Saturday, June 23, 2012

Reading Habits.

I've seen this in a few places (not sure where it started), and since I am lacking inspiration for a real post today, I thought this would be fun to fill out. :)

Do you snack while you read? If so, favourite reading snack:
I try to avoid snacking while generally leads to too much snacking. :) However, I like a small bowl of popcorn every once in awhile!

What is your favourite drink while reading?
It used to be diet coke, but since I am cutting back (and trying to quit) on drinking pop, I've been turning more and more to tea and flavored water. I have a new addiction to Mio, so I've taken to always flavoring my water.

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?
I used to write in my books far more than I do now. Most of the books I read while in college have writing in them somewhere. Nowadays I use little post-it tags to mark passages and pages I want to come back to, or that have quotes I like (any quote that I use in a post here comes from those that I mark). I have nothing against writing in books, but if I buy a used book, I always check for writing. Other peoples' highlighting, etc bothers me.

I've also been keeping a separate journal just for thoughts on my reading. I like having everything in one place so I can flip through it.

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears? Laying the book flat open?
I am huge fan of bookmarks. :) I own something like 80-90 of them, and I am constantly looking for more. I used to dog-ear pages before, but don't anymore. I'm also one of those people who tries not to break the spine of my paperbacks to make them last longer. Since I purchase pretty much everything I read, I want my books to stay in good condition. Sometimes a little abuse can't be helped, but I don't purposefully do things to hurt my book! It drives my friend Kyla crazy. She is really one of the only people I trust to lend books to, and she says she always feel pressured to keep my books perfect. :) It makes me chuckle. I know that I'm just crazy, but I figure if I am investing in building myself a library, I want my books to last until I'm 80 and want to revisit an old favorite.

Fiction, non-fiction, or both?
I read more fiction now, but I really like non-fiction. I'm partial to history titles, biographies, autobiographies, and memoirs. I miss my history books especially...

Are you a person who tends to read to the end of a chapter, or can you stop anywhere?
I prefer to stop at a chapter break, but sometimes I just get too tired to finish. :) Some books have really long chapters, so sometimes I just can't get through to the end. But really, I can stop anywhere (I do try to finish a "scene" before stopping in the middle of a chapter).

Are you the type of person to throw a book across the room or on the floor if the author irritates you?
I've done both. :) I threw Atlas Shrugged at the wall quite a few times, as well as tossing it on the floor for my cat to sleep on. It is a rare occasion for me to throw a book, so you know something was up if I did!

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop and look it up right away?
Depends. I usually try and figure it out based on context and most often I figure it out. If it is something I can't figure out, then I'll look it up. :)

What are you currently reading?
I've been focusing on Middlemarch since starting it last Sunday. I've also poked back into Nicholas Nickleby a little bit (I think I have to just finish it this coming week and be done with it). Not sure what I'm going to pick up next!

What is the last book you bought?
I've actually bought quite a few in recent weeks. I discovered the new Penguin English Library series and bought quite a or 17? They've slowly been trickling in...which is driving Matt crazy, but it had been quite some time since I'd bought a bunch of books, so I don't feel bad. ;) I'll show them off once they all get here.

Do you have a favourite time/place to read?
I really like reading while in bed. I know a lot of people have a hard time with that, but I feel really comforted being in bed with a good book. I especially love those opportunities and books that make me stay up all night just to know what happens. That's harder being married and having to make sure that I don't bug Matt with the light. :)

Do you prefer series books or stand alones?
It depends on what kind of mood that I'm in. There is something pretty amazing about sinking into a big long series. It allows you to get to know the characters so well! But I also love a good stand-alone. Most classics ARE stand-alones, so I have been getting a good mix between those and some fantasy titles.

Is there a specific book or author you find yourself recommending over and over?
I've been pushing a couple of books on people recently-The Mill on the Floss, Portrait of a Lady, and David Copperfield. And, as always, The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton. :)

How do you organize your books? (by genre, title, author’s last name, etc.) 
The shelves that I do have are alphabetized. The only exceptions are books that are too tall to fit on the normal shelf, books belonging to a collection or set, and my Shakespeare titles. I prefer to have books in a set all together (all my Penguin clothbounds are together-they look way sweeter that way). I will also pull books out every month or so to put on my nightstand. The nightstand pile is what I hope to get through in that month. Sometimes books stay there for a month or two before being read...some stay longer...and some books never make it there! But generally speaking, once it is on the nightstand, I make it a priority.

I also have books all over the apartment-some on my desk, there is a pile on an end table in the living room, and a couple in my bag that I've been lugging to the park. :) I call it controlled chaos.

I think the only other interesting reading habits I have are these:
-I keep a written record of books read each month. They are all in a spiraled journal and I've had it since the beginning of 2008.
-I have a big printed out list of the titles on my 250 list taped to the back of our "office" door. I highlight each title as I finish it. I'm a big fan of crossing things off, so it helps me visualize my progress!


  1. This was a lot of fun. I am still trying to train myself to read more than one book at a time. I have gotten better about it, but I am not sure that I could do 2 classics at once.
    You have a lot of book marks! I have one somewhere.
    I usually used pretty strips of cloth.

    1. I've been collecting bookmarks for years. Whenever I go to a bookstore, I look for any that catch my eye!

      I didn't used to be able to read multiple books at once, but I learned how in college....and now I find myself doing it more and more often.

  2. I love that you cross books off the list to mark your progress. I had a Tournament of Books bracket print out on my old office door and it was fun for my students (and me) to keep up with progress.

    Sounds like we have a lot of the same habits, Allie! I loooove love love to read in bed. It happens far less with a toddler in the house, but I feel decadent when I do get to indulge.

    1. Matt likes to chuckle at me when I cross books off. :)

      Reading in bed is my FAVORITE. :) Probably because we have the comfiest bed, ever!

  3. Enjoyed this post. Laughed at the thought of throwing Atlas Shrugged against the wall. I read it so many years ago can barely remember much except the feel of it. Will look forward to seeing the English Library series photo/s by Penguin. I am an avid Penguin book collector, reader and blogger. Anything Penguin. Bookmarks? My philosophy is a bookmark in every book. I use any greeting cards I get for birthdays and the occasional Christmas card if it's unique and put that in a book.. It's fun to come across little cards from the past when I pick up the book. Happy page turning. Pam

    1. I love Penguin as well! And these new editions are just gorgeous! As soon as the last few get here, I'll post about them!

      I also grab some random items for books as well-tickets to events, etc.

  4. When I go to a book store, I generally want clean books, no notes in the margins or anything.

    But actually as I think about it, I think it would be kind of fun and funny to find a book in a bookstore with lots of angry and frustrated comments from a reader who hated it. A sort of Mystery Science Theater 3000 experience. I'm thinking of this as a new sort of art form, I think.

    Or, imagine how passive-aggressively funny it would be to give a friend a copy of something like Twilight or Eragon or Wizard's First Rule, full of snarky comments wherever the author once again chose a cliche or where any talented writer could have done something much better.

  5. "I threw Atlas Shrugged at the wall quite a few times, as well as tossing it on the floor for my cat to sleep on."

    Toss it in the garbage, where it belongs! :P

    1. Also, did you guys notice that Atlas Shrugged is on the Library Congress' list of 88 books that shaped America? Kind of interesting.

    2. Psssh....but every time I look at it, I'm reminded of our readalong! I can't get rid of it now! ;)

      And Neal, that is kind of interesting. I can see why it made the list!

  6. I've kept a written record of books since, I think, 2007- it's so weird to think that it's the only way I used to record my reading, and now I talk about ALL THE BOOKS in like detail (whilst still keeping my written list :) ). Ahh, the innocent pre-book blogging days...

    1. Lol. I know, I started doing that pre-blogging too! I also created a series of "Notes" on Facebook where I recommended books to friends. :)

  7. 16 or 17? My goodness! :) Next time Scott gives me the look for buying books I'm going to point him in YOUR direction!!

    Without looking I think that I did this meme years ago. Would be fun to compare answers to now!

    1. Lol, yeah...Matt's been giving me the stink eye whenever a package arrives. It doesn't help that Book Depository packages EVERY BOOK in a separate package, even when I order them together. i find that incredibly wasteful and irritating...and I'm sure our mailman LOVES delivering to us. :)

  8. I understand your need to keep books pristine. And I too have a limited number of friends I'm willing to lend books to. I just want my books to look nice AND be well loved!

    1. Exactly! I tell my friends that if they borrow, I expect in back in good condition! My BIL has lost his privilege to borrow after his dog ate my copy of Ender's Game!