I saw this tag on Mary’s blog, Mary and the Words and I thought it looked fun, so I’m going to do it. I don’t know where it originally came from, and Google wasn’t helpful.
Do you have a certain place at home for reading?
I usually read on my couch, on my bed, or in the chair in my bedroom. It all depends on the time of day and the weather. In the summer, it’s too hot to sit in my chair, but during the fall and spring I will have the windows open and the cross breeze coming in through the windows feels great. I usually read for at least half an hour before bed, unless I fall asleep. My bed is awfully comfy.
The couch is where I do most of my reading but sometimes, like the cats, I will eschew furniture and sprawl out on the floor with a pillow.
Can you just stop reading, or do you have to stop after a chapter/certain amount of pages?
I can stop anywhere on a page, or even in the middle of a sentence. Stopping in the middle of a page doesn’t bother me at all. It doesn’t help that I will often fall asleep while reading in bed, or be interrupted by some distraction while reading over my lunch hour at work.
Bookmark or random piece of paper?
I usually use a bookmark, though I’ll use any bit of paper or receipt that’s handy. My bookmarks are the plain paper ones I get from the used bookstore with every purchase (at last count, I had forty-two or so). I’d use the pretty tasseled bookmarks I’ve collected over the years, but the cats– especially Mina– like to play with them, and I don’t want to ruin pretty bookmarks with toothmarks.
Multi-tasking: music or TV while reading?
I try not to watch TV while reading, as I end up not being able to focus on either the TV or the book. I can listen to music, though. Music without lyrics is best, and if I can match the mood of the music to the mood of the book, it pleases my own sense of aesthetics, but in the long run the type of music doesn’t really matter.
Do you eat or drink while reading?
Not very often. I don’t have an end table by my couch, so I have nothing to set a drink or snacks on, and I have to keep the nightstand by my bed clear or the cats will knock things off. I can have a mug of tea or something on the little table next to my chair, but I often get lost in the book and forget I made a drink until the tea has cooled or the ice has melted. I don’t snack very much at all, so I do even less eating while reading.
Reading at home or everywhere?
I will read at home, at work, at a friend’s house, on planes, trains, and automobiles. I will read while waiting in line at the grocery store or the DMV or the airport. I will read while on vacation or while visiting family (I even have a favorite reading spot at my sister’s house). Airplanes are particularly nice to read on when I have a long flight. I’ve been able to finish multiple books on a single, trans-Atlantic flight.
Basically, I’ll read anywhere. Except at the beach.
One book at a time or several at once?
I’ll usually read several at once, with two or three being the most common quantity. I’ve been in the midst of up to five at once. I don’t like doing that, though. It’s not that I have trouble keeping the stories separate, it’s that I don’t enjoy multi-tasking, and having four or more books going at once feels too much like multi-tasking. I’ll make an effort to finish one or two of them so I can get the quantity back down to just a couple at once.
Reading out loud or silently in your head?
I don’t object to reading aloud, but as I have no one but the cats to read to, I don’t read aloud. It feels strange to do it, and the cats just ignore me.
I don’t subvocalise, either– that is, I don’t imagine an internal voice speaking the words in my head. I can imagine the characters’ voices when they’re speaking, but that’s it.
I’ve tried to read along with the physical book while reading the audiobook, but the narrator– even on 1.5x speed– is entirely too slow compared to my normal reading speed. I’ve never taken a speed reading course or anything like that, it’s just that I’ve been reading so much for so long that my personal reading speed is set to “really fast”.
Do you read ahead or even skip pages?
I used to read ahead. I’d get impatient to find out what was going on, and so I’d flip to the back of the book to catch glimpses of what was going to happen, but I don’t do that anymore. I have been known to skip pages though– mostly in epic fantasies where you’ll have entire chapters dedicated to characters you’ve never seen before and will never see again. I know the author is trying to expand upon their world, but I generally have zero interest in reading about anything that doesn’t pertain to the main characters and their story.
Most recently, I skipped entire chapters in Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson, just because I didn’t care what was going on with the new characters in the new part of the world I knew we were unlikely to see again. But it’s been a few years since I read Words of Radiance, and I haven’t really done that since.
Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?
Keeping it like new. I don’t like to bend the covers or break the spines or tear the dust jackets of my books. I have a mass-market paperback copy of The Return of the King my parents bought me when I was eleven or twelve, and it looks almost new.
I blame my mother, who always made sure I kept my things in good condition. She wasn’t about to buy me a new whatever-it-was just because the old one was broken, so I learned to keep stuff in good shape so I would have it for a long time.
Do you write in your books?
Not often, no. It goes with not breaking the spines. I have a commonplace book for quotes I want to remember, or else I’ll write my thoughts in my journal. Unless it’s in a language I don’t understand, I find marginalia in modern books to be distracting.