How I Read tag

URL Phantomhive posted this first, reminding me of a time when these had a bit of a vogue on BookLikes.  They were a lot of fun, and so without further ado:

Do you have a certain place at home for reading?

Although I’ll read anywhere, I do have a certain place for reading.  We just completed a ‘renovation’ of sorts of the room we call a library, and it has one of those huge bean bags, with a bean bag arm rest and a bean bag footstool, snugged into a corner.  It’s a really small room, and the bean bag is what fits – and it’s pretty comfy too.

With spring on its way here in Australia, I’ll also do a fair amount of reading outside in the garden.

Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter/ a certain amount of pages?

I really, really want to stop at the end of a chapter.  If I really can’t make it until the next chapter for whatever reason, I’ll stop at the end of a scene.  Failing that, I’ll absolutely insist on finishing the paragraph.

Bookmark or random piece of paper?
I will use just about anything for a bookmark (that doesn’t damage the book, of course), although I have accumulated a shocking number of bookstore bookmarks over the years.  As you can see, I have a bag on the wall of my library filled with all the bookmarks I currently have on hand (that aren’t floating around the house, or in a book).  Before this accumulation, when I traveled full time for work, my bookmarks were all boarding passes and subway/train/bus tickets.  It’s fun to come across one still stuck in the books on my shelves.
Multitasking: Music or TV while reading?

I’ve heard tell of this magic called multitasking, but I’ve never experienced it myself.  I’m pathologically unable to focus on more than one thing at a time, with a very limited exceptions:  I can read while classical music is playing, or if MT is watching sports – and only then when the announcers are dull as dishwater.  If they are of the inane variety, my concentration is shot, and I must mock their stupidity with a passion that probably doesn’t enhance MT’s enjoyment of the game much.

So, really, no.  No music or TV.

Do you eat or drink while reading?

I always, always have iced tea within arms reach.  It’s a cultural DNA thing.  I will snack while reading if it’s something that I can snack on that won’t risk staining my book, but eating a meal?  No – see “I can’t multitask”, above.

Reading at home or everywhere?

Everywhere, anywhere.  MT stopped inviting me to soccer matches after I tried to bring a book.  Because even though I can’t multitask at all, I am the gold medal champion of tuning out the world* when focused on something – especially a good book.

*this would seem to be contradictory to my inability to listen to music, but close as I can figure, it’s because the music is (with the exception of classical) a repetitious thing, both in melody and lyrics and my brain seems to latch on, and get stuck to, the repetition.

One book at a time or several at once?

Generally, I prefer to have one fiction and one non-fiction read going at the same time.  I’m a mood reader, but my lack of multi-tasking makes it hard to jump story trains; when I need a break from whatever fiction I’m reading, the non-fiction is just the thing.  When the world was different and we were allowed to actually leave our house, I’d also have an audiobook on the go.

Reading out loud or silently in your head?

Silently – definitely silently.  Unless it’s an excellent non-fiction read and I’m compelled to read parts out loud to MT, who’d really rather I didn’t.  I don’t really read aloud very well to be honest.  I lack any performing flair.

Also, I do actually read inside my head – there’s a definite internal narrator.  I mention this because someone on BookLikes – I don’t remember who – mentioned that they don’t ‘hear’ the book in their head when they read it.  When I mentioned this to MT, he said he doesn’t either.  He just sees the words; there’s no corresponding internal ‘voice’ that says them.  I don’t know how this works, I can’t wrap my head around it.  But it explains why MT reads stupidly fast yet still manages to retain it.  Which I try not to hold against him, because I think I’d miss that internal voice if it disappeared.

Do you read ahead or even skip pages?

Only if the book is stressing me out.  Knowing the ending won’t ruin the story, and in fact, if I can relieve the anxiety I’m experiencing, I’ll enjoy the story even more.  I will also happily skip swaths of expository dialog that I think are extraneous or irritating.

Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?

While I love old books and love that they look well-read, I read new books with every effort to make it look like they’ve never been opened.  I’ve been known to cry out in existential pain when I see MT crack open a new paperback, pressing the cover open.

Saying that, my favorite book is an old paperback that is held together with a rubber band.

Do you write in your books?

I don’t judge those that do  coughBrokenTune*cough, and I’ve been known to get giddy about marginalia when I stumble upon it, but me, myself? Oh hell no.  If I can’t crack a spine can you imagine me trying to write in a book?

A few years ago, I found a book at the library for sale for $1 – all the worlds birds in one giant, bound checklist.  It was a completely unmarked copy, and I love it.  And it’s designed to be written in – you check off the birds you’ve seen and enter in the date and location of where you saw it.  I manage it, but I do it in pencil.  Lightly.  Because it’s a book.

If you feel like sharing some of your reading habits, consider yourself tagged or let me know in the comments!

6 thoughts on “How I Read tag”

    1. I find them so interesting too – it’s a way to get to know someone within acceptable boundaries for the internet. 😀

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