The Proust Questionnaire — Book Edition

Rick Poynor Answers The Proust Questionnaire—Book Edition

By Rick Poynor November 6, 2013
Rick Poynor, Visual Culture Critic: Design Observer, Eye (London)
View Rick Poynor’s Book List

This November marks the 100th anniversary of the publication of the first volume of Marcel Proust’s opus, In Search of Lost Time (A la recherche du temps perdu), originally known in English as Remembrance of Things Past. To honor the occasion, we developed the Designers & Books version of the eponymous Proust Questionnaire, which we’ve sent out to various contributors and friends. Rather than including the questions from the original that asked about a wide array of “thoughts and feelings,” our adaptation focuses solely on the respondent’s relationship to books.

View the complete questions asked in The Proust Questionnaire—Book Edition

Here are the answers Rick Poynor sent in response to the Proust Questionnaire—Book Edition:

1. Of these, your reading preference: fiction; nonfiction; poetry; drama:

2. Your favorite childhood book (or favorite childhood author):
The Tripods trilogy by John Christopher.

3. Your favorite book character:
The unnamed detective sergeant in the five “Factory” novels by Derek Raymond.

4. Your favorite book title (because you like the sound of it):
Melmoth the Wanderer by Charles Maturin or maybe Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said by Philip K. Dick.

8. A book you should have read but haven’t:
Neuromancer by William Gibson.

9. The best “book as object” you own (how it looks over what it says):
The Book of 101 Books: Seminal Photographic Books of the Twentieth Century by Andrew Roth.

10. Your reading speed: very slow; slow; moderate; fast; very fast

11. While you read, are you a note-taker? If yes, where do you record your notes:
Only when researching. On my computer.

13. The most expensive book you’ve ever bought (and, if you can remember, the price):
Eduardo Paolozzi: The Metallization of A Dream (£100).

15. If you are what you read, the book that best says who you are:
The Complete Short Stories by J.G. Ballard.

16. Your favorite writer of the gender opposite yours:
Susan Sontag.

17. The last book you bought:
Tacita Dean by Jean-Christophe Royoux, Marina Warner, and Germaine Greer.

18. Your favorite place to purchase books:
Museum and gallery bookshops.

19. The book you are currently reading:
Explore Everything: Place-hacking the City by Bradley L. Garrett.

20. The book you will read next:
Susan Sontag: The Complete Rolling Stone Interview by Jonathan Cott.

22. Your favorite format for books: paper or pixels?

25. If you have the chance to plan it, the last book you’ll read:
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.


Also see “Celebrating a Proust Anniversary with The Proust Questionnaire—Book Edition.”

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