The one about reading habits

This morning New Jersey had its first snowfall of the season. It didn’t stick to anything and only lasted for a short time but it was still snow. As much as I hate how early it gets dark and the treacherous driving conditions that can occur during wintertime there is one thing I love about this season; curling up with a blanket, a cup of hot chocolate, and a good book while the cold weather rages outside. Sometimes when the weather is gorgeous I can feel like I’m wasting my time sitting and reading. Winter allows me to be lazy without feeling guilty. I was reading most of the morning before I left for work, and decided today would be a good day to try out one of the “book tags” I’ve seen floating around tumblr and the blog world. This one is less about the books I’ve read, and more about my reading habits. So, here it goes!

1) Do you have a certain place at home for reading?: I have a few favorite places to read. Most of the time I can be found on my bed. Since I still live at home the only place where I have total privacy is my room. If the weather is nice I will sometimes read on the front porch swing. Also, around Christmas time when the tree has gone up I will read in the living room because I love reading by the Christmas tree.  But, nine times out of ten if I’m reading I’m usually reading in my room on my bed.

2) Bookmark or random piece of paper?: I never use a bookmark. I’m not opposed to them. People buy them for me and I see some lovely ones in the bookstore. I just can’t keep track of them so I figure it’s best not to bother. I usually use library receipts or other scraps of paper I find. I also dog ear pages of books. (I know, the horror!)

3) Can you just stop reading or do you have stop after a chapter/certain amount of pages?: I follow Stephen King’s advice on how to read more. He says in his book On Writing to read all the time. He suggests reading while in long lines, in waiting rooms, and on public transportation. Instead of lamenting that you don’t have an hour to devote to your book read in the 10 minutes you have before your next meeting. The amount of time doesn’t matter nearly as much as how often. I follow this line of thought most of the time. My Kindle makes it even easier to do this. It fits right in my purse so anytime I have a free moment, BOOM I can be reading. Because I read like this I often just have to stop reading mid chapter, and sometimes even mid page. I can come back to it pretty easily. The only books I won’t do this with are really intense non fiction ones. I was reading a book about the women of America and if I stopped in the middle of the chapter, when I came back to it I had no memory of what had come before. With those type of books I try to take them out when I know I’ll have at least enough uninterrupted time to finish the chapter.

4) Do you eat or drink while reading?: If I’m using my Kindle I will eat while reading. I don’t usually eat with paper books not because I’m afraid of messing them up, but because I find it hard to maneuver  holding the book and cutting/eating my food. Drinks I do with book e-books and regular books.

5) Multi-tasking:Music or TV while reading?: I can only listen to music that has no words while I’m reading or else I get too distracted. I read during the commercials when I’m watching TV often. (I’m still in the stone age with no DVR so no fast forwarding for me.) During TV shows themselves, even when I’m not the one watching them, it’s just too hard for me to concentrate on what I’m reading.

6) One book at a time or several at once?: Several at once! The Kindle makes this habit of mine even easier. I’m always reading 2 or 3 books at the same time. However, I don’t read multiple books of the same genre at once. At any given time I’m usually reading a non fiction book, a fiction book that is not considered light reading, and a fiction book that takes no concentration (chick lit, young adult etc). This how I solve the problem of what book to read next. When I finish one book I’m usually still in the midst of at least two others!

7) Reading at home or reading everywhere?: I read EVERYWHERE! I listen to audio books while I drive to work. I read at slow times during work. I read on airplanes, in cars. You name a place and I’m probably trying to read there. If I only read when I was at home I don’t know if I’d ever finish a book.

8) Reading out loud or reading silently in your head?: I read silently to myself. I don’t even mouth the words to myself. The only exception to this is sometimes if the writing style is really difficult I’ll read it out loud to get the point. I only do this when I’m by myself. I don’t want be that weirdo talking to myself in public

9) Do you read ahead or even skip pages?: I don’t skip pages. If I get the urge to skip pages that means the book is boring me so maybe I shouldn’t keep reading anyway. I’m usually very good about reading ahead. Mystery novels are the only type of book where I am tempted to skip ahead, but mystery is not a genre I particularly love anyway.

10) Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?: I don’t worry about breaking the spine. Books are made to be read, cherished and loved. The only books I own that have kept their bindings perfect are the Harry Potter series. I bought all seven books in paperback from used bookstores and use those versions when I want to re-read them in order to keep my hardcover copies in good condition.

11) Do you write in your books?: I underline phrases I love in my fiction books. I underline great or interesting points in my non fiction books. But I always use a pencil not a pen.

12) When do you find yourself reading? Morning, afternoon, evening,?: I would say all of the above. Since I don’t leave for work until the afternoon I read in the morning. At work unless I’m dealing with lots of scheduling issues I have lots of time to read. I also like to read before I go to bed.

13) What do you do first, read or watch?: If I know a book adaptation exists of an upcoming movie I read the book first. But I also really love when I watch a movie and the phrase “based on the book by…” rolls past on the screen because I get to go find it as soon as the movie is done. That is how I found The Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot. (Seriously, I know Julie Andrews is in the movie but the books are SO much better.)

14) What form do you prefer? Audiobook, E-book, or physical book?: I choose all three please! A true bibliophile doesn’t care how the book gets into their brains, they just want to read! Audiobooks are great for long drives, E-books make air travel so easy and physical books are the tried and true classics for everyday use!

15) Do book series have to match?: Yes. This is an area I can be a little OCD in. I spent several years buying the Anne of Green Gables series in a matching set. I had to troll many used bookstores to find all 8 books. A few months ago I found out one of the novels in the set I own has missing parts of the book. So now I have to start all over again and buy all 8 in a different matching set. Yeah yeah I’m a weirdo I know.

There you have it! Some of the ways I love to read. What about you? Feel free to answer any or all of these questions yourself in the comments!

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