The Proust Questionnaire — Book Edition

Steven Heller Answers The Proust Questionnaire—Book Edition

By Steven Heller November 11, 2013
Steven Heller, Graphic Designer (New York)
View Steven Heller’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 Steven Heller 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):

3. Your favorite book character:

4. Your favorite book title (because you like the sound of it):

5. A book you could never finish:

6. A book you will never start:
War and Peace.

7. If for some reason it turned out that you could save one and only one book from among those you own, which would it be:
American Pastoral.

8. A book you should have read but haven’t:
The Bible.

9. The best “book as object” you own (how it looks over what it says):
The Depero “bolted book.” A gorgeous artifact of Machine Age Futurism.

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:
I underline.

12. Your most idiosyncratic reading habit:
Looking at the side of the book to see how many pages I’ve read. It’s like looking at a tachometer.

13. The most expensive book you’ve ever bought (and, if you can remember, the price):
I’d rather not give the title but it was $1,500.

14. If you could be any author:
Philip Roth.

15. If you are what you read, the book that best says who you are:
The Bible.

16. Your favorite writer of the gender opposite yours:
Gail Collins (or is it Joan Collins?).

17. The last book you bought:
Conspiracy (about Hollywood’s complicity with the Nazis)

18. Your favorite place to purchase books:

19. The book you are currently reading:
The Asylum by Simon Doonan.

20. The book you will read next:
The Bible.

21. The current location of the book you will read next:
In the crypt I sleep in.

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

23. If you could have written any book:
American Pastoral.

24. A book that was particularly meaningful to, or highly recommended by, an acquaintance of yours:
The Bible.

25. If you have the chance to plan it, the last book you’ll read:
The Tibetan Book of the Dead.

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

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