Whenever I take a break from reading, or when I’m starting a new book, I’m reminded how reading is a habit. Starting a new book is always a slow process for me, I have to get into it, but when I’m comfortably settled into the story, it becomes more like breathing. Until the cycle starts all over again..
With reading being a – very good – habit, I can’t think of a more approriate tag to do than the Reading Habits tag. I was tagged by fieittyreads and tag anyone who wants to answer these questions. Let’s commence!
Do you have a certain place at home for reading?
My spot on the couch. It’s a really comfortable one with soft back pillows, so I have a really cosy reading spot. Blanket optional, though I use it often, if not for warmth then for protection against those nasty mosquitos who happen to find their way inside..
I do also read in bed, but not that often as I find it difficult to maintain a position for long and not getting cramps or aches.
We’ve also bought to reading chairs, one for the bedroom and one for the study/library, but I’ve yet to make use of them. The couch really is my preferred reading spot.
Bookmark or random piece of paper?
Bookmarks. But, and here it gets weird, every book has its own ‘bookmark’.. A story:
There once was a time, which I call The Dark Ages. It was a time where I had yet to discover The Bookdepository and thus bookmarks were rare rather than plenty. Because I was tired of always looking for a random piece of paper – because I happened to grap a book from the shelves when leaving the house, but not taking something with me to mark the page – I put a coloured non-sticky post-it in every book. I picked the colour based on the dominant colour on the cover and wrote author and title on the post-it in some fancy-ish fashion. Fast forward to The Age of Enlightenment and I still do this. I even have a habit when acquiring new books. I make the bookmark, add the book to my excel, download a cover image for my screensaver and add the book to GoodReads. Am I weird?
Can you stop reading or do you stop after a chapter/a certain amount of pages?
I prefer to stop at the end of a chapter, doesn’t everyone? But I can stop whenever. Since I commute a lot to and from work, I read on the train. Thus it happens that my stop is coming up and I have to rush to the doors, so no reading till I’m ready to quit.
When I had to stop suddenly, it has happened that when I pick the book back up, I forgot where on the page I was and have to read it all over again. It’s just a page or two, but not finishing a chapter makes it hard sometimes to catch up again.
Do you eat or drink while reading?
Drinking yes. There’s nothing better than reading a book, curled up on the couch, under a blanket and with a hot beverage next to me. Tea. Coffee. Hot chocolate..
Eating not so much. Certainly no complete meal, but I do nibble, especially when I’m reading for a longer period of time.
Multitasking: Music or TV while reading?
Music yes, TV no.
I’ve always been a multitasker when it comes to music. Studying, doing chores, driving, blogging,… So when I’m reading, I register the music and when it’s a great song I’ll shift my focus to the music some more, but it doesn’t hinder my reading.
Spoken language, however, interferes too much. I guess it has something to do with the cadence or rhythm of the words that’s the same as me vocalising the words in my head, so that doesn’t mix well. Same goes for reading while others are talking. I read so much slower then, it’s crazy..
One book at a time or several at once?
As I said, I commute for about two hours on a daily basis so I have a lot of time to read. Not every book is made for reading on the train, though. Seeing as I already take a laptop to and from work, lunch, water, and I have to drive a bike for 20min when I get off the train, I won’t take another brick with me.
So for the train, I read pockets, smaller paperbacks or eBooks. When I take some time for reading at home, I take a bigger book.
Reading two books at the same time is also nice to switch it up. I like variety in my reading, so alternating between two is excellent. I do find myself favouring one over the other as both progress, but who doesn’t have a favourite child?
Reading at home or everywhere?
Everywhere. If I could get away with it, I’d even read at work or at parties where I have to be but don’t really want to.
Reading out loud or silently in your head?
In my head… Does anyone past elementary school read out loud?
Do you read ahead or even skip pages?
I like to know how long a chapter is when I start one, that much I do. But reading ahead or skipping pages? No. I hate spoiling myself and I don’t want to miss anything.
Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?
I try to keep my books like new, but the odd crack in the spine is almost inevitable.
Horror story: I had this cheap mass market book which was glued too tight. It didn’t trouble me until I reached the middle and I couldn’t read the last words in the fold. So there I was, a Sunday evening, waiting for my train. I pried the book open just a little further and then… With a loud crack by book snapped in two! Well, the cover still held the two parts together, but the glue had snapped.
Do you write in your books?
No! Who does that?! I know some people do it to personalise their experience or to highlight favourite parts, but I don’t like that.
Reading is very particular. When you read a book now, in your current mood, you’ll have a different reaction to it compared to when you read it five years from now. I like to re-read, so I want to get into reading a book for the second-or-so time without being tainted by past experiences. But that’s just me..