And Now, from the Department of Randutiae

Behold the final cover for the French edition of Graceling!

Whaddya think? Quite a departure from the others, huh? I get a real kick out of it myself and would love to hear what you think :o)

Also, want to listen to me talk about my name? (I can just hear the screams of excitement out there.) You can do so here, and then, after that, you can go listen to other people talk about their names. Really! It's fun!

So, I'm in the midst of a Project: I'm trying to put together an official FAQ page. I'm organizing and consolidating the questions I've answered so far; looking over ones I want to answer soon; trying to decide how to present everything so it's user-friendly; etc. And, while bumbling through my list of questions-not-yet-answered, I found myself wanting to answer this one. (For the spoiler-cautious: no spoilers!)

I'm a bit of a packrat when it comes to books. You couldn't pry them from my cold, dead hands. Do you get rid of your books once you've read them, or do you hoard them like a little squirrel hoards nuts for the winter?

Well, my squirrel friend, I don't read books. Ha! Just kidding. Truth is, I read an absurd number of books, BUT, I also seem to have anti-packrat genes. I don't mean that I hate packrats, just that I definitely am not one myself. ^_^ I tend to only keep books that I love madly and/or books that have sentimental value. Of course, that still leaves me with a ton of books. But let's just say I've got hundreds of books, rather than the tens of thousands of books I would have if I kept everything. Actually, I tend to do most of my reading from the library. Then, when I stumble across a book that I ♥♥♥, I put it on my purchase list so that I can own it and have it forever.

Some books I recently purchased after reading them from the library: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (which I loved so much that I bought several copies, to spread around); Dead Man's Ransom by Ellis Peters (my favorite so far in the Brother Cadfael mystery series); Alchemy by Margaret Mahy (I am steadily building my collection of Mahy books; one day I will OWN THEM ALL!). Some books I've recently read, loved, put on my list, and will purchase soon: Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller by Sarah Miller (DO READ IT! With tissues in hand!) and Dairy Queen and The Off Season by Catherine Gilbert Murdock (have you met D.J. Schwenk yet? You should).

I've started getting a lot of free books, too, now that I'm going to trade shows and so on. I keep the ones I love passionately and pass the others on.

Do you have a book policy? I love mine, because it allows me to spend lots of time in libraries (♥) and it allows me to minimize my belongings, which is good for a person who moves a lot, and also makes each possession that much more precious...


StefanieEmmy said…
Hey Kristin, the french cover is great (although I can't see if the eye colours are correct - well, my glasses lie somewhere deep in my bag) and it was so cool to hear you actually talk. I had an voice inside my head while reading Graceling and it was definitely not my own - so I guessed it had been yours ... but now ... well, everything is thrown over again xD

To come to an end, I wanted to tell you that I'm currently reading The Book Thief (in German) and I love the book as well. ^^

Greetings from Austria,
Pam said…
You have a pretty accent and I've been misprounouncing your last name!

I'm only a packrat with the books I really love. Those I hang onto forever.

The cover with the eye in the dagger is my favorite. It's one of the most beautiful, compelling covers I've seen. I always prefer imagining the characters rather than seeing someone else's visual interpretation of them.
Ink Mage said…
I think this is my second-favorite cover so far. Surprisingly, I like the US cover best, then this French one, and then the UK cover.

Cool to hear you speaking about your name! I'm amazed to be able to say that I have been pronouncing your name correctly. :-) I have a Gaelic first name--maybe that explains my love for bagpipes.
Anonymous said…
Hello!! This is the first time commentor on your blog! I was at my local bookshop earlier and saw Graceling and it really got my brian a-working. I haven't started it yet but I cannot wait until Uni stops destorying me and I can read it!

A little introduction-my name is Roshni and I am a Uni student in the UK.

As far as my book habits go, as a child my parents were more than willing to buy me and my sister (my sister and I?) books, while taking us to the library every weekend. Now I ususally depend on the library to sustain my reading needs (and even if I just want to waste some time, that is where I usually go!) but if I HAVE to own a certain book then I do buy it.

With all my old kids books, my sister and I donated them to a charity shop (she works in a library during the weekend and she asked but they didn't want them).

I have also started buying signed books and dipping my toe into the world of book collecting. So far it is going good since I have money to spend on it (I might as well put my student loan to good use!)
mvagbulos said…
I LOVE THE BOOK THIEF BY MARK ZUSAK TOO :D Just like Graceling :D PLus the french cover of Graceling looks awesome! xoxo
Sibylle said…
I didn't know it was going to be released here! That's cool. I'll look around, see if I can take some pictures of it in bookshops :)
My favourite cover is the UK cover, I think it's really sexy :p
I'd love to imitate your book buying habits (much safer than mine) but I can't as my library doesn't stock books in English and I read almost exclusively in English, which is probably why I take hours reading reviews and summaries for each book I want to buy, each one is a huge investment for a poor student's purse!
J.J. said…
Hi!!! I just wanted to let you know that I LOVED Graceling! I really enjoyed it. It has been a while since I read a book that I didn't want to put down. So thank you for that! I am now circulating the book through my circle of friends. So far one has loved it as much as me and said she is going to buy her own copy. Another friend ordered a copy because she couldn't wait to borrow mine.
Unknown said…
I have strictly limited shelf space so I have to cull my books pretty often - it's kinda sad but beats being crushed under a pile of falling books.

I get most of my books from the library too and have been known to buy copies of the ones I really love.
O_O Woah! Your voice sounds nothing like what I expected it to. The good thing is that I have been pronouncing your name right!

I love the all covers for Graceling.

Im a hugh book packrat. I try to stay away from libraries because I have a habbit of buying the ones that I read from there.
nice cover. anywhowhat, i got a detention for reading. so beat that! i have a over obundace of books, and go to the library too. unfortunately, my library is very small and doesn't have as many new books. sigh
tinkandalissa said…
I do like the cover. The only thing about an artist's rendition of fictional characters is that they are almost never what I'd imagined in my head while reading. Even if I see the picture before reading. I still seem to make them up in my head based on the descriptions given. I totally picture Po being much sexier than that drawing...
But, eeesh! Everyone is so much better at self control than me. Since I am the squirrel of today's question (I am blushing, btw), my answer is obvious. I horde. I have almost no will power when it comes to books and music. I have a serious addiction. Bordering on being obsessed. Any chance I get (and even those when I really really shouldnt) I buy. Mostly I just go online to peruse...but then i find myself accidentally clicking the purchase button. Oopsy.
The question came up after my husband suggested I get rid of all the books I've already read. Wh-what?! I just can't do it. He hates clutter (hanging art on the walls is clutter to him). And, while my book shelves are beginning to sag a bit - I can't see myself giving them up. I am too attached. I might just need to read them again one day. :)
I do recycle some amongst my mom and friends. Currently Graceling is in rotation.
Anonymous said…
After the discussion here and elsewhere about the US and UK covers, I'm struck by the simplicity of my response to the French cover.

That's obviously not what Katsa and Po look like (to me, anyway), so it must be a cartoonish representation rather than a realistic representation. Therefore, it's all good.

Off Topic: Did you catch the defenestration in the Supper Bowl ad?
Unknown said…
I actually think I like the French cover the best. I'm not sure why, but my best guess is that it includes a visual of the characters. I am usually not a huge fan of illustrations, because most of the the time they have not gone through the author and they can be completely irrelevant. Also, I rather enjoy picturing a character in my head and making them my own (while keeping in mind the authors description of course) because it makes it a bit more personal to me, like I have created them in some way and put a little of myself in them. Yet for this book I like the illustrations on the cover, which is a first for me.

My grandfather built my sister and I each a a huge cookshelf when we were just newborns, and they are full of all the books we have read throughout our childhood. I now have a bookshelf in my room for the books I have read in the past 5 years or so (no longer my 'little kid' books) and many MANY books are scattered all over my bedroom. I have slowly but surely been cleaning the bookshelf out that contains all of the Dr. Seuss and Arthur Brown books, giving them to younger cousins and neighbors. I plan on keeping most of them though. I could never part with my Dr. Seuss or Makeway For Ducklings.

I also tend to get most of my books from the library. Last year I went almost every other day, but this year I have not been able to go nearly as often. Homework takes up too much of my time..High School.bleh. If I purchase a book I know I will not be rereading again and again, I will offer it to any of my friends, and then if there are no takers I donate it to the Children's Hospital.

Oh, and The Book Thief is the first book that I read and said "this is a favorite". I have been asked the question numerous times, "What is your favortie book?", but not until I read The Book Thief did I have an answer. I actually may go and reread it now when I power off my laptop.
Anonymous said…
First, I LOVE THE COVER!! I LOVE THEM ALL! However, I especially like this one, because she looks like me. Now, I just need to get a blue contact ;) I can't wait to listen to you tonight when I get back from my Organic Chem lab! By the way, I loved The Book Thief. I quote it frequently and get lost in his sentences.

"It was a Monday, and they walked on a tightrope to the sun" (Cuzak).

Anonymous said…
I enjoy the imagery of the characters, but I prefer the dagger cover because it leaves the rest to my imagining.

As for packrats, I am very guilty. I want to have a library in my house one day, and I'm already well on my way with a couple bookshelves full of my favorites.

That one kid,
Kristin, have you read I am the Messenger? It's great too.

Also, have you read this post?

Graceling is mentioned as THE book of the year. And I have to agree. The romance between Po and Katsa is one of my favorites. Check it out!

I love to own books, but since they have taken over our house, I'm trying to only buy less books. If it is a favorite author or a book in a series that I love, I buy them right away. If possible, I try to use the library as much as possible and love getting that email message that tells me my books I put on hold are waiting for me. I also visit the half-price bookstore often too and get things for great prices. And often, I buy books I love just to own them, even after I've read them from the library. I also buy books for gifts for almost everyone, and sometimes I buy the same book for everyone. One year it was The Lost Art of Keeping Secrets by Eva Rice. Next year it was The Book Thief. This year it was Graceling (I bought it for three people at Christmas). For me, a book is the greatest gift anyone can give me. That, or a gift card to the bookstore!

Anonymous said…
Thanks so much for all the library love! We librarians love to hear that. I can't say enough about The Book Thief. It was so good. It's one of those books I would force everyone to read, if I could do it in a a very nice way! I suppose forcing people to read things is not such a good idea. Also, I'm so glad you mentioned Margaret Mahy. I had to look it up to make sure, but The Changeover was one of my absolute favorite books when I was younger. I've never read any of her other books, maybe I will. Thanks!
Kristin Cashore said…
Tink-Squirrel, don't be embarrassed! :o) I know, that purchase button is WAY too easy to press, isn't it? I've been amazed sometimes at how fast I've bought things. They make it so easy, there's barely any time to decide if this is really a good idea...

I'm loving all the Book Thief love! My Dad is reading it right now. Hans Hubermann reminded me of my Dad, so I had to get my parents a copy. Candelion, love that quote.

It's weird for me to hear myself talking, actually. I didn't realize I had an accent; it's a weird one, too. I can't explain where I got it!

I also tend to prefer covers that leave the characters up to your imagination. That's one of the things I love about the American cover. I just saw my German cover and will be posting that soon.

Lesley, just put I Am the Messenger on hold. Yay for libraries :o).

Finally, Tricia, I especially recommend The Tricksters, Alchemy, and 24 Hours by Mahy. And did you see my post about library love?
Yes it is weird to hear yourself speak. The first time I did I didn't believe that it was my voice. :P I thought that maybe the voice recorder was making it sound different.
Ash said…
Hi there, new commenter here. I'm Ash- I've e-mailed you before and your response is saved safely in my computer to cherish. Thank you!

SO, I agree with pamcjordan about the book cover. My American version is my absolute favorite of them all, with the dagger and semi-view of her eyes. It's what drew me to the book in the first place. I tend to shed away from the covers that won't allow me to imagine the characters for myself. (No offense, it's still interesting)

And I keep all of my books, but I organize them according to status (solo, series, trilogies, ext. and then by my ranking system.) I am an extremely neat packrat, and get rid of only the really old ones (like the Amber Brown books).

So yeah, sorry for taking up so much room! *eek* Keep up the amazing writing (both blog and books)

Anonymous said…
Hmmm. I always wanted to read The Book Thief. Ill put that on my "to read" list. XD

I do like the French cover but I'd have to agree with the majority and say I like the US cover because it allows your imagination to whirl with the possibilites in the book. Its what first attracted me to the book.

As for my book-keeping habits... oh goodness. XD I can't seem to part with any of my books. Each book I read usually has a special place in my heart. My hallway alone is worth over 3000 in books alone. Im out of room. =[

I do however consider myself a small library for my friends to explore and choose from. It's how I got a lot of my friends into reading more. =]

I love to go to the college library but Im afraid they have a small selection. I don't go often because of that. I bury myself in Borders and smile, laugh, and cry while reading in there. Lol.
Aria said…
I'm a really bad packrat, but I get annoyed with myself after a while and have an all day cleaning spree. Oddly enough i'm very picky about the books I keep, I still have around 100 or so. Lately I've gotten better about researching books i'm going to buy and I've gotten rid of less. I had a huge deliema the other day between buying two more books or a bookshelf. (I got the book shelf)

I like the French cover. I like seeeing the characters on the front.
Unknown said…
I commented on LJ and that was silly, so I'm moving it and hopefully, I'll remember in the future.

I loved your details and I giggled a lot (when it was appropriate of course). Nothing better than a book you can't read in public because you are bound to make crazy sounds out loud until people stare at you. I don't know where people get this idea that reading is a quiet activity.

Thanks for the book recommendations. Always looking for new authors. Here are some back. Some great authors are: Robin Mckinley, Martha Wells, Gail Carson Levine, Shannon Hale, Connie Willis, Dawn Cook, Patricia C. Wrede, Haruki Murakami, Kristen Britain, Barbara Hambly, and Lian Hearn.

My favs of all time are: Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome, Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Heinlein, and The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

Fire sounds great, I can't wait.
tinkandalissa said…
So since I cant do certain fun computer functions at work, and I've been absolutely dying to hear you talk about your name, I decided that I had to check it out tonight at home! Gee, are sentences allowed to be that long? :)
I dont think you have a strange accent at all! You kind of have one of those voices that could be from anywhere, but that you can't pin down by listening to it. I am mostly that way other than a few words here and there. No one ever believes I grew up in SC. (That's probably for the best, haha).
I totally screwed up the last name and was saying it cash-ore. Sorry!
PS both my mother and I LOVE bagpipes. seriously. dont know if you were joking or not. I want to visit Scotland SO bad! And Ireland! I promised her that if/when I get published that's the first trip I'll take w/her!
Kristin Cashore said…
Aria, a bookshelf is always a good investment :o)

Megan, no worries, and thanks for that list!

And Tink, I definitely wasn't kidding -- I ♥ bagpipes!

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