This morning, I found this blog post, “Dirty Little Reading Habits,” at the Findingtimetowrite blog and decided to take the quiz here for myself. What are your reading habits?
Do you have a certain place at home for reading?
There are two places. First is my sofa in my living room. This location is where I usually read, especially during the day, and usually I begin sitting and end up sprawled across the cushions. Second is my bed in my bedroom. I read there before sleep and when I’m ill. When I’m not at home, I read standing at the bus stop, on the bus commute to work, at work during breaks, and I’ve been known to take my book into the rest room at work. I love reading on the bus. In college, when I was studying in Europe, I really loved reading on trains when I was traveling.
Bookmark or a random piece of paper?
Definitely bookmark. I collect them. I especially love the bookmarks I pick up at book signings and in coffee shops. But they cannot be fancy-schmancy at all — no fringe, ribbons, buttons or anything like that. A well-meaning friend once gave me a bookmark made of wood — looks like oak – with purple ribbons with beads tied to one end. It has written characters on it that I think are Chinese, and a quote from Gandhi: “Faith is not something to grasp. It is a state to grow into.” I never use it as a bookmark.
Can you stop reading any time, or do you have to stop in a certain place?
I prefer to stop at the end of a chapter so I’m starting a new chapter when I pick up the book again. However, this is not always possible, especially on the bus commute. I bookmark the place, but usually cannot remember where on which page I stopped reading, so I re-read a lot. But that’s OK.
Do you eat or drink while reading?
Of course. I drink tea or just plain chilled water while I read, and often I’ll eat a meal or a snack. I am trying to get away from eating while reading, though, in order to focus specifically on each activity while I’m doing them. I’m also trying to take breaks, stretch my legs, give my eyes a rest when I’ve been reading for a long time.
Can you read while listening to music/watching TV?
I can read while listening to classical music, especially magazines, although I’ve been trying to move away from this habit lately. I cannot read and watch TV at the same time. It is an insult to whatever I’m reading.
One book at a time or several at once?
I prefer to read one book at a time, but I usually am also reading several different magazines like The Atlantic, Time, or Fantasy and Science Fiction at the same time as a book. This past summer, I spent a couple months juggling 2-3 books at a time and didn’t really enjoy it very much.
Reading out loud or silently in your head?
Silently. Especially on the bus commute to work. I read poetry out loud occasionally, and I also read my own writing out loud during the revision process. But when I’m reading someone else’s book — fiction or nonfiction — I read silently.
Do you read ahead and skip pages?
I never skip pages! However, I have been known to sneak a peek to the end, especially while reading a mystery novel and I think I’ve figured out who the murderer is. I can’t wait until the end to find out if I’m right. But even if I peek at the end, I still finish reading the whole book because it’s always interesting to see how a novelist sets up the ending.
Break the spine or keep it new?
Never thought about this before. I guess I usually break the spine because I like to be able to have the book lay open and flat on a table, and sometimes it’s hard to read where the pages meet in the middle. But this isn’t the case for all the books I’ve read. So, it’s kind of a mixed bag.
Do you write in books?
I used to, especially nonfiction books on subjects that related to my life experience in some way. I don’t recall writing in novels since I left school. I must admit that I love finding notes in the used books I buy. It’s fun to see what other readers were thinking as they read. Right now, I rarely if ever write in any of the books I read because so many of them I borrow from the library or want to re-sell eventually.
Electronic or print format?
I prefer the print format, but I have been gradually reading more books in the electronic form on my computer. I’ve been amazed by how many books are available online for free that are e-books. I don’t own an e-reader of any kind, and I tend to find it inconvenient to read on my computer. It’s just so much easier to read print books! (Of course, the irony: Perceval’s Secret is an e-book that I had to proof on my computer!)
I’d love to hear all about your own reading habits, if you want to let me know in the comments below. Or, who knows, maybe even join in the discussion on your own blog?