While visiting Eclectic Alli’s blog a couple of weeks ago, I ran across a “consider yourself tagged” post about reading habits. Alli talked about how and when she reads and what she does and doesn’t do during that time. It started me thinking about my own reading habits, so for fun, I decided to answer the questions. Thanks, Alli!
1. Do you have a certain place at home for reading?
My writing space doubles as a reading space. I went into a Borders bookstore when they were going out of business a while back and discovered they were selling their 76-inch-tall bookshelves very cheaply. I came home with six of them (okay, I made two trips with my van) and turned my office/writing room into a small library. It’s nice to curl up with a blanket in my comfy chair, surrounded by books, and read.
2. Bookmark or random piece of paper?
Bookmark. I love bookmarks and have collected quite a few over the years. I rotate through them as I read. When I finish a book, I switch to another bookmark for the next book. Occasionally, though, in a pinch, I’ve used whatever odd thing was at hand — a clean tissue, a receipt, a plastic Lego sword.
3. Can you stop reading anytime you want or do you have to stop at a certain page, chapter, part, etc.?
I prefer to stop at the end of a scene. It doesn’t have to be a chapter end, just at a transition point. When I get interrupted in the middle of a scene, I feel unfinished and have to keep sneaking back to the book to find out how the scene ended.
4. Do you eat or drink while reading?
Yes. Sometimes the book is so good, I have to read straight through lunch. Half the time, I don’t even remember what I ate.
5. Can you read while listening to music/watching TV?
No. Not at all. I need a quiet space with no distractions, so I can get lost in the book.
6. One book at a time, or several at once?
One at a time. I can’t be in several stories at once. It makes me feel scattered, like being in a cluttered, messy room. I need order and organization, or I get stressed.
7. Reading at home or everywhere?
Everywhere, definitely. I like to read anytime I have to wait for something — appointments, picking up my kids. I’ve even read while waiting for my food to arrive at a restaurant (when going solo).
8. Reading out loud or silently in your head?
Mostly silently in my head. The only time I read out loud is with my own writing to see how it sounds. I used to read out loud to my kids all the time, but I don’t so much now that they’re older and like to read for themselves. Except for Mad Libs. We read those aloud, if we can stop laughing long enough.
9. Do you read ahead or skip pages?
As a rule, no. If I run across a book that I just can’t get into, I’ll skim through it to see if it gets better before relegating it to the DNF pile.
10. Breaking the spine or keeping it new?
I like to keep my books new-looking. I try not to damage them in any way. They are prized possessions.
11. Do you write in books?
No, other than to put my last name in the front cover if I’m taking the book out of the house. I’m more likely to get it back that way if I accidentally set it down at an appointment somewhere. I don’t like marked up books. It’s a pet peeve of mine. It detracts from my reading experience. Handwritten words catch my eye and pull me out of the story every time.
What are your reading habits? If you feel like answering any or all of the questions, consider yourself tagged!
© Lori L. MacLaughlin and Writing, Reading, and the Pursuit of Dreams, 2015. All rights reserved.