This month’s reader interview was with Svein Klunderud, who I met through the Facebook group The Cwts @ Reading Addicts (they have a great website, by the way – well worth a nosey if you like books). He agreed to answer some of my questions about his reading habits. Enjoy!
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a 37 year old from Bergen Norway. My interests beside books are movies, tv-series, and my dog and two cats. I also enjoy long walks in the mountains around Bergen.
What are you reading at the moment?
I’m reading a pre-release of the last book in a Norwegian fantasy trilogy called “Ravneringene (Ravens Rings)”.
Intriguing title! So what makes a book great for you?
Oh that’s a big question. The most important thing is that it makes an emotional impact on me. For that to happen, the characters are very important. If I don’t believe in them the whole book is ruined really. I like both books that takes me out of my life and books that makes me understand the world I live in better.
Great answer! What makes you want to read a book in the first place? Is it a great cover, a good blurb, a recommendation, or something else?
Mostly I must have heard something about the book from somewhere or at least know the author’s name from somewhere. It happens some book just catch my eye of course, especially in flea markets or charity shops.
With that in mind, what elements do you think make a great book cover?
Hard to say really. It’s mostly a feeling thing. I really dislike covers with models on the front though. I want to make my own picture of the characters thank you!
I feel the same way about that. Part of the joy of reading is creating the pictures in your own head. So can you remember when you first realised your love for reading?
My parents were always good at reading for me so books have always been a part of my life, I always want to go back to that “place”. But the thing that really made me fall in love was my first of many readings of Tolkien’s The Hobbit. I got lost in that book for hours without even realising it.
I’m not surprised – it’s a fantastic book! Did you read a lot as a child?
I actually had a hard time learning to read as a child, I got there though. I used to love The Little Vampire books by Angela Sommer-Bodenburg. Roald Dahl was another favourite. I still read Matilda at least once a year.
So coming back to the present, do you have a favourite book?
One favourite book is really hard, but I think I would have to say Knut Hamsun’s Nobel Prize winning novel, The Growth of the Soil. It just a very special book that I really have to read again soon. It is the story of a man who builds his own farm from the ground up and how a little society starts up around it.
Sounds like a sweet tale! How about a favourite author?
Another really hard one. I think I must say Norwegian writer Ingvar Ambjörnsen. His books have meant a lot to me through my life.
What is your favourite genre? Why?
I jump around a bit there, but right now I must say fantasy.
I like to try a bit of everything too! Are there any genres that you hate? Why?
Hate is a strong word, but I would never read cheap sex fiction like 50 Shades of Grey.
Do you prefer fiction or non-fiction? Why?
I must say I prefer Fiction, but I would hate to have to choose just that. I read it all!
Haha! So when you are reading it all, where is your favourite reading spot?
It doesn’t get much better than the mountains around where I live.
It looks idyllic! Do you have a strong opinion in the ‘E-Book v. Real Book’ debate? Which do you prefer and why?
No real strong opinion. I can’t see why some people seems to get hung up about how other people choose to read. I use both and they each got it strengths. If I had to choose I would keep my dead threes though.
Do you belong to a book club or reading group? Tell us more!
Just on Facebook, a newly started Norwegian fantasy book club. We haven’t even finished our first book yet.
Do you have any bookish guilty secrets?
Life is too short to be ashamed of what you like so no.
What literary characters would you like to have lunch with? How about an author?
I would love to have lunch with Matilda, even if she would have made me feel like an illiterate. Kvothe from the Patrick Rothfuss books would be another. Norwegian author Alexander Kielland would make a great lunch “date”. His views on class in the late 1800 still is radical to this day.
Oh, I’d love to join your date with Kvothe! He is an excellent character. If you could be a character in any book, which would you be in and why? Would you be yourself or someone else?
Ah, maybe you need to do a Bilbo and get out of your comfort zone! Do you have a blog or website? Tell us where to find you and what to expect when we get there!
I have a blog. It’s in Norwegian though so mostly you will find gibberish 😉 http://psyktopptatt.blogspot.no/
Recommend a book for me to review this month. Why did you pick it?
My favourite book would be interesting to read a non-Norwegian review of. So Hamsun’s The Growth of the Soil is my pick.
Looks like a great read! I’ve downloaded it and will review it next month.
Give me a short story hint. This can be anything from one word, object, or short phrase to a whole paragraph or setting. Go as obscure as you like – I love a challenge!
I once wrote my favourite thing from the hint “keys” so I will give you the same.
Fantastic hint too! I’ve got another prompt lined up for this Wednesday but I’ll get ‘Keys’ written and published for the 7th October!
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, Svein, you have definitely inspired me to look up more Norwegian literature!
I’m on the lookout for more readers willing to take part in an interview like this one! If you fancy it, email me firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on Facebook!