Wednesday, 30 September 2015

My Reading Habits

Today I'm happy to be picking up a tag passed on to me by friend and fellow reader Helen of the blog I Will Bloom. She  answered some questions about her reading habits and asked me to do the same. So with thanks to Sandals & Sunnies for sending it to Helen, and to Julie of Notes on Paper, whose answers encouraged me to start thinking, here are my reading habits:


I like quirky books. This is my growing collection of Japanese doll pattern books. I work the instructions out by looking at the very lovely pictures


Do you have a certain place at home to read?
I dream of a sunny window seat, with an enticing view, just in case I want to glance up to rest my eyes, or daydream, or admire next door's new curtains. But as that's unavailable, I almost always choose the bed, if I can creep away to find it without being noticed: pillows at my head, the sun on my back, and a handy shelf for my biscuit (see below) beside. In the evenings it's not as good a spot as it was once; bit I'm hopeful a good new lamp will return reading before sleep to its top spot as the best part of the day.

A bookmark or a random piece of paper?
Now, I do own bookmarks. I'm sure I do. It's just that I'm in the habit of leaving them inside books. I acquire a nice new one, I use it diligently, and then when I get to the end, I toss that book aside and grab the next one, leaving the marker behind in the tossing. I'm perfectly happy to grab any piece of paper and use it instead: often a postcard (usually from a blog friend), a note from school, an appointment card..

I like books which tell me how to do things. This is a small selection. It leaves out the knitting, the cross stitch, the curtain making..you get the idea..

Because I never, ever, ever turn down the corner of a page. I couldn't. I'd be a liar if I said I'd tried. Even the thought makes me cringe. Funny, I don't mind battered books at all: ones with loose pages and crumpled covers and a history, I love them all. But still, though: not the corners.

I like magazines and I find it very hard to throw out the old ones 


Can you stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter or number of pages?

Yes. I can stop reading quite easily. I'll even stop in the middle of a paragraph, because I'm perfectly sure the rest will still be there when I get back. Similarly,  I'll lift a book and find my place even if I know I only have time to read a couple of sentences. Because there isn't anything else I'd rather be doing while I wait for everyone to find their shoes, or for the kettle to boil, or for the glue to dry.

Do you eat or drink while reading?
Ah: a contentious one, this. You've caught me out. It's my guilty little secret. I'm a librarian who likes to read while she eats, or eat while she reads. Both, anyway. If a good sandwich is a pleasure, then the enjoyment is more than doubled by the simple addition of a few words to cast my eye over: book, magazine, paper, all are good. And many of you will already know that if I get the chance I choose lunchtime to catch up on my favourite blogs (or making the dinner time, which is almost the same thing). Occupational hazards include crumbs in my keyboard, chocolate chips down my front, and icing sugar hands with a further layer of newsprint.

I like books for children, even if my retro collection now make me look more than a little retro

Do you watch TV or listen to music
while reading?
Not books. I would never try to read a book and watch TV at the same time. But I do read the paper and watch TV and carry on a conversation all at once all the time.

One book at a time or several at once?
Define "several". Are we talking two or three extra? One in every room? A spare in the car? which? I have books I've been reading for several years, several books I reread every year, books to tell me what I need to know, books to make me laugh, to think, all on the go at once. I will even read one for ten minutes and then dip into another, especially at bedtime. I'm an incurable dipper.

Reading at home or everywhere?
I'll read anywhere, given half a chance. I look forward to piles of magazines in the doctors or dentists; and I have little time for the killjoys who work to have those piles banned for hygiene reasons. Have you ever heard of anyone catching their death from a comic? No, I haven't either.

Reading aloud or silently in your head?
Now I'm a silent reader. But I grew up doing a lot of reading aloud. Teachers, grownups, seem to assume that a good reader is a good out loud reader. I don't think that's always true; but for me it translated into a lot of narrating of school plays and reading round the class and standing up in church. Later, when I was doing A Level English, I used to wait until everyone else was out before I opened my set texts and heard them speak. I remembered it by listening to the rhythm of it and in time I discovered this was how I should revise any of my school work. I read it out loud. 

And I like my books a little bit mixed up. What? another book secret? I'm a librarian who doesn't shelve properly. I like the fact that I know where every book is on the shelf, even when it hasn't been classified...

Do you ever read ahead or skip pages?
All the time! Is that guilty secret number two? I can't seem to stop myself. I can read the end, and then go back and read the rest, and not have my enjoyment of the whole spoiled in any way.

Do you ever write in books?
No. Never. Couldn't do it, wouldn't do it.

So that's me: what about you? If you'd like to share, please consider yourself tagged!

35 comments:

Patio Postcards said...

A most enjoyable read Sian. We too like our books & our house is filled with books. A few years back I decided that I needed to borrow books from the library rather than buy each & everyone. I have developed quite a lovely relationship with my ladies (& now man) at the library. I will re-read some books, it's like visiting old friends. I would never fold down a page corner either. As for writing in books, I did once, oh the horror feelings of guilt! SO I quickly bought a new un-marked one; now I keep a note book with pencil close by to make notations

Lea Lacoste said...

this is sooo great, love this tag! and your answers <3, reading habits are little deep secrets for me, you really get to know people by their reading habits (and bookshelves!) I think!
Also, you're a librarian?? How did I not know that!!

Lizzy Hill said...

Interesting seeing what sorts of books you tend to gravitate to....I adore writing in books! Started when I was one or so, I think;) And my way of revising for school was to turn on my tape recorder and chat into it all about what I needed to remember. Then i could listen to it as I went asleep!!! VERY interesting! Thanks for sharing :)

Barbara Eads said...

I enjoyed this post so much that I've decided to tag on myself. Eating while reading on your computer cracked me up. I'm must too obsessive for that! And since I don't, I wonder where the "crumbs" come from that I notice now and then on my keyboard.

Karen said...

Love books; loved this post! Now I'd like to know the top five, maybe ten, books you've read---ones you'd recommend without hesitation.

Stefanie said...

Thanks for the inspiring blog post, I played along too.
http://journalingjunkie.blogspot.co.za/2015_09_01_archive.html#1220078954289353957

helena said...

I'm with you on not writing in books and learning by reading aloud - love the Japanese doll books and working them out from the pictures - I used to have some beading patterns like that

alexa said...

The perfect post from a librarian :). So fascinating to read along and learn more ... I am working on mine as we speak (so as to speak!). I'm pleased to find I am not the only one who enjoys a little munch as they read. I have reservations about writing in books too ... I have also enjoyed your photos of books very much!

Fiona@Staring at the Sea said...

What a great read. Loved finding out your habits and guilty secrets. We were forced to annotate our texts for O and A Level and it killed me to do it. A fellow Sarah Waters fan, I see. Did you see the recent adaptation of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell? I thoroughly enjoyed it, but haven't read the book. Wondering if I should remedy that.

Maggie said...

The librarian comes through in your deep respect for books ( if not for your keyboard!). I see so many similarities to myself here. Reading in turn at school. Doing Readings in church. Reading A Level English texts aloud to learn them. A cosy bed to read on. The luxury of a meal alone when I can read. A little tip. Save up and get an iPad. When you drop food on it, use sticky fingers it all wipes away! AND it has an App for kindle and you can listen to audiobooks on it. Heaven!

Sandra said...

ok, I couldn't wait to read this post, and yes I know I'm working through my blog reading the wrong way, but when I saw this on IG, well a girl has got to have a little peak.

Loved knowing just a little more about you ... and your guilty secrets.

Now don't hate me, but I'm marker .... only on certain books mind you, and a bit of a page folder. Again, only on certain books, ones I need to come back to and remind myself of certain things. Oh dear, I think I may have just struck myself of your list now lol xxx

Mel said...

My two guilty secrets are that i love writing in books and I turn the corners down.

debs14 said...

Fascinating! My post on this is scheduled for tomorrow!

Ruth said...

How lovely to read all about your reading habits in depth. I'm guilty of skipping ahead, which I shouldn't do because I hate it when I spoil the ending for myself!

Ali said...

Great post. I'm guilty of flicking through to check if people I like are at the end of book :-) xx

Louise H said...

Fantastic and interesting post. I used to be an avid reader (and page folder) but children and work seem to leave me with very little time and reading now seems to be a holiday treat. I must read more as I do love it.

Jennie Hart said...

Fantastic post. A librarian who can write. I would read and love any posts written by them about books :-) I am scanning your bookshelves.
I used to be a corner turner when I was young and reckless but now I wouldn't do it unless it was a reference book that I love and I would definitely write in it, if it was a book that I loved, that I wanted to re-read and that was for me. Then I think it is ok, after all, no-one else would know :-) Well until i'm gone and then let the judgment come.
I love reading and will read anything, posters, ads, mags, flyers, paper books and ebooks. I no longer read any paper books, I am in a season of my life when reading is a precious treasure of time and that = bedtime, I am usually tired so it isn't for long before I drop off, however engaging the book, in fact the amount of times I drop the phone as I fall asleep and force my eyes open and pick it up again for even another sentence is weird! I guess that is my guilty secret, reading on my iPhone in bed and just dropping it as I fall asleep. And btw, I turn off notifications etc so i can just read uninterrupted.
I truly look forward to a season of life when I can find time to wrap myself up in a duvet and sit in the garden and read a paper book, but I am willing to wait until they are a little older :-)
More please Sian.

Julie Kirk said...

So much to enjoy here. I can't believe you read the end! I always flick to the end to see the number of pages [I'm a bit of an obsessive 'who many pages have I got left?' kind of reader] and I always unfocus my eyes while looking for the number in case I see any spoilers! [How ridiculous do I sound now?]

I also flip the book open even if I've only got a tiny amount of time to read. We should start an 'Interstitial reading book club'. [p.s you can totally join the Lucky Dip Book Club! That's what I was going to mention when I blog about it - she wants it to be open to anyone, online.] [pps: I read an interesting idea yesterday about people selecting a podcast episode to listen to - like you would select a book - and chatting about it afterwards ... might be fun.]

Interesting to see how non-fiction says a lot about us too - yours are all deliciously creative. [My latest have been a book about creativity, one about writing novels and a comedian's memoirs. Which pretty much reveals where my current thoughts are leading me!!! How Freudian ... ]

Thoroughly enjoyed this ... I wonder if we could come up with a different similarly simple-yet-revealing play-along???

x


Sian said...

I like the tape recorder idea very much

Sian said...

This is going to take some thought :)

Sian said...

Stefanie..it was a great read!

Sian said...

I loved the adaptation even though it seems lots of viewers didn't..I read that the audience got smaller week by week

Sian said...

Never!

Sian said...

Yes! Yes! That's what I do too

Sian said...

Can't wait to hear more about the Lucky Dip Book Club. And yes, I wonder?

Linda said...

A lovely post Sian! Interesting to learn about how others read. I like to read in bed just before going to sleep. One thing that I do different to you - I have to read until the end of a chapter (much to husband's annoyance if he wants to turn the light out!), and I can't just read 2 sentances, I'd need o read a whole chapter!

Eileen T said...

We have lots in common with our reading habits. I've taken up the challenge and will post my version later today. Thanks for tagging everyone!

I Will Bloom said...

Ooh, Sian, I finally had time to come and read your post! I didn't want to read it in a rush yesterday, as I knew I'd want to savour it and, wow, what a post it is. Delightful!!

Had to chuckle to see that we're the same in so many respects! "Not the corners": absolutely....never the corners. Heaven forbid.

Love so many of the phrases you've used in this: icing sugar with an extra layer of newsprint....and "incurable dipper" - just a perfect description! [I'm also proud to say I'm an incurable dipper]

But, oh my.....you skip to the end and then have no trouble reading?!

And thanks for the suggestion about the lamp: I'm actually going to get a stronger bulb for the one I have by my bed to see if that might help the 'little problem' I have too ;)

Loved your post, Sian, absolutely loved it: thanks so much for joining....Helen xxx

I Will Bloom said...

Ooh J: I *like* the idea of the podcast episode and would really like to join in the Lucky Dip book club too....

scrappyjacky said...

I could never ever read the end of a book until I get there!! It would totally spoil the book for me.

Missus Wookie said...

What a lovely post, I think I'll try and answer the questions - would make a great page too.

The only books I write in are my copies of Quaker Faith & Practice and only because I've learned to. Otherwise I tend to keep a notebook for the notes - even when the book has a place for you to make notes...

I altered ONE book (only after pulling it from recycling and then reading it to be certain I wasn't removing a great novel) and never again... just too painful.

Melissa said...

What an enjoyable read! I share many of your answers, although I do write in books occasionally now and I really want to be at the end of a chapter when I stop for the night. And I put all my bookmarks in a nice little vase on the bookshelf . . . except for the ones in the books I'm reading, of course . . . and the ones in the nightstand drawer in case I need an extra . . . and the ones by my chair in the living room .... LOL!

I always advise students and friends and nieces and nephews to read their own writing out loud as part of the editing process - it's amazing how we can locate our own errors if we read out loud.

Gail said...

A perfect idea for a post from you and now I know that little bit more about you! I read Julie's a few days ago and can't keep it out of my head. I might just take sometime over the weekend to put together my answers. I like Missus Wookie's idea of making a page out of it too. It's a "painful" time here as we realized that we really must get rid of some of our books (they're taking over the house) - ACK! It's going to be hard deciding what goes and what stays, although some are absolutely stays. We've thought of maybe donating them to our library - some of them are in pristine condition (make that most) and dont' even look like they've been read. Well enough of that.

Jo said...

I really love this post! I have hundreds of book marks but always end up using whatever is to hand to mark my page, corner folders should be flogged and Maddie hates that I can just stop reading mid-sentence and it doesn't bother me :)

Cheri said...

This is such a fun post and I've enjoyed reading about the book habits of several blog friends. Seriously considering putting this meme on my to do list!

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