authors’ writing styles, I guess it’s time to bring up George R.R. Martin. I watched the first season of Game of Thrones, and then decided to read the books. I’m not very fond of Martin’s writing style; I don’t like fragments scattered all over the place and I like adverbs to end in -ly (at least when they aren’t in a character’s speech). I could go on and on.

#20 – After the first two, the Song of Ice and Fire books took a less prominent place in my purse and on my bedside table. The problem was that when I wasn’t as active about reading them, it became difficult to remember what had gone on because of the different character perspectives, flashbacks, and the fact that a few characters had a handful of different names that people called them. Halfway through the fourth book, I dropped the story all together.

#21 – Another author with a distinctive writing style is Cormac McCarthy. My introduction to him came in the form of his book The Road in an airport bookshop before a trip to Cancun, Mexico. Yes, this was my beach book, and I am a masochist.


#22 – McCarthy doesn’t use much punctuation. In fact, he never uses quotation marks. However, I always have to be reminded about his lack of punctuation, because it’s the story — its scary moments and depressing tone — that I remember. I consciously chose to only read happy “sunshine and rainbow” books for the next six months after reading it.

#23 – It wasn’t until I was an adult that I discovered all sorts of Children’s books and Young Adult books that I would’ve loved if I had only read them sooner (actually, I still enjoy them now). On that list is The Wind and the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, Little Lord Fauntleroy by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Howl’s Moving Castle by Dianna Wynne Jones, and Mairelon the Magician by Patricia C. Wrede.

#24 – I got cast-off comic books from my uncle when I was a kid and loved them, but I considered them a childhood thing…until recently. I could probably do a whole post about getting into comic books, but let’s just say that they are taking up more and more space on my bookshelves, my walls, and my heart. ❤

#25 – I worked for the bookstore Barnes and Noble once upon a time. There were definitely some perks, like employee discount and having to learn more about books to be good at my job, but I didn’t really like the “corporate” atmosphere. We were always having to try to sell people on a membership, and I found that some customers had a hard time knowing which cash register to go to with all of the “impulse buy” merchandise in the way. Local used bookstores are the places I find myself spending my time in these days.


Maria and Lily would like to tag Fangirls on the Road and anyone else who would like to do this challenge!



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