The 20 Questions Book Tag | #Blogtober22 – Day 1

As a child, I was extremely asocial and an introvert. The very thought of interacting with people sent me running and caused my tear ducts to erupt. This social anxiety and introversion has followed me into my adult life. Only, the running and the tears have translated into weary groans and the choice and comfort of staying home. Plus, my awkwardness and my resting b face (a weird and horrible combination, really) have always been a kind of an obstacle in my “social life”. It’s safe to say that interactive games weren’t for me. One of those games is 20 Questions, where you ask 20 questions to guess at something that the other person has in mind.

It has so happened that adulthood has made me do a lot of things that I never thought I could. Starting a YouTube channel, for example, actually talking to a camera and putting that video out for the world to see. Of course, I can’t film if someone is in the room because I feel extra awkward and embarrassed for previously mentioned reasons, but this was a huge step for me. Plus, the live sessions that I have over there actually encourage me to a large extent. Given these developments, ’20 Questions’ doesn’t seem that dangerous a game to me anymore. My first reaction to playing this with someone will still be to shrink back from them but I will get over it.

So when I found this book tag on YouTube (katie is reading was doing it; I don’t know who actually created the tag), I thought it was a great name for it. The 20 Questions Book Tag. Yes, this is a straightforward tag with none of the complexities of the original 20 Questions, but it sent me down memory lane and that’s something that pushed me to actually do it.

I’ve also done this in video format which, if you’d like to go check it out, here’s the link: 20 Questions Book Tag Video.

1. How many books are too many books for a series?

It all depends on the writing and the plot, in my opinion. Maybe 7 books is a good number but if the writing is good and you have a sensible plot, then have as many as you want. But if the writing is bad or if the plot isn’t going anywhere or if the author is just using convenient plot points, a long series just won’t do. 3 books maximum and be done with it.

2. How do you feel about cliffhangers?

Although they make me feel restless (which is their intention, really), I do love a good cliffhanger. They’re a good plot device to keep one’s attention invested in the story. But it does piss me off or disappoint me if it isn’t rounded up well in the next instalment/chapter.

3. Hardcovers or paperbacks?

This is a hugely tough choice, really. But the fact that hardcovers are easier to prop up and are a huge relief to my arthritic fingers, I’m going to have to say that hardcovers edge out paperbacks by a tiny margin. Plus, hardcovers have the most gorgeous covers too. I do love floppy paperbacks as much as I love hardcovers, though.

4. Favorite book?

I grinned for a long time before I wrote this bit, because I feel like everybody who follows me on the Internet knows about this. I won’t make extra explanations on here because these books have sort of been my brand and I’ve been shouting from the rooftops about these. So here’s a little list:

  • The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
  • Fierce Fairytales by Nikita Gill
  • In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

5. Least favorite book?

This one is easy.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson.

Reeks of white privilege, insensitivity, and arrogance.

Here’s my hour-long rant about this book: The Subtle Art.

6. Love triangles – yes or no?

I’m not dead against them because they do mix things up now and again, but I must lean a little towards no. More often than not, unless two people are on friendly terms again, it just becomes super uncomfortable for me to read and I find myself waiting with bated breath for the whole mix to end. I don’t hate them, though.

7. The most recent book you just couldn’t finish?

Do Epic Shit by Ankur Warikoo.

Oof, this book! It’s a prime example of toxic positivity in the form of short quotes – apparently tweets that the author sent out over some months. If it helped people become better, okay, no problem. But masquerading as self-help in the form of this? Not for me. I only got through 8% before it became too much for me and I DNFed it.

8. A book you are currently reading?

In the first draft of this blog post, this is how my answer looked like: “I’m reading two books, actually, and they’ve been stagnant for a while now because I haven’t read in about a week. Setting up life in a new country is exhausting and I’ve stopped stressing about reading. It was becoming one stress too much.”

In this final draft, I must say that though the stress remains the same, I’ve moved a little forward in my reading and gotten some short books off my TBR. This is for a video, but not to worry, I’m not stressing myself out about it. It’s just an experiment to find out something. I have enough stress as it is. 😛

But here are the books I’m currently in the middle of:

  • Manto’s 25 Short Stories by Saadat Hasan Manto
  • Sattvik: Foods of India by Anupama Shukla

9. Last book you recommended to someone?

I have an amazing friend with who I used to buddy read books. It hasn’t been great of late, the buddy reading, especially because of problems on my end. (Read: Life Update – April 2022) But given how both of us are learning new languages, the topic of translation is something that I thought she would love and I, very passionately recommended to her that she read Translating Myself and Others by Jhumpa Lahiri as soon as possible. She has promised to do so, and I’m here hoping that she will read it and find it as fascinating as I did, if not more!

10. What is the oldest book you’ve read by publication date?

The Iliad, I think. It was for work and it was one hell of a roller coaster for me because of the complexities, both in language and in the story it tells.

11. What is the newest book you’ve read?

Translating Myself and Others. This is a nonfiction book by Jhumpa Lahiri that released in May 2022 in which she talks about her experience with translation. Unlike In Other Words, this one is very academic-sounding and it takes a lot of effort to keep up with her. But Jhumpa Lahiri being Jhumpa Lahiri, makes this experience a memorable one as well.

12. Favorite author?

Oh, there are so many, honestly! But as I’ve mentioned in a video as well as a recent blog post, Nikita Gill, Matt Haig, Jhumpa Lahiri, Elizabeth Acevedo, John Green, Madeline Miller, and Sabaa Tahir are my absolute favorites. What I would give to read them again for the first time!

13. Buying books or borrowing books?

Back in India, there’s no library where I live so borrowing books is out of question. Plus, books in India are comparatively affordable, so buying books became a much-loved but uncontrollable habit for me. I’m proud of my collection back home despite there being hundreds of unread books.

However, now that I’m in Sydney, I can say I’m really looking forward to borrowing books. This way, I can read a book and buy it only if I like it. 😀

14. A book that you dislike that everybody seems to love?

I want to say The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson but I know a lot of people who don’t like the book either. So I’m going to go with Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. It’s just…such a load of misogyny being peddled as a children’s fairytale, in my opinion.

I did a video, I think, in which I talked about popular books I don’t like. It was a while ago and I think I LET GO in that video. Someone recently messaged me saying that I was ruthless in my opinions. Weeeeell. 😛

15. Bookmarks or dog-ears?

Bookmarks all the way! Dog-earing kind of stresses me out and makes me cringe. But then again, it doesn’t matter as long as you’re doing it to your own books. Do it to mine and you’ll never hear the end of it. 😛 It’s pretty obvious that I don’t like dog-earing my books, but I also didn’t like annotating my books and writing in them. Yet, I have started highlighting and writing my thoughts in them, so one can never tell what will happen. As of now, however, I’m team bookmarks that’s bitter rivals with team dog-ears. 😛

16. A book you can always reread?

Oh there are a few! But Fierce Fairytales by Nikita Gill takes the cake, honestly. It is so empowering, so beautifully written, so kind, so warm, it blows my mind every single time. I can’t get enough of it!

17. Can you read while listening to music?

If it’s instrumental, sure. But if it’s with vocals and if it’s music I know, I tend to get distracted a lot. I’ll probably be bopping along to it instead of reading that way. Funny thing, however, is that I absolutely love reading at cafes. It doesn’t matter if there’s loud music or if there’s noise. The ambiance just calls to me. Weird.

18. One point of view or multiple?

Books told from multiple perspectives are a great way of looking at a story. Something like how you should be looking at life before making decisions – looking from different angles. But single POV stories are amazing because we get one whole perspective, in its entirety. We have enough of perspective confusion in life as it is.

Both have their own attractions, though, and however much I want to choose between them, I just can’t. Multiple POVs have excitement, single POVs have a kind of stability. I’m sorry but I just cannot choose!

19. Reading a book in one sitting or over multiple days?

I want to say one sitting, especially because of the number of books on my TBR and the way I want to get through them as soon as possible. But I’m past that stage, really, and I don’t care anymore about the time it takes for me to get through it. Still, I love reading over multiple days more because I get to live the story over a longer period of time and I get to immerse myself in it as I go.

20. Who do you tag?

I’m tagging anybody who wants to do this tag. Go for it. 😉

So those were my answers to the 20 Questions Book Tag! What did you think of them? What are your answers to these questions? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you! 😊

I’ll see you in the next blog post.

Until next time, keep reading and add melodrama to your life! 😊

2 thoughts on “The 20 Questions Book Tag | #Blogtober22 – Day 1

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