My Reading Habits

So, the other day I was waiting for a friend to meet me and reading a book. When my friend showed up she teased me that I was “still” reading the same book. And I explained to her two things: 1. I am a slow reader 2. This was my purse book and I hadn’t had many reading opportunities this week. She thought I was bonkers.

A post idea was born. About Reading Habits. Mine, in particular. (Although please feel free to add yours in the comments. I’m discovering reading habits FASCINATE me.)

Number of Books

I would love to say I am one of those people who focus on one book at a time – so devoted! So loyal! Committed!

I am not. On average, I have 4 books going at once. (4 ACTIVE books. I have numerous books that I started and plan on coming back to that I still consider myself to be reading inactively.) Never less than 2 books. The breakdown is as follows:

1. The purse book: as mentioned above, this guy chills in my purse to be read at lunch, in lines, boring events, between hockey periods, etc., etc. I probably read this book the slowest. Also, these books tend to be almost always paperback cause I have to lug it around.

2. The bedside book(s): I am a finicky reader and, sometimes, a book I started last night may not be the book I’m currently in the mood for. But largely, these books chill on my nightstand (aka a bookshelf) and I read them before bed. I tend to get through these the fastest. Mostly due to poor restraint issues.

3. The ebook: Remember how I said I was a slow reader? I’m an even slower ebook reader. I timed it. I don’t know why, but my eyes just do not traverse the epub as fast as the paperpub. It’s bizarre and drives me bonkers. But, I still read them. Usually on my nook,  but sometimes my laptop. These are usually books for review or books that I own in e so I didn’t have to move them to Alaska. Frequently, the nook serves as my purse book.

4. The occasional “I’m Traveling” book(s): When traveling, I usually have at least two paper books with me (and my nook). This is in preparation for the take-off/landing no electronic items zone and in case I forgot to charge the device and my battery died.

Where I Read

Clearly, I’ll read just about anywhere, but I do have preferences. In my current living situation, I tend to read in bed. Which can be problematic (i.e. I can easily take a nap). When I had comfy living room furniture, it was a chair or couch as my preferred area of reading. Ideal spot: on the beach, near the water with a big floppy hat on. (I also love reading in boats. Weird, but true.)

Reading Time

I am a preferred night reader. As I mentioned on the Twitter a few days ago, I have awful self-control when it comes to books. Especially books with a racing-fast plot. Midnight, 1 am, 2 am – the book stops for nothing. Have to be to work by 9 (Bangles reference)? Doesn’t matter. The Book Rules.

This has apparently been a problem since my youth. I’m the only Major Reader in my family. I recently discovered my parents had discussions trying to figure out what to do about my staying-up-too-late-to-read issue. They didn’t want to discourage reading but they also wanted me to sleep. They apparently debated removing all the books from my room. They didn’t do this, but I find the idea hilarious. (Mostly because it wouldn’t have worked. I was a sneaky child.)

The problem still remains, though. And I’ve noticed sometimes I won’t pick up a book I want to read because I know I won’t put it down. Totally weird but completely true.

Which leads to….

Reading Philosophy

Now, don’t be shocked by this, but I totally am a skip-to-the-end girl. I’m completely fine with it. I started doing this to get me to go to bed earlier and I discovered something: if the book itself is really good, I will still enjoy it, finish it and, usually, still have a hard time putting it down at night. If all I cared about was how it ended, not what happened between Chapter 1 and Chapter End, I probably wouldn’t have finished the book anyway. That’s an over-generalization, but what isn’t. It’s about the JOURNEY, people! (says me)

The Noise Factor

I prefer to read in silence. I can read with noise, especially if it’s background noise, but I’m easily distracted. I HATE people talking to me when CLEARLY I am reading. It is one of my ultimate pet peeves. Mostly because my mom and dad frequently conversed with me while I had my nose in a book and it drove me bonkers (see above re: parents not being readers).

To Bookmark or Dog-Ear

Dog-ears makes my soul shudder. (Reading Double Fold was like reading a horror book.)(I kid.)(Sort of.) But, as much as I love the actual physical bookmark, I get annoyed with them. Where do you put them when you’re reading?

If it’s a hardback book, I use the jacket sleeves to hold my page. If it’s paperback, I try to read to a page number I can remember and find it later. If it’s a library book, I tend to use the due date slip as a bookmark so I return it on time.

Misc Habits

Eating while reading seems utterly bizarre to me.

When I come to a passage with an facial expression (and I’m alone), I act the facial expression out.

I only talk back to books if they are making zero sense to me. (The same can not be said about my television viewing habits.)

I struggle to take notes while I’m reading something the first time. Mostly because I forget I’m supposed to be taking them.

Don’t get me started about leaving notes in the margin. (but I find personalized books [i.e. gifts with notes from the giver] endearing. Go figure.)

I am an avid rereader: of passages; entire books; books I only just finished reading; and books I haven’t read for decades.

So those are my reading habits. They are quirky and all my own. Which is why I find reading habits so fascinating: each person, if you break it down, really has their own way of doing this common and regular thing.

It’s a fun conversation to have.

Hope all are well, fellow readers! Happy weekend,



3 responses to “My Reading Habits

  1. “But, as much as I love the actual physical bookmark, I get annoyed with them. Where do you put them when you’re reading?”

    My reading strategy is that I put my bookmark at the end of the chapter I am reading. IDK what it is, but I LOVE the feeling of achieving the next chapter “milestone.”

  2. I carry my books and journal in a shoulder/messenger bag. It has a small zippered pocket in the front for pens, coins, etc. It was a lucky find at Goodwill.

  3. I’m always amused by people who ask, “But how do you keep all the plots separate if you read multiple books at once?” I manage to keep the goings-on in the lives of my friends disentangled from one another. Why should a book be harder?

    I usually have at least three going at once — a paperback (or slim library hardcover) in my bag for ease of shoving into my messenger bag for reading while walking/metroing/sitting at a coffeeshop, a thicker hardcover that travels less well at home, and a third book (usually one that I’m enjoying less) that hangs out in the bathroom. (It’s the only room in the apartment with a door, and sometimes you just need to leave your SO and your cats on the other side of one.)

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