Welcome to Micah Goettl.
Where are you from? United States
Please tell us a little about yourself. I’ve been playing violin for about 7 years; writing for about 8. I love ballroom dancing. I love sewing. Most artsy things are on my radar. I’m not good at math but am constantly looking to improve myself, so am reading educational books nonstop, though my true love is fiction.
On average how many books do you read in a month? I’m weird with this. Sometimes I can read a 400 page book in 2 days and then other times I’ve got a 150 pager and it takes me 3 months. I guess it would average at 1 – 2.
Where is your favourite place to read? Anywhere with good lighting and a comfortable chair. I generally curl myself into the living room armchair next to the window.
*What genres do you prefer and why? Do you have any genres you avoid? I prefer mystery/thriller and fantasy. I like some dystopian too. I avoid erotica. I’ve read some romances with erotic elements (sex scenes) but if anything gets too steamy and graphic, I put the book down.
Why are books important to you and what does reading bring to your life? I think books teach you a lot about life, even crazy, out-there things that seem to have no base in reality. People are people and fiction portrays elements of their truth. Books provide a place to meet people without having to leave the house, so there’s a plus.
Do you have a favourite book or author? Why do you think you like this book/author so much? Favourite author would have to be Timothy Hallinan. He writes with such humor and genuineness. Many parts for his books (I love the Poke Rafferty thrillers) have moved me to tears. Every character, no matter how despicable, has a kernel of humanity in them. It’s wonderful. But, oddly enough, my favourite book, the one I’ve read over again and in which I’ve marked my favourite passages, is Howl’s Moving Castle. For some reason the story calls to me. I think the heroine finding her confidence is what does it. And the hilarious banter between characters. And the slow-building love story. Basically everything about this book is wonderful.
What medium do you prefer – e-books, audiobooks or paper books? Would you care to expand on this? I prefer paper. Nothing feels more precious in the hands than a good solid hardcover. E-books have their place though. For example, if I’m eating a taco while reading, just propping up my Kindle in front of me and keeping one pinky finger clean for swiping the screen is ideal.
How do you usually find the books you read? For example: recommendations from friends, promotion on social networks, your local library, following authors you already know? Recommendations come into play big time, but for the most part I just browse through the shelves of a subject I’m interested in and pick up the book that appeals to me most.
When choosing a book what makes you stop and give it a second look? What makes you turn away? A great cover pulls me in. Turns me away? Scanning the first chapter and getting a flat, average main character. Also, a good back-cover blurb is important. I don’t prefer the “excerpt” blurbs.
*Do you read reviews by others and if so do they influence your choice? If a friend has not recommended the book to me then I do read reviews to help me make a decision. I don’t want to waste money on something that won’t appeal to me. Just like I scan the Parents Guide before watching a questionable movie, I leaf through positive and negative reviews to garner whether or not the book might be up my alley.
Do you “judge a book by its cover?” Sometimes. But there are books I’ve read with kind of lame covers that are honestly good.
What do you think is the most important aspect of a book for you? Plot, world-building, strong characters etc.? What turns you off? I think all of these are important but character is paramount. No matter how cool the world, no matter what an awesome plot you have, if I don’t like your characters, the book is relegated to the unfinished shelf.
Does the behaviour of an author affect your choice to read one of their books? Not really. I may not approve of actors sleeping around and divorcing every few seconds, but I still watch their movies. Similarly, the dubious actions of authors don’t negate the fact that they write well.
What are your views on authors commenting on reviews on sites such as Goodreads? I don’t think it is necessary. One author can’t reply to every single review, so a thank you here and there or a flame on a bad review doesn’t make a whole lot of difference in my opinion. People know that an author is going to be thankful for a positive review and they also know they’ll be put out at a bad one. It goes without the author’s confirmation. Let people say whatever they’re going to say and read the reviews quietly from behind the computer screen.
If you had to pick three favourite books to take to a desert island what would they be?Well, Howl’s Moving Castle, of course. Austenland. Percy Jackson. (Oh, this is hard because I love Rick Riordan’s books; they are hilarious and it’s hard to pick just one.) The Lightning Thief. Start from the beginning I suppose.
Do you think bricks and mortar bookshops are in decline? Maybe the small ones, but places like Barnes and Noble will stick around. Like everything, though, I think the market will rise again, then fall again, then rise again. It’s a cycle. In the words of Stephen Fry: “Books are no more threatened by Kindle than stairs by elevators.”