I am grateful [or maybe not!] to Friendly Bookworm for nominating me for The Seven Deadly Sins of Reading challenge. Now, seven deadly sins I’m familiar with; I’ve been guilty of all of them in my time – and that goes back quite a long way. But of Reading? I’ve always thought of reading as a sin-free pastime, not like writing, where one can stir up all sorts of desires and emotions. Well, Friendly Bookworm, here goes for what it’s worth.
GREED Defined as: An intense and selfish desire for something.
What is your most expensive book?
Most expensive or most valuable? The book with the highest price tag in my current library is undoubtedly Genghis Khan: The History of the World Conqueror by Ata-Malik Juvaini, translated by JA Boyle. I don’t remember the exact price now but it was around £75 I think. On the other hand, if we’re talking works rather than single volumes, my quarter-leather, gold-blocked edition of Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings probably beats that. Most valuable? – a 1911 translation of Homer’s Odyssey. I’m going to hang on to all three!
WRATH Defined as: Extreme anger.
What author do you have a love/hate relationship with?
I’m with Friendly Bookworm here – George RR Martin – but for different reasons. I read the first two books of A Song of Ice and Fire and enjoyed the pace, the characters and the imaginative setting. I planned to read more eventually but then I discovered the series hadn’t been finished (and maybe never would be finished). I just hate series that go on and on!
GLUTTONY Defined as: Intense over-indulgence.
What book have you devoured over and over with no shame?
The Foundation novels of Isaac Asimov – all of them. Otherwise, no comment!
SLOTH Defined as: a reluctance to work or make an effort.
What book have you neglected to read due to laziness?
I bought Darwin’s The Origin of Species about forty years ago. I started it many times but laid it down unread/unfinished until 2013, when I finally made it. https://bookheathen.wordpress.com/2013/12/30/species/
PRIDE Defined as: satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.
What book do you talk about most in order to sound like an intellectual reader?
Winnie the Pooh!! I know my intellectual limits. Or, maybe if I’m being totally serious, Roger Penrose’s The Road to Reality, which stretches them uncomfortably.
LUST Defined as: a strong sexual desire.
What attributes do you find attractive in male characters?
I’m not into men; please may I do female characters? Courage, loyalty, intelligence, humour and passion. I don’t shun beauty but I can do without if the other qualities are present. Among my favourite fictional women are Agnes (David Copperfield), Jeanie Deans (The Heart of Midlothian), Penelopeia (Homer’s Odyssey) and Lyra (His Dark Materials). But if we’re really talking lust here, then no contest – Eve-Lilith (in a literary sense only)!
ENVY Defined as: a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck.
What book would you most like to receive as a gift?
This is a really difficult one. I think what I would like most is a copy of the The Shahnama (Shahnameh) by Firdausi in an English translation and illustrated with Persian miniatures. There are some versions on the market including the translation by Dick Davis, which is highly recommended in reviews.